Christop Waltz in ‘shooting’ incident at Cannes

The cinematic excitements of the Cannes Film Festival were overtaken by real crime on Friday, with a jewellery heist and a fake shooting stealing the limelight from on-screen dramas.
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Actors Christoph Waltz and Daniel Auteuil, who are both in Cannes to serve on the festival’s competition jury, were being interviewed on a stage on the beach opposite the five-star Martinez Hotel when shots rang out.

Waltz was most recently seen playing a dapper gunslinger in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, but he wasn’t rushing to make a stand in real life. He and Auteuil, the star of such cerebral French dramas as Michael Haneke’s Hidden, were quickly hustled off stage by security guards as punters scattered into the sands.

Police arrested a man who had a gun loaded with blanks and had previously brandished an object identified by witnesses – but not yet confirmed – as a hand grenade. Nobody was hurt.

This incident came hard on the heels of an overnight heist at a somewhat less luxurious hotel about a kilometre away, where burglars netted at least €300,000 ($400,000) worth of Chopard jewellery from a company employee’s room.

Festival wits immediately drew a comparison with The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppola’s based-on-fact film about a gang of schoolgirls who robbed celebrities’ houses in Los Angeles, snaffling jewellery and clothes they would then parade on Facebook. The film, which stars Emma Watson, happened to screen – to much acclaim – the same day.

This theft was a more professional job, however: police said the jewels were in a safe, which was cut from the wall. The value of the stolen gems was initially put by some news sources as more than $1.5 million but Chopard was adamant that this was a huge exaggeration.

Chopard is a Swiss jeweller that has a long and well-cultivated association with the Cannes Film Festival. It has made the Palme D’Or award for the festival every year since 1998, along with other trophies.

It also provides jewellery for many of the famous women ascending the red carpet to the Palais each evening. Actresses Julianne Moore and Frieda Pinto wore Chopard jewels to the festival’s opening night screening of The Great Gatsby.

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Bunnies focus on flaws to ward off complacency

Perfectionist: Roy Asotasi wraps up Marika Koroibete during a dominant performance by the Rabbitohs on Friday night. Photo: brendan espositoSouth Sydney produced the most emphatic first half of the season on Friday night but such is the desire to continue their dominance, it is the 10 points they conceded that has them talking.
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South Sydney prop Roy Asotasi concedes his side slackened off defensively in the second half after racing out to a 38-0 half-time lead. While the 54-10 shellacking of the Tigers allayed any concerns the table-topping Rabbitohs weren’t capable of putting the foot on the throat, the 16-10 second-half scoreboard disappointed South Sydney.

“That’s probably something we’ll look at come Monday,” Asotasi said. “It was disappointing to let in 10 points. There’s been a lot of talk about whether South Sydney can put away a team and we felt like we did that against the Tigers. Defensively, we might have taken the foot off the pedal in that second half but the good sign is that we came away with the two points.

“Even though we’re sitting at the top of the table, we can’t get comfortable and complacent. There’s a high standard in our team that we need to uphold. We felt like we did that in the first half against the Tigers but maybe we dropped off a bit in the second.”

While the Rabbitohs are flying high on top of the NRL ladder with just one loss, they insist they are chasing their one conqueror this season. Both Asotasi and centre Beau Champion labelled premiers Melbourne the competition’s yardstick.

Despite a hard slog and years of heartache getting back to the top of the table, the Rabbitohs believe maintaining their dominance will be an even greater challenge. “It’s harder to stay there because we’re going to have all these teams chasing us,” Asotasi said.

“Still, the benchmark is Melbourne Storm, regardless of how many games they’ve lost. They’ve won a few premierships and they’ve got the big three. We’re not even halfway at the moment. You just have to look at round 26 and see how South Sydney is travelling then.”

While Nathan Merritt, Ben Te’o, Chris McQueen and John Sutton are all a chance of being selected for their respective states for game one of the Origin series, the Rabbitohs could only have Greg Inglis unavailable during the representative period.

They also have the added bonus of possessing a host of Kiwis and Englishmen, which would ensure the club was better prepared to deal with the rigours of Origin than most other clubs.

Champion, who had stints in Melbourne and the Gold Coast before returning to South Sydney, said the depth in the club was the strongest he had seen.

“Our reserve-grade team at North Sydney is first or second in the competition, and then you have players like Justin Hunt, Dylan Farrell … guys like that at any other club would be in a first-grade team,” Champion said.

