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Four trapped under Everest ice

Written By kom limapulan on Jumat, 18 April 2014 | 21.13

An avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest killed at least 12 Nepalese Sherpa guides on Friday, making it one of the deadliest days in the history of the mountain. Photo: AP.

The world's tallest peak. an avalanche has occurred on Mount Everest. Source: News Limited

AN avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving four missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak.

Several more were injured.

The Sherpa guides had gone to fix ropes for other climbers when the avalanche struck an area known as the "popcorn field" for its bulging chunks of ice at about 6:30am, Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal said from the base camp, where he was monitoring rescue efforts.

An injured survivor told his relatives the path up the mountain was unstable just before the avalanche struck at an elevation just below 21,000 feet (6,400 meters). As soon as the avalanche hit, rescuers, guides and climbers rushed to help.

Rescue workers pulled out 12 bodies from under mounds of snow and ice and were searching for the four missing guides, Lamsal said. Officials had earlier said three were missing.

The Daily Mail reports that five of the guides who died were employed by NBC's Peacock Productions for a Discovery Channel program scheduled to air in May.

Mountaineer ... Dawa Tashi Sherpa, survivor of the avalanche on Mount Everest, lies in the Intensive Care Unit at Grandi International Hospital in Kathmandu. Picture: Prakash Mathema Source: AFP

"Some of the sherpas were working for us. We lost five members of our team this morning,' Scottish filmmaker Ed Wardle told Channel 4. "It's absolutely devastating. The atmosphere here at base camp is one of shock and now of grieving.

"I believe it's the worst disaster in Everest history if not all mountaineering," he said.

The NBC crew was on the mountain preparing to film a jump with American wing suit flier Joby Ogwyn.

An Australian documentary team is also currently on Everest, filming a feature documentary on a 2014 expedition entirely from the Sherpas' points of view.

Rescue workers pulled out 12 bodies from under mounds of snow and ice and were searching for the four missing guides.

Four survivors were injured badly enough to require airlifting to a hospital in Kathmandu. One arrived during the day, and three taken to the foothill town of Lukla could be evacuated Saturday. Others with less serious injuries were being treated at base camp.

The avalanche struck ahead of the peak climbing season, when hundreds of climbers, guides and support crews were at Everest's base camp preparing to climb to the summit when weather conditions are at their most favourable early next month. They had been setting up camps at higher altitudes, and guides were fixing routes and ropes on the slopes above.

The wall of snow and ice hit just below Camp 2, which sits at an elevation of 21,000 feet on the 29,036-foot mountain, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

Worst accident ever ... Mount Everest as it rises behind Mount Nuptse as seen from Tengboche, in the Himalaya's Khumbu region, Nepal. Source: AP

Hundreds of climbers, their guides and support crews have gathered at the base camp to prepare for attempts to scale the 8850-metre high mountain early next month when weather conditions become favourable. They have been setting up camps at higher altitudes and guides have been fixing routes and ropes on the slopes above.

One injured guide, Dawa Tashi, lay in the intensive care unit at Grande Hospital in the capital late Friday after being evacuated from the mountain. Doctors said he suffered several broken ribs and would be in the hospital for a few days.

Tashi told his visiting relatives that the Sherpa guides woke up early and were on their way to fix ropes to the higher camps but were delayed because of the unsteady path. Suddenly the avalanche fell on the group and buried many of them, according to Tashi's sister-in-law Dawa Yanju.

The Sherpa people are one of the main ethnic groups in Nepal's alpine region, and many make their living as climbing guides on Everest and other Himalayan peaks.

Camp 2 ... where the avalanche has occurred on Mount Everest. Source: News Limited

As soon as the avalanche hit, rescuers and fellow climbers rushed to help.

Earlier this year, Nepal announced several steps to better manage the heavy flow of climbers and speed up rescue operations. The steps included the dispatch of officials and security personnel to the base camp at 5300 metres (17,380 feet), where they will stay throughout the spring climbing season that ends in May.

Anxious wait ... Fhurbu Sherpa (left), wife of Nepalese mountaineer Dawa Tashi Sherpa who survived an avalanche on Mount Everest, with family members at the Grandi International Hospital in Kathmandu. Picture: Prakash Mathema Source: AFP

More than 4000 climbers have scaled the summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hundreds have died attempting to reach the peak.

The worst recorded disaster on Everest was on May 11, 1996, when eight climbers were killed in one day because of a snowstorm near the summit. Six Nepalese guides were killed in an avalanche in 1970.

Inside Mount Everest ... the many camps at the world's tallest peak. Source: News Corp Australia


21.13 | 0 komentar | Read More

Royals touch down in Queensland

Prince William and Kate arrive at RAFF base near Amberley. Source: News Corp Australia

THE royal couple has arrived at the Royal Australian Air Force base at Amberley, west of Brisbane.

An honour guard greeted Prince William and his wife when they arrived about 11am and there was a flyover of fighter jets stationed there.

The princess is wearing a "snorkel blue" Lasa Poppy Print Dress by one of her favourite designers L.K. Bennett. The dress retails for £245 ($440 AUD).

Catherine's dress is a nod to the importance of the poppy, as a symbol of remembrance for the military community. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

No wardrobe malfunction today for Kate at Amberley. Source: News Corp Australia

Kate's choice of dress is a nod to the importance of the poppy, as a symbol of remembrance in the military community.

