THE Roundhouse building is beautiful and would make a great design for a hotel orrooftop bar. It’sclose to restaurant precincts, the theatre and more. Aim high, not low.
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Peter Davies, CharlestownWITH Mitchell Pearce (“Pearce backs himself to lead Knights’ revival”, Herald 26/12),we shall see in time. But I have a feeling2018 will be a good year. We won’t make the GF or even the finals, but we certainly won’t be an easy pushover.

John Gemmell, WindaleTO all the brave souls who were braving the chaos at Westfield Kotara (“Boxing Day shoppers pack punch for region”, Herald 27/12):I sincerely hope that those bargains are worth it.Especially if there are returns.

Daphne Hughes,KahibahTHE funny thing about the sales rushis that the price of things are going to be the same for the next week. I cant believe that people can’t wait a day to go shopping on the 27th. Retail workers have family too. I worked in retail, and out of respect Idon’t shop on Boxing Day.

Jodie West-Sooby, CharlestownAS a former retail worker, I refuse to shop on Boxing Day. And I judge people who do.

Melanie Claire, WallsendI WOULD like to thank the vast majority, not all, of the Boxing Day telephone shoppers.Thank you for your abuse and filthy language aimed at me for not holding stock for you, and your lack of common sense.Do you expect that I should walk past hundreds of in-store customers to collect your shopping for you because you cannot get off your behind to come into a store?If you want shops open, then get up. You are ruining my Christmas break with family and friends because you feel the need to shop on Boxing Day by phone and be abusive about it.Give Boxing Day back to retail workers and abuse us on the December 27 instead.

Lynne Smith, WallsendREGARDING Boxing Day sales, you know who else works Boxing Day and even Christmas Day? Nurses, doctors, people in hospitality, paramedics, firefighters … the list goes on.

Monique White, ThorntonKATHIE Anthony, the sooner people realise there is no god of any sort the better off the world will be so called gods and their delusional followers are responsible for the misery and desperation a lot of people around the world are suffering. Perhaps the pope should open up the coffers and spend a few bucks as those desperate prayers don’t solve hunger or homelessness. It’s time to tax the church.

Steve Barnett,Fingal BayTO Kathie Anthony (Short Takes 27/12) you may be correct. However, I’d like to know what Jesus has been up to the couple of thousand years. Maybe he is having an extended Christmas break.

Brad Hill,SingletonTHE POLLSShould the Roundhouse be turned into student accommodation?

Yes 66%, No 34%Read More →

FIVE STARS: David Uphill argues the position of the Roundhouse could equally make it an attractive spot for high-quality accommodation. Picture: Max Mason-HubersI READ in theHerald that apossible use of the Roundhouse could bestudent digs (“Round house”, 26/12).
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While student accommodation is certainly one use, the building’sunique design and location close to Civic Park andCivic Theatre, the proximity of the Hunter Mall and the foreshore within walking distance lends itself to a unique type of use.

Would it not be better utilised as a unique five-star accommodation venue with rooftop dining and underground parking?This would bring much needed dollars into the Newcastle CBD.

Admittedly ensuites would need to be retrofitted, but this building deserves the serious consideration of a range of options, not the first one that comes to mind.

Such an evaluation should consider the economic impact of its future use. Allow the future of the Round House to be the subject of input by the Hunter Chamber of Commerce.

David Uphill, ShortlandDAMNING WITH GREAT PRAISEWHILE not a resident of Newcastle and perhaps not entitled to comment, I am nonetheless disappointed at deputy mayor Declan Clausen’s letter concerning the improvements at Nobbys (Letters, 27/12).

Although most of his praise for the area seems merited, I am surprised at his dismissive attitude to the lack of change facilities at Nobbys: “Extra wide (toilet) stalls provide private change rooms while the nearby Newcastle Baths continue to offer full changing sheds and indoor showers”.


It is about 800 metres and a good 10-minute walk from Nobbys to the baths.

That may be fine for a 24-year-old deputy mayor, but it is a long stretch for older people, for parents with young children, even for people like Jacqueline Davison (Letters, 27/12) who just wants to have a dip and then shower and dress for work.