“We’ve got really good depth and I think we can cover well. Probably five or six years ago a lot of 18-year-olds were thrown into first grade and told to go and do their best. When you’re thrown in as an 18-year-old here now, it’s because you really deserve it, because you’re playing really good football in the lower grades and you have players around you who can make you a better player as well. The club’s in a good position at the moment.”

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Head On Portrait and Landscape Prize winners and finalists 2013

3nd Prize winner in the portrait category is Matt Reed. This image was taken moments after the official portraits, a joyous unexpected image. 3rd Prize winner in the landscape category is Ashley Mackevicius.
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Image by landscape finalist John Tsiavis.

Image by portrait finalist Dallas Kilponen. Picture shows the owner of the Pink Roadhouse Oodnadatta, Lynnie Plate (left) with her twin sister Annie Trevillian and Lynnie’s dog Minnie Mack on the main street of Oodnadatta in South Australia.

1st Prize winning Portrait Prize entry by Jonathan May. A powerful image of the resilience of the human spirit despite the tragedy of his life.

Image by landscape finalist Ignacio Palacios.

Image by portrait finalist Tamara Dean/Olsen Irwin Gallery. The Buccaneer is one work from Tamara Dean’s series depicting contemporary Australian woman and their relationship with the natural environment.

2nd Prize winner in the landscape category is Phillip Klaunzer.

1st Prize winner in the landscape category is Tim Levy with this juxtaposition of a man-made landscape sterile environment and the natural landscape.

Image by portrait finalist Bronwyn Thompson.

Image by portrait finalist Amy Pfitzner.

The State Library of NSW will be displaying images from the Head On Portrait Prize and the Paddington Reservoir will showcase the Head On Landscape Prize entries until 23 June 2013.

All images are courtesy of the Head On Photo Festival.

Image by portrait finalist David Stefanoff.

Image by landscape finalist Luke Austin.

Image by landscape finalist Kris Baum.

Image by landscape finalist Alice Blanch.

Image by landscape finalist Chris Round.

Image by landscape finalist by Marty Schoo.

Image by portrait finalist Damien Pleming.

Image by portrait finalist Didi Gilson.

Image by portrait finalist Chris Budgeon.

“Stockman” – Dominic Ngakyunkwokka. 2ndPrize winning Portrait Prize entry by Brian Cassey from the series ‘The Aak Puul Ngantam Stockman’

Image by portrait finalist David Maurice Smith.

Image by portrait finalist Amy Piesse.

Nic Nat rules the roost in Eagles win

Nic Naitanui of the Eagles handballs during the round eight AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Patersons Stadium on May 17, 2013 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Photo: Paul Kane Nic Naitanui is mobbed by jubilant teammates after kicking a goal after the siren to beat North Melbourne.
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Nic Naitanui knows how to finish a story.

His kick after the siren to hand West Coast a two point-win over North Melbourne was meant to be. It had built to this all week.

He had been the middle of all the pre-game hype as he looked to face the big Roo Majak Daw for the first time.

Unfortunately for North, as the siren went on the 12.18 (90) to 13.10 (88) result, Daw was sitting on the sideline with the red subs’ shirt on – with only four touches and one goal next to his name.

Naitanui capped off a great night and thrilled the crowd with a high flying mark to earn the shot at goal.

The Kangaroos should feel a bit dudded.

Dubious free kicks in attack to West Coast’s Luke Shuey and Adam Selwood in the last two minutes kept West Coast in the game as the Roos led by four points.

And when is an advantage not an advantage?

It’s surely not when North Melbourne’s Ryan Bastinac has to snap around a West Coast defender from a 45 degree angle after his teammate has been awarded a free-kick 40m out from goal.

Don’t worry if the rule is still a bit confusing to you eight rounds into the season, Bastinac looked quizzingly back at the umpire before he kicked the ball to confirm what he was allowed to do.

If given the chance, he would surely have handed the ball back to Lindsay Thomas, the leader in the Coleman Medal race to have a shot set at goal.

When Bastinac had that shot, midway through the third term, West Coast had the momentum at Patersons Stadium having fought back from a 17-point quarter-time lead.

After the resultant behind, the Eagles moved the ball forward and Josh Hill extended West Coast’s lead to eight points after taking a mark-of-the-year contender.

Goal kicking accuracy is now as much a problem for the Eagles as their injuries.

They lost Sharrod Wellingham to an ankle injury at quarter-time and Luke Shuey (shoulder), Jacob Brennan (head) and Will Schofield (finger) will also be sore after last night’s clash.

But their tally of 12.18 was almost costly.

They may rue sloppy finishes when the home-and-away season is over and the final eight confirmed.

Shooting at goal has already cost the Eagles two games this season and they now sit 4-4 with games against Greater Western Sydney, Richmond and St Kilda to play before the bye .