The couple are touring the Amberley Air Base - Australia's biggest operational military base.

Defence Force chief David Hurley, and his wife Linda, greeted the couple on the tarmac, where a military band played God Save the Queen and the Australian national anthem.

The prince stopped for a brief chat with one defence force member and a drummer in the band, before he and Kate were greeted by Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley, and other dignitaries including Premier Campbell Newman, his wife Lisa, dressed in hot pink, and Defence Minister David Johnston.

Prince William inspects an honour Guard as he arrives at the Royal Australian Airforce Base at Amberley. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

The pair is touring Squadron 1 at the base - the first super hornet squadron outside the US and the prince happily stepped into the flight seat, while Kate watched on.

He then stepped into the back seat -where the weapons are controlled, allowing Kate to take the pilot's seat.

More: Kate in Aussie fashion faux-pas

Duchess loves her wedges

An Airforce band plays as Prince Will Kate touch down at the Amberley RAAF Base in Queensland.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planted a tree in the memorial garden before meeting with four families who lost members during the military operation in Afghanistan.

Wing Commander Paul Rickert, who is deputy honour guard commander, said some of the family members had not been back to Amberley since the ramp ceremony, the memorial service held for fallen soldiers at the airport.

"It's quite significant for those family members ... to have that closure and have this visit back to Amberley as a positive experience," he told ABC radio.

Prince William and Kate of Cambridge arrive RAFF Base Amberley. Source: News Corp Australia

The serving members of the military have spent months rehearsing for the royal visit, which they hope to execute with "military precision", he said.

Prince William will be sure to appreciate the display, he spent seven and a half years in the RAF before retiring to take up official duties.

Afterwards the couple will head to Brisbane's South Bank for a civic reception with Premier Campbell Newman and other dignitaries.

Here's how The Courier Mail welcomed the royal couple today:

The Courier Mail has royal fever. Source: Supplied

Thousands have already gathered at Brisbane's parkland precinct, hoping to catch a glimpse or perhaps a quick word with the couple during a public walk.

But not everyone was keen to welcome the royal couple, with a small group of people protesting outside the Brisbane Convention Centre ahead of their arrival.

The Aboriginal land rights activists held up signs, one of them read "give back what you stole", they called the royals dole bludgers and chanted "thieves".

About 50 police officers moved on the group of about 30 protesters, pushing them out of sight, ahead of the royal arrival.

The couple will leave Brisbane for Sydney just after 3pm.

Yesterday the couple spent the day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and in Manly, visiting sick children at Bear Cottage before watching a lifesaving demonstration.

Radiant in a white lace dress by Australian designer Zimmermann, Catherine notably did not remove her Stuart Weitzman wedge heels for a stroll on Manly Beach.

She's a princess, of course she kept her heels on. Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Her previous day's outfit, a patterned dress by Diane von Furstenberg sold out within hours, but the Zimmermann's Roamer Day Dress will not be in stores until June

Catherine delivered her first speech in Australia after speaking with the young residents of Bear Cottage and said the haven for dying children was an inspiration.

"First-class delivery of children's palliative care is life-changing,'' she said, as the Prime Minister looked on with the new NSW Premier, Mike Baird.

Catherine's sure touch and gentle humour is the talk of the tour. While her husband spoke privately to the families, she spent time with the ill children, speaking quietly to them.

At the Royal Easter Show, the Duke and Duchess got a taste of regional Australia.

Checking out alpaca wool from the northern region, Catherine commented the fleece could make a good toupe for her husband.

A sell-out, Catherine's Diane von Furstenberg dress was snapped up. Photo: AP Photo/Rob Griffith Source: AP


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Gwyneth faces second split in a month

Written By kom limapulan on Kamis, 17 April 2014 | 21.13

The boss of Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website Goop has quit. Source: Supplied

AFTER Gwyneth Paltrow's "conscious uncoupling" with Chris Martin, she now faces another painful split: Seb Bishop, the highly ­regarded CEO of Goop, has quit.

Page Six has exclusively confirmed that Bishop, a leading British entrepreneur who was international CEO of AIDS-fighting charity (RED) before joining Goop in 2011, has quit Paltrow's lifestyle blog, on which she announced her separation from Martin last month.

More: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announce 'conscious uncoupling'

We're told that Bishop resigned after Paltrow — in a move to sever her ties to London, where Martin lives — announced to Goop staff she was moving the office from the British capital to Los Angeles.

The news comes just a month after she announced her separation from husband Chris Martin. Source: Getty Images

Our source said: "Seb was ready to move his wife, Heidi, and their children from London, and had even been looking at properties in Los Angeles, but then he abruptly quit." The source added, "There is speculation that he and Paltrow disagreed on the direction of Goop, partly that she used the web site as a vehicle for her personal life, and the 'conscious uncoupling' announcement."

Paltrow rep Stephen Huvane confirmed Bishop is leaving Goop, but denied he abruptly quit in a disagreement with Paltrow.

Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted a picture of herself hugging her son while still wearing her wedding band after announcing her separation. Source: Twitter

He told us, "It's not completely true. Seb is still with Goop, but has decided not to relocate his family to Los Angeles. He will be transitioning out over time until a replacement is named."

Either way, the "corporate uncoupling" is a huge blow to Paltrow. Multi-millionaire Bishop, 40, was a top ad agency art director who made his mark at the age of 26 when he founded Espotting, which brought the paid-search online advertising model to Europe.

