Category: 杭州龙凤

Rich hit

Rich on flavour with Neil Perry. Neil Perry gets rich.
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Eggplant caviar on bruschetta is versatile. Photo: Neil Perry

EGGPLANT CAVIAR ON BRUSCHETTA

2 medium eggplants

1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled

1/2 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

juice of 1/2 lemon

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

freshly sliced and toasted sourdough

bread, for serving

Serves 4

Preheat oven to 180°C. With a fork, prick eggplant all over and oil slightly. Wrap garlic, oiled and salted, in foil and place both on a baking sheet and place in oven. Roast both for 40-60 minutes – the garlic should be very soft and the eggplant should be soft and collapsed. Remove from oven and cool.

Cut eggplant in half and scoop out flesh with a spoon. Place in a sieve and strain juices.

Cut garlic in half across the equator and squeeze the flesh out like toothpaste into a small bowl. Season with sea salt and pepper, juice of half a lemon and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Use a fork to mix to a purée.

Place drained eggplant in a bowl and add vinegar. Whisk mixture while pouring in remaining 5 tbsp of olive oil, little by little as though making mayonnaise, until the eggplant mixture is creamy and light. Season with salt and pepper, and fold through parsley.

To serve, spread garlic purée on warm toasted bread slices and dollop eggplant caviar on top.

ZUPPA INGLESE

5 large egg yolks

150g sugar

50g plain flour

500ml milk

few drops vanilla essence

125g grated dark chocolate, plus extra to serve

125ml Alchermes liqueur

125ml rum

20 Italian ladyfingers (sponge finger biscuits)

whipped cream, to serve

Serves 8-10

Whisk egg yolks and sugar until straw-coloured, then stir in flour until all lumps have dissolved. Heat milk with vanilla extract until fairly hot, but not boiling. Pour milk onto egg mixture and then cook for 7-8 minutes in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat, stirring to prevent lumps forming in the custard.

Pour half the custard into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap that touches the surface of the custard to prevent skin forming.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan) over barely simmering water. Return remaining custard to heat and stir in melted chocolate. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour chocolate custard into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap that touches the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Set custards aside to cool before using.

Mix alchermes, rum and 60ml of water together in a bowl. Dip ladyfingers into water and liqueur mixture, then use 1/3 of them to line a 2-litre glass bowl or soufflé dish, or individual glasses. Pour plain custard over the top, cover with another layer of dipped ladyfingers, and spread the chocolate custard on top. Finish with remaining ladyfingers, cover with foil and refrigerate for about 12 hours.

Just before serving, decorate with plenty of whipped cream and grated chocolate.

HOT TIPS

• The eggplant caviar makes a great sauce, particularly with grilled or roasted fish.

• You can also add cumin and tahini to make a version of baba ghanoush that is, again, wonderful by itself, but awesome with roasted or grilled food.

• I also love the garlic purée with chicken or fish. Roast about 3 heads and make a pot of roast garlic sauce. Because the volatile oils have been neutralised, the harsh garlic flavour yields to a sweet roast caramel flavour.

• The zuppa inglese is a trifle, so feel free to add seasonal fruit.

SOMETHING TO DRINK

MarsanneA white wine grape grown in France’s northern Rhône, marsanne is also cultivated at Tahbilk, a Victorian winery that has some of the world’s oldest marsanne vines. The 2005 Tahbilk Marsanne ($15) has a viscosity that complements the bitter qualities of the eggplant.

Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Kirsten Jenkins.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….


Lleyton Hewitt’s US Open adventure continues

It was not enough for Lleyton Hewitt to topple Juan Martin del Potro under the tennis world’s nostalgic, almost affectionate, gaze. There was no point stopping there.  Buoyant, vindicated but not yet satisfied, the former No.1 has advanced safely – if less spectacularly – into the fourth round, with the romantic possibility of going even deeper still.
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Hewitt defeated 102nd-ranked Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-1 to book a place in the last 16 for the eighth time in his long career, but the first since he reached the quarter-finals in 2006. Hewitt was still to learn the identity of his next opponent, but it promised to be an all-geriatric affair against either 35-year-old 12th seed Tommy Haas, or 31-year-old Mikhail Youhzny, the 21st seed.

