In reponse toMargaret Berry(Short Takes, 23/12):I’m afew years older than you and I can also point to long ago heatwaves. The difference now is all of Australia often looks like a beetroot in weather forecasts. Hot air masses have ballooned, to cover the whole country, and just sit there. Bureau of Meteorology records of across-the-board jumping average temperatures confirm this. Air conditioning of the bush is what is needed.
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Grame Tychsen, Rankin ParkONCE the Bathers Way is completed (“Bathers Way makes climb up Strzelecki”, Herald 26/12),is it fair that only the young, fit and healthy have any chance of enjoying this scenic experience, especially since cars have limited access?Why not have battery-powered golf buggies available for hire from the Nobbys car parkso the elderly and handicapped can also enjoywhat should be available for everyone.Surely it would be well patronised, whether council owned and operatedorprivatewith tasteful advertising, andseen as a council equal opportunity tourist attraction.I am sure volunteer labourfrom men’s shedsand similar community groupswould be only too happy to obligeand organiwe a workable maintenance program.This would be the icing on the cake .

Carl Stevenson, Dora CreekMARKFetscher (Short Take, 26/12) alleges there are “so many backward-looking people in this city”, without citingreasons. Does he mean the bizarre idea of not running the tram down he rail corridor?Many Novocastrians want change that will give the best outcome forgenuineprogress, not based on facile spin like “revitalisation”.Council CEO JeremyBathclaims (“Round house”, Herald 26/12)“the Civic Precinct [is] evolving into an education and legal precinct”. That’s been happening for decades.Think Nesca House, the Northumberland Building, The Forum andConservatorium. Before the university’s financial crisis (circa 2005), they were consideringmovingarts-based departments into the Honeysuckle heritage buildings.And the federal courts are still in Bolton Street.

Keith Parsons, NewcastleCONGRATULATIONS must go to Channel Ninefor its superb presentation of Carols by Candlelight.And who could forget the magnificent rendition of The Holy Cityby David Hobson, who closed the show.

Daphne Hughes, KahibahBRADHill (Short Takes 26/12) obviously does not understand the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus would not agree that refugees should be the last thing on one’s mind on Christmas Day.

Kathie Anthony, WaratahWHEN will the assault of women be called what it is,a crime?I hate the term “domestic violence”,which minimises the gravity ofrepeated violence against a family member.Why is family violence less important than stranger violence? Then we have the endemic sexual verbal and physical abuse of women in public places.Your article “Boy arrested as crime wave hits the beaches” (Herald 23/12) labelled this behaviour “disturbing incidents”and “anti-social behaviour”. Please call it whatit is.

JoanLambert, AdamstownRead More →

AMBITIOUS: Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hopes to coach in the English Premier League. Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insists the “madness” of Premier League management has not diminished his long-term goal to join the ranks of top coaches.
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The 37-year-old’s fledgling coaching career has begun well, having guided the Reds’ under-18 side to the top of the table and into the knockout stages of the UEFA Youth League.

Gerrard is under no illusions as to how big the step up to top-flight management is, and six sackings this season have shown how quick clubs are to make a change when things do not work.

He has no such pressure in his current job, but knows as he moves up the ladder – and he harbours dreams of managing his boyhood club somewhere down the line – the demand to deliver consistent success becomes far greater.

“I don’t get put off by managers getting sacked. I just think my journey will be what it will be,” he said.”Right now I’m only thinking of the next 18 months to two years and getting myself as prepared as I can be for a job closer to first-team level.I want this to be the start of the journey. Nothing is putting me off or scaring me about being available for jobs in the near future.”

Gerrard would love to continue his progress through the ranks at Liverpool but accepts he may have to sever ties.

“In a year’s time I might have three opportunities and all three of them might not be here. Then it will be time to think,” he said.”I can’t sit here and say:’Oh no, I only want to work for Liverpool Football Club’.In an idealworld, everyone knows what I want, but right now it’s not worth thinking about that.”

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Canberra Capitals Natalie Hurst, Jordan Hooper and Chevannah Paalvast other training for their last WNBL game of the season.Chevannah PaalvasPhoto by Karleen Minney.Hot dogs, corn and watermelon don’t exactly scream Christmas tradition, but Jordan Hooper’s makeshift celebrations will fuel her hopes of finishing the WNBL season on the perfect note.
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Hooper and teammates Nat Hurst and Chevannah Paalvast cut lonely figures at the deserted University of Canberra gym on Tuesday when they returned to training to blow out the Christmas cobwebs.