I understand that there was great hope that the young Cr Clausen would bring a fresh outlook to council.It appears to me from his formulaic praise of the works at Nobbys, which in my view could have been written by the council marketing department,that he has become just another politician.

John Ure, Mount HuttonKEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVECHRISTMAS Day there was so much goodwill on the roads. Why not be just as nice every other day?

Do not confuse victim blaming with someone trying to stop bad things happening. I am only trying to stop people crashing into things that they do not see until too late.

Completely separate to any crime, in the future a large esky could fall from someone’s trailer. It could fall on the road or footpath. Then someone approaching the esky does not see it for whatever reason, going too fast to stop and hit the esky.

I am just trying to empower people with extra skills of learning about three-second safety gaps in front of them. I think more than 90 per cent of people confuse 20 metres for being a safe distance in a car, but they do not take changing speed into consideration.We need to be focusing on being able to stop to avoid collisions. Even walkers rounding corners too quickly crash into things.

Now, consider the hypothetical future esky being a sleeping baby. Myself personally, I would be mortified if I ran over a baby on my bike.

But I would not blame the parents of the baby for my crash. I would 100 per cent blame myself for the crash. The human rights of the sleeping baby are for people not to crash into it. I am just trying to improve human rights and the safety of all.

Dan Endicott, IslingtonA REPORT FROM OTHER PORTSRAY Dinneen’s letter (Herald 26/12) suggests the answer to what he sees as Newcastle’s problem is for its city leadersto travel the world.

They would go at ratepayers’ expense and first class, no doubt.

But having successfully managed cruise ship operations in several Papua New Guineaportswith far less to offer than Newcastle, I can assure Mr Dinneen that an “I’m proud and happy to welcome you” from the locals goes a long way.

Mr Dinneen, it maynot beParis(thank God, Isay) but it’s far from “embarrassing”. After decades of stagnation it is starting to bloom. But what would this bloke who is happy living “in the sticks” know?

Dave McTaggart,EdgeworthWE HAVE PLENTY ON OFFERRAY Dinneen (Letters, 26/12) surely got out on the wrong side of the bed. He says we need to do more for those disembarking from cruise liners. I agree, but differ in acknowledging how much has already been achieved revitalising our city after decades of neglect.

Mr Dinneenfails to acknowledge the ever increasing number of ships stopping in Newcastle. Surely we must be doing something right.Perhaps visitors enjoy our beaches, arguably the best on the east coast? Or perhaps they visit the Bathers Way or Memorial Walk, quite likely Australia’s best coastal walk.

As for parking, I don’t think this is an issue for tourists getting off a cruise ship. In 2017 Supercars re-energised our city with appreciation for how amazing our city truly is. Let’s finish 2017 with positivity rather than claims downplaying our appeal to relocating Sydneysiders.

Jeremy Bath, Newcastle City Council CEOBOXING DAY GLOVES OFFNEWCASTLE’S Labor MPTim Crackanthorp voted against Boxing Day trading for his city.

The constituents voted for it in droves, with big crowds electing to spend in the Hunter rather than online or in Sydney (“Boxing Day shoppers pack punch for region”, Herald 27/12).

I believe there are many issues where the state MP is out of touch with his community, but the legislation to enshrine permanent Boxing Day Trading across NSW is just the latest of them.I often get told the Hunter must have the same opportunities as Sydney. Every Hunter Labor MP voted to keep the region’sshops shut on the 26th.

That would have continued to send trade down the highway and deprived willing staff of extra holiday pay. We should all keep in mind the Labor Party has committed to reversing the legislation and once again put up the “closed, please spend your money elsewhere”signs across the Hunter.

Scot MacDonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the HunterRead More →

Hollywood star John Travolta in the video. Travolta’s standing in front of the Boeing 707 he’s donating to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society at Albion Park Rail. John Travolta “can’t wait” to visitthe Illawarra.
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The Hollywood star has used aspecial video message toexpress his excitement at bringing his donated Boeing 707to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) at Albion Park Rail.

“I can’t wait to see everybody at the Illawarra Regional Airport when we touch down in the 707,” Travolta said in the short video clip.

The video shows Travoltasitting at a desk next toa model of his 707, as well as him standing alongsidethe actual aircraftat Brunswick’s Golden Isles Airport.