“It’s always great coming back to the place where it all started for me, here at the US Open,” said Hewitt, the doubles champion in 2000, and 2001 singles winner at Flushing Meadows. “It’s a special place to come back and play and I have played some of my best tournaments here. I’ve always played well on the American hardcourts, for starters, but the atmosphere as well, it suits my personality.”

Having landed in the third round courtesy of a marvellous five-set night win on Arthur Ashe Stadium over sixth seeded del Potro, another former champion, this this was a much more low-key occasion on a muggy afternoon on the No.3 court. But there was plenty to play for, and no let-down, Hewitt breaking serve to love in the opening game – two forehand winners and a couple of errors from a nervous Donskoy set the tone for what was to follow – and a Donskoy double-fault gift-wrapped the set within the half-hour.

Hewitt, positively, was more willing to finish off points at the net – winning 24 of his 31 attempts – than an opponent whose comfort zone does not extend far beyond the baseline, but Donskoy settled into his potent groundstrokes, and damaging forehand in particular, as the match tightened up in the second set, with Hewitt forced to save three break chances in the 11-minute 11th game.

Hewitt had buried del Potro under a series of winners in conceding just two points in his previous tiebreak, and then successfully carried the momentum into the deciding fifth set. This was a less emphatic affair, but Hewitt produced a good first serve on his second chance to take the two-sets-to-love lead he had not quite managed two days before.

Donskoy is no delPo, but he started hitting out in the third, with seven aces among his 14 winners to Hewitt’s five, breaking serve for the first time in the eighth game, and serving out the set 6-3. Yet the experienced world No.66 soon regained control, taking the early lead in the fourth, and clinching the match in just under three hours, after fending off two further break points in the final game.

Hewitt had never seen Donskoy until the pair practised together before their opening round matches, although, interestingly, the Muscovite’s mentor is dual grand slam champion, now Russian politican, Marat Safin, the player who famously denied Hewitt his treasured Australian Open title in the 2005 final. Donskoy was making his US Open debut, and with a third round effort at the Australian Open his previous best grand slam result. It was also his first.

Hewitt is playing his 58th major, at the only place where he is a two-time finalist. He is in top seed Novak Djokovic’s quarter, but that prospective appointment is still another round away. Who, though, would have tipped that he would get even this far?

The same could not be said for fifth seed Tomas Berdych, who completed a 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 rout of Frenchman Julien Benneteau and will play Stanislas Wawrinka, who needed four sets to overcome Marcos Baghdatis. Unseeded Denis Istomin’s five-set defeat of Andrea Seppi places the Uzbek in the path of defending champion Andy Murray, a 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2 winner over Florian Mayer.

The major women’s upset was of tearful eighth seed Angelique Kerber, dumped 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) by Spanish No.18 Carla Suarez Navarro, while top seed Serena Williams won the much-hyped all-American affair against Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-1 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Hewitt said he had done enough homework on Donskoy not to be surprised by anything he saw. “He’s obviously got a great forehand. Hits it well,” Hewitt said. “But I came out aggressive at the start and I played well right at the start to get up that early break. That was sort of the telling point for that first set really.

“I served a lot better today, as well; hit my spots well. Even my second serve, whenever I was under pressure, I didn’t give him too many chances to run around and take second cuts on my second serve, which was positive.

“I came in right from the start today. I felt his forehand was his biggest strength. His backhand, he was going to make a lot of balls and not make a lot of errors, but I felt like I could dictate play and come in on that side. That’s what I did right from the start, just to try to set the tone out there.”

Hewitt admitted the possibility of let-down had been on his mind.