In 2008, he became CEO of (RED), the organisation created by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise money to fight HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and is also an investor in mobile news app Summly.

Bishop and Paltrow were photographed together at Goop's summer party in Mayfair, London, last May. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished here with permission


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‘Do NOT have sex with your teammates’

Kickball. WHAT A GAME. Source: ThinkStock

THERE'S nothing sexier than a mildly talented recreational adult kickball player.

At least, that's what we're led to believe by a player over in the United States, who is fed up with the sport's (allegedly) rampant sex epidemic derailing his team's chances.

He's sent a blunt and shamelessly sexist email to all of the men in his squad, demanding they refrain from having sex with their female teammates "until after week five" of the season.

Someone forwarded the email to Deadspin, and it has now been published in full for the whole world to see.

The man's logic is flawed, his tone is shrill and he uses capital letters far too liberally. But he certainly gets his point across.

An artist's impression of the bloke who wrote the email. Source: Supplied

"Good morning gentlemen," he begins. "We have a very talented team. We're most likely going to win out the season, and if not, we'll buck up and win the tournament at the end of the season. We're really that good."

So far, the guy seems like a bottomless well of positivity. Don't be fooled. He's about to get very stern.

"It's time that I introduce you all to a very important rule, which if we don't follow will [cost] us the season. It's called the five-week rule," he says.

"Winning on the kickball field is based on three things: how well the men play, how well the women play, and if the women show up."

Here's a photo of Nick Jonas playing kickball, just to prove it's an actual thing that people do sometimes. Source: AP

"Literally, leagues are won and lost on whether or not enough women show up towards the end of the season. Everyone thinks kickball is a great game, they all want to play, then towards the end of the season, attendance tapers off, and you're begging and pleading for people to show up to fill out the team, and it doesn't happen, and you forfeit, and you're pissed, and it sucks. SUCKS."

Having successfully written the longest run-on sentence in human history, he proceeds to diagnose the cause of that drop in attendance.

"The main reason for this, is screwing," he says. "No joke, you b**g some chick, she's ashamed, maybe you sucked at it (none of us, obviously) and she doesn't want to see you, therefore she doesn't show up again. So this rule has been created.

"YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO F*** ANYONE ON THE TEAM UNTIL AFTER WEEK FIVE.

"Is that clear enough? I can say it again if necessary, but I think it was pretty clear.

"YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO F*** ANYONE ON THE TEAM UNTIL AFTER WEEK FIVE."

One of the many recreational female kickball players whose hopes and dreams have been crushed. Source: ThinkStock

He goes on to say that any violation of this rule will result in "exclusion from the line-up, public hatred and disdain, death, dismemberment, ball-kicking (not kickballs), and, on the good side, getting laid."

We're going to assume some of that was tongue-in-cheek, but we're far from certain.

"Please be a team player, wait a few weeks. If you're that good, it won't matter anyway. Don't break up the team because of your d**k," he says, wrapping up the email with typical subtlety.

You have to marvel at the depths to which this man is willing to sink in his efforts to win a recreational kickball competition. We had no idea that anyone took the sport so seriously.


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Last chance to say ‘I love you’

Written By kom limapulan on Rabu, 16 April 2014 | 21.13

South Korean Coast Guard video shows a capsized ferry off South Korea and members of the country's coast guard rescuing survivors.

Grief in the spotlight ... Relatives weep as they wait for missing passengers. Picture: Chung Sung-Jun Source: Getty Images

PASSENGERS aboard a South Korean ferry which capsized sent emotion-charged texts to their loved ones as it sank.

As rescuers continue the search for almost 287 people still missing today, a number of those messages have been reported, showing the desperation amongst the 475 crew and passengers — many of them students on a school trip — as the Sewol foundered in open water.

"Dad, I can't walk out. The corridor is full of kids, and it's too tilted," one 18-year-old student messaged her father, according to ABC America.

The Korean news agency NEWSIS contained a slew of other text messages from passengers — from declarations of love to the simple report: "I am alive".

"Mom, I might not be able to tell you in person. I love you," one student texted, according to a Korean report cited by ABC.

"Me too, son. I love you," the mother replied. It is believed the teenager was among those rescued.

Some like Park Yu-Shin, whose student daughter was among the missing, had been able to stay in contact with their loved ones until the last moment.

"She was telling me: 'we're putting on our life vests. They're telling us to wait and stay put, so we're waiting, Mom. I can see a helicopter'," Park recalled, her voice breaking with emotion.

Unable to sleep, some spent the night on the quay of Jindo harbour, staring out to sea as if willing their children back to safety.

"My daughter is out there, somewhere out there in the cold sea," said another anguished mother.

Emotion in motion ... South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won is shielded by bodyguards from a bottle of water thrown by an angry relative of a passenger. Source: AP

EARLIER: Hundreds missing as search continues

Koo Bon-hee, 36, told The Associated Press that many people were trapped inside by windows that were too hard to break.

"The rescue wasn't done well. We were wearing life jackets. We had time," Koo, who was on a business trip to Jeju with a co-worker, said from a hospital bed in Mokpo where he was treated for minor injuries. "If people had jumped into the water ... they could have been rescued. But we were told not to go out."

Oh Yong-seok, a 58-year-old crew member who escaped with about a dozen others, including the captain, told AP that rescue efforts were hampered by the ferry's severe tilt. "We couldn't even move one step. The slope was too big," Oh said.

