Five highlights in your travel weekMarch 31

From Versailles: Treasures from the Palace … a tapestry in wool, silk and gold thread, showing an audience with Cardinal Chigi from the series Life of the King.You’ve still got a couple of weeks to get to Canberra’s National Gallery of to see Versailles: Treasures from the Palace, their current block-buster exhibition.
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And please heed my advice. This is one not to be missed. It’s obviously neither as big nor as spectacular as the real thing on the outskirts of Paris but it’s certainly impressive and worth travelling to see.

Accor’s Canberra hotels are offering special deals until the exhibition closes on April 17, with rates starting from $109 per night at Canberra Ibis Styles and going up to $167 at Novotel Canberra.

The rates include a night’s accommodation, a glass of French bubbly, buffet breakfast for two, two tickets to the exhibition, a souvenir tote bag, complimentary audio package and a day’s membership to the gallery.

Visit www.accorhotels苏州夜总会招聘! Western ’s Fairbridge Festival … music and camaraderie aplenty. Image: Ted Dana The 25th annual Fairbridge Festival of inspired music will run from April 21-24 in the small Western n village five kilometres north of the Town of Pinjarra and an hour south of Perth.It will again feature the music and camaraderie that regular patrons know and love — all packaged up together in a weekend escape that organisers say will feed your soul.

Included in the family-friendly event will be more than 100 local, national and international world, folk and roots acts performing across multiple stages.

The festival also incorporates youth and children’s festivals, along with artisan markets, a well-being zone, community stalls, workshops, comedy, dance and street theatre.

Visitwww.fairbridgefestival苏州夜总会招聘.au! The Leura Harvest Festival takes over the town’s blossom-lined main street. Image: Ben Pearse On Sunday May 7, the Leura Harvest Festival will again take over the town’s main street to showcase the outstanding produce and fine fare for which the NSW Blue Mountains are increasingly being recognised.The festival will feature a mix of market stalls set among the cherry blossoms lining Leura Mall.

Highlights will include delicious local fare, regional wine and beer tastings, a comprehensive speakers program, the popular pet-chook show and scarecrow competition, the ultimate chocolate-cake competition and a jam-making competition for all age groups.

The overall message will be one of fresh, regional and sustainable.

Visit www.leuravillage.wildapricot苏州模特佳丽招聘 Picnic Island … a fully copper-clad lodge can accommodate up to 10 people

Picnic Island in Tasmania is thought to be the only place in the world where you can sleep within a penguin colony.

One of the few private freehold islands in , the owner has recently constructed a fully copper-clad lodge to accommodate up to 10 people. The copper cladding has quickly taken on a beautiful patina to sit unobtrusively in this special environment.

Cantilevered over the high-water mark with views of the Hazards, on Tasmania’s East Coast, this unique building is a modern interpretation of the beachfront shacks for which the state is famous.

In addition to the penguin colony there is prolific wildlife on and around the island, including sea eagles, shearwaters, dolphins, seals and whales.

Phone 0411 255 179 The n Festival of Chamber Music … nine days of world-class music in Townsville. Image: Andrew Rankin.

The n Festival of Chamber Music will bring nine days of world-class music to Townsville from July 28 to August 5, with experienced Artistic Director Piers Lane AO once more at the helm.

A program of concerts, collaborations, conversations and masterclasses will be performed by the some of world’s best chamber musicians in churches, theatres, gardens and on Orpheus Island.

A line-up of 42 artists will perform at the event, including 13 from overseas, and three leading n ensembles in the Goldner String Quartet, Orava Quartet (Strings) and the Nexus Quartet (Saxophone). Four international artists will make their n debut at the 27th AFCM — Poul Høxbro (Flutes and Percussion) from Denmark, Italy’s Francesca Dego (Violin), Henk Neven (Baritone) from the Netherlands, and from the United Kingdom, Martin Owen (Horn).