The footage was released by Bendigo Bank’s Oak Flats andShellharbourbranches, a financial supporter of the 707 project, on Facebook just before Christmas.

”This is our Christmas present for you, to say thank you for your support,” the bank’s Facebook post said.

Earlier this month, Travoltaconfirmed he would fly into the Illawarra on the plane he’s donating to HARS.

HARS president Bob De La Hunty had flagged the plane wouldn’t arrive without Travolta–andthe movie megastarhas since locked in hisspecial appearance at the Illawarra Regional Airport.

Hollywood star John Travolta in the video. Travolta’s standing in front of the Boeing 707 he’s donating to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society at Albion Park Rail.

Travolta and his vintage passenger jet will touch down at the airport some time in 2018 –the exact date is yet to be determined, but it is expected to be towards the tail-end of the year.

Mr De La Hunty said Travolta had indicated he would stay “quite some time” and was keen togo flying in “Connie”, the society’sSuper Constellation aircraft, while in town.

Travolta revealed he had gifted theex-Qantas plane – which bears the unique registration 707JT – to HARS in a shock announcement, made via social media, on May 27.

At the time, Travolta –a qualified pilot and Qantas ambassador – said the planeneeded “a lot of work to be restored to a safe flying state”.

John Travolta officially hands over his Boeing 707 to HARS members Peter Elliott (left), John Dennis and Frank Bowden at Brunswick’s Golden Isles Airport in Georgia USA on December 3. Picture: Andy Zakeli / 梧桐夜网lenswork南京夜网419论坛

READ MORE:The story behindJohn Travolta’sextraordinary gift to the Illawarra

“Having seen first hand the dedication and passion of people at HARS, I have no doubt this beautiful and historical aircraft will be flying again,” he said in his announcement.

John Travolta’s video message ahead of trip to Australia Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in Grease.

John Travolta stars in the film Saturday Night Fever.

John Travolta dances with Princess Diana at a White House dinner in Washington in 1985. Photo: AP

John Travolta pictured in 1978.

Disco fans the world over are all trying to outdance John Travolta in 1978.

John Travolta pictured in 1978.

Dancing master: John Travolta:

John Travalta in London today for the opening of his movie Ubran Cowboy in 1980.

John Travolta in Urban Cowboy.

John Travolta dances with Finola Hughes in Paramount’s Staying Alive.

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in Grease.

Olivia Newton John and and John Travolta in Grease

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in Grease.

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in Grease.

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in Grease.

John Travolta kisses wife Kelly Preston after winning a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for his role in Get Shorty.

John Travolta in the General’s Daughter.

Rene Russo and John Travolta in Get Shorty.

John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction.

John Travolta with Olivia Newton-John and Karen Lynn Gorneyin 2002.

Kirstie Alley and John Travolta in Look Who’s Talking Now.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John perform a song from Grease during a party at Paramount Studios in 2002.

John Travolta in a scene from Pulp Fiction.

John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston in 2004.

John Travolta s pilots his Qantas Boeing 707 jet in to land at Sydney airport in May 2004, watched by an enthusiastic group of plane spotters.

John Travolta on the cover of an old magazine.

A380 Qantas A 380 in Los Angeles welcomed by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John

John Travolta dances down the steps from his Qantas plane during a promotional visit to Sydney in 2002.

U.S. actor John Travolta poses for photographs as he arrives at Heathrow Airport in London August 19, 2002.

TweetFacebook A look back at John Travolta’s Hollywood film careerREAD MORE: Travolta’s Boeing 707 gets through Hurricane Irma unscathed

Illawarra Mercury

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Swathes of suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne are falling behind the internet revolution, with data showing one in 10 households have no connection from home – not even from a smartphone.
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More than 190,000 households in Sydney, and 185,000 in Melbourne, said they didn’t have access to the internet through any device, including tablets, phones, games consoles, laptops or computers in the 2016 Census.

Mapping out the suburbs to show where there are more disconnected households in both cities shows a clear correlation between low-socioeconomic neighbourhoods and the likelihood that the home has remained internet-free.

In Sydney, these blackout suburbs roughly align with the city’s “latte line” – a guideline that shows the split between low-socioeconomic areas in the west and south-west and wealthier areas in the north and east.