Meanwhile there is intensifying anger in South Korea over claims the initial response was bungled.

Furious shouts could be heard when Prime Minister Chung Hong-won visited a shelter where relatives of the missing passengers waited for news.

His security detail also had to shield him from a thrown bottle of water. The liquid missile's impact was captured on camera (see picture above).

Some relatives yelled that the government should have sent more divers to search the wreckage.

The anger is building as text messages sent by passengers and reports from survivors point to a period of confusion and mismanagement which may have ended up costing lives.

Of the 475 people aboard, 287 are still missing — many of them high school students on a class trip. Nine were confirmed dead and 55 were injured.

Many expect that number will rise sharply because the missing have now spent more than a day either trapped in the ferry or in the cold seawater.

Naval and coastguard vessels used floodlights and flares to keep the search operation going through the night, but strong currents and low visibility hampered diving teams' efforts to access the vessel in the hope of finding survivors trapped in air pockets.

"Honestly, I think the chances of finding anyone alive are close to zero," a coastguard official told an AFP journalist on one of the boats at the capsize site.

South Korean coast guard officers look at the keel of the Sewol ferry. Picture: Hyung Min-woo / Yonhap Source: AP

It has been asserted by survivors that as the doomed ferry filled with water and listed severely on its side, the crew told passengers to wait for rescuers.

It was still unknown why the ferry sank, and the coast guard was interviewing the captain and crew.

Captain Lee Joon-Seok who survived, insisted it had not run aground.

"It didn't hit any rocks," the 60-year-old told the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper.

"The ship just sank suddenly. I don't know a clear reason," he said.

Distressing mobile phone footage taken by one survivor emerged Thursday, showing the panic on board with one woman desperately screaming "The water's coming, the water's coming."

The Sewol, a 146-meter vessel that can hold more than 900 people, set sail on Tuesday from Incheon, in north-western South Korea, on an overnight, 14-hour journey to the tourist island of Jeju.

About 9am on Wednesday, when it was three hours from Jeju, the ferry sent a distress call after it began listing to one side, according to the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

Waiting for news ... South Korean relatives of passengers on board a capsized ferry at a gym in Jindo. Picture: Jung Yeon-Je Source: AFP

Passenger Kim Seong-mok told broadcaster YTN that after having breakfast, he felt the ferry tilt and then heard it crash into something.

He said an announcement told passengers to not move from their places and that he never heard another about evacuating.

He said he was certain that many people were trapped inside the ferry as water rushed in and the severe tilt of the vessel kept them from reaching the exits.

IMAGES: The search for survivors

Koo also complained about the crew's efforts during the initial stages of the disaster, saying early misjudgements may account for the large number of missing.

In addition to the order not to evacuate immediately, Koo said many people were trapped inside by windows that were too hard to break.

"The rescue wasn't done well. We were wearing life jackets. We had time," Koo, who was on a business trip to Jeju with a co-worker, said from a hospital bed in Mokpo, the nearest major city to the site of the accident, where he was treated for minor injuries.

"If people had jumped into the water ... they could have been rescued. But we were told not to go out."

Hopes fading ... the Coast Guard work at the site of the ferry sinking accident. Picture: Park Young-Chul-Donga Daily Source: Getty Images

Oh-Yong-seok, a 58-year-old crew member who escaped with about a dozen others, including the captain, told The Associated Press that rescue efforts were hampered by the ferry's severe tilt.

"We couldn't even move one step. The slope was too big," Oh said.

Student Lim Hyung-min told YTN that he and others jumped into the water wearing life jackets and then swam to a nearby rescue boat.

"As the ferry was shaking and tilting, we all tripped and bumped into each another," Lim said, adding that some people were bleeding. Once he jumped, the ocean "was so cold. ... I was hurrying, thinking that I wanted to live."

Dozens of coast guard and navy divers searched for survivors around the Sewol's wreckage a little north of Byeongpung Island, which is not far from the mainland and about 470 kilometres from Seoul.

Focus of anger ... South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won is shielded by his bodyguards at a shelter for relatives of passengers in Jindo, south of Seoul. Source: AP

"We cannot give up," said South Korean President Park Geun-hye, after a briefing in Seoul. "We have to do our best to rescue even one passenger."

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. and its 7th Fleet stood ready to assist, including the USS Bonhomme Richard, which was in the region.

The last major ferry disaster in South Korea was in 1993, when 292 people were killed.

TV stations broadcast live pictures Wednesday of the listing Sewol as passengers clambered over the side, jumped into the sea or were hoisted up by helicopters. At least 87 vessels and 18 aircraft swarmed around the stricken ferry.

The water temperature in the area was about 12 degrees Celsius, cold enough to cause signs of hypothermia after about 90 minutes, according to an emergency official who spoke on condition of anonymity because department rules did not allow talking to the media.

Lee Gyeong-og, a vice minister for the Public Administration and Security Ministry, said the ocean was 37 meters deep in the area.

The survivors — wet, stunned and many without shoes — were brought to nearby Jindo Island, where medical teams wrapped them in pink blankets and checked for injuries before taking them to a cavernous gymnasium.

As the search dragged on, families of the missing gathered at a nearby dock, some crying and holding each other.

Boats circled the sunken ferry into the night, illuminated by red flares.

Sad vigil ... relatives of missing people wait at a Jindo port. Picture: Chung Sung-Jun Source: Getty Images

The numbers of passengers, as well as the dead and missing, fluctuated throughout the day. As of early Thursday, South Korean authorities estimated 475 people were on the ferry.

