Hong Kong woman facing firearms charge after being arrested carrying stun gun shaped like a cigarette lighter




A woman is to appear in a Hong Kong court on Friday charged with firearms offences after being arrested carrying a stun gun shaped like a cigarette lighter.The 41-year-old is expected to appear in West Kowloon Court after being charged with possession of firearms without a licence, according to police.She was among three people detained in separate instances in Sham Shui Po between October and December last year.Police said the woman was arrested in October after the stun gun was found in her…

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IN COURT: 7 people facing court today



EACH day several people appear in Coffs Harbour courts on a range of different charges.

Here is a list of everyone who is appearing in court today, January 14.

 

DARREN FITZGERALD

AHMAD HAMID GOVA

NOLEEN BARBARA GIBSON

BRODY OWEN

SHANNON JAY DUCKHAM

KYLIE DEE TALBOT

NICHOLAS ARNOLD ANTHONY JUNGE

 

Information sourced from the publicly accessible documents.

These individuals listed are presumed innocent until proven guilty.



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Andrew Webster answers the big questions facing rugby league this season


Nevertheless, the intoxicating scent of rugby league is never far away. We can already sense the draaaahma.

These are the burning issues for the season ahead, as I exclusively see it.

Can Mitchell Pearce bounce back?

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I spoke to the Knights halfback the day it emerged his wedding had been called off because he sent some lewd/racy/flirty text messages to a female club staffer.

(One day, they will invent a breathalyser for mobile phones and it will be the greatest invention of all time).

Pearce was furious that a very private matter had become very public.

He denied to me then that he’d lost the support of his teammates, that he’d had it out with Lachlan Fitzgibbon (who is good friends with the staffer’s boyfriend) and he was concentrating on winning back his partner.

He was also adamant he could remain as captain. Then, last week, he stood down.

I’ve covered more Pearce scandals than I care to remember — from the incident involving the girl in the yellow dress to him having simulated sex with a poodle-cross – and he’s bounced back from all of them.

You can see what will happen here. Pearce will stay sober and focused throughout the rest of the year, steering the Knights to the finals.

Then the club will really have to make a hard decision: re-sign him or let him go?

The future of NSW and Roosters captain Boyd Cordner is uncertain.Credit:Getty

How long before Boyd Cordner plays again?

The Roosters captain was seen sipping water at Pearce’s buck’s party in early December, talking up the possibility of playing again despite a serious run of concussions.

When he was concussed in Origin I — before controversially returning to the field — some at the club wanted him to sit out the season. Some have been concerned we’ll never see him play again.

My mail is the Roosters are pushing for the NSW captain to sit out 12 matches before his return.

Only time will tell how that affects his selection for the Blues, but it will be an emotional moment when we see him take the field again — provided he’s been given medical clearance by the NRL.

Cameron Smith: what’s doing?

For a bloke who is apparently unpopular with the fans, he sure can sell a book. Almost 60,000 copies of his autobiography moved off the shelves in the lead-up to Christmas.

It remains to be seen, though, if there’s one more chapter to write.

Will the 37-year-old join the Titans or Broncos or just retire, as many predict? Answer: no idea.

According to his management, he also has no idea because he’s undecided about whether he wants to keep playing.

Will there be another chapter to Cameron Smith's playing career?

Will there be another chapter to Cameron Smith’s playing career?Credit:Getty

You can bet the competitive sinews within Smith want him to keep playing.

The Titans keep denying they’ve talked to him, although more than a few people have told me club boss Mal Meninga is cagey when the subject is raised.

Given Smith’s penchant for waiting until the last minute to do anything, expect an announcement a few minutes before kick-off in Thursday night footy.

Will the rule changes turn the game into touch football?

Let’s hope not.

The game turned into a point-scoring frenzy last year after the return to one referee and introduction of the six-to-go rule.

Sure it was entertaining, but the shock announcement late last year of further rule changes to make the game “faster, more free-flowing, entertaining and unpredictable” worries me.

I am predicting Wayne Bennett’s side will win it this year. You heard it here first — unless, of course, it doesn’t happen.

“Defence” is not an evil word. The game’s custodians should be mindful of keeping the balance right.