“Yeah, absolutely. It was a matter of still staying focused and staying in the moment as much as possible. I still felt a little bit flat today going out there. Actually felt like I got better as the match went on. That was a good sign physically for me, as well.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….


Sarin: how a single drop of Nazi nerve gas can kill

Sarin, the deadly nerve gas which the US says was unleashed last month by the Syrian regime in a Damascus suburb, was developed by Nazi scientists in 1938.
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Originally conceived as a pesticide, sarin was used by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime to gas thousands of Kurds in the northern town of Halabja in 1988.

A cult also used the odorless, paralysing agent in two attacks in Japan in the 1990s.

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said tests on hair and blood samples taken from the emergency workers who rushed to the scene of the Damascus attack on August 21 had shown indications of sarin.

He said the samples had been given to the US independently, outside of an outgoing UN probe.

Washington has squarely blamed the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad for the attack, which it says killed more than 1400 people including hundreds of children.

Inhaled or absorbed through the skin, the gas kills by crippling the respiratory centre of the central nervous system and paralyses the muscles around the lungs.

The combination results in death by suffocation, and sarin can contaminate food or water supplies, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which notes that antidotes exist.

“Sarin is 26 times more deadly than cyanide gas. Just a pinprick-sized droplet will kill a human,” according to the World Health Organisation.

Exposure symptoms include nausea and violent headaches, blurred vision, drooling, muscle convulsions, respiratory arrest and loss of consciousness, the CDC says.

Nerve agents are generally quick-acting and require only simple chemical techniques and inexpensive, readily available ingredients to manufacture.

Inhalation of a high dose – say 200 milligrams of sarin – may cause death “within a couple of minutes”, with no time even for symptoms to develop, according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Exposure through the skin takes longer to kill and the first symptoms may not occur for half an hour, followed by a quick progression.

Even when it does not kill, sarin’s effects can cause permanent harm — damaging a victim’s lungs, eyes and central nervous system.

Heavier than air, the gas can linger in an area for up to six hours, depending on weather conditions.

UN inspectors, who have been in Syria investigating allegations of the regime’s use of chemical weapons, left the country on Saturday. The analysis of their samples could take up to three weeks, UN experts have said.

AFP

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….


Police discover mortar bombs during $12,000 robbery raid

Source: Maitland Mercury
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The Australian Defence Force has launched an investigation after police found three military bombs at Kurri Kurri during a search over a $12,000 heist.

Three mortar shells and parts of mortars were seized from the home and the army has confirmed some of the weapons were ­standard issue military artillery.

The defence force has seized the mortars and is trying to determine how the bombs – which police said was enough to blow up a village – were obtained.

Investigators are deeply concerned the weapons were being stored in a suburban house where a 36-year-old woman and two young children were living.

Charges have not yet been laid.

A police investigation into a robbery in East Maitland on August 23 led Central Hunter detectives to the house.

A 42-year-old female security guard from Maitland Security Services at Ashtonfield was walking to a bank at Green Hills ­carrying $12,000 in a discrete bag at 3.20pm when a hooded man grabbed it, ran to a ­nearby yellow Holden Commodore, got in and fled.

Witnesses told police a female driver was waiting for the man in the car and their descriptions helped police trace the vehicle to the Kurri Kurri address.

A police search recovered a bank ­security bag and some of the money inside the house.

Police said the security guard had picked up the banking bag from a Rutherford business on then completed other security duties before driving to Green Hills shopping centre to take the cash to the bank.

They also found cannabis, hashish (cannabis resin), cannabis seed, amphetamines, ice and prescription medication.

The 36-year-old woman has been charged with stealing and two counts of possessing a prohibited drug.

Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector John Zdrilic said police sought advice from the NSW Police Bomb and Rescue Squad and army bomb experts when the mortars were found.

He said police were concerned about the welfare of the woman’s children in the house – especially the one-year-old who allegedly was wearing a heavily soiled nappy at the time of the police raid.

