Category Archives: 南京夜网

Port Stephens mayor removes his name from Raymond Terrace domestic violence refuge.

The mayor of Port Stephenshas declared that the future of a women’s refuge in Raymond Terrace named after him is “bigger than Bruce MacKenzie”.
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The Port Stephens councillor says he will remove his name from the new domestic violence refuge following uproar over his admission of the assault of a partner in 1997.

Port Stephens Council resolved last week to officially name the unit, which is yet to be complete, The Bruce MacKenzie Centre for Victims of Domestic Violence.

However the move has drawn widespread condemnation due to the fact that Cr MacKenzie appeared before Raymond Terrace Local Court in November 1997 charged with assaulting his then de facto partner.

CONTROVERSY: Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie will remove his name from a women’s refuge in Raymond Terrace following reports of his 1997 court appearance in which he pleaded guilty to assault. Picture: Simone De Peak

He pleaded guilty and was ordered to enter into a 12-month good behaviour bond.

The magistrate found the offenceproved but did not record a conviction.

“Forget the name, the name’s gone,” he said on Monday.

“I don’t want to jeopardise the future of the unit. It’s bigger than Bruce MacKenzie.”

Cr MacKenzie said that the establishment of the short-term crisis accommodation centre in Raymond Terrace had been a long-term personal passion of his.

“It’s been in the pipeline for 12 months but I’ve had the idea for years,” he said.

“It’s been left to local government to get it done: federal government’s done nothing, state government’s done nothing.And if I’m still around next year after council amalgamations, I’m going to look into all this youth homelessness.

“It’s a blight on society.”

Port Stephens Council supplied the building for the crisis accommodation and Port Stephens Police LAC has been instrumental in the hands-on renovation and refit with many officers donating their time and skills.

Once completed it will be managed by Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services which has been lobbying on the issue for years.

Representatives from both the police and the support service centre would not be drawn on the recent controversy, stating they would prefer the focus to remain on the refuge and its impact on tackling domesticviolence.

However, on a visit to the Port on Monday,Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald touched on the issue sayingthecouncil had taken “real initiative” to establish a refuge but calledfor greater sensitivity.

“Everyone in the provision of services like these has to be verysensitive about the impacts of certain decisions on domestic violencevictims and their families,” he said.

“Naming any centre after someone who has a record in this area is notbeing empathetic.”

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NSW Nationals leader Troy Grant steps down following Orange byelection resultsVideo

Dubbo MP Troy GrantREAD MORE: News from the Orange ByelectionDubbo MP Troy Grant has decided to step down as leader of the NSW Nationals.
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Mr Grant released the following statement at lunchtime on Monday:

“As a result of The Nationals candidate for Orange Scott Barrett facing an uphill battle to hold the seat, I have informed the NSW Nationals leadership team that at tomorrow’s Party Room meeting I will be standing down as Leader of the NSW Nationals,” Mr Grant said.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve in that role and lead a team whose sole focus is to serve the people of regional NSW.

“At all times I have been guided by my principles of honesty, integrity and hard work but I accept the result in Orange is a clear message that we haven’t always got it right, nor have we always taken the community with us.

“Regional NSW is full of hard-working, decent people that want to see their Government supporting them and otherwise let them live their lives as they see fit.

“I hope that through my actions the NSW Government is given the opportunity to pause and reset the way it is seen to be governing and our record of delivery can once more be front and centre.

“I am proud of the results the NSW Liberals & Nationals have been able to achieve for regional NSW and the state since coming to power and it is vital that this continues.

“I thank those in the party, our branches and our communities for the trust and support they have shown me during my time as Leader.”

The Central Western Daily spoke with Nationals candidate Scott Barrett a short time ago.

Daily Liberal, Dubbo

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Troy Grant steps down as Nationals leader

STANDING DOWN: Nationals Leader Troy Grant will step down from his position after the Orange byelection result. TROY Grant will stand down as leader of the Nationals following the party’s disastrous result at the Orange byelection.
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Mr Grant released a statement on Monday admitting that party was “facing an uphill battle” to hang onto the seat, and stating that he would step down at Tuesday’s party room meeting.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve in that role and lead a team whose sole focus is to serve the people of regional NSW,” he said.