No team will benefit from the faster game as much as South Sydney with the speedy pinballs of Damien Cook and Cody Walker running wild.

They were unlucky to not reach the grand final last year. I am predicting Wayne Bennett’s side will win it this year.

You heard it here first — unless, of course, it doesn’t happen.

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Which coaches are under the most pressure?

Brad Arthur needs to reach a grand final or serious questions will be asked if a change is needed for Parramatta to win the premiership many were predicting in May last year.

Michael Maguire has re-signed for another two seasons at the Wests Tigers, but if they don’t reach a finals series soon I fear for the mental health of their fans, especially the sober ones.

After getting knocked back for head-coaching jobs at several clubs over the past 10 years, Kevin Walters finally gets his chance at the club he loves most — the Broncos — to show us if he can actually coach.

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NT man granted bail while facing charges over Darwin ATV crash which seriously injured woman


A Northern Territory man charged over a crash which left his partner seriously injured is also facing a warrant for his arrest in Western Australia over another driving incident, a Darwin court has heard.

Michael Dixon, 35, appeared in Darwin Local Court on Tuesday, facing charges including dangerous driving causing harm and driving under the influence, after an all-terrain vehicle he was driving hit a street sign and rolled several times on Sunday morning.

The court heard Mr Dixon had been drinking with friends at a party when they began taking turns driving the ATV through the back roads of Darwin’s rural area.

His partner, a 33-year-old police officer and passenger in the ATV, remains in hospital in a stable condition.

The prosecution argued against granting Mr Dixon bail, arguing he was at risk of reoffending given his criminal history.

NT Police have charged Michael Dixon after the serious crash in Bees Creek.(ABC News: Dane Hirst)

Judge John Neill acknowledged Mr Dixon had some relevant prior convictions, as well as a warrant for his arrest in Western Australia, for offences including dangerous driving occasioning death and driving while impaired by drugs.

But Judge Neill said Mr Dixon’s prior convictions mostly related to minor traffic offences and the available information relating to the WA arrest warrant was not enough to refuse him bail.

“The loose end in relation to this application has been the absence of adequate detail from Western Australia,” he said.

“The circumstances of those offences are not before the court, but most importantly the circumstances leading to the issuing of the warrant is not before the court.”

Mr Dixon’s lawyer argued the incident was a tragic accident and that his client had a stable job, family and history in the Northern Territory.

His lawyer said he was not running away from the WA warrant, as he had only found out about it over the weekend.

He has been granted bail to appear at a later date.

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Victorians facing long queues at testing clinics across the state

Victorians are waiting hours just to be turned away from testing clinics as the state works to contain another coronavirus outbreak.

People rushed back from interstate last week as borders were being closed once again, but it has put pressure on the healthcare system.

“We’ve come back because they closed the border, so we rushed back and left our families behind on New Year’s,” one couple told 9News.

There are long testing queues across Melbourne and Victoria. (9News)

“We’re supposed to get tested as their regulation, and for two days now we’ve been turned away.”

The state’s COVID-19 response commander pleaded for patience as testing staff are brought back from leave.

“I am going to ask people to continue to persevere with us. That’s why we’ve got probably an extra 30 per cent capacity in today compared to yesterday at our biggest centres,” Jeroen Weimar said.

People rushed back into the state when borders were being closed once again, but this is putting pressure on the healthcare system.
People rushed back into the state when borders were being closed once again, but this is putting pressure on the healthcare system. (9News)

Opposition leader Michael O’Brien described the long queues and testing clinics over capacity as “an absolute shamble”.

“We’re seeing the wrong information being provided to people who have returned to Victoria. The government needs to fix this and fix this quickly,” he said.

Today Victoria reported three new locally acquired cases from 22,477 tests. All three are linked to the Black Rock cluster which now stands at 21.

Thirteen cases attended the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant on December 21, and the other eight are close contacts.

People say they have been turned away from clinics days in a row.
People say they have been turned away from clinics days in a row. (9News)

But Victorian health officials are still working to track down the source of the latest cluster.

“We’re looking at several lines of investigation, including one person who had been in Sydney, but outside the northern beaches area,” Professor Allen Cheng said today.

Of the cases, 220 close contacts are in quarantine with another 359 secondary close contacts also told to isolate.