Visit www.afcm苏州夜总会招聘.au

Open homes: The best property to inspect this weekend in Queensland

49 Armytage Street, Lota Photo: Raine & Horne Wynnum ManlyThe most gorgeous Queenslanders outside of BrisbaneThe Gold Coast family selling five properties at onceAre Brisbane buyers taking to blocks under 300 square metres?321 Main Street, Kangaroo Point
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321 Main Street, Kangaroo Point, has spectacular city views. Photo: McGrath New Farm

For sale, price guide over $1.3 million

???3 bed, 2 bath, 3 car

Open Saturday April 1, 1pm-1.30pm

Agent: Sherrie Storor, McGrath New Farm 0466 872 705

It’s hard to look at much else in this three-bed apartment besides the views but there is so much more to it than the spectacular Brisbane city panorama it provides.

Agent Sherrie Storor concedes the view is what immediately blows most people away: “The views really are something,” she says. “The city is basically laid out before you, it’s just beautiful. It’s certainly a massive selling point.”

But with those views also comes a spacious, well-designed residence. Located on the seventh floor, it’s one of only five three bedrooms apartments in the building and, crucially, includes three secure car parks.

That said, everything is within walking distance here; the city ferries, Riverwalk, the Story Bridge Hotel, the Brisbane jazz club and the CBD.

Inside, the apartment features open plan living and dining with floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors which open out to a substantial balcony. The stone kitchen features quality appliances and the three bedrooms all have built-in robes and balcony access.

49 Armytage Street, Lota

49 Armytage Street, Lota Photo: Raine & Horne Wynnum Manly

$1.59 million

5 bed, 3 bath, 2 car

Open Saturday April 1, 11am- 11.30am

Agent: Chris Vote, Raine & Horne Wynnum Manly 0433 411 540

Lota is the best kept secret on Brisbane’s bayside, according to local agent Chris Vote, who describes it as the “bridesmaid suburb with the same postcode and potential as Manly”.

And when it comes to Lota’s premier position, this contemporary residence set in the hill side with panoramic views of the bay is one of its best.

“I live nearby and grew up admiring this spot,” Mr Vote says. “It’s so quiet, it’s elevated and there’s great parks for kids one block away. The views ae unbelievable and can never be built out.”

The view is certainly stunning, which the split-level design makes the most of. Beautiful, light interiors are supported by banks of glass and louvres, which admit the year-round breezes off the sea.

Features include a designer kitchen, open plan living and dining, media room, expansive terrace overlooking infinty-edge pool and bay views and master bedroom zone with study niche.

While the house has been positioned to make the most of the views and peaceful locale, the local Royal Yacht Squadron, marinas, cafes and farmers’ markets are all only a short walk away. 16 Corsair Crescent, Sunrise Beach

16 Corsair Crescent, Sunrise Beach Photo: Tom Offermann Real Estate

$1.69 million

4 bed, 3 bath, 2 car

Open Saturday April 1, 2pm-2.30pm

Agent: Nic Hunter, Tom Offermann Real Estate 0421 785 512

With 180-degree, never-to-be-built-out ocean views, this family home is no more than a three minute walk to miles of golden sand and a northern beach walk to the Noosa National Park.

Agent Nic Hunter says it’s wonderful for buyers with pets and/or children: “There’s a dog beach right there and you don’t have to cross any main roads to get to the beach, which is a bonus with pets and kids.”

Spread over two levels, there’s enough room upstairs to house the whole family, while a self-contained flat downstairs is perfect for visiting guests or permanent and holiday letting.

Upstairs in the main part of the house, the main living areas are flooded with natural light, thanks to the loft-style ceilings, and each room has been designed to make the most of the views. A large entertaining deck with built-in BBQ overlooks the ocean, while the master bedroom is a true retreat; plush carpets, freestanding bath in the adjoining ensuite and a sunset balcony.

Set on a 607 square metres allotment and only 200 metres from the beach, the property is a short distance from schools, shops and local sporting clubs.

31 Beverley Crescent, Broadbeach Waters

31 Beverley Crescent, Broadbeach Waters Photo: Black Label Property

By negotiation

4 bed, 3 bath, 2 car

Open Saturday April 1, 10am – 11am and Sunday April 2, 10am – 11am

Agent: Andrew Ramsay, Black Label Property, 0412 022 840

Situated in the highly sought after “Golden Triangle”, this Broadbeach Waters home is majestic in size and scale.