“At all times I have been guided by my principles of honesty, integrity and hard work but I accept the result in Orange is a clear message that we haven’t always got it right, nor have we always taken the community with us.”

The NSW Nationals had held Orangeby more than 21 per cent, but with more than 50 per cent of votes counted led by a margin of just 3.5 per cent.

The Shooters and Fishers and Farmers Party is picked to have the inside running to win the seat, thanks to preference flows from the Labor Party.

The backlash was widely interpreted as punishing the government for its unpopular council amalgamation laws, and the now-abandoned decision to impose a ban on greyhound racing.

Mr Grant said the government should “reset the way it is seen to be governing”.

“Regional NSW is full of hard-working, decent people that want to see their Government supporting them and otherwise let them live their lives as they see fit,” he said.

“I hope that through my actions the NSW Government is given the opportunity to pause and reset the way it is seen to be governing and our record of delivery can once more be front and centre.”

Earlier on Monday Premier Mike Baird admitted the byelection was a “terrible” result for the government.

“It’s a terrible result, that’s the truth of it,”Mr Baird told reporters in Sydney.

“The community there has sent a very loud message and it’s something that we need to consider over coming weeks, no doubt about it.”

Later on Monday he issued a statement saying Mr Grant had “made an enormous contribution to regional NSW”.

“During the 2015 election, Troy and I campaigned shoulder-to-shoulder in support of the Rebuilding NSW program,” he said.

“As a result, regional NSW will benefit through a once-in-a-generation investment in the state’s roads, schools, hospitals and water infrastructure.

As Deputy Premier and leader of the Nationals, Troy has been a courageous and passionate advocate for regional NSW.

“Troy is a man of great integrity and it has been an honour to lead this government together.”

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Newcastle Jets: Devante Clut pushing for A-League starting spot

Devante Clut playing against former club Brisbane. Picture: Getty ImagesYoungster Devante Clut is pushing imported Jets strikers Aleksandr Kokko and Morten Nordstrand for a starting position after a string of impressive cameos this season.
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The 21-year-old replaced Kokko in the 63rd minute of last week’s 2-1 loss to Melbourne City and immediately helped the side maintain more possession in the attacking half of the field.

Plugging holes in an injury-hit back four has been coach Mark Jones’ priority this season, but he said he could also look to tweak his forward lineagainst the Central Coast on Sunday.

“I’ve been extremely happy with him, and he’s obviously pushing strongly for astarting spot,” Jones said of Clut on Monday.“It basically comes down to three people for two spots, and at this stage it’s very difficult.

“Devante’s always been in the back of my mind. He’s done very, very well every time he’s come on and he did very well when he started as well.He keeps the ball, he gives us a bit of an X-factor, he changes the point of attack. He’s been tidy and made chances for us.

“I’ve been very confident in his ability to keep the ball under pressure, and that gives us a bit of a swagger and a bit of apresence.”

Jones was hardly glowing in his praise of Finnish front man Kokko after his second start for the club last week.

“It’s a solid start. It wasn’t anything sensational but puts him in contention to be in our starting line-up,” Jones said on Monday.

Neither Kokko nor Nordstrand have scored this season, and Nordstrand missed a sitter against City. Clut scored a late tap-in after coming on as a substitute in the 4-0 rout of Brisbane in round two.

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Katy Perry donates $13k to Planned Parenthood in wake of Trump election win

Katy Perry with Hillary Clinton last week. Photo: Daniel AckerIn the midst of anti-Trump protests, people who support the reproductive rights of women have started making donations to the cause, including pop star Katy Perry.
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Perry, the daughter of two Protestant Christian pastors, donated $A13,000 last weekend to Planned Parenthood – a nonprofit organisation that provides reproductive health services for women, including affordable birth control and access to safe, legal abortion.