They kicked 7.23 to lose to Carlton by 24 points in round four and 10.19 in their five-point loss to Port Adelaide the following week.

After trailing by 17 points at quarter-time, the home side’s forward press looked as though it would get the job done in the second term.

The Roos were simply unable to clear their defensive area.

But by the time the Roos got the ball forward, nine minutes into the term, West Coast had managed to add just 1.3 to the scoreboard.

They added 1.7 for the term.

At the other end Aaron Black was standing tall for the Kangaroos and, more importantly, kicking straight. His two goals, from strong marks at the end of the third term gave them a four-point lead at the break.

Brent Harvey, Daniel Wells, Andrew Swallow and Lachlan Hansen were providing the rebound and the run.

Wells had 10 uncontested touches in the first term as the Roos enjoyed a 22-9 advantage inside 50.

The Roos led by 17 points.

Matthew Richardson quizzed John Worsfold at quarter-time on the TV broadcast about the number of uncontested possessions Wells had got.

”We’ll cut that back,” Worsfold said.

Halfway through the second term West Coast appeared to have done the job.

Wells hadn’t touched the ball, with Scott Selwood putting on a tighter tag.

North has now lost three games this season by less than a kick, including by four points to Geelong in round two and three points to Hawthorn in round five before tonight.Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Labor will not increase GST: Shorten

Bill Shorten has vowed that Labor will keep its hands off the goods and service tax, following revelations that Tony Abbott could include the GST in a review of the tax system if the Coalition is elected.
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The issue is looming as a major battleground in the lead up to September’s election.

Mr Shorten, the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, said on Saturday that Labor will not increase the GST.

He said Labor favoured a mining tax rather than slugging ‘‘mums and dads’’ with a GST increase.

‘‘If Tony Abbott was elected he would give money back to the world’s richest mining companies, but he is saying to the mums and dads doing their shopping on a Saturday, ‘I want you to pay more for tax’. These are crazy priorities.

‘‘The Liberals are saying vote for us, give us a blank cheque, we’ll set up a number of committees and then we will work out different ways for mum and dad to pay more money …

‘‘I think a mining tax makes more sense than a GST (increase) and I think putting a price on carbon pollution makes more sense than GST.

‘‘Tony Abbott, you do not need to increase the GST, just make sure mining companies pay their fair share. It’s fairly simple.’’

Mr Abbott has said that any changes to the taxation system, including the GST, would be taken to voters before being implemented.

Mr Shorten also attacked the Liberal proposal to delay superannuation increases.

‘‘Superannuation should be a political no go zone, it should be a safe haven and not subject to new taxes.’’

He said that under the Liberal proposal 8.5 million Australians would have less money in their super when they retire.

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‘Information black hole’: Parents not properly informed after school assaults

Parents with children at Haberfield Public School have been left in an “information black hole”, saying they were not given enough details or support after a man attacked four girls in the playground on Friday morning.
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Police said they were continuing to investigate the sexual assault of one girl, the indecent assault of two others and an attack on another girl as the students were in a stairwell at the school about 10.20am.

The attack happened in “less than a minute” and the unknown man ran away, police said.

Several parents have expressed their concern to Fairfax Media, saying a letter sent home with children from principal Karlynne Jacobsen did not provide enough information about such a serious incident.

The letter said: “You may be aware that there was an alleged incident today that occurred at the school involving an unauthorised person on site.”

It said staff and students “responded immediately” and that police arrived quickly.

“You will appreciate that an event such as this is most unusual and may affect people in different ways. If you are concerned about your child please talk to him or her and if necessary contact the school.”

Alex Brooks, a mother with two boys in year five and six, said protecting the victims was the first priority, but she was disappointed with the school’s communication.

“They told the kids a different story, that’s my impression. There was a critical incident with a stranger and that’s it,” Ms Brooks said.

“Then to have the story on the news … kind of left parents in an information black hole.”

She said when her ex-husband picked up their children, staff did not talk to parents about what happened.

“There were no teachers at the gates talking to parents to tell them what happened.

“The note says nothing. It doesn’t make anything clear at all.”

Ms Brooks said she called police and the school to try and clarify details, but she could only contact the school cleaner and police didn’t return her call.

Eventually her mother in Tasmania rang her with more details after she saw a television news report.

The Education Department has been contacted for comment.

Haberfield Public School parents and citizens association president, Nicholas Davison, said he understood the principal’s letter was heavily vetted by the department and police.

“The focus is on the welfare of the children on that day, that was the focus of the school and I support that,” Mr Davison said.