“With this number of close contacts, we’re expecting at least some of them will become cases over the next week or so,” Professor Cheng said.

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Aged-care mogul facing legal action lists Toorak mansion, leaves for Greece


The Irving Road mansion is registered in the name of his Maserati-driving wife, and could fetch up to $40 million.

Several grieving families who lost elderly relatives in the Epping Gardens outbreak have demanded that the care-home mogul return to Australia to “face the music”.

Mr Arvanitis and business partner Tony Antonopoulos each own a 50 per cent stake in Heritage Care Pty Ltd, which has a portfolio of 10 aged care homes in Sydney and Melbourne, including the embattled Epping Gardens facility.

Areti Arvanitis with her Maserati, and Epping Gardens co-owner Tony Antonopoulos and his wife, Stacey.Credit:

When Mr Arvanitis departed for Greece, he chose not to inform anyone at Heritage Care of his travel plans. Even Heritage Care chief executive Greg Reeve was unaware Mr Arvanitis had left the country.

“I did not inform Greg Reeve as my personal business has nothing to do with Heritage Care. I do not have an executive or board role in Heritage Care, and my investment is passive. My private business has nothing to do with any employee of Heritage Care,” Mr Arvanitis said.

The Arvanitises' opulent home was featured in Vogue Living.

The Arvanitises’ opulent home was featured in Vogue Living.Credit:Instagram

He resigned as a director of Heritage Care in September, when media attention on his vast wealth and opulent lifestyle became a “distraction to the good work of the staff”.

Of the private listing of his mansion, Mr Arvanitis said: “Although I am not actively looking to sell, everything has a price and only for a significant premium.

“If I was to sell, I have several properties in Toorak and interstate I could move into. My history in real estate demonstrates this as I have sold over 60 properties in the last five years.”

The property featured in the March edition of Vogue Living, which gushed about the “gluttonous trappings of wealth within a classical framework”.

The couple's Toorak residence.

The couple’s Toorak residence.Credit:Instagram

Ms Arvanitis’ bedroom was described as a “first-floor boudoir that is off-the-charts big, fitted with banks of Gucci-filled cabinets and furnished with one-of-a-kind art and objects commissioned by the Italian fashion house in esteem of her patronage”.

Mr Arvanitis, who joined Heritage Care in January 2019, was the founder and one-time director of listed for-profit nursing home giant Estia. He sold his shareholding in 2016 for $55 million and quit the company after it hit trouble. In 2018, he also sold a shopping centre and a thoroughbred horse breeding farm, netting another $21 million.

“My property business history is I acquire, construct and sell or reposition,” he said.

Mr Arvanitis’ extended stay in Greece has incensed many victims of Epping Gardens, where 103 residents tested positive to COVID-19 and 86 staff also became infected, amid mounting evidence of inadequate staffing and poor care at the facility.

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Sam Agnello, who is lead plaintiff in a class action involving Heritage Care, said he had never received any offer of condolences or an apology from the owners of the company, or its management team.

Mr Agnello’s mother, Carmela, 92, contracted COVID-19 at Epping Gardens in July and died within three days of being admitted to hospital.

“[Mr Arvanitis] has never taken any responsibility or shown any compassion. We want him to come back to Melbourne and face up to the families who have been destroyed by this,” Mr Agnello said.

The deadly outbreak at Epping Gardens remains under investigation by WorkSafe and the State Coroner, who is being assisted by police detectives. The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner is also assessing Epping Gardens’ fitness to hold accreditation as an aged care facility.

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Last week, an independent review by Professor Lyn Gilbert and Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly found that conditions at Epping Gardens and St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner had deteriorated to an appalling level during the crisis.

“These stark numbers do not begin to convey the trauma and grief suffered by all residents, whether or not they developed COVID-19, and the enormous impact on families,” the review found.

Both facilities were found to have been inadequately prepared for emergencies and lacking in infection prevention and control procedures, while a surge workforce sent in to help had never worked in aged care and was “unsure what to do”.

In September, The Age revealed that Epping Gardens had slashed staffing at the beginning of Victoria’s second COVID-19 wave and had allegedly instructed some workers to delay getting tested, or keep working while awaiting results.