Other women have started donating to the organisation, which Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States promised during his campaign he would stop funding.   It’s time to turn words into action❗️There are so many steps to take, but my first vow is to support organisations that may have their funding support taken from them in the future by the government. I am making a public donation to Planned Parenthood for the teenage me who made several visits to first a clinic in Santa Barbara and then Los Angeles, CA to educate myself on my sexual health, a subject I had little to no information on because of my sheltered upbringing. I had no idea how things worked down there, and had no idea how to make a plan for them. Planned Parenthood educated me on my body and my reproductive health, so that I could focus on my dreams and using my voice until I knew the timing was right for me to make a plan to have a family. Since then, I have been able to focus wholeheartedly on bringing messages of strength and becoming a voice for others. Without this education, I may have had a different life path. That is just my experience, but I know Planned Parenthood’s broader range of services can sometimes be the only medical support low-income families ever see. I know what it’s like to need help. I came from a lower- to middle-class family and never grew up with the option of health insurance. I remember having 13 cavities as a teenager, and the best option my parents could come up with was to try and take me to Mexico because we couldn’t afford anything in California. I am grateful for and stand in support of Planned Parenthood for giving Katheryn Hudson the knowledge to plan, and for continuing to be a haven for women to learn all options for their future. Now, more than ever, we all need to protect and create safe places for each other. I hope I can help inspire you to make a gift as well, and become a member and an ally. Go to: https://南京夜网,plannedparenthood.org to show your support. #wewontgobackA photo posted by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on Nov 11, 2016 at 5:19pm PST

Perry, one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest supporters, said Planned Parenthood had helped provide the sexual education that her “sheltered upbringing” had not provided.

“I am making a public donation to Planned Parenthood for the teenage me who made several visits to first a clinic in Santa Barbara and then Los Angeles, CA to educate myself on my sexual health, a subject I had little to no information on because of my sheltered upbringing,” she wrote.

“I had no idea how things worked down there, and had no idea how to make a plan for them. Planned Parenthood educated me on my body and my reproductive health, so that I could focus on my dreams and using my voice until I knew the timing was right for me to make a plan to have a family … Without this education, I may have had a different life path.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence is the man spearheading the campaign to defund Planned Parenthood. The governor of Indiana and staunch evangelical Christian is a strong anti-abortion advocate and in 2007 he sponsored an amendment to block funding to the organisation.

“He continued to introduce similar legislation until 2011, when the House of Representatives passed a bill blocking federal funds for the organisation. (The bill later failed in the Senate.) Under his time as governor of Indiana, he passed severely restrictive laws regulating access to abortion in the state, and he slashed state funding to Planned Parenthood in particular. This led to five Planned Parenthood clinics shutting down; these closures were later tied to a HIV outbreak in one of the counties where a clinic was forced to shut its doors,” Bustle explains.

Women who want to send Trump, who once described breastfeeding as “disgusting”, and Pence a strong protest message have also started donating to Planned Parenthood … in Pence’s name.   Done and done @ppactA photo posted by @amyschumer on Nov 12, 2016 at 11:39am PST

Amy Schumer isn’t the only one: Just donated to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name, it’s easy & a certificate will be sent to his office: pic.twitter南京夜网/GJx3GdyBZl— Gabrielle Moss (@Gaby_Moss) November 12, 2016some friends of mine are donating to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s honor, so he gets a letter every time they do it— V.V. Ganeshananthan (@V_V_G) November 11, [email protected]_pence I just gave Planned Parenthood $2,000 in your name and that’s just the fucking beginning.— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) November 12, 2016

As well as donations, others are encouraging women to get long-acting contraceptives like IUDs immediately, in case of Planned Parenthoods closures or cutbacks. GET AN IUD TOMORROW— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) November 9, 2016Making an appointment to get a 10 year IUD this week cause who knows what’s going to happen to my reproductive rights :-)— Katherine Williams (@Kate_williams12) November 9, 2016That’s where #IUDs will be useful as they last longer than a #USPresident term! Worried about #WomensHealth in US 🙁 https://t.co/uip01qUhHc— Alex Perera (@AlexGlobalNut) November 13, 2016

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement after Trump’s win: “There are almost no words to capture the threat that this election result poses to our democracy, to our economic security, to access to reproductive healthcare and most especially to the safety and dignity of people of colour.”