Featuring an open plan living with 5.8-metre high ceilings, the only things that can trump the house itself is the view, so it’s a good thing there’s plenty of it.

Most of the house has been designed to take in the views of the waterway, including the lounge, living room, kitchen and huge master bedroom.

Agent Andrew Ramsay says the property is likely to be in high demand due to its location and aspect.

“It’s a very popular area, particularly the Gold Triangle where this one sits. It’s also on 900 square metres of land,” he says.

Notable features include four bedrooms, tinted windows, blinds and new carpets throughout, swimming pool and private jetty for boating and fishing and outdoor patio with shaded sail.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX just had its Wright Brothers moment

Tesla billionaire founder Elon Musk’s private space company Space Exploration Technologies flew and landed the same orbital rocket a second time in less than a year, a significant milestone in Musk’s mission to make space travel cheaper.
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A Falcon 9 rocket carrying a customer’s communications satellite rumbled aloft on Thursday from a NASA space centre in Florida, a livestream of the mission on SpaceX’s website showed. The spacecraft carried a communications satellite from Luxembourg’s SES that will provide coverage to Latin America.

Phil Larson, a space policy adviser to former US President Barack Obama who worked for SpaceX and is now at the University of Colorado, has called the mission a “Wright Brothers moment for space.”

Much of the expense of space travel lies in building engines, capsules and other equipment only to be used once and then discarded. Billionaires including Musk and Amazon苏州夜总会招聘 founder Jeff Bezos are racing to make rocket reusability – once derided as a crazy idea – into a reality that will dramatically lower costs.

SpaceX has built the Falcon 9 as well as the rocket’s Merlin engines in-house, taking a Silicon Valley approach to constant improvements and a tight collaboration between design and manufacturing.

The rocket SpaceX was attempting to re-fly on Thursday first took off and landed successfully on an unmanned drone ship bobbing in the Atlantic Ocean in April 2016. The company has recovered eight rockets in total, three by land and five by sea.

Recovering and refurbishing the used rocket booster that flew on Thursday took SpaceX roughly four months, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said earlier this month. Eventually, that turnaround time will drop to a single day as the company aims to refly rockets much in the way airplanes operate today.

“I think Elon’s given us 24 hours, maybe, to get done what we need to get done,” said Shotwell. “That vehicle needs to be designed to be reflown right away.”

SpaceX has successfully launched four rockets this year and aims to fly 20 to 24 missions in 2017. The California-based company has contracts with the NASA valued at $US4.2 billion ($5.5 billion) to resupply the International Space Station using its unmanned Dragon spacecraft and later ferry astronauts there with a version capable of carrying crews.

Musk announced last month that SpaceX plans to send two private citizens who paid “significant deposits” on a week-long flight circling the moon late next year. The chief executive officer of electric car and batteries maker Tesla founded SpaceX 15 years ago with the goal of one day creating a human colony on Mars.

The cost of a Falcon 9 launch is roughly $US62 million, according to SpaceX’s website, with modest discounts available for contractually committed, multi-launch purchases. SES, which has flown with SpaceX twice before, was the first commercial satellite operator to launch with the company back in 2013.

The reused rocket was first flown on April 8 with the CRS-8 mission, a cargo resupply mission to the space station.

SES, as SpaceX’s first commercial customer, now expects its own piece of space flight history as a memento.

“Gwynne has promised us parts of the rocket,” said SES Chief Technology Officer Martin Halliwell. “We want them for the SES board room.”

Cate Blanchett’s former Hunters Hill home yours for $10,000 a week

Cate Blanchett scores another buyer for her $20m mansion in Sydney’s Hunters HillCate Blanchett’s Sydney mansion back on the market as Chinese buyer defaults on saleInside Cate Blanchett’s Hunters Hill mansion
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Actor Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton look like they’re set to finalise the sale of their Hunters Hill trophy home ‘Bulwarra’ given the historic estate has recently popped up for lease.

Given Blanchett’s obvious preference for privacy over income, and her willingness to leave the property vacant following her move to the United Kingdom last year, sources have suggested the rental opportunity comes care of the recent buyers of the $20 million property.