It was harder for Hooper knowing the time difference meant the rest of her family was still celebrating Christmas Day at home in Nebraska when she started training again.

But the 25-year-old is determined to beat the Perth Lynx on Friday night to make her around-the-world sacrifice worth it and lay a marker for the Capitals to rebuild next year.

“The lungs and the legs … you’ve got to wake them all up after Christmas,” Hooper grinned.

“We hung by the pool and made our own Christmas dinner … hot dogs, corn on the cob and watermelon. It was simple by really good.

“This is my fourth season overseas [at Christmas] and it does get a little bit harder every year. But Boxing Day is the hardest because that’s when they celebrate.

“But for us as the Capitals, we’re just not going to hold anything back in this last game. We’ve got nothing to lose.”

The Capitals will clash against the Lynx in the last game of a reformatted and condensed WNBL season.

They have won four of their past five games and are showing the promising signs of a team on the rise, but a horror 13-game losing streak will see them finish second last on the ladder.

The Capitals players are determined to right some of the wrongs with a last-round win, refusing to let motivation wain even during the tough times.

The Capitals will play their last game of the regular season on Friday night. Photo: Karleen Minney

Coach Paul Goriss offered an optional Boxing Day session for the only three players in Canberra – Hooper, Hurst and Paalvast – and all three jumped at the chance.

The rest of the players will return to training on Wednesday and they want revenge after letting a massive lead slip against the Lynx in Perth earlier in December.

“These girls are professionals, they get paid to play sport so you’ve got to do it and train,” Goriss said.

“All three wanted to train and it’s a great opportunity to get back working again before Friday night.

“We’ve had a good run lately, but the focus has to be Perth. It’s strange to think we’ve only got this one game left in this shorter season, but we just want to get that win.”

Goriss has started to turn his attention to rebuilding his squad for the 2018-19 season and the University of Canberra has recruited former Australian Opals coach Carrie Graf to reinvigorate the program.

Hooper said the players were only focused on one thing. “We just want to play free and for each other,” she said.

“That’s the main thing. Even though it’s our last game, we need to keep making progress for years to come.

“Motivation is hard when you don’t have something to play for, but our motivation is to get better and improve for our next season of basketball.”


Friday: Canberra Capitals v Perth Lynx at National Convention Centre, 7.30pm. Tickets available at the door.

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Justin Scarr of Royal Life Saving with Fiji delegate Devina Nand visit Ian Thorpe Pool in Sydney as part of an international delegation visiting Australia to learn about drowning prevention. Pictured with 6 year twins Joey and Ben and 3 year old Jacob Wright of Pyrmont. Photo by Sarah KeayesOn a scorching day at Narrabeen Lakes last summer, five-year old Amina Anderson almost drowned in the blink of an eye.
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“We turned around and saw her submerged underwater. When we pulled her out of the water, she wasn’t responding, and her chest was making a cracking noise ??? I thought she was going to die,” Amina’s mother Tdjanaya Anderson-Rosser said.

Amina was one of the lucky ones. She was quickly rushed to hospital, where doctors carefully monitored her and treated her for possible pneumonia. She was eventually discharged later that day fully healthy.

But tragically, many are not as fortunate. In NSW, 461 children have drowned in the last 15 years. For every child that dies, up to nine others are hospitalised for drowning. Many who survive suffer from permanent brain injuries which can leave them with lifelong learning difficulties.

Last summer, NSW experienced one of its worst drowning seasons in recent memory – 41 people died, with 13 deaths coming between Christmas and New Year, a report by the Royal Surf Live Saving Society Australia found. Fifteen per cent of those who died were children under five years old.

So far, there have been 16 coastal drownings in NSW since June this year, six of which have occurred since the start of December. Just last week, two people were killed at beaches in northern NSW.

In order to avoid more tragedies, doctors and surf life savers are urging parents to remain vigilant while their children are swimming.

Dr Mary McCaskill, emergency medical director at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, believes that many parents underestimate the potential risks and do not realise just how quickly a child can drown.

“Most parents and carers think they will hear something if their child is drowning, but in fact it is very silent and rapid. Sadly, even a non-fatal drowning can result in devastating brain injuries and lifelong disabilities for the child in just a couple of minutes,” Dr McCaskill said.