Inspector Zdrilic said police notified the NSW Department of Community Services which conducted inquiries and took the children on Wednesday.

DOCS ordered the woman and her partner to undergo urine tests late last week to determine if they had drugs in their system, police said.

Further inquiries into the robbery led police to believe the security guard was involved in organising the theft.

A police search of her home at Macquarie Hills, near Newcastle, resulted her being taken to Belmont charged with stealing and possessing fireworks.

She was taken to Belmont police station and charged with stealing.

The hooded man who grabbed the cash has not yet been identified.

Police have appealed for witnesses who saw the man or who have information about the robbery to come forward.

He was wearing a dark hooded jumper pulled over his head, sunglasses, and jeans at the time of the incident.

Inspector Zdrilic urged anyone with information to phone Maitland detectives on 4934 0200 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Mortar bombs and shells seized in search on a Kurri Kurri property.


Major parties vie for best offers for regional Australia

Source: The Courier
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The majorparties have got themselves into a war over regional Australia, with each claiming the better policies for helping local communities.

The Coalition has unveiled its $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund, which would go towards infrastructure in regions with high unemployment.

But Labor has said the Coalition would cut local projects that have been supported under Labor’s Regional Development Australia Fund.

Ballarat MP and Minister for Regional Australia Catherine King said government funding for the Daylesford Victoria Park multi-purpose centre and Bacchus Marsh swimming pool was at risk.

Ms King said the opposition was showing it had “no understanding” of how the regional Australia portfolio worked.

She said there were 750 projects worth $2 billion nationally that could go if the Coalition scrapped projects not contracted.

“Under Mr Abbott and Mr Truss, every last cent of this funding will be on the chopping block,” she said.

When asked recently what the Coalition’s policy would mean for projects already funded, Nationals leader Warren Truss said only signed contracts would be honoured.

He said the program was long overdue recognition that regions were important for a strong country.

Councils and local community groups will be able to apply for grants between $20,000 and $10 million, with local government contributing 50 per cent.

The plan would see $200 million a year over five years for projects in regional communities, with disadvantaged areas given highest priority.

Mr Truss said some communities across the country are going backwards “at a rate of knots”.

“More has to be done for those communities,” he said.

The major parties are each claiming they have better policies to help regional communities.


Call to ban junk food in hospitals

Source: The Examiner
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Banning junk food in hospitals and improving food nutrition labels are opening salvos in a Tasmanian politician’s war on unhealthy lifestyles.

Rosevears independent Kerry Finch last week told the Legislative Council that most of Tasmania’s health problems were due to poor diet and other lifestyle factors.

He backed a call by Launceston orthopaedic surgeon and health campaigner Gary Fettke that fructose, polyunsaturated oils and refined grains and carbohydrate were linked to most modern disease.

Mr Finch backed a call by Dr Fettke for a reduction in consumption of those products, starting in hospitals.

Their wish list is for chocolates and lolly sales to be banned in hospitals and hospital vending machines, and kiosks being allowed only a maximum 20 per cent of “red flag” (unhealthy) foods.

“Most of Tasmania’s health problems are due to poor diet and other lifestyle factors,” Mr Finch told the Legislative Council.

“And it’s up to individuals, with government support, to do something about it before we overload health services to destruction.

“No one in this chamber, particularly me, can look at our lifestyle and diet without some misgivings.”

Mr Finch said yesterday he would put a motion to the chamber on September 17, asking members to suggest measures for improving the lifestyle and eating habits of Tasmanians. which would be a signal for government action.

“It’s all about people making informed decisions about their lifestyle and keep them out of hospitals,” he said.

“And to know what you are eating.”

Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne said the government’s policy was not to ban foods in hospital canteens, but to encourage all hospitals to continually improve the healthiness of food made available.

“We continue to listen to a wide range of health experts and customers about the kinds of food that should be available,” she said.

Pollies push for limit to unhealthy snacks in hospitals.