But it’s not available until May, according to the property’s listing advertisement.

The delayed availability is tipped to tie in with the upcoming settlement on the sale, which exchanged early this year for an unknown sale price through Ken Jacobs, of Christie’s International.

There was no price disclosure at the time of the deal, but the landmark property had carried $20 million price expectations at the time.

Blanchett and Upton have moved their family to the English countryside where ???the Sunday Times reported early last year they had paid ??3 million ($4.9 million) for a historic manor, Highwell House, in East Sussex.

The couple first listed their Hunters Hill home, Bulwarra, in 2015. It sold three weeks later for $19.8 million to a buyer who later defaulted on the sale given problems getting their funds out of China.

Property transactions at this level usually involve a 10 per cent deposit, which would have represented a $1.98 million loss for the Chinese buyer.

The property management on the rental is being handled by Melanie La Pouple, of SydneySlice buyer’s agency. The company’s director is Deborah West, who has long handled the real estate affairs of Cate Blanchett.

The 3624-square-metre estate is available for a 12-month lease, with a $40,000 bond. SydneySlice declined to reveal the rental rate, but industry sources have tipped a rate of $10,000 a week.

Psychologist Tarnya Davis talks frankly about deathvideo

Suggestings on facing death: Psychologist Tarnya Davis offers advice.It’s the one thing we all have in common at some time in the future; yet as Woody Allen says, “I’m not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens”. Some think that talking about death is morose, but perhaps we should think about it more. Perhaps we could even consider living as if death sits on our shoulder.
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Inevitably the day will come when we will have one year left to live. Only 365 days to go. We may know, with the wisdom of medical averages, but it’s more than likely that the countdown starts without us knowing. Maybe it’s already started?

If you knew you had so little time, would you want to keep living the way that you are or would you do things differently?

Matthew O’Reilly is a US paramedic who found himself by sides of people facing their imminent death. He said early in his career, when they would ask if they were going to die, he would avoid telling them, but realised he was robbing them of the truth. Once he was brave enough to tell them, there was an unexpected calm. He also noticed a theme in their talks with him.

1. They had a need for forgiveness for the things in their life they regretted

2. They wished to be remembered

3. They hoped their life had some meaning

It is so easy to get caught up in the process of life that we stop thinking about what kind of life we want and time slips away. It is this opportunity, to live with meaning and according to their values that some people diagnosed with a terminal illness are sometimes able to see as a precious opportunity.

It’s not that we should necessarily hurry up and travel the world, write a book or become famous, although those things might be important.

But we might want to think about whether we want to keep being angry at friend who hurt us those hours, days or years ago.

We might want to stop wasting time on someone who hurts us again.

We might want to lighten up and make a conscious effort to notice how amazing the world is, rather than spending our time focused on what’s not working.

As Buddhist Pema Chodron says, “If death is inevitable and the time of death is uncertain, what’s the most important thing?”

Tarnya Davis is a clinical and forensic psychologist and principal of NewPsych Psychologists.

Samsung Galaxy S8 launch: how to buy it in China

How to buy the new Samsung Galaxy S8 in NEW: Hands on: The first glimpses of the new Samsung Galaxy S8. Photo: Peter Wells
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NEW: The Galaxy S8 will cost $1199 to buy outright in . Photo: Bloomberg

OLD: Samsung introduced the Note 7 in August 2016 and recalled the first batch in September 2016 after customers reported they were catching fire. Photo: AP

OLD: One of the Note7 units that reportedly exploded. Photo: KKJ.CN

TweetFacebookBuying outrightThe Galaxy S8 will cost $1199 to buy outright in , while the S8+ comes in at an eye-watering $1349. There may be slightly cheaper offers available from the likes of Mobileciti and Kogan, but pricing will be largely the same for the first few months after launch.

If you pre-order either device before April 27, Samsung will throw in its latest Galaxy Gear VR virtual-reality headset, plus $50 of Oculus Store credit. The freebies are also being offered through ‘s major telcos when you pre-order.