In Melbourne, the alignment between socio-economic trends and internet access is not as pronounced, though there is a clear trend for the eastern and inner suburbs to be more likely to say their households are connected.

University of Sydney’s Tooran Alizadeh said these households were not disconnected due to lack of access – rather it’s about “take up”of available services.

“Different take up rates have been explained by socio-economic status, especially education, and also housing ownership rate,” she said.

A further breakdown of census data shows 44 per cent of state or territory housing authority tenants across the country did not access the internet from their home on any device.

This was twice the rate of those who owned their home outright, at 21 per cent, a tenure type most likely to correlate with retirees and older Australians.

Those who owned a home with a mortgage were most likely to have access, with just 5 per cent saying they did not, while almost 12 per cent of renters from a real estate agent said they did not have access.

University of NSW City Futures director Bill Randolph agreed it was a combination of disadvantage and age that made up this disconnected population.

Frequently, older households also correlate with lower-income households either due to actual low-socioeconomic status or low income in retirement.

“Technology inequality is likely to be the next big thing,” he said, urging for more research into the topic.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the question provides information about households that lack access to the internet and “may therefore be in danger of social exclusion”.

In Sydney, areas with high proportions of disconnected households included collections of suburbs in the Mount Druitt area, south-west pocket around Villawood and patches of the Central Coast.

Richmond was also among the areas that showed up and some parts of the Hawkesbury. In these areas, Mr Randolph said lack of coverage could have an impact.

In Melbourne, the northern suburbs, including Reservoir, Thomastown, Hadfield, Broadmeadows and Lalor had lower levels of connected households.

Western areas, including Werribee South, Mount Cottrell, Rockbank, Laverton North, Altona North, Sunshine West and St Albans, also stood out.

In some of these areas, such as St Albans, more than half the population is 65 or older.

South eastern suburbs Dandenong South and neighbouring Bangholme, where 60 per cent of the population was older than 65, were also less likely to access the internet from home.

Demographer for demographic and spatial consultants .id (Informed Decisions) Glenn Capuano said older populations without access were one factor, but it could also be due to non-English speaking populations.

“It’s possible some of them may have misinterpreted the question,” he said.

Some might only have smartphone access, but still have answered ‘No’ to the question of whether they had internet connection at home, he said.

“So a combination of low socio-economic, poor English proficiency, and age”.

Research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found 1.3 million households were without internet access at home in fiscal 2014.

Most said they did not have a need for the internet, with 63 per cent saying this was the major reason.

A lack of confidence or knowledge, and cost, were other main reasons – at 22 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

Households with children under 15 years old were most likely to say cost was a factor, at 43 per cent. Those without young children were most likely to say they didn’t have a need for it.

Those who were younger, highly educated and employed were most likely to use the internet.

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Merewether spinner Tim O’Neill was the youngest of three brothers.
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HAUL: Merewether spinner Tim O’Neill. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

And while there was many a backyard battle attheir Central Coast home, the now 40-year-old can’t quite recall returning anything near 14-65at the Toukley venue.

“I might have told them that, but I don’t think so,” father-of-three O’Neill said.

“It was just a crazy couple of days.”

The learning support teacher at St Mary’s, Gateshead,claimed his career-best figures in an outright victory over long-time rivals Hamilton-Wickham at Townson Oval in the most recent two-day match before Christmas.

It was the last thing on the left-arm orthodox bowler’s mind having just completed the weekly Saturday dash to seniors from under 11s, with eldest son Rory lining up for the Kotara Tigers.

“I was trying to drop off kids to cricket games, rub sunscreen on their faces and then do the same thing to mine,” O’Neill said.

“I normally get a text on the way to the ground and if we’re batting I can relax and not try to put my spikes on while I’m in the car, but if we’re bowling the mad dash is usuallyon.”

On both days the Lions bowled, firstly because Hamwicks won the toss and secondly because Merewether skipper Simon Moore opted to declare overnight.

It worked out in O’Neill’s favour with a tweak-friendly deck helping him to 8-30 and then 6-35 in each respective innings from a collective 25.2 overs, including seven maidens.

“The ball was just turning,” he said.