Warm winter caps nation’s hottest year

Shorts weather: A warm Father’s Day on the first day of spring followed a mild and wet winter in Melbourne that broke records. Photo: Wayne TaylorAustralia has just experienced its warmest 12 months since climate records began.
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Data monitoring by the Bureau of Meteorology shows the average temperature throughout Australia in the year to August 31 was 1.11 degrees above the long-term average.

The nation’s fourth-warmest spring on record morphed into the hottest summer on record. And now the seventh-warmest autumn has been followed by the third-warmest winter Australians have ever experienced.

In Victoria, it was the warmest winter on record, just pipping the winter of 2005.

In New South Wales, it was the second warmest, eclipsed only by the winter of 2009.

And across the nation, winter was 1.29 degrees warmer than the long-term average – defined as the years from 1961 to 1990 (which were themselves warmer than the first half of their century).

From September 2012 to August 2013, the average temperature, day and night, across the continent, hit 22.9 degrees, compared with a long-term average of 21.8. The previous 12-month record was in the year to January 2006, when average temperatures were 1.08 degrees higher than before.

Australia’s record warming comes towards the end of an election campaign from which global warming has gone missing. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott never mentions it, although in every speech he promises to repeal the carbon price intended as Australia’s contribution to the fight against it.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who once called climate change the greatest moral issue of our time, rarely mentions it on the campaign trail, leaving the Greens as the only party to raise it as an election issue.

The bureau says that so far in 2013 Australians have already experienced the hottest day, month and season. Now the year of records has culminated in the hottest 12-month period.

Melbourne and Sydney joined Canberra and Brisbane with winters near or above previous records for warmth – and rain.

”We just didn’t get strong cold fronts” that break up the mild conditions, said the bureau’s director of climate monitoring, Karl Braganza.

”The lack of consistent cold weather is the real story across the whole of the south-east.”

While natural variability always plays a role, scientists have said repeatedly the background warming trend associated with human-induced climate change is making it more likely record temperatures will tumble.

A preponderance of westerly winds, which typically bring rain to exposed southern coastal regions, saw abnormally heavy rainfall in August in western Victoria and western Tasmania.

Melbourne, too, has been wet, with the city recording its biggest winter rainfalls since 1991 – 230 millimetres. Victoria had its wettest winter since 1996, just before the so-called Millennium Drought set in.

But dry conditions stretched well up the coast into Queensland where about half the state is drought-declared.

Melbourne’s winter saw the maximum temperature average about 16 degrees, a new high in more than 150 years of records, and well clear of the long-term average of 14.2 degrees.

Minimums would exceed the anomaly by even more, averaging out at about 8.5 degrees, 2 degrees above the long-term norm, Weatherzone’s Rob Sharpe said.

Operators of ski resorts are among those finding little joy in the warm conditions and outlook.

After several decent snowfalls in August, conditions are likely to turn slushy with temperatures set to remain above zero for much of the coming fortnight, including multiple days of 10 degrees or warmer for resorts such as Mount Buller.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….


Clearance rate on the rise

The sun also shone on this Clifton Hill terrace, selling for $1.15 million, well above its $940,000 reserve. Photo: Ken Irwin Milking it: The milk bar in Lennox Street fetched well above the reserve. Photo: Domain
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To be turned into a family home: Inside the Lennox Street premises. Photo: Domain

A Richmond milk bar opposite the Housing Commission flats and the All Nations Hotel fetched a robust $1.251 million at auction during the weekend, a sign of the strength underpinning the start of the spring market.

Melbourne’s auction clearance rate was 75 per cent from 658 auctions, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, trailing Sydney’s 84 per cent from 398 results.

Melbourne’s result is lower than last week’s 79 per cent but well up on the 63 per cent for this weekend last year. While 166 properties were passed in, 92 on vendors’ bids, 71 were sold before auction. Many results – 157 – have not been reported. That will drag down the final clearance rate.