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Internal emails revealed “instructions by management” to cut carers’ shifts in the weeks before coronavirus swept through the home. At one point, just six carers were rostered on to care for 80 vulnerable residents.

Grieving families and former staff have launched civil action against Heritage Care, alleging the company failed its duty of care.

At the time, Carbone Lawyers managing partner Tony Carbone said: “These breaches are so grave that no responsible management team could have allowed them to happen, particularly considering the vulnerability of the residents.”

He said cutting hours for carers during a pandemic was “gross mismanagement and negligence” and needed to be thoroughly investigated.

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Overthinking Smith facing a conundrum only he can nut out


But the others were dismissed in orthodox ways. Joe Burns, inevitably, received a very good delivery from Umesh Yadav when an average one might have sufficed. Marnus Labuschagne got a sumptuous arm-ball from Ravi Ashwin, similar to the one that dismissed Smith in Adelaide, and to be honest it’s hard to imagine any batsman in the world doing any better.

Matthew Wade was again Australia’s most convincing batsman, Travis Head looked absolutely fine until he looked completely adrift, and Tim Paine let his disappointment edge close to the line of dissent. But theirs were all regulation dismissals.

Smith’s was the strange one, Jasprit Bumrah’s only wicket (stranger still), a delivery aimed successfully at that not-often-heard target, top of leg.

Australia are vulnerable because they haven’t passed 200 runs. Smith is the missing link between his team and a substantial score, and his internal contact tracers will be working day and night to find it. More sleepless nights lie ahead.

He could not defy gravity forever – only one batsman has ever done that – and a form slump is intrinsic to the game they play.

In Smith’s case, because of his unusual technique, the weaknesses that emerged were always going to look as odd as the strengths, and the problem-solving challenge he now faces is not one that can be found in any textbook. Make no mistake, he has a problem to solve.

Spectators remarked on his distracted demeanour when Australia were in the field. He was one of five to drop catches – a hard one to be sure, but it was Ajinkya Rahane. The most tolerant eye would have assumed Smith’s concentration was lost in a dream of the huge innings he was planning.

When he came to the wicket, Australia were again two down for not many. He appeared fretful, preoccupied with not repeating his first-innings dismissal turning Ashwin to leg slip.

The pair faced off like obsessed lovers who had been thinking of each other day and night. Each had their plans for this date.

Ashwin had the advantage of having planted two opposite traumatic memories inside Smith’s head: the one that went away and the one that turned in. Not to mention the lurking straight one.

Up to the tea break, Smith faced 20 deliveries, all but three of them from Ashwin. He looked a bit stuck. There was more fear than hope, as if he was waiting for the ball he had been up all night rehearsing for. Then it came, and he almost jumped out of his skin as he turned it just wide of the waiting catcher. His reaction reassured nobody.

After tea, with the game set up for Smith to bat Australia out of trouble, he got stuck again. This time it was Bumrah. A leg-side cordon blocked easy runs, and skiddy bouncers brought back memories of Neil Wagner last summer. By his own admission, Smith’s batting has always required a lot of thinking, but there is thinking and over-thinking. To miss one on his leg stump betrayed a head full of racing thoughts.

Whatever else happens in this game, Australia are having to wean themselves off their reliance on Smith just as India have weaned themselves off Virat Kohli. The biggest favour the Australians can do their champion is to allow him to solve his problems without thinking the whole game rests on his shoulders. At some point, he will figure it out.

But the degree of difficulty couldn’t be higher right now, against the best pace and spin bowlers to have toured Australia during Smith’s career and an opposing team that has thought about him every bit as much as he has thought about himself.

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AFL star’s manager facing defamation battle


Dustin Martin’s manager Ralph Carr is facing a defamation battle after he posted to social media “corruption” allegations criticising the Daniel Andrews government’s handling of the botched hotel quarantine program.

Mr Carr is being sued by former Victorian Labor Party vice president Henry Pinskier after the celebrity agent made posts to Twitter and LinkedIn earlier this year.

According to the writ filed by Dr Pinskier’s lawyers in the Victorian Supreme Court, on September 22 during the inquiry into the bungled hotel quarantine program, he tweeted a screenshot of comments by another user.