“You might jag one of those [pitches] a couple of times each year, butnine times out of 10 their flat, hard concrete things and the old, slow bowler doesn’t get much joy.

“Or I get a bowl after everyone else has had a bowl and the batsman are set so it was nice to get a go from the start.

“It was doing plenty and it was a great day. The next week wasn’t quite as raucous in terms of spin, but still good.”

O’Neill has played with Merewether for the best part of two successful decades and alongside pace attacks featuring the likes of Mark Cameron, Chad White, Duncan McIlveen, Daniel Morton and Neil Crittenden.

His latest numbersexceeda previouspersonal best innings tally of 7-11 in 2013-2014.He can’t remember clinching 10 wickets before across two innings.

But despite this recentperformance now sitting 14th on the all-time Newcastle District Cricket Association first grade honour board O’Neillrates multiple title wins and thrilling finshes higher on his own pecking order, including the last-gasp,final-winning wicket from two summers ago with one run to spare.

Midway through thisseason the Lions are 13 points clear on top of theladder.

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Moonlight, movie, film stillWelcome to our annual round-up of the best movies of the year. We hope you find something to agree with, but we’re sure you’ll find plenty to disagree with too. We know we did.
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The first thing the eagle-eyed among you will notice is that we’ve started from the bottom; who doesn’t like a bit of suspense? The next thing you might spot is that there are in fact 11 films on this list: that’s because we had a three-way tie for fifth, and two films garnering an equal number of votes for 10th place (you’ll also notice there’s no six or seven on this list, thanks to that triple-header at No.5).

Now, the voting. We asked each of our three critics – Jake Wilson, Sandra Hall and Paul Byrnes – and our regular film writers – Stephanie Bunbury, Garry Maddox, Craig Mathieson and Karl Quinn – to nominate their top 10 movies of the year.

Their lists varied so wildly that we ended up with more than 40 films nominated. We culled that long list by dropping films that only one person nominated, but still ended up with 20 films that garnered multiple votes.

Then we ranked them, with each person’s top film getting 10 points, and their 10th getting one. That gave us a number for each film, and that gave us our final ranking.

Look, we know it’s not the most scientific method invented, but you try and get seven experts on film to agree and see how you go. Let the debate begin. 10. Land of Mine

Land of Mine is about a group of young German soldiers, most of them teenagers, who have been sent to Denmark’s west coast at the end of WWII to help clear it of landmines, even though they’ve received only rudimentary training. It’s a harrowing story neatly shaped into melodrama by Danish writer-director Martin Zandvliet. We learn a little about the group’s hopes for the future, but it’s the here and now that commands the centre of the frame. The stretch of white sand where the boys spend their days and the shed in which they’re locked away at night are so thoroughly infused with dread and pain that you’re inclined to park any reservations you might have about the script’s formulaic style until it’s done with you. SHEqual 10. Colossal

The times called for a monster movie, and while writer-director Nacho Vigalondo turns the genre upside down, Colossal is nothing if not a film about monsters (the only question is how many). Beginning from one of the most inspired magic realist premises since Groundhog Day, Vigalondo warps time and space with impeccable Lewis Carroll logic and builds towards a stunning moment of pure cinema that also happens to be completely in tune with the zeitgeist. As a burnt-out web journalist who returns home to confront a strange destiny, Anne Hathaway makes up for everything, even Les Miserables. Beware spoilers. JW9. Personal Shopper

In Olivier Assayas’ gripping, Paris-set psychological thriller, the thread of digital technology and otherworldly mysteries are somehow intertwined, creating a ghost story for the modern age. Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, an American working as an assistant to a mostly absent movie star who is the ambivalent link between fixed points: fashion houses and her employer, the spirit of her dead brother and the everyday world. A malevolent entity haunts Maureen by text message even as she tries on other identities, and the role draws a remarkable performance from Stewart. She’s a 21st-century transceiver, processing both information and emotion. CM8. A Ghost Story

It’s a lonely existence, being a ghost. After crashing his car and dying, C (Casey Affleck) is condemned to haunt his old house. For decades – maybe centuries – he remains on the fringes of human existence, unable to communicate with successive occupants except by occasionally smashing a plate, remembering his wife M (Rooney Mara), even drifting back into a time before the house was built, but always alone. Affleck’s ghost costume is the simplest possible: a sheet with two black eyes painted on it. From this joke-shop image, director David Lowery conjures a moving reflection on memory and the passage of life into death. SB5. I Am Not Your Negro