While the future of the organisation stands in limbo, its message on Twitter was powerful and simple: “These doors stay open.”

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‘Don’t agonise, organise’: Lena Dunham’s call to action after Trump’s win

Lena Dunham speaks to a crowd at a Hillary Clinton campaign office in January. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty The Lenny Interview: Lena Dunham interviewed Hillary Clinton in September 2015. Photo: Lenny Letters/ Youtube
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After actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton during the US election, actress Lena Dunham has penned an essay, urging people not to agonise, but organise, saying now is not the time for minorities to understand the mindset of Donald Trump voters.

The creator and star of the HBO series Girls, who labelled a Trump victory “unconscionable” during the “Emergency Election Edition” of her podcast Women of the Hour last week, has taken to her corresponding site, Lenny Letter, to reflect on her year and a half of campaigning and to lament Clinton’s loss, before delivering a striking call to action.

“As horrifying as I found Donald Trump’s rhetoric, as hideous as I found his racism and xenophobia, as threatening to basic decency as I found his demagogue persona, I never truly believed he could win,” Dunham penned.

Reflecting on the campaign’s culmination of her experience and built friendships, Dunham pointed out that being a staunch supporter of Clinton subjected her and others to vitriol and threats online.

“We wanted a female president. We wanted guaranteed control over our own bodies. We wanted equal pay. That made us nasty. That made us targets,” she wrote.

“Now, more than ever, our power is in numbers and in our refusal to accept the idea that our leaders intrinsically know what’s best for us, better than the people we meet every day.”

She continues by detailing the “worrying” behaviour she witnessed in the days after the election including, “watching a little girl cry, wondering if her mother would be deported” and listening to an African-American reporter ask “how to explain to his sons, ‘You tell them, over and over again, not to be a bully or a bigot, to respect women, to be kind, that’s how you get ahead. And now a bully is the president. How do you explain that?”‘

“In this new reality, we have all been radicalised. It’s no longer a word for those living on the fringes. It’s a word for everyone who walks in pain with the results of this election, who feels their identity being crushed under the weight of the half of the country who voted for a man who denounces and denies the basic rights of women, the queer community, immigrants, Muslims, people of colour and the differently abled. We’ve been radicalised and therefore we’ve been deputised to do our parts.

“What that means will become clearer over the coming months, and we will all have to use the tools we have to speak for ourselves, but moreover speak for the voiceless, the people who can’t demand change for fear of very real and violent losses. Those who are gagged by the system Donald Trump proposes.”   Like so many of you I have been gutted, breath taken in the worst way, by the results of this week’s election- a sadness like a death or a separation, crushing and fresh every hour. But in the words of the immortal Flo Kennedy we most organize, not agonise. My thoughts up now on @lennyletter- link in bio. AND: if you wonder why comments are disabled on this post? I refuse to take any more verbal abuse, threats of violence, taunts, jabs at my body, my family, my humanity. I refuse not just for me but for all of us. Across many intersections, we are done. There is no space left- the caverns of begrudging acceptance have been emptied and filled with fight. Just like she would want. Just like all the those who have fought for us would demand.A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on Nov 11, 2016 at 8:59am PST

Dunham borrowed the concept of “don’t agonise, organise” from championed African-American activist, feminist and lawyer, Florynce Kennedy, proving the fight for change is just as important now as it has been over previous decades. Using similar quotes from various influential women throughout the essay, including Clinton herself, Dunham noted the power of millennials rejecting Trump and where she sees the movement moving forward.