During the frenetic Christmas period, people can often be too distracted to pay attention to potential warning signs.

“In summer, when everyone’s busy getting ready for Christmas, people get distracted from watching their children. It’s that distraction that’s so dangerous,” Dr McCaskill said. ‘Glued to their phones’

Ms Anderson-Rosser said when Amina nearly drowned, almost no one noticed.

“Everybody was glued to their phones. Parents shouldn’t be on their phones while their kids are swimming, they should be paying attention.”

The experts say that with proper supervision and careful safety measures, the risk of drowning can be greatly mitigated.

According to Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce “it is vital for parents to have close and immediate supervision around any sort of water, whether it’s at the beach or a backyard pool, even a bath”.

“Children always need an adult who is doing nothing else but watching them when they are swimming,” Dr McCaskill said. Never underestimate the ocean

Additionally, parents should take particular care at the beach and make sure kids always swim between the flags.

“Ocean conditions can change quickly and dramatically, and children can easily get swept off their feet or caught in a rip, even if they are only wading,” Mr Pearce said.

According to Dr McCaskill, “primary school children tend to underestimate the power of the surf and think they’re stronger than they are”.

Dr McCaskill and Mr Pearce also say that CPR is an invaluable skill for parents to learn, particularly if they own pools.

Above all, Ms Anderson-Rosser says that Amina’s experience should serve as a wake-up call for other parents.

“Be more aware and never take your eyes off them,” she said. “It can happen so quickly.”

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Shirley-Anne Joy wants to change the world, one hugat a time.
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Embrace: Shirley-Anne Joy gives Jett, Lou and Steve Chapman-Black a pre-Christmas hug at Pacific Park. Picture: Simone De Peak

Affectionately known around Newcastle as The Hug Lady, Ms Joy appears at events and random spots across the city with her homemade cardboard sign and waits for strangers who are feeling short ofa human connection.

Thisholiday season, Shirley-Anne –a Largs native –wants people to rememberthe importance of “presence and connection in the moment” in a world that’s speeding up and leaving people isolated.

“There’s a lot of sadness and unhappiness on the planet so I figure this is a small part I can play in making people feel good,” she said in Pacific Park, in the city’s east end, last week.

“[It] just makes a difference and raises people’s spirits.”

Being open tothe embrace of a strangeron the street can be a difficult prospect for some, especially in a time when people areincreasingly interacting with others through the barrier of a digital screen.

While she admits she gets some odd looks from some people who pass her and her cardboard sign, which simply says “free hugs here”,Ms Joy welcomes anyone who approaches her with warmth.

And she won’t askpeopleif they would like a hug, instead she waits for them tofeel comfortable enough to approach her.

But what has driven The Hug Lady in her mission?

“Realising that the average hug was three seconds and that if you hug someone for 20 seconds or longer it activates your happiness hormones,” Ms Joy said. “I’m one of 11 children–not a lot of hugging went on. Then when I had my two children, hugs became a very important part of our dynamic.”

About a decade ago, Ms Joyjoined The Hug Patrol on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, which performed group hugs at festivals and community events, but she found thatit wasn’t her cup of tea. It wasn’t until she was chatting with friends in a cafe in Sydney’s northern suburbs about five years ago that she had her lightbulb moment.

“I was talking about how I really wanted a hug and [a friend]said: ‘I dare you to hug everyone in the cafe’,”Ms Joyrecalled.“I went and talked to the owner and he said‘yes, I’ll have the first hug’.”

Soon after, she set up the Hugging the World To Healing Facebook page. Now, Ms Joy can be found at the Newcastle Farmers’ Markets each Sunday and often appears at other community events. Sometimes, she simply sets up at the beach or in a park.

“The sad thing is … a lot of people live with people but they still don’t get hugged,” she said.

“You can live in a house full of people and you’re just passing by all the time and you’re not really getting that connection. I guess my ultimate aim is peace–that we can ultimately find inner peace so we can express that out in the world.”

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Reserve some glaze to drizzle over a Christmas-ham omelette, suggests Phil Wood. Photo: William Meppem Leftover food from Christmas Day is a thing of beauty … until you’re eating your 10th plain ham sandwich.
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But when you’re weary (or, let’s be honest, hungover) from the big celebrations, it’s hard to come up with ideas for using the remaining food.