Of that total, there were 325 students and 15 teachers from Danwon High School in Ansan, a city near Seoul. They were headed to Jeju for a four-day trip, according to a relief team set up by Gyeonggi province.

Authorities said the dead included a female member of the crew and two male students. A coast guard officer confirmed three other fatalities but had few details about them. Kang Byung-kyu, a government minister, said 55 people were injured. Coast guard officials put the number of survivors on Thursday at 179.

Many South Korean high schools organise trips for first- or second-year students, and Jeju is a popular destination. The students on the ferry were in their second year, which would make most of them 16 or 17.

At Danwon High School, students were sent home early and parents gathered for news about their children. Park Ji-hee, a first-year student, said she saw about a dozen parents crying at the school entrance.

There are faster ways to get to Jeju, but the ferry from Incheon is cheaper than flying.

The Sewol, which travels twice a week between Incheon and Jeju, was built in Japan in 1994 and could carry a maximum of 921 people, 180 vehicles and 152 shipping containers, according to the Yonhap news agency.


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Royal frenzy: Kate’s latest dress is a sell-out

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will meet residents in NSW who have been badly affected by bushfires.

Royal selfie: Nina Kiwarkis, who is awaiting a heart and lung transplant, posed for this picture with the Duchess of Cambridge yesterday. Picture: Nina Kiwarkis. Source: Supplied

DAY 2 of our Royal Diary, Wills-and-Kate-watchers, and the Royal couple are spending the day in the Blue Mountains following yesterday's arrival in Sydney.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — we're all friends here, readers, so let's refer to them as William and Kate from hereon in — spent the first part of their visit meeting with residents and first responders recovering from last year's bushfires in the region.

Want Kate's Diane Von Furstenberg print dress for yourself? Too bad - it's already sold out. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Prince William keeps it casual as he arrives in the Blue Mountains. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Kate and Wills stayed with bushfire survivors for half an hour, much longer than the 10 minutes allotted in their schedule. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

No sign of young Prince George, who it seems is staying in Sydney for the day while his parents visit the region.

A man causes a disturbance as people wait for William and Kate at Winmalee. Source: Supplied

Before the Royals' arrival, two local men were detained and 'moved on' by police for causing a disturbance.

Kate has opted for a patterned navy and white dress which is by Diane von Furstenberg, the palace confirms, which she's teamed with Corkswoon wedges. If you're thinking of nabbing it for yourself, bad news - it's already sold out.

Fashion watchers are still waiting with baited breath to see the Duchess finally wheel out an Aussie fashion label on the royal tour.

"The second outfit is from the renowned American designer, Diane von Furstenberg,'' says news.com.au style commentator Melissa Hoyer.

Kate's not the only princess in town - nice one, girls! Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

"For the Blue Mountains visit, the Duchess chose the iconic DvF wrap dress called the 'Patrice', which retails at $453 from the matches website.

"This year happens to mark the 40th anniversary of the iconic DVF 'wrap' dress and while the classic style is available in lots of prints and colors, Kate choose the label's signature 'Ikat Batik' print.''

THE SHOES. Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Corp Australia

Kate arrives at the Winmalee Girl Guide's Hall. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Hoyer said she was intrigued at the choice of navy and very high cork wedges.

"The Stuart Weitzman 'Corkswoon' heels are fantastic but also very high, so it surprised me she would wear them hopping in and out of a chopper to the Blue Mountains.''

Our friends over the ditch at UK newspaper The Mirror had an interesting take on the dress, describing her as "wearing a stunning new outfit for the occasion in the searing heat." Sure, except it's currently 17C in the Blue Mountains.

This follows on from yesterday's stunning wattle-yellow frock from Serbian designer Roksanda Ilinncic — although seems hubby perhaps wasn't the biggest fan of yesterday's outfit: "William said I look like a banana," Kate was quoted as saying last night.

Wills himself has opted for a smart casual look today, sporting a royal blue blazer with lighter blue jean-style chinos.

Royal Diary Day 1: William and Kate touch down

After meeting with those affected by the bushfires, the Royals enjoyed an informal lunch at a Girl Guides Hall, followed by a tree planting with the Winmalee Girl Guides. The Guides got into the Royal spirit, shouting 'Princess' instead of 'cheese' when posing for photos with the couple.

Everybody say 'Princess!' Source: Getty Images

The Royals planted a tree with the Girl Guides, who all look pretty stoked. Source: Getty Images

From there, it's on to Echo Point in Katoomba, where they'll take in views of the Three Sisters alongside three Aboriginal Edlers representing the Indigenous landowners of the region.

After that, they'll watch young people taking part in activities 'including abseiling and team-building exercises'. Wills, Kate — c'mon, give the abseiling a go!

William and Kate's Melbourne snub

Later this afternoon, the Royals will return to Sydney to meet with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Admiralty House, then they've got the night off. They'd better get a good night's sleep though, because tomorrow they're headed to the Royal Easter Show. If Prince George doesn't at least get a Bertie Beetle showbag, something has gone very wrong with the Royal Tour.

Prince George presented with baby baggy green

Following yesterday's shameless (read: hilarious) stunt by Sportsbet, which positioned a Prince Harry lookalike on a boat in Sydney Harbour surrounded by a bevy of models while Harry's brother visited the Opera House, today another local brand is muscling in on the Royal visit.