“Our generation says no, as do first-time voters, to what this man and his presidency represent. We reject, wholesale, his brand — any brand — of hatred and bigotry. We are the generation with the strongest and most vast understanding of identity politics yet. We recognise intersections and contradictions and want to make room for them in people and in government. Our hearts are open, but our resolve is strong. We want to create a different kind of America than has ever existed. America will not be great until it fulfils its promise of liberty and justice for all.”

After thanking Clinton for her campaign and 30 years of political service, Dunham concluded the letter with a strong call to action, saying that the work isn’t complete, “it is only the beginning”.

“Thank you, Hillary, for bravely taking every shot and standing tall, for weathering assaults from every direction, for telling us that no, this wasn’t politics as we know it. Thank you for showing our daughters something beautiful to aspire to. Thank you for reminding us what we are capable of when we are focused and ferocious. Thank you for 30 years of that. Thank you for not abandoning us now,” she wrote.

“We will stun ourselves with what we are capable of. We will laugh with surprise like kids who finally threw a punch back at the schoolyard bully. We will watch our friends in awe as they step forward and demand more, as they recognise and wield their politicised identities. We will not be governed by fear. We will show our children a different way. We will go home like shooting stars.”

Dunham also took to Instagram after being criticised for her comments on plans to leave America if Trump claimed victory.

She wrote: “And for those demanding I move to Canada based on something I said when this man seem like a steak salesman with a long shot at the presidency: stay busy revelling in your new regime. I will go many places during my lifetime, surrounded by kindreds on a mission to spread justice and light.”   And for those demanding I move to Canada based on something I said when this man seemed like a steak salesman with a long shot at the presidency: stay busy reveling in your new regime. I will go many places during my lifetime, surrounded by kindreds on a mission to spread justice and light. I can’t wait for all of of this, and for the change to come, as we use what we’ve been given to protect those who can’t protect themselves. What are you living for?A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on Nov 11, 2016 at 9:03am PST

Her words echo other celebrities that have spoken out against the election result. Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence wrote an impassioned essay calling supporters not be be afraid but to “be loud” and Amy Schumer lambasted Trump supporters, labelling them “kicking and screaming babies.”

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Crown Resorts says China releases one of 18 detained casino employees

Crown’s Shanghai-based administration assistant Jiang “Jenny” Ling and her husband, American expatriate Jeff Sikkema. Photo: SuppliedBeijing: One of 18 Crown Resorts employees detained a month ago in China has been released on bail, suggesting authorities have concluded their preliminary investigations and could soon move to formally arrest and then charge those remaining in custody.
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Chinese national Jiang Ling, a Shanghai-based administrative employee for Crown, was released on bail on Thursday.

Crown confirmed a “junior” Chinese employee had been freed on bail, but did not provide a name or other details. The gaming group declined to comment on whether it expected any of its other staff to be released or charged in the coming days.

Neither Ms Jiang, who also goes by the name Jenny, nor her husband, American expatriate Jeff Sikkema, could be reached over the weekend. In China, it is not uncommon for police to warn against making public comment about an ongoing investigation or trial as a condition of bail.

Mr Sikkema has argued that Ms Jiang’s responsibilities did not extend beyond organising Australian visas for Crown’s Chinese customers and that she was not involved in any sales or marketing.

The news of Ms Jiang’s bail was received with surprise by relatives of other detained employees, who have also been unable to contact the pair.

While glad for Ms Jiang, any elevated hopes of their own loved ones being bailed in similar circumstances were fading as the clock ticked down to the 37-day deadline next week, the maximum period Chinese police can hold criminal suspects without formal arrest, which almost always leads to charges being laid.

It is possible more employees could be released before then, but family members acknowledged it would have been more likely that police would release those it intended to at the same time.

“There’s no news,” said one family member of another Chinese Crown employee who declined to be named.

“There’s not much we can do other than wait.”

Standard procedure dictates that police obtain approval from court prosecutors to formally arrest within 37 days of detention based on preliminary evidence. Further investigation will then be carried before charges are formally made and the case handed over for prosecution, a process that could drag on for months.

Three Australians are among the 17 Crown employees remaining in detention in China after a series of coordinated police raids on October 14 and 15.