The Edwardian double-storey shop and four-bedroom residence at 66 Lennox Street on a 218.4-square-metre block has an unusually wide 7.8-metre street frontage and the rear stables.

Six bidders competed for the house, which Biggin and Scott had quoted at $750,000-$850,000, and several more were knocked out early by an opening bid of $820,000.

Some 30 bids later, auctioneer Andrew Crotty went inside to check with the vendors. The move caused some consternation among the 150-strong crowd given the high price reached at that point.

Mr Crotty said the couple, who had run the milk bar for several decades, still had to be consulted before the hammer came down, even though it was well past the $850,000 reserve. ”It wasn’t the price. It was the selling of it. They weren’t quite ready to relinquish it,” Mr Crotty said.

The price, at $5728 a square metre, was a record for that strip of Richmond. The property, which still has its milk bar trappings, will be renovated and turned into a family home, he said.

Wakelin Property Advisory director Richard Wakelin said it was a difficult property to value given the scope of the renovation and the proximity to the pub and the flats.

”But you could run a home office from it and have off-street parking for two cars. And, as for being close to the flats, well, it’s all part of the acceptance of inner-suburban living now, that you’ll be living close up to all kinds of housing,” Mr Wakelin said.

Prices have been rising all year and would continue to climb, stoked by low interest rates, he said.

”It’s remarkable that the removal of the first home buyer’s grant for established homes didn’t result in the first home buyers’ departure from the market. There is a real urgency again because they want to try and lock in low interest rates,” Mr Wakelin said.

He acted for the vendors of 76 Donald Street, in Prahran, one of an unrenovated 1940s duplex, which fetched $825,000 through Hocking Stuart.

”In March, its neighbour, which is a mirror image but also had a garage, sold for $772,500,” he said.

”We set the reserve at $760,000 – just below the price the neighbouring property sold at – and there were five bidders, a mix of first home buyers and investors,” he said.

”The interest rates are helping the growing mood of confidence but people are also expecting the Canberra situation to stabilise after next weekend.”

Auctions and private sales have been tracking evenly all year but this week auctions significantly outnumbered the 372 reported private sales. Auctions are traditionally set for more competitive properties and can trail off at the upper end of the market.

While Marshall White’s Justin Long sold 6 Heymount Close, Toorak, under the hammer for $4.05 million, RT Edgar director Jeremy Fox did not get a bid for 141 New Street, Brighton, which passed in on a vendor bid of $5.3 million. Mr Fox said his vendors were considering an offer.

A private sale in Princes Hill set a record for the area. Woodards sold a renovated double-fronted house, Ormuz, at 299 Pigdon Street for $3.95 million.

Woodards director Jason Sharpe said there was a handful of offers on Thursday afternoon at the close of the private deadline with two bidders in the running.

”It had an underground garage, lifts to the two upper levels and quality fittings. The vendors had renovated it with plans to move in but they changed their minds and decided to stay where they were,” he said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….


Chinese strength lifts local stocks

How the day developed: Markets Live
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Stronger-than-expected manufacturing data from China sparked a rally on the  Australian share market today.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index shot up 53.34 points, or 1 per cent, to 5188.3, while the broader All Ordinaries firmed 57.7 points, or 1 per cent, to 5178.

Tony Paterno, senior investment advisor at Ord Minnett, attributed the gains to the Chinese data, which showed that factory activity expanded in August for the first time in four months as domestic demand rebounded.

This was according to the final HSBC/Markit Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), which climbed to 50.1 in August, up sharply from July’s 47.7, and came one day after China’s official PMI rose to a 16-month high.

The data added to recent signs that the Chinese economy might not be slowing as much as feared in previous months.

‘‘I think [the PMI] is the highest it’s been in over a year now, which is a big positive,’’ Mr Paterno said. ‘‘It has lifted energy and resource stocks. The financials have been dragged up as well. They’re up about 1 per cent over all. Everything seems to up 1 per cent.’’