Vegemite have launched a Facebook petition to make Prince George a 'happy little Vegemite', asking followers: "Think Prince George growing up on Marmite is a travesty?"

Them's fighting words.

Take a look at what goes on behind the scenes when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Australia.


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Boston Marathon: Bag detonated

Written By kom limapulan on Selasa, 15 April 2014 | 21.13

A man seen with a backpack screaming Boston strong before everyone was cleared from the area near the Boston Marathon finish line. Courtesy: Sarah French

One of the backpacks in question (inset), plus the man in the black veil alleged to have dropped it. Picture: Sarah French/Ryan Catalani Source: Supplied

POLICE have reportedly detonated the bag discovered near the Boston Marathon finish line, shouting "fire in the hole", with two explosions heard from the scene, local media has reported.

It's presumed the bags were detonated as a precautionary measure, boston.com reported. So far, there is no evidence to indicate they contained explosives.

News of the detonation comes as Boston Police revealed a rice cooker was found in one of the bags. But it remained unclear what was in the second backpack, myfoxboston reported.

— WBZ Boston News (@cbsboston) April 16, 2014

Meanwhile a man has been taken into custody after two suspicious backpacks were discovered near the Boston Marathon finish line.

The unidentified man is expected to be charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and possession of a hoax device.

Witnesses were evacuated from the area after a man dropped a backpack at the finish line and marched up the street screaming "Boston Strong!".

Local TV reporter Sarah French posted this mobile phone video of the suspect scampering up the street.

The incident comes one year after three people were killed and 264 injured after bombs in backpacks exploded near the finish line — the deadliest terror attack on US soil since September 11, 2001.

This year, no bags or backpacks were allowed near the start or finish line and "bandits" — unregistered runners — were also banned as part of increased security measures, The Washington Post reported earlier this year.

THEN AND NOW: The Boston Marathon bombing one year on

A crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon commemorating the one-year anniversary at the weekend. Picture: AP Source: AP

Bags and backpacks were prohibited along the course, the Boston Athletic Association announced.

The Association provided clear plastic bags in which runners could check their belongings. Runners could wear bumbags or fuel belts, but there were restrictions on costumes that some like to wear.

Faces were not allowed to be covered and no bulky clothes were permitted. Strollers were also banned from the starting or finish lines.

More than 3500 police officers were to patrol this year's Boston Marathon, more than double the number deployed last year. Increased security measures included the presence of undercover officers.

Scenes of devastation at last year's Boston Marathon, after two backpacks blew up near the finish line. Picture: AP Source: AP


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Barry O’Farrell resigns in disgrace

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has resigned in the wake of controversy over his appearance at the ICAC.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell attends ICAC Source: News Corp Australia

BARRY O'Farrell has resigned as NSW Premier following his appearance at the Independent Commission against Corruption yesterday.

Mr O'Farrell denied receiving a $3000 bottle of wine from Australian Water Holdings boss Nick Di Girolamo yesterday but resigned today after it was revealed that he sent Mr Di Girolamo a card thanking him for the gift.

"I will be resigning the position and enabling a new Liberal leader to be elected, someone who will then become the Premier of New South Wales," Mr O'Farrell said in a press conference today.

He insisted he did not "wilfully mislead" the watchdog yesterday, but said he accepted the consequences.

He described the missing bottle of wine as a "significant memory fail on my part".

After being recalled to ICAC today to give further evidence, Mr O'Farrell confirmed that the handwriting on a thankyou note presented to the commission was his.

Barry O'Farrell enters ICAC today to answer further questions. Picture: Phil Blatch Source: News Corp Australia

He said that he gave his best recollection to ICAC yesterday but was "clearly mistaken". He said he had no idea what happened to the 1959 bottle of Grange.

Barry O'Farrell faces ICAC for second day

Seeing the note has also not sparked his memory about the wine. Mr O'Farrell said dealings with Australian Water Holdings were done appropriately, and a contract signed with Sydney Water was completed at arm's length from the government.

Referring to the wine in his speech this morning, Mr O'Farrell said: "I can't explain the arrival of a gift that I have no recollection of, or its absence, which I still can't fathom.

"I accept the consequences in an orderly way."

During his testimony yesterday, he categorically denied ever receiving the wine.

"If I had received a bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange I would have known about it and, and I did not receive a bottle of Penfolds Grange," he told the hearing.

His resignation will be effective from next week, as soon as a committee of parliamentarians can meet to appoint a new leader.

Likely candidates for the top job are Treasurer Mike Baird, who was always touted as a future premier and is the bookie's favourite, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Planning Minister Brad Hazzard.

Who will take the crown? Treasurer Mike Baird with Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian in Mr Baird's electorate of Manly last year. Source: News Limited

A Facebook page "Gladys for Premier" has already been set up for Ms Berejiklian, whose electorate in Sydney's north shore, is next to Mr O'Farrell's. However, it has so far only attracted 15 members.

Opposition Leader John Robertson held a press conference today after Mr O'Farrell's ICAC midday appearance and said the issue was "not about a bottle of wine".

"This is an insight into the way the Liberal Party operates in government in NSW," Mr Robertson said.

He called on the next premier to work with him on implementing a new regime of ethical standards to clean up NSW politics, which he has already introduced within the Labor Party.

"Today's events don't begin and end with Barry O'Farrell because we still have an investigation with ICAC to be undertaken."