Here’s some simple, not-so-cheffy inspiration from five chefs.

Benjamin Cooper, Chin Chin, Melbourne and Sydney”For Christmas lunch in our house, we do a spread of cold-cut meats and seafood so naturally sandwiches, salads and toasties go down a treat in the days following the feast.

“Prawn and zucchini pasta is an easy one to whip up, and a favourite of mine is a ham, cheese and mustard toastie.”

Massimo Mele, Catering By Massimo”We have a very multicultural Christmas. I have the big Italian family, my partner’s side is an Aussie family, and we have so much food. We always make a lasagne – trays of it – and more recently I’ve done some prawns to merge the two cultures together.

“We have to get creative with leftovers because of the kids. I’d be happy just reheating food from the day before but the kids get a bit picky.

“Leftovers are great for breakfast omelettes: put in some meat, leftover roast vegetables or greens. I make little crumbed fritters from the leftover vegies, too. I always have pizza bases in the freezer, and we roll them out, throw some leftovers on them and cook them up. And I keep the bones (from the ham or a roast meat) to make stock.”

Michael Ryan, Provenance, Beechworth”We don’t have the traditional Christmas meal. We have simple seafood and salads, nothing too heavy. I like to keep the use of leftovers simple, too. The last thing I want to do is cook too much or eat a heavy meal after a day or two of solid eating and drinking.

“I love ham sandwiches after Christmas Day; to me, they’re the pinnacle of Christmas leftovers. To use the meats in a more interesting way, you can put some leftover cooked meats in a banh mi. But I think the best way to deal with leftovers is to rethink how much food you have on the table in the first place. Christmas is known for being a decadent feast, but it’s a better idea to just cater to what you need. That way nothing is wasted.”

Tim Bourke,The Eateryat Maggie Beer’s farm, Barossa Valley Stuff cold roast meats into a bahn mi-style roll with pate, chilli and coriander. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

“I go back to Sydney for a week to spend Christmas with my family – and to cook the meals for them. We always have barbecued seafood, so we take a trip to the Sydney Fish Markets on Christmas Eve to get whatever’s fresh; it might be prawns or Moreton Bay bugs. Dad does the Christmas ham with his famous Guinness glaze, and Mum does the spuds.

“If there’s some leftover seafood, Mum cooks up some baked spuds in beef fat, which we eat with prawns and homemade cocktail sauce. That’s my ideal Boxing Day food. For dessert, it’s stonefruitand berries, either served with a lime granita or meringue. The leftover fruit is often used on top of a bircher muesli for breakfast the next morning.”

Crush leftover pavlova into an Eton mess. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Phil Wood, Point Leo Estate, Mornington Peninsula”I always have a ham, a few dozen oysters, roast chicken and pavlova on my Christmas table. Last year we had a crab curry, too.

“Any leftover roast vegetables are great in a vegie scramble or a frittata. Leftover bread is great in a bread and butter pudding.

“Christmas ham is great in an omelette. Chop it up and then use some of the glaze to glaze the omelette; that’s pretty spectacular.

“Leftover roast meat can be turned into a salad, and that’s often all you feel like after eating too much ham and drinking too much champagne on Christmas Day. Throw some chopped up roast turkey or chicken it in with some leafy greens and a light herb vinaigrette.

“If you have any pav left, you can make an Eton mess the next day. Just serve it with some fresh fruit, add more whipped cream and spoon some ice-cream into the middle.

“I often have leftover fruit, mangoes, cherries and berries, so we eat fruit with yoghurt and honey for lunches in the days after Christmas. That fruit is my favourite part of the festive food.”

Good Food

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After 24 days of family portraits, and fans analysing every one down the last pixel, the Kardashian-Jenners have given the world … a massive anticlimax.
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For more than three weeks, fans had been convinced that the family’s photographic advent calendar, featuring images of the extended clan in multiple groupings, would all lead to a Christmas announcement that its youngest adult, Kylie Jenner, is pregnant with her first child.

Where’s Kylie? The youngest Jenner has been missing from the family’s advent calendar, leading to heightened speculation she is pregnant. Photo: PA

The 20-year-old, who is dating rapper Travis Scott, is widely rumoured to be expecting, and, once confirmed, would be the third woman welcoming a baby in 2018; Kim and Kanye West are expecting their third child via a surrogate any week now, while her sister, Khloe, last week announced she is pregnant with her first child with her partner, Tristan Thompson.