The tweet by user @RohanCT read: “Watching the Victorian debate in parliament. So it turns out Henry Pinskier’s company was awarded the hotel quarantine security tender without a formal tender. He is a factional member of the Macnamara ALP branch and his daughter works for Daniel Andrews.”

It’s alleged that Mr Carr, under the handle @RalphCarrRCM, added: “This Pinskier guy also got the face recognition contract in Victoria … Andrews corruption at its best”.

According to the court documents, the tweet defamed him because it implied he “was responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak from hotel quarantine in Victoria, and thereby caused the second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria”.

The writ also argued that it could be understood to mean that Dr Pinskier “acted improperly in obtaining the hotel security contract for hotel quarantine in Victoria in that he used his influence in the Labor Party and his daughter’s employment with the Premier”.

The writ also alleges that Mr Carr made similar claims in a LinkedIn post in which he posted a screenshot of the same tweet.

It’s also claimed that around November, Mr Carr wrote a further LinkedIn post in which he made reference to Mr Pinskier and contained the hashtags “#corruption”, “#nepotism” and “#pinskierfamily”.

Dr Pinskier is seeking aggravated damages, claiming he has suffered injury to his personal and professional reputation as well as “hurt, distress, embarrassment and humiliation”.

The lawsuit claims Mr Carr did not believe the posts were true or had a “reckless indifference as to whether the imputations conveyed by them were true or false”.

As well as damages, interest and legal costs, Dr Pinskier is seeking a permanent injunction preventing Mr Carr from making any future posts that contain allegedly defamatory imputations.

Dr Pinskier is the co-owner of Medi7, along with his brother Nathan, which was awarded contracts to provide medical services during the first month of the hotel quarantine program.



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Ralph Carr: AFL star’s manager facing defamation battle


Dustin Martin’s manager Ralph Carr is facing a defamation battle after he posted to social media “corruption” allegations criticising the Daniel Andrews government’s handling of the hotel quarantine program.

Mr Carr is being sued by former Victorian Labor Party vice president Henry Pinskier after the celebrity agent made posts to Twitter and LinkedIn earlier this year.

According to the writ filed by Dr Pinskier’s lawyers in the Victorian Supreme Court, on September 22 during the inquiry into the bungled hotel quarantine program, he tweeted a screenshot of comments by another user.

The tweet by user @RohanCT read: “Watching the Victorian debate in parliament. So it turns out Henry Pinskier’s company was awarded the hotel quarantine security tender without a formal tender. He is a factional member of the Macnamara ALP branch and his daughter works for Daniel Andrews.”

Grand Final

It’s alleged that Mr Carr, under the handle @RalphCarrRCM, added: “This Pinskier guy also got the face recognition contract in Victoria … Andrews corruption at its best”.



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IN COURT: 34 people facing court today



EACH day several people appear in Coffs Harbour courts on a range of different charges.

Here is a list of everyone who is appearing in court today, December 22.

ALLAN JOHN STRUHS

ANDREW JAMES BOLT

ANDREW KEITH WOODS

BRETT DANIEL MISIEPO

CHAISE PERRY

DAVID MCLEAN

DEAN PAUL LANE

DJANARGAN JOSEPHINE ELLEN YUKE

DUNCAN STEWART

ENTERPRISES AUSTRALIA NELSON

IVY ROSE DOYLE

IZAAC IVAN SHIPMAN

JAY ANTHONY GRIFFITHS

JESSICA BUSWELL

JORDAN JAMES GALLEN

JOSH DARYL HALLGATH

JOSHUA ADAM CHIVERS

JUSTIN GARETH GEORGE MORRIS

KATE ALEXANDRIA ELVERS

KAYLA LOUISE HARVEY

KEN CLOSE

KEVIN GEOFFREY CARROLL

LUKE MARK CAMPBELL

MADDISON LOVE

NAKANO-LISA ODEGARD

NATHAN LUKE BRUEST

PETER ROBERT SPENCER

RODERICK LIONEL STADHAMS

RYAN ELIAS PHILLIP TURNBULL

SAMUEL ROSS

SARAH MAREE FARRAWELL

SCOTT STEWART

STEPHAN MAHER

ZAC KENNEWELL

Information sourced from the publicly accessible documents.

These individuals listed are presumed innocent until proven guilty.





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