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Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

QANTAS will increase international airfares by up 5 per cent this week, offering further evidence that the recent run of exceptionally cheap air fares is ending.

In its first international fare increase since June last year, Qantas will raise first-class and business-class fares by 3 per cent on Friday. The increases will affect popular routes such as Britain, Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong but not the hotly contested routes to the US, reports The Australian.

Premium economy and economy tickets will rise by 5 per cent, reflecting the relative strength of the leisure markets as travellers responded to the cheaper airfares and a high Australian dollar. These increases apply to wider range of destinations that include North America.

“Qantas reviews pricing