While fans have been tallying up the tell-tale signs for weeks, they will have to wait just a little longer it seems. Here are five of the best. 1. She was absent from the advent calendar

While everyone from Rob Kardashian to Kendall Jenner, plus a plethora of kids from the clan, appeared in the shots posted each day through December on social media, Kylie Jenner has been conspicuously absent.

After Kim Kardashian West posted the December 25 image, fans were quick to express their disappointment. Picture this: it’s 2037. Nobody’s seen Kylie Jenner in 20 years. You’re still angry about the 25th day of Christmas. You’re life will never be complete.??? Sydnasty (@Sydneydara) December 26, 2017DAY 25 MERRY CHRISTMASA post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Dec 25, 2017 at 4:47pm PSTMerry Christmas! Thank you @thelovemagazine @kegrand for this special cover shot by @kendalljenner & interview by @krisjenner #love19 ????A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Dec 25, 2017 at 12:18pm PSTCongrats @kyliejenner on your @wwd Beauty Inc Award for Newsmaker of the Year!!! I am so proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished with @kyliecosmetics!! Thanks beauty @jordynwoods for accepting the award on Kylie’s behalf. You are both an inspiration!! #proudmama #wwd #beautyincawardsA post shared by Kris Jenner (@krisjenner) on Dec 7, 2017 at 8:54am PSTOkay so Kylie won Newsmaker of the Year at the Beauty Inc Awards and sent Jordyn to attend and accept the award on her behalf…. KYLIE JUST SAY YOUR PREGNANT ALREADY GODDAMN??? T???? (@tiff_nunes) December 7, 2017A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Nov 22, 2017 at 10:55am PSTThank you so much #burtsbeesbaby @burtsbeesbaby #bbbfamjams for the most amazing collection of family jammies ever and i am obsessed with the plaid !!!!! Can’t wait to cuddle up with the kids #holidayseason thank you for a collection for every one of my grandchildren ?????? #blessed #grateful thanks for the idea @oprah !!A post shared by Kris Jenner (@krisjenner) on Nov 15, 2017 at 9:28am PSTThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.Read More →

Sydney to Hobart 2017: The start Black Jack moves ahead of LDV Comanche as they make their way past the Sydney Heads during the start of the 73rd Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Photo: AAP Image/David Moir
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Wild Oats X enters open water during the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race. Photo: AP/Rick Rycroft

LDV Comanche, right, trails Wild Oats XI as they enter open water during the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race. Photo: AP/Rick Rycroft

Black Jack at the start of the 73rd Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Photo: AAP Image/David Moir

Watsons Bay ahead of the start of the 73rd annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Photo: AAP /Brendan Esposito

Crew work to raise a sail on LDV Comanche. Photo: AP/Rick Rycroft

LDV Comanche (right) and Wild Oats XI narrowly miss each other as they tack outside the heads at the start of the 73rd annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Photo: AAP/Brendan Esposito

Supermaxi LDV Comanche enters open water during the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race Sydney. Photo: AP/Rick Rycroft

Supermaxi Wild Oats XI enters open water during the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race. Photo: AP/Rick Rycroft

The supermaxi Black Jack passes the heads of Sydney Harbour during the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race. Photo: AP/Rick Rycroft

Crowds gather to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Race yacht race. Photo: Anna Kucera

Black Jack (front) and LDV Comanche (behind). Photo: Anna Kucera

Crowds gather to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Photo: Anna Kucera

Crowds gather to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Photo: Anna Kucera

Crowds gather to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Photo: Anna Kucera

TweetFacebookSupermaxis LDV Comanche and Wild Oats XI have come dangerously close to colliding in the early stages of Tuesday’s 73rd Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Comanche appeared to haveflown a protest flag aftera hair-raisingmanouevrefrom Wild Oats XI, which cut across her rival despiteComanchehaving right-of-way.

The race-favourite was not forced to alter course, which may save Wild Oats XI from receiving a time penalty for a dangerous manouevre.

Black Jack set the early tempo at the start of this year’sSydney to Hobart, leading eight-time winner Wild Oats XI out of the Sydney Heads.

Wild Oats XI started slowly for the second consecutive year but recovered to pass LDV Comanche, which had been side by side with Black Jack in the opening exchanges.