He said staff and parents would analyse what happened and discuss whether any changes need to be made to security and the school’s communication methods.

Some parents also pointed to a letter sent by the principal at nearby St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Summer Hill, which gave parents more details about what happened at Haberfield.

Ms Brooks, who had not seen the St Patrick’s letter, said mobile or email contact from the Haberfield school would have been better.

“I can’t stress that enough, how much easier it would have been. It’s much easier to communicate these days, so why aren’t we?”

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Emma Watson: I almost quit acting after Harry

Emma Watson, best known as the Hogwarts swot Hermione Grainger, considered giving up acting altogether at the close of the Harry Potter series. For two years, she studied solidly and refused so much as to read a script. The point was “to figure out what I enjoyed, who I was and how I wanted to spend my time,” she said yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival. “I considered not being an actress; I considered it all.”
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Clearly, she decided that acting was for her after all. Watson is currently in Cannes promoting The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppola’s blistering true-crime film about a group of Los Angeles schoolgirls who robbed the houses of the celebrities they admire. Watson masters a formidably whining Valley Girl accent to play Nicky, who sees her eventual arrest as a promotional opportunity. “Nicky does not think she is going to jail. That is absolutely not entering her head,” said Watson. “This is her five minutes of fame; this is her time to brand herself.”

Watson has lived with her own celebrity since she was 11, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone launched the most successful of all cinema franchises. Unlike Nicky, she describes herself as “quite shy”. “She wants to be seen and she dresses to impress, whereas when I’m not working I dress to draw as little attention to ‘me’ as possible,” she said.

She believes she learned a great deal about herself during her two years away from public scrutiny. “You start to accept things in your personality. I think I really used to beat myself up about not wanting to go out, I thought there was something really peculiar about me.  But I just gave up trying to fit in so much. I am much more OK with myself now, which is important.”

A canny agent lured her back to work, she says, by sending her the script of The Perks of Being a Wallflower as a bit of weekend reading. “And I don’t know what it was, but something just clicked and I felt compelled to get the film made.”

Then along came Sofia Coppola’s script, which spoke to her own experience. “No one really makes films about the underbelly of this industry and what it’s like to be a real human being in it. I live that. I think that is why Sofia and I connected, that we both understand that.”

The Facebook generation has unprecedented access to the rich and famous, she observed during the press conference that followed the film’s first Cannes screening.

“We are becoming saturated with images. They can embody whatever they [fans] project onto that image, so in a sense people really feel invested, feel connected to that person and that world.” But these images, she cautioned, have little to do with reality. “It’s a narrative that our society and culture has really become obsessed with.”

Despite being part of that narrative, she found Los Angeles “like an alien planet” when she first went there. “I mean, I grew up in the countryside in a small town in England. It really is just like polar opposites.”

If anything, working on The Bling Ring has only confirmed her sense that she belongs to a different world.  “I think the film has scarred me slightly,” she said. “I just see a designer bag and – I can’t even carry one any more. It just weirds me out.”

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‘Confusion’ over advantage rule: Scott

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says that there is still some confusion among the Kangaroos players about the “advantage rule”.
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However, he did not blame an incident in the third term of Friday night’s clash against West Coast for his side’s two-point loss.

It was the third loss North has suffered by less than a goal in eight rounds to start the 2013 season. They now slump to a 3-5 win-loss record and host Adelaide at Etihad Stadium next week.

AFL leading goal kicker Lindsay Thomas was robbed of a chance of taking a set shot at goal from 40m after being awarded a free kick, because his teammate, under pressure from an Eagles defender, was deemed to have advantage.

Trailing by three points, Ryan Bastinac was called to play on “with advantage” by the umpire even though he clearly stopped running once the whistle was blown to reward the free kick.

At the time, the Eagles had just taken the lead for the first time since the 21-minute mark of the first term.

Bastinac missed the shot and the Eagles ran the ball to the other end of the ground where Josh Hill slotted took an exciting high-flying mark and kicked a goal from 40m out to take West Coast’s lead out to eight points.

“Yeah, there is (some confusion),” Scott said of the advantage rule. “I was with the distinct understanding that if you stopped when you had the ball, it’s your free kick.

“Ryan Bastinac stopped and looked at the umpire and he was called to play on. I mean, isn’t that Bastican’s call? That was my understanding.

“I mean, I thought he chose not to take the advantage, but you see that a lot. Is it a players call or once the umpires call it, is it play on regardless of what the player then does?

“I’m not sure, but again, we will focus on what we can control. I didn’t think Ryan should have played on initially even though he stopped straight away.”