If you can afford to buy upfront, this is the most cost-effective way to purchase the S8 or S8+. As we’vesaid in the past, phone contracts tend to be bad value for money and they also deny you the ability of switching telcos whenever you like. With that said, here are the plans currently being offered by Telstra, Optus, Virgin and Vodafone.

TelstraAs usual, Telstra’s plans cost more than the competition. The starting price for the Galaxy S8 on a 24-month contract is $80 ($55 per month plus $25 monthly handset repayments). This is around the same price as last year’s S7, which started at $79 per month.

However, the entry-level plan nets you a measly 1GB of data. You’re much better off going for a $95+ plan, which come with up to 25GB of data and $0 handset repayments. In short, you’d have to be an idiot to go with Telstra’s smallest plan.

The S8+ comes in slightly dearer at $87 per month. As with S8, you should stump up a bit of extra cash for the L or XL plan: the difference in data is massive. We’ll be including the full list of plans below as soon as they become available.

OptusOptus’ cheapest plan for the Galaxy S8 is $82 per month, an increase of nearly $20 over the S7 launch price. The S8+ is slightly more expensive at $87. Like Telstra, you get 1GB of data on these plans which won’t get you very far. The sensible plans start at $94, which comes with 7GB of data per month.

The S8+ plans are come with the same inclusions but with higher repayment fees: some plans require you to pay more than double compared to the S8. We’ll be including the full list of plans below as soon as they become available.

Virgin MobileVirgin Mobile is starting its pricing at $70 and $75 per month for the S8 and S8+, respectively. This is the cheapest available plan from any n telco, although the 500MB data cap renders it worthless. The top-tier plans come in at $105 and $110 which nets you 20GB per month to play around with. We’ll be including the full list of plans below as soon as they become available.

VodafoneVodafone hasn’t released its pricing yet. For reference, its S7 pricing started at $75 per month which came with 500MB of data. We’ll be including the full list of plans below as soon as they become available.

ConclusionAs with last year’s Galaxy S7, you’re going to have to drop at least $90 to get a decent data allowance on this phone. Of the deals we’ve seen, Virgin Mobile’s $86/$91 plan stands out as one of the best bang-for-buck offers: it comes with 8GB of data, unlimited calls and $300 credit per month for international calls.

There’s not much love here for plan hunters on a budget though: the cheapest plan is $70 per month and that nets you a next-to-useless 500MB of data.

​First appeared on SMH

18C changes shot down in the Senate

1. 18c fails
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In a way the Senate’s refusal to pass the government’s proposed changes to 18C overnight is a win for everyone.

Sure Turnbull suffers a defeat in the Senate, but he doesn’t really want to be the Prime Minister giving the green-light to bigots. Those genuine about wanting change to ensure people aren’t unfairly dragged through drawn-out legal processes can be reassured by the process changes, which are still likely to pass the Senate when it resumes on Friday morning. It could be effective enough in stopping QUT-style cases before they begin. (Although some in the opposition think the government may struggle to find the numbers here too).

And as for those pushing changes to the Act? Well it suits at least one of those person’s agendas. The longer the wording of the law remains in its current form, conservative upstart Cory Bernardi has a point of difference with the government on an issue that hard-core right-wingers care about deeply.

And Labor? Well as frontbencher Tony Burke, who represents one of the country’s most multicultural electorates told me, it’s a victory for anyone who’s experienced racism. [Michael Koziol and Latika Bourke/Fairfax]

The senate resumes at 9am to deal with the company tax cut with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann still brokering a deal with Senate kingmaker Nick Xenophon. [Philip Coorey/Financial Review]

The government has set up a new financing agency to boost the level of private funding in public infrastructure – like the second Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek. [Jacob Saulwick/The Sydney Morning Herald]

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Photo: Bloomberg

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has suggested her colleagues who scotched the extradition treaty with China don’t trust ‘s legal system. Unlikely to go down well. [James Massola/Fairfax]

China said the Sydney UTS professor they have detained is being investigated on national security grounds. [Kirsty Needham/Fairfax] 2. Trump to fight Freedom Caucus

President Donald Trump. Photo: Andrew Harnik

The right-wingers who blocked Trump’s attempt to repeal his replacement of Obamacare are once more in the tweeter-in-chief’s sights.