An easterly breeze made the early going tough for last year’s winner Infotrack, formerly Perpetual Loyal, who could only look on helplessly as the other three super maxis sped away.

Infotrack was fifth to turn out of the harbour behind Wild Oats X, the latter making her race debut.

It’s on: Black Jack, LDV Comanche and Wild Oats XI exiting Sydney Heads. Photo: James Brickwood

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Three people have died and two are in a critical condition after a crash on the Princes Highway south of Sussex Inlet.
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Emergency services were called to the scene 400 metres north of the Bendalong Road turn-off about 10.45am to reports of a head-on collision between two cars, an ambulance spokesman said. One of the cars was towing a caravan.

One of the vehicles burst into flames and three people from two separate cars died.

Paramedics treated two women for multiple serious injuries including possible head injuries, the ambulance spokesman said.

One woman was airlifted to Liverpool Hospital, and the second woman was airlifted to St George Hospital. Both were in a critical condition, police said.

Police closed all lanes of the Princes Highway but had reopened one lane at Bendalong by about 2.30pm.

On Tuesday evening all lanes at Bendalong had reopened, though traffic remains heavy with a southbound queue of about seven kilometres and northbound queue of about six kilometres.

Motorists are advised to allow plenty of extra travel time.

Police warned motorists the highway will remain partially closed for several hours, and urged them to use an alternative route or delay their travels to avoid the area.

Diversions are in place with motorists heading north requested to use the Kings Highway and Braidwood-Nowra Road and southbound traffic to take the Braidwood-Nowra Road and then Kings Highway.

Motorists can expect delays of two hours. Holiday road death toll double last year’s

The triple fatality comes after a horror holiday period on NSW roads.

There were 13 deaths by the end of Christmas Day, and another four by midday on Boxing Day alone, taking the holiday road toll to 17. In the same period last year, there were seven fatalities.

The Operation Safe Arrival road safety campaign runs from Friday December 15 to midnight on Monday January 1.

Now in its 12th day, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, Commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said the death toll was “appalling”.

“That is more than one person a day which is quite alarming. It is just not good enough,” he said.

“NSW residents need to take some responsibility and realise that all it takes is one distraction and you could lose your life or kill a family travelling on the roads this holiday period.

“It is a time to be merry and enjoy spending time with your family and unfortunately day after day, police are left to pick up the pieces and deliver horrific messages to families.” BENDALONG: Princes Hwy remains closed near Bendalong Rd due to a fatal crash. A lengthy detour is in place and traffic’s very heavy approaching the crash site. pic.twitter南京夜网/IEHmne6odo??? Live Traffic NSW (@LiveTrafficNSW) December 26, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.Read More →

American actress Heather Menzies-Urich, who played one of the von Trapp children in the iconic 1965 filmThe Sound of Music, has died.
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Menzies-Urich was 68-years-old.

Menzies’ son Ryan Urich told US media his mother had been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme about a month ago.

Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive brain cancers; Urich said his mother’s health had decline rapidly in the wake of the diagnosis.

The Von Trapp children from The Sound of Music. Heather Menzies played Louisa, on the very left. Photo: Alamy

Urich, Menzies-Urich’s son by the actor Robert Urich, said his mother died surrounded by family at home in Canada.

“She was an actress, a ballerina and loved living her life to the fullest,” Urich said.

“She was not in any pain but, nearly four weeks after her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, she had enough and took her last breath on this earth at 7.22pm.”

Heather Menzies (white jacket) with other Sound of Music cast members in 2005. Clockwise from top left are Charmian Carr (Liesl), Debbie Turner (Marta), Kym Karath (Gretl), Duane Chase (Kurt), Angela Cartwright (Brigitta), Julie Andrews (Maria von Trapp), Menzies and Nicholas Hammond (Freidrich). Photo: JULIE JACOBSON

Though Menzies-Urich had a diverse acting career, the role with which she remained associated her entire life was that of Louisa von Trapp, the 13-year-old daughter of Captain Georg​ von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) in the film adaptation ofThe Sound of Music.

In the film’s iconic scene where aspiring nun Maria (Julie Andrews) is introduced to her seven charges, Menzies-Urich’s Louisa is remembered for attempting to impersonate her younger sibling, Brigitta.

Heather Menzies-Urich, second from right, played Louisa von Trapp in The Sound Of Music. Photo: Supplied

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