Piecing together a narration from the work of James Baldwin, Haitian-born director Raoul Peck gave us one of the most surprising and galvanising films of the year – part biography of Baldwin, part documentary about the history of race relations in America, and part essay film about how words and images can still transform the world. Baldwin was a celebrated novelist and civil rights campaigner, a friend of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and civil rights pioneer Medgar Evers – all of whom were murdered. Peck takes the blazing eloquence of Baldwin’s writing and brings it forward, so that it seems new and utterly relevant. The boldness and brilliance of the film, in both argument and technique, are breathtaking. PBEqual 5. Lady Macbeth

It starts off like Wuthering Heights and ends like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, as the lady of the title morphs from victim to valiant proto-feminist to outright villain. It’s a period drama like none you’ve seen before, a Gothic thriller that manages to be both spare and lush at the same time. Writer-director William Oldroyd proves a spartan budget – just ???350,000 (roughly $600,000) – is no impediment to rich storytelling, and might even serve as an antidote to all that Hollywood blockbuster bloat. But the film really belongs to 19-year-old Florence Pugh in the title role. Once seen, her astonishing performance will be seared into your brain for years to come. KQEqual 5. Toni Erdmann

Maren Ade’s comedy of masquerade is also a shrewd satire on 21st-century business practices, a dream romance between father and daughter (Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller, both tremendous), and an arrestingly ambiguous statement on patriarchy, the word and concept of the year. Formally, it’s both new and old, throwing conventional notions of pacing out the window while confirming the principle – which Hollywood has largely forgotten – that an absurd idea gets funnier the more realistically it’s treated. And yet some people don’t think it’s a comedy at all. I can only say I saw it twice with a crowd, and both times they were in stitches. JW4. Manchester by the Sea

Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan works by stealth. When first introduced, Casey Affleck’s Lee Chandler doesn’t exactly invite empathy; he’s a loner with a quick temper. Yet Lonergan gradually draws you into his life, deepening your understanding of him with each step until you reach the tragedy that transformed him. Lonergan is a genius when it comes to family dynamics, and here he’s at his best. The soundness of his script and the delicacy of his direction are both aimed at getting the best out of a terrific cast. Affleck is heartbreaking, and Lucas Hedges is a match for him as the young nephew who depends on him, while Michelle Williams takes a brief scene and makes it the heart of the film. SH3. Dunkirk

A number of mainstream hits could reasonably stake a claim to a spot on this year’s top 10 list – Lion, The Big Sick, Logan and Wonder Woman among them – but the standout is Christopher Nolan’s immersive wartime drama. Instead of focusing on the myth of the famous Dunkirk spirit, the British director took a creative leap to show the desperate reality of battle. With three time frames, many anonymous characters, limited dialogue and a pulsating soundtrack, it’s a movie that shows moments of exceptional bravery that are barely noticed amid the carnage and fear. Grippingly intense and masterfully made, it is one of the year’s most powerful cinema experiences. GM2. Get Out

Society itself is the monster in Jordan Peele’s expertly paced thriller, which starts out as a sprightly update of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and ends up in a basement full of horrors. Preppy white hipster Rose (Allison Williams) assures her black boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) that he needn’t fear meeting her parents: they’re lovely, colour-blind liberals. It is their exaggerated friendliness that first unnerves him, however, as do the eerily docile black servants, Rose’s thuggish brother, and her psychiatrist mother’s eagerness to hypnotise him. Get Out is classically scary entertainment, but it’s also a brilliant, nuanced riff on racism. SB