The President vowed to fight the Freedom Caucus and the Democrats all the way to the 2018 midterm elections. [Politico]

“It is highly unusual for a president to publicly call for a fight against members of his own party,” says Clare Foran. [The Atlantic]

A judge in Hawaii has extended the halt on Trump’s travel ban for people from six Muslim-majority countries. [CNN] 3. Russia – Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AP

The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into claims Russia meddled in the US election has begun [BBC]

Responding to the accusation, President Vladmir Putin bungled George W. Bush’s “read my lips” line, but to be fair, he was speaking in Russian. [Fairfax]

Putin could have his first face-to-face with Trump in Finland. [Bloomberg] 4. Malaysia and North Korea strike a deal

Kim Jong Nam in 2010. Photo: AP

Malaysia and North Korea have brokered a deal ending the row over the nerve-agent assassination of Kim Jong-nam.

Nine Malaysians who have been trapped in North Korea will be allowed to return home, while many North Koreans stuck in Malaysia will also be allowed to leave. [Linsday Murdoch/Fairfax] 5. Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May signs the official letter invoking Article 50. Photo: Christopher Furlong

The government set out the details of its Great Repeal Bill to take back laws from the European Union after Brexit and denied that Prime Minister Theresa May’s mention of security cooperation in her Article 50 letter was a threat to member states. [BBC]

May penned an open letter to the French attempting to make reassurances about citizens living in each other’s countries, but outgoing President Francois Hollande appeared unmoved and said Britain should divorce first, then talk trade second. [The Local France]

David Cameron has defended his decision to hold the vote saying the anti-EU narrative was poisoning British politics. [Politics Home] 6. Game of Thrones

The trailer for the final season is out! I don’t know where they are going with the music but the final sequence = goosebumps.

Suddenly July feels simultaneously much closer but oh-so-far away.

And that’s it from me this week, you can follow me on Facebook for more. Have a great weekend.

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Chinan man dies at Bangkok airport

Bangkok: An n man plunged four floors to his death at Bangkok’s busy Suvarnabhumi Airport on Thursday morning.
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Surveillance cameras showed that the man, aged 32, took the escalator from the third to the fourth floor before the incident took place at 6.25am.

Medical staff tried to revive the man and he was taken to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, according to the Bangkok Post, but he died from his injuries.

Local police believe the man jumped from from the fourth floor and that the incident was one of self-harm.

“We checked the CCTV and there was no one else with him, he walked alone from the third floor to the fourth floor… we believe it was his intention to harm himself, that nobody threatened him,” said Police Lieutenant Colonel Kawee Ratana, according to the ABC.

The airport had installed 2.5 metre high glass walls inside and outside the terminal after past similar deaths. Kittipong Kittikachorn, the airport’s safety manager, has ordered engineers to consider erecting additional safety walls.

The name of the man, who also has Irish citizenship, has not yet been made public.

In a separate incident, a 49-year-old n man died when his rented motor-cycle and a 10-wheel truck collided on the Thai resort island of Phuket. The man had rented the motorcycle early Thursday and was due to return it on Friday.

A helmet was found beside the body.

The man, who was from New South Wales, was staying in a hotel in the Patong tourist district.

Motorcycle accidents account for many of hundred of deaths each year on Phuket’s roads, including many ns. An average 20,000 ns holiday on Phuket each month.

Twenty year-old Victorian woman Emily Collie was killed when two jet-skis collided off a Phuket beach in February.

Her partner, 22-year-old Thomas Keating, was handed a one-year prison sentence – suspended for two years – in a Phuket court last week after pleading guilty to reckless driving causing death.

He said the accident happened after he was blinded by the sun. Mr Thomas has been allowed to return home.

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Kim Jong-nam’s body released to North Korea in deal to end row

Bangkok: The body of Kim Jong-nam has been released to North Korea as part of a complex deal with Malaysia, brokered to end a bitter row between the two nations which began with Mr Kim’s brazen nerve agent assassination.
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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the deal, which included nine Malaysians being allowed to fly out of the North Korean capital Pyongyang to return to Malaysia. The nine people, three embassy workers and six family members, had already boarded a plane in Pyongyang when Mr Najib made the announcement on Thursday night.