Mr O'Farrell's resignation comes after his thankyou note was presented at the ICAC hearing this morning.

The note said: "Dear Nick and Jodie, We wanted to thank you for your kind note and the wonderful wine. 1959 was a good year, even if it is getting even further away! Thanks for all your support". The note was signed by Mr O'Farrell on behalf of himself and his wife Rosemary.

The thankyou note that Mr O'Farrell wrote to Mr Di Girolamo. Source: Supplied

The Premier was called as a witness yesterday to the inquiry, which is investigating whether Australian Water Holdings is linked to the Obeid family and that it stood to make up to $60 million from a proposed public private partnership.

Last year ICAC found former NSW Labor minister Eddie Obeid and his son Moses Obeid were corrupt, after an investigation into the granting of mining licences in the Bylong Valley.

ICAC grills Premier over missing bottle of Grange

Eddie Obeid calls ICAC a sham after inquiry finds him guilty of corrupt conduct

At a separate press conference this morning to discuss Sydney's proposed second airport, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Mr O'Farrell's decision to resign was "utterly honourable".

Premier NSW Barry O'Farrell (left) meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping with Prime Minister Tony Abbott (centre). Source: News Corp Australia

"I have enormous respect and admiration for Premier Barry O'Farrell," Mr Abbott said. "I've known Barry for two decades, he's been a friend of mine throughout that time."

Mr Abbott said his Liberal colleague had "innocently and inadvertently" misled the commission.

"We are seeing an act of integrity and honour, the likes of which we have rarely seen in Australian politics," Mr Abbott said of Mr O'Farrell's decision to step down.

"I admire him for this, although I deeply regret the necessity for it."

Too friendly? A photo of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell with Nick Di Girolamo (right) and the Ipswich Mayor at a business dinner in 2011. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

In response to further questions, Mr Abbott said premiers and senior politicians and those in public life met a lot of people and often received gifts that may not always be "front of memory".

How Australia reacted to Barry O'Farrell's resignation

Mr Abbott said he learnt that his friend would be stepping down as premier via a text message and had spoken to him briefly prior to his resignation.

The Prime Minister told Mr O'Farrell he believed his actions were done with the highest honour and how sorry he was to see him go.

He repeated that Mr O'Farrell was a "man of honour and of integrity", who had been a very capable premier who will be missed.

"I think it's important to show and acknowledge this act of integrity that has caused him to act in this way," he said. "It's been a long time in public life that someone has acted in this way."

O'Farrell: 'If I had received a bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange I would have known about it.' Source: News Corp Australia


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Mum admits suffocating her six babies

Written By kom limapulan on Senin, 14 April 2014 | 21.13

A 39-year-old Megan Huntsmman was arrested in Utah on Saturday after seven bodies of dead infants were discovered in her garage.

Pleasant Grove Police investigate the scene where seven infant bodies were discovered and packaged in separate containers at a home in Pleasant Grove, Utah, Sunday, April 13, 2014. According to the Pleasant Grove Police Department, seven dead infants were found in the former home of Megan Huntsman, 39. Huntsman was booked into jail on six counts of murder. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) Source: AP

AUTHORITIES say a woman accused of killing six babies that she gave birth to over 10 years told investigators that she either strangled or suffocated the children and then put them in boxes in her garage.

According to a probable cause statement released by police, Megan Huntsman said that between 1996 and 2006, she gave birth to at least seven babies at her home and that all but one of them were born alive.

Huntsman, 39, said she killed them immediately after they were born, and put their bodies in the boxes. The statement said each baby was wrapped in either a towel or a shirt, and placed in a plastic bag.

Huntsman is being held on USD$6 million bail — USD$1 million for each baby she's accused of killing. It wasn't immediately clear if she had an attorney.

Huntsman was arrested Sunday on six counts of murder after police found the infants' tiny bodies. A seventh baby found appears to have been stillborn, Utah County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman said.

Formal charges have not yet been filed against Huntsman and no other arrests have been made, but Buhman said the investigation remains open.

Investigators were trying to determine if the seven babies had the same father or multiple fathers, Buhman said.

TThe mugshot of Megan Huntsman, who was booked into the Utah County jail on suspicion of killing six of her newborn children over the past decade. Picture: Utah County Jail Source: AP

The gruesome case has raised a series of questions about how the killings occurred despite Huntsman maintaining what neighbours said seemed like a normal existence. Police declined to comment on a motive and on what Huntsman said during an interview with investigators.

Her estranged husband found the first infant's body while cleaning out the garage after recently getting out of prison. Authorities do not believe he was aware of the killings and he isn't a person of interest at this time.

Police Captain Michael Roberts said officers responded to a call from him Saturday about a dead infant, and then they found the six other bodies.

Family and neighbours identified the estranged husband as Darren West, who has been in prison on drug-related charges.

Roberts said police believe West and Huntsman were together when the babies were born.

"We don't believe he had any knowledge of the situation," Roberts told the Associated Press.

Asked how West could not have known about the situation, Roberts replied, "That's the million-dollar question. Amazing."

Authorities investigate the crime scene. Photo: AP Source: AP

The babies' bodies were sent to the Utah medical examiner's office for tests, including one to determine the cause of death. DNA samples taken from the suspect and her husband will determine definitively whether the two are the parents, as investigators believe.

Huntsman also has three daughters — one teenager and two young adults — who lived at the house.