It also fuelled a a rally in the Australian dollar, which was trading up 0.9 per cent at 89.82 US cents at market close.

All sectors, except utilities, finished in positive territory. Resource shares, except for BHP Billiton, had a good day, with the energy and materials sub-indices rising 1.9 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.

BHP, which traded ex-dividend, closed down 0.4 per cent at $35.62. Rival Rio Tinto advanced 1.6 per cent to $59.22.

‘‘Had BHP not gone ex-dividend, it probably would have been up about 80 cents today,’’ Mr Paterno said.

Among the energy stocks, Origin outstripped the broader market, rising 4.5 per cent to $13.85, after it said on Friday it would cut its borrowing costs by as much as 50 basis points as it markets the Australia’s biggest syndicated loan this year.

The big banks also were up, with the financial sector rising 1 per cent. Commonwealth Bank was the biggest mover, firming 1.2 per cent to $73.68.

Bell Potter’s Charlie Aitken said despite many bank analysts believing CBA was overvalued, its strength still made sense.

‘‘In the eyes of its dominant mum and dad investors it’s ‘cheap’,’’ Mr Aitken said. ‘‘You simply can’t part them with the stock as long as the dividend is growing.’’

Billabong also joined the broader market rally, surging 14.1 per cent to 48.5 cents, after hedge fund Coastal Capital joined debt specialists circling the embattled surfwear company and said it is seeking a board spill.

Among the laggards, insurer and wealth manager, AMP lost 1 per cent to $4.69 after it announced plans to set up a funds management company in China, despite not yet receiving approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….


WWI dog tags come home

Source: Newcastle Herald
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An extensive search for the owner of a lost World War I dog tag has finally come to an end.

After an investigation stemming from northern France and travelling through the Hunter on its way to Sydney, the relic will soon be returned to Private Cyril Michael McCarthy’s relatives.

Private McCarthy could be considered one of the lucky ones who fought in the Great War.

After three years of service he managed to return home to marry his childhood sweetheart and lived until he was in his late 80s.

Although he has since died, his dog tag will at least return home to his grandson more than 95 years after it was lost.

French history buff Valentin Henon discovered the identity tag while metal-detecting around a paddock close to his Campagne-les-Boulonnais home in northern France.

He made contact with Lost Medals Australia founder Lieutenant Colonel Glyn Llanwarne OAM in an effort to find any living relatives earlier this year.

Lieutenant Colonel Llanwarne, who has ‘‘re-homed’’ more than 1300 medals, managed to track down the soldier’s grandson, Bernie McCarthy.

‘‘It came out of the blue,’’ Mr McCarthy said.

‘‘I suspected he was doing a bloody survey or selling something, I was very sceptical.

‘‘But now I’m very happy that the dog tag will be returned.’’

Private McCarthy was born in Newcastle in 1891, signing up for service on December 22, 1915, and serving in the 33rd Infantry Battalion.

He fought at the battles of Messines and Passchendaele in Belgium and was twice wounded in action before being sent home on September 15, 1918.

He married Frances Daniel in East Maitland in 1919 and brought up three sons – John, Leo and Daniel.

Lieutenant Colonel Llanwarne said he was proud to once again return a war relic to its rightful home.

‘‘This is purely a hobby, just an interest of mine,’’ he said.

‘‘I guess I’m devoted to the service and my grandfather and father had their own medals so I do what I can do to preserve other soldiers’ memories.’’

Mr McCarthy, who lives at Collaroy Point, said he had no idea his grandfather’s dog tag was missing, but has a number of his war medals safe at home.

‘‘[Cyril] never spoke about the war with me,’’ Mr McCarthy said.

‘‘He had a reputation as a hard-nosed, tough and bombastic sort of man but he was a decent bloke, known as a character and a larrikin.’’

How Private McCarthy happened to lose his dog tag will forever remain a mystery.

The dog tag.

Cyril McCarthy and his wife Frances on their wedding day in 1919.