They flew home in a government jet and greeted by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman at the airport early on Friday, Reuters reported.

Mr Anifah said their safe return reflected “diplomacy at its best”.

Under the deal, about 1000 North Koreans in Malaysia will also be allowed to leave Malaysia. Most of them are low-paid labourers.

In a rarely seen diplomatic meltdown following the murder of Mr Kim at Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13, North Korea barred Malaysians from leaving the country, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Malaysia.

In a statement, Mr Najib made no mention of the fate of three North Korean suspects in the assassination, at least two of whom are believed to be holed in the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, including a man listed as a diplomat.

But Mr Najib said his government believes strongly in the principles of justice and sovereignty.

“Our police investigation into this serious crime on Malaysian soil will continue and I have instructed for all possible measures to be taken to bring those responsible to justice,” he said.

A group of North Korean officials and Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry negotiated the deal over several days in Kuala Lumpur as speculation grew that Malaysia would hand over the body to Mr Kim’s next-of-kin in China.

Mr Kim was living in Macau with his second wife and two children.

But the deal announced by Mr Najib indicates that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, the estranged younger half-brother of Mr Kim, insisted the body be returned to North Korea, despite North Korean officials claiming the dead man was not Mr Kim.

“Following the completion of the autopsy on the deceased and receipt of a letter from his family requesting the remains be returned to North Korea, the coroner has approved the release of the body,” Mr Najib said.

The body was believed to have been put aboard a Malaysia Airlines flight to Beijing, en-route to Pyongyang on Thursday night.

Malaysian police have identified eight North Koreans as suspects in the killing, which South Korea says was orchestrated by the north’s spy agency. Four of the suspects left Kuala Lumpur immediately after the attack.

One North Korean man has been deported and police have named three other suspects. Two women smeared deadly VX nerve agent on Mr Kim’s face as he was about to board a flight to Macau.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, claim they were duped into believing they were taking part in a television prank show.

They have been charged with murder and face execution if found guilty.

Laws to strip criminal MPs of taxpayer funded pension due

Legislation to strip jailed former NSW minister Eddie Obeid of his taxpayer-funded parliamentary pension is set to be introduced to Parliament within weeks.
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But it is unclear if the legislation will apply to another former minister facing a prison sentence, Ian Macdonald, who was on Thursday found guilty of two counts of misconduct in public office over awarding a lucrative mining licence to a union mate.

In December, Obeid was sentenced to a maximum five years’ jail for misconduct in public office in relation to lobbying over commercial leases at Circular Quay in which his family held an interest.

The then premier Mike Baird immediately announced he would legislate to ensure MPs convicted of a serious offence during their time in office would lose their parliamentary pension, even if they quit before charges are laid.

Presently, MPs convicted of a serious offence – punishable by at least five years’ imprisonment – can keep their pensions if they are not charged while in office.

Obeid was charged after he left Parliament in 2011. The change will ensure he is stripped of his lifetime annual pension worth more than $120,000 a year.

But it is unclear whether the legislation would apply to Macdonald, as it is not known if he took his pension in a lump sum upon leaving Parliament.

MPs qualifying for the scheme, which ended in 2007, have the option of claiming 10 times the annual benefit upfront, instead of drawing an indexed annual payment for life.

Documents released to Fairfax Media under access to government information laws show Macdonald was entitled to an annual, indexed pension of $135,545 when he quit in 2010.

This means Macdonald could have claimed more than $1.3 million as a lump sum. If he did, there is a possibility that the government will be unable to claw it back.

However, during his trial mid-last year the court was told Macdonald was “only on a parliamentary pension and was having trouble funding his defence”.

It is understood preparation of the legislation is well advanced and could be introduced to Parliament as early as next week.

If not, the next available opportunity would be when Parliament resumes in the first week in May.

After Obeid’s sentencing, Mr Baird also announced the government would claw back more than $280,000 in legal assistance the former minister was given for representation at ICAC.