And the film of the year is… 1. Moonlight

A boy’s childhood in a Miami ghetto with a crack-addicted mother (Naomie Harris); a crack dealer (Mahershala Ali) who becomes that boy’s friend; the boy bullied in middle school for being gay; who becomes a hardened prison veteran in adulthood – but still gay. In his second feature, Miami-based writer-director Barry Jenkins gives us a vision of heaven and hell in black lives in Florida. His stroke of genius is to recognise one within the other, so that the film becomes suffused with compassion, melancholia and tenderness, without losing its nose for the truth of how poverty and crime destroy people. In the year of Black Lives Matter, this is an astonishingly timely film, but even without that, Moonlight would have seemed new and original. Very few films tell us a story we haven’t seen before: to do it with transcendent beauty and courage, through a suite of sublime performances, is a remarkable achievement. And for once the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognised that with the Oscar for best picture – albeit after the hideous mix-up in presentation of the award. Mahershala Ali won best supporting actor too, for his profoundly human performance. It’s hard to think of another film that’s been so right for our times. PB

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John Oliver has said he regrets getting into a heated argument with Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman.
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Earlier this month, the Last Week Tonight host grilled Hoffman about the recent sexual harassment allegations made against him while the pair were taking part in a Q&A screening of Hoffman’s 1997 film Wag the Dog. The quarrel won Oliver widespread praise, with many arguing it set an example for men everywhere when it comes to tackling allegations of inappropriate behaviour head-on.

But the British comedian has since had second thoughts about the usefulness of the exchange. Speaking on the UK’s Russell Howard Hour before Christmas, Oliver said he doesn’t think the verbal tiff resulted in anything productive.

“It wasn’t ideal that it became such a big media story,” he said. “Because then it became about my questions instead of his answers. My questions weren’t particularly remarkable; his answers were kind of not great. So I think that was really the point of it.

“But it didn’t go anywhere constructive, so the whole thing just made me feel sad.”

Host Russell Howard then interjected to say it was a success because the elephant in the room was addressed instead of ignored.

“I just wanted it to become more constructive, but it was clear early on that wasn’t going to happen,” Oliver replied. “I tried and failed.”

Last month, Hoffman apologised to a former intern over a 30-year-old account of sexual harassment.

“I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation,” Hoffman said at the time. “I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

A second accuser came forward soon after the story made headlines. Hollywood publication Variety later published allegations the 80-year-old exposed himself to a 16-year-old girl in the 1980s.

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Catholic Church granted discount in section 94 contributions for Empire Hotel redevelopment REBIRTH: An artist’s impression of the development on the Empire Hotel site. A series of changes to the development application have been approved.
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TweetFacebookTHE CATHOLIC Church has been granted a discount in developer fees for its $30 million Empire Hotel redevelopment, despite thebid attracting fierce oppositionfromcritics who argued the churchshould be forced to pay its full share.

The Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) ruled in favour of the discount – and other changes to the original development application –paving the way for construction to begin on the 120-apartment development on Hunter Street.

It comes after aFairfax Mediapoll found 88per cent of respondents were opposed to the Maitland-Newcastle diocese receiving thediscount onitsSection 94fees, which exist to helpcouncils fund the additional infrastructure required as a result of new developments.

Deputy mayor Declan Clausen (Labor) alsohit out at the move, questioning how far the council had to go to “get it [the project] off the ground”.

But Greens councillor John Mackenzie, who sits on the JRPP, said the discount was granted purely due to the affordable housing component of the development.

“The driving factor in that waive of the Section 94 fees is to encourage all developers to …make sure they’re incorporating affordable housing into their plans,” he said.

“That’s available for anyone who wants to make housing affordable in the inner city or anywhere in Newcastle.

“I stand by the fact that absolutely we do have a housing crisis and the more ways we can use incentives and innovation to introduce affordable housing, the more we’re making a real impact on that crisis.”

At two per cent of development costs, the diocese’soriginal Section 94 contribution was roughly $577,000.

The affordable housing component of the development has been estimated as being worth $15 million, meaning the diocese will still owe thecouncil a contribution of $260,000 for the remaining private residential and commercial units.

The JRPP also approved other changes to the originaldevelopment application, including a newfloor plan, a 1.8 metre increase in height lifting the buildingto 15 storeys and a reduction in the amount of commercial and retail space on the ground floor.

The final layout will offer 54 residential units, 66 affordable housing units and two ground floor commercial units, as well as 128 parking spaces across two levels.

A spokesperson for the Maitland-Newcastle diocese would not be drawn on when construction would commence.