Scott said that despite the “disappointing” loss, there were a lot of positives to take out of his side’s performance.

North led the Eagles by 17 points at quarter time having dominated almost every aspect of the game. They probably should have led by more at the first break considering they went forward 22 times to the Eagles nine.

They even led by 15 points 11 minutes into the final term.

“How long were we leading for? Just about the entire game,” he said.

“So, it obviously bitterly disappointing to loose from that position; but we didn’t close it out. We were never able at any point of the game to put in beyond doubt, even though we probably kept them at arm’s length, but we couldn’t break the margin any further than that.

“They’re a good side. They kept persisting and kept coming at us; thought they would. We made a couple of mistakes at the end and they did a couple of very good things.

“It’s pretty gut wrenching obviously.

“But there is a lot to like about the way we are playing; there is a lot to like about our footy side. I think we have to keep focussing our team on the fundamentals of the game.

“The little tiny things are killing us. But they are really fixable. And that’s the exciting thing.

“We played West Coast at their home ground, Hawthorn (loss by three points), Geelong (loss by four points), Sydney (loss by 39) and being for large parts of all of those games, had them under control.

“If there are better teams in the competition – Fremantle, Essendon – we’ve played most of them and been pretty competitive against them all. So we have a lot of positives to take out of it.”

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Injury concerns plague Eagles

West Coast’s medical staff will be working overtime this week as the Eagles prepare to meet Greater Western Sydney next Saturday at Skoda Stadium.
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But what’s new.

It seems that injury concerns have plagued the Eagles every round so far.

Last night’s two-point win over North Melbourne sees the Eagles recover from a horrid 1-4 start to the season to be 4-4.

They play Richmond (at home) and St Kilda (Etihad Stadium) before the round 12 bye.

But Will Schofield, Jacob Brennan, Luke Shuey and Sharrod Wellingham must be in doubt to meet the Giants.

Schofield suffered a compound fracture to a finger, Wellingham was subbed out of the game just after quarter-time with an ankle injury and Brennan looked dazed after clashing heads with Roo Sam Wright.

Shuey left the field late in the second term favouring his shoulder after copping a bump from North forward Drew Petrie. He also rolled his ankle later in the game.

Wellingham is the only one of the trio who did not take any further part in the game.

“I haven’t had any medical report on him (Shuey) as such. But he finished the game out. Obviously took that strong mark and kicked a crucial goal for us late. That makes everything feel better,” Worsfold said.

“(Schofield suffered a) compound dislocation of a finger. Because the skin gets broken he goes into surgery tonight to wash it out, and remove any chance of infection before they sew it up.

“And while they’re doing that they check if anything is damaged in there.

“So probably likely to miss a couple of weeks.

“He put his hand up (to go back on). The good one; the other one was throbbing. But he said ‘if you need me to go out there I’ll go and I can’t really handle the footy but I’ll try and give something just to get someone a rest for five or six minutes’ which he did.

“That may have helped us.”

The Eagles have a tough run straight after the bye, with Hawthorn (away), Essendon (home), Adelaide (away), Fremantle and Sydney (home) in the five rounds (13-17) straight after the bye.

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Train schedule revamp to come in its own good time

Losing out: Trains are expected to skip certain stations, including Kogarah, Revesby and Lindfield. Photo: Kate GeraghtyThe state government is resisting calls to reveal details of its new train timetables after a leaked draft of the drastic changes sent commuters across Sydney into a spin.
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As Fairfax Media reported on Friday, the government is proposing the biggest timetable changes in almost a decade, including an extra 700 services a week.

But trains will skip certain stations, and commuters from Kogarah, Revesby and Lindfield emerged as big losers. Those around Epping and Chatswood and the eastern suburbs will gain services.

Opposition Leader John Robertson called on Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian to release the proposal for scrutiny, saying it would mean ”huge changes” across the rail network when it is introduced in October.

”The minister needs to tell us what services will be cut and will smaller stations be losing services,” Mr Robertson said.

”The government shouldn’t be hiding this timetable … commuters have a right to know what the new timetable will mean for them.”

Ms Berejiklian said the changes had not been finalised, but would result in a simpler timetable, more regular trains at peak times and fewer stops on long services.

Commuters on the Herald’s website on Friday criticised cuts to some inner west stations and a lack of express services to Newcastle and the central coast. Changes to stopping patterns on the Southern Highlands and Airport & East Hills lines also prompted concern.

But Sydney Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger said more frequent services on the Cumberland Line between Campbelltown and Blacktown would improve travel across the west. He described as ”absurd” the claim that almost all lines lead to central Sydney.

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