Neighbours in the middle-class neighbourhood say they were shocked by the accusations and perplexed that the woman's older children still living in the home didn't know their mother was pregnant or notice anything suspicious.

Late Sunday, West's family issued a statement saying they were in a "state of shock and confusion."

"We are mourning this tragic loss of life and we are trying to stay strong and help each other through this awful event," the statement said before asking for privacy.

West pleaded guilty in federal court in 2005 to two counts of possessing chemicals intended to be used in manufacturing methamphetamine, court records show. In August 2006, he was sentenced to nine years in prison, but appealed the term three times. He maintained his innocence and said he never had any intention to manufacture meth.

West's sister Sarah Wright wrote to federal district court in 2006, saying West is a good father to his three daughters. She said he worked at an excavation company for 11 years and is an avid outdoorsman who likes to fish and camp.

Police responding to the crimes were left horrified. Photo: AP Source: AP

"Darren is such an awesome dad," she wrote.

Neighbours told the AP they were shocked and horrified by the accusations of what went on inside the home. None of them even knew Huntsman was pregnant in recent years.

The family members seemed like nice people and good neighbours, said Aaron and Kathie Hawker, who live next door.

Huntsman moved out several years ago, leaving her three daughters to live alone, the Hawkers said. They weren't sure where Huntsman has since been living.

Years ago, Huntsman babysat the Hawker grandchildren and they were friendly with each other.

"It makes us so sad, we want to cry," Kathie Hawker said. "We enjoyed having them as a neighbour. This has just blown us away."

Aaron Hawker said he talked with West on Saturday morning. He told Hawker he was cleaning out the mess in the garage.

"Two hours later, suddenly we had all these policemen here," Aaron Hawker said.

Fred Newman, a neighbour whose cousin is the husband's mother, said he's perplexed how the three oldest daughters living there didn't know about what police say was going on. He said the girls didn't always park their cars in the garage, but did sometimes in the cold winter months.

He said he has used his snow blower to clean off the driveway of the home and the young women would thank him.

The girls were normal youngsters, coming and going often, neighbour Vickie Nelson said.

"It's shocking and kind of morbid and strange," Nelson said as she looked across the street at the garage from her front lawn.

Roberts said the case has been "emotionally draining" and upsetting to investigators. He was at the home when the bodies were discovered.

"My personal reaction? Just shocked. Couldn't believe it. The other officers felt the same," the 19-year police veteran said.

"They got more and more shocked each box they opened," Roberts said.

This story has been re-published with permission from the New York Post.


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Public servants ‘in $18m drug ring’

Police raid a Southport property in this morning's drug operation. Source: CourierMail

QUEENSLAND airport authorities have been left red-faced after an estimated $18 million worth of cannabis was smuggled from Victoria by a Gold Coast drug syndicate.

Police today revealed the syndicate, allegedly involving State Government workers, flew an estimated 1.5 tonnes of marijuana to Queensland in just eight months through Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville airports.

More news ...

MUM 'RAN DRUG EMPIRE' ON MATERNITY LEAVE

IS THIS THE GRUBBIEST DAD IN AUSTRALIA?

\A suspect is taken to the Southport watchhouse.

TONNES OF DOPE SMUGGLED THROUGH AIRPORTS

The dope was smuggled in 20-25kg parcels packed into suitcases and carried by drug mules who made up to four trips to Queensland a week, police have revealed.

Major and Organised Crime Squad boss Inspector Scott Knowles said the huge security lapse was a 'concern' and Queensland police would talk to federal colleagues and airport authorities to try to solve the problem.

He also revealed police had seized an estimated $10 million in assets linked to the syndicate including a Ferrari, eight new buses and a new Queenslander house.

An extensive bikie drug ring operating out of Gold Coast nightclubs has been busted.

Last month, police allege that another crime gang packed about 22kg of cannabis into everyday baggage before boarding about 40 flights from Victoria to Brisbane.

Earlier, The Courier-Mail reported police had smashed a multi-million dollar drug ring on the Gold Coast, allegedly involving State Government employees.

Officers from the Coast's Major and Organised Crime Squad swooped on addresses across the Glitter Strip in early morning raids, seizing millions of dollars in drugs, cash and property.

The raids followed a 12-month investigation into a criminal gang trafficking large amounts of cannabis from Victoria and distributing it on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville.

Police said Queensland Government employees were involved in assisting the gang and will reveal more details at a media conference later today.

Operation Kilo Zurich involved officers from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, as well as officers from the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

Police said drugs including cannabis and amphetamines valued at more than $1 million have been seized, along with $222,500 in cash.

"The operation also resulted in police executing a search warrant at a Guanaba address in March where police will allege they recovered more than $6 million in stolen property including heavy machinery, boats, caravans and a gemstone collection, " a police spokesman said.

"It will also be alleged over $6 million dollars in real estate, vehicles and assets have been obtained as a result of their criminal activity."

So far, 21 people have been arrested in Queensland, NSW and Victoria on 42 charges - with more arrests expected.

Offences include trafficking dangerous drugs, supply of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs and drug utensils.

Police say syndicate members will be charged under Queensland's new Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment anti-gang laws.

The massive drug bust follows the closure last week of a multi-million dollar cocaine and amphetamine operation targeting bikie-linked drug dealing in Gold Coast nightclubs.

An airport arrest during the Taskforce Maxima trafficking arrests executed in South-East Queensland.


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