“The reason that the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle sought this modification was as a result of discussions with its partner – a community housing provider – on the future of this project,” he said.

“Now that we have this approval, we will consider our options for the site.”

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In a classic case of life imitating art imitating Netflix, fans of the show The Crown are certain Queen Elizabeth II is one of them.
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In the Queen’s traditional Christmas message on Monday evening, the head of the Commonwealth said: “Sixty years ago today, a young woman spoke about the speed of technological change as she presented the first television broadcast of its kind. She described the moment as a landmark,” she said. “Six decades on, the presenter has ‘evolved’ somewhat, as has the technology she described.”

According to reports, the Queen may have been simply referring to her own televised debut, on Christmas 1957, or, as keen viewers of The Crown hoped, a storyline from the second series where the monarchy is criticised for being out of touch with the common people.

In real life, the source of the criticism, Lord Altrincham, wrote a 1957 article in which he criticised the Queen for her speech style, which he described as “priggish schoolgirl”.

Despite Lord Altrincham copping a lot of flak for his comments, the Royal Family, whether directly or indirectly as a result of his jibe, began televising the Queen’s Christmas address that same year.

According to Digital Spy, fans went into a Twitter frenzy during Monday’s address, claiming the Queen had clearly referenced their favourite show. I’m watching the Queen’s speech on TV and she’s referring to her first televised speech, that I watched on @TheCrownNetflix this afternoon. #freaky#christmas#QueensSpeech??? Narnia (with a P) ???? (@LikeNarnia) December 25, 2017Do you think the queen put that wee clip in cause she watched it on #thecrown#QueensSpeech??? Courtney ????. (@Love_itx0) December 25, 2017Today we watched the first two episodes of The Crown season 2, where the Queen gave her first Christmas speech 60 years ago. Then we watched the real Queen give her actual speech & were delighted when she copied her younger version on the Netflix series! Clever, clever.??? Allen Yeh (@allenlyeh) December 26, 2017To all the numpties out there – the Queen referenced HERSELF – “The Crown” referenced The Queen. Idiots.??? Jonathan (@strangecodex) December 26, 2017someone said the Queen did it on telly and I was all, I dont think so#TheCrown or something.??? Charlize Theroff (@CharlizeTheroff) December 26, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.Read More →

HANDS UP: Umpire John Clune and Newcastle City batsman Dylan Hunter at Harker Oval on Saturday. Picture: Amanda HunterITWASa magic moment.
Nanjing Night Net

And fortunately for Newcastle City it has been caught on camera.

While it’s not unusual for batsman or umpires to raise their arms independently throughout a day’s play, thisimage shows both parties doing it simultaneously out in the middle just metres apart after a six was hit to complete a come-from-behind victory.

John Clune was the adjudicator and Dylan Hunter (165 not out) the willow wielder as the Sabres reached 8-298 against Wests at Harker Oval on Saturday after resuming at a precarious 5-46.

And the photographer –none other than avid City supporterAmanda Hunter, mother of Dylan.

Check out the pic online at 梧桐夜网theherald南京夜网419论坛.

ROUND 10: University v Hamwicks; Charlestown v Wests; Toronto v Belmont; Cardiff-Boolaroo v Stockton; City v Wallsend; Waratah-Mayfield v Merewether.

* WALLSEND skipper Nathan Price should be clear to play for the Tigers when play resumes in the new year despite withdrawing fromthe Bush Blues side for family reasons ahead of next week’sAustralian Country Championships in Geraldton.

* CONGRATULATIONS to former Newcastle representative wicketkeeper Luke Stewart on the arrival of his first child Harriet after stumps on day one of the Boxing Day Test.

* TESTquartet AllanBorder, Peter Taylor, Andrew Hilditch and Murray Bennett as well asGraeme Hughes and Craig Evans were among the 1974 NSW Secondary Cricket Association XI coachedby the late, great Ken Clifford.

The team photo appears in a recently released hardcover book detailing thelife and times of Clifford, best known for hisworkrunning the Hunter Academy of Sport from 1989 to 2014.

*TORONTOplayers will attempt to keep their eye in over the competition break with a four-dayT20 tournament played acrosshome grounds Ron Hill Oval, Awaba Oval and Tulkaba Park.

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