They include Jason O’Connor, the head of Crown’s international VIP program, Jerry Xuan and Pan Dan. A fourth Australian, who is not a Crown employee and who has not been named, is understood to be among a number of “junket” operators who recommend gamblers to Crown detained in connection with the case.

At least some of the junket operators were also due for release, The Australian newspaper reported, including Chinese nationals Tian Di and Ou Hui, who is also known as Johnny. Both men are understood to have links to the Melbourne-based “China City” junket.

The Crown employees have been detained on suspicion of “gambling crimes”, and it is illegal to promote or organise gambling activities on the mainland. It also comes amid a broader anti-corruption blitz targeting money laundering and illicit money transfers offshore.

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Daily World Dispatch – the season of ‘truthiness’

How do we know what we know? In the wake of Donald Trump’s US election victory, journalists and pollsters around the world are asking this question.
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We judge people by what they say they will do. In Trump’s case, that is a variable. We also look at data. The data tells us that Trump’s victory was not a “landslide”, so the idea that anyone who opposed him is discredited electorally or in terms of the positions they hold does not follow.

What’s more, there are still facts. If those protesting against Trump’s election are not paid to do so, then calling them “professional protesters” is a travesty. And such lies have consequences.

When the government of Myanmar treats everyone in its province of Rakhine as a separatist militant, or the Syrian regime dismisses those who oppose it as “terrorists”, the same sins of commission and omission are perpetrated.

And, it should be said, that when people are called “deplorables” that is also a travesty.

But when someone asks a tough question and is dismissed by saying “she had blood coming out of her eyes . . . out of her wherever”, then the media is also obliged to call that what it is. “Deplorable” is one word for it.

As the far right continues its march in France, the challenge will certainly be to bring the narrative of those voting for Marine Le Pen to our audiences – but also to make it clear when that narrative deviates not only from facts but also from the basic decency which every member of society is entitled to expect.

A tough task, but still a worthwhile and exciting one.

Must reads:

After US election, Russia feared influencing French vote, corroding Western values

Donald Trump advisers urge Obama, Clinton to call off ‘professional’ protesters

Fighting flares in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine

​Donald Trump is about to learn all of America’s ‘deep secrets’

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Emirates airline to only fly Airbus A380s, Boeing 777s after retiring older planes

Emirates is the largest customer for the Airbus A380.Emirates has become the first airline in the world to only operate Airbus A380 superjumbos and long-range Boeing 777s in its passenger fleet.
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The Middle East carrier recently retired its last remaining Airbus A330 and A340 planes from active service.

Emirates retired its last A330, registered A6-EAK after 14 years of service. The plane flew more than 60,000 hours and 45 million kilometres during that time.

Emirates’ A380s and 777s are relatively new planes with similar interiors, both feature a 3-4-3 layout in economy class. This means passengers on the narrower 777s get one inch (2.54 centimetres) less width for their seats. Seat pitch (legroom) varies from 32 inches to 34 inches on both aircraft types, depending on the location of the seat.

See: Airline review – Emirates A380 economy class

The airline recently announced it would start flying the world’s shortest A380 route from December, a 379-kilometre hop from Dubai to Doha, Qatar. The A380’s maximum range is more than 15,000 kilometres.

Emirates is the largest operator of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft with 85 Airbus A380s and 160 Boeing 777s in its fleet. The airline has 150 orders on its books for the new Boeing 777X aircraft. It’s is due to take delivery of its first 777X in 2020.

The new version of the 777 is designed to compete with Airbus’ A350. Boeing says the plane will be the largest and most efficient twin engine jet in the world. The interiors will feature some elements taken from the company’s 787 Dreamliners, including larger windows and mood lighting.

Emirates has grown rapidly over the past decade and in 2016 alone has taken delivery of 36 new aircraft – 20 Airbus A380s and 16 Boeing 777. However, the election of Donald Trump in the US may curb the carrier’s ambitions in North America.

The US aviation industry has been lobbying the federal government for some time about the influx of Middle-Eastern carriers – specifically Emirates, Etihad and Qatar – into the American market. The industry argues these carriers receive billions in unfair subsidies from their respective governments.

See also: Direct Australia-London flights are just around the corner

See also: Cathay Pacific’s last 747 jumbo jet makes final flight

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IVF clinics caught making false and misleading claims about success rates

Some of Australia’s leading IVF clinics have been caught advertising false or misleading information about their success rates in what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has described as a “race to the bottom” targeting vulnerable people.
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On Monday, the ACCC said “several major IVF clinics” and some smaller ones had been asked to change claims on their websites following an investigation into the increasingly competitive and profitable industry.

The ACCC refused to name the IVF clinics but Commissioner Sarah Court said a significant number had been notified of potentially illegal behaviour, and that patients had reported some doctors for making misleading claims about their chances of success during consultations.

“In a market like this, what you can often see is … a bit of a race to the bottom where one firm starts doing it and another copies it,” she said.

Were you misled by an IVF clinic? Contact [email protected]南京夜网南京桑拿

Ms Court said the ACCC reviewed the websites of Australia’s 34 IVF providers and found that some were making success rate comparisons without adequate disclosure about, or qualification of, the nature of the data used to make the claims.

She said some IVF clinics had been advertising success rates of up to 90 per cent within two cycles for women in their 30s based on their own in-house data, looking at people who had never tried treatment before. The data excluded clients who had unsuccessful cycles or who had moved clinics after failed attempts, skewing the results.

Ms Court (above) said some clinics were also using technical terms that could be misleading to consumers without further clarification or explanation. For example, she said some IVF clinics were using data on the creation of embryos in laboratories and ‘clinical pregnancies’ as success rates, rather than live birth rates.

This is despite data showing not all embryos result in pregnancies and about one in four pregnancies ends with a miscarriage. In some cases these success rate claims were accompanied by photographs of newborn babies – a decision the ACCC said was likely to be misleading.

Ms Court said given many people paying for IVF were vulnerable and desperate to have a baby, it was “particularly egregious” behaviour. However, she said because the conduct was widespread throughout the industry, the ACCC had made a strategic decision to work with providers and fire a “warning shot”, rather than enter years of legal action that might delay more honest behaviour.

“We feel like they’re squarely on notice,” Ms Court said.

A spokeswoman for Genea, one of the largest IVF providers in Australia, said it had made “small changes” to the way it illustrates its success rates on its website this year. However, she said it was not in response to the ACCC investigation, but rather “anticipation of the development of an agreed set of reporting standards”.

Thousands of Australians are paying about $5000 in out of pocket fees for single IVF cycles each year without any independent data on clinics’ success rates to help them choose a provider. Data which does not name individual clinics shows the live birth rate resulting from IVF treatment varies wildly across clinics, ranging from 4 per cent to 31 per cent.

President of the Fertility Society of Australia Professor Michael Chapman welcomed the ACCC’s warnings and said some advertising was making IVF clinics and their staff look like “used car salesmen”.

He said a new code of conduct being developed by the Fertility Society of Australia would recommend clinics only publish live birth rates per embryo transfer and cumulative pregnancy rates over time for people according to how many cycles they undertake.

Professor Chapman said the code would also recommend clinics not advertise “breakthroughs” without peer-reviewed research. He said patients should ask fertility specialists about their individual chance of success based on their age, weight, and other circumstances.

While some countries have introduced league tables for IVF success rates, Professor Chapman opposed them because they could induce clinics to reject unfavourable patients, or transfer multiple embryos to improve success rates even though the practice increases the chance of higher risk pregnancies.

Ms Court said the ACCC would continue to monitor IVF providers and prosecute them if they flout the law. Penalties for false, misleading and deceptive conduct include fines of up to $1.1 million.

She said people concerned about being misled by success rate claims could make complaints to their clinics, which may offer refunds. People can also complain to health regulators, including the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the Medical Board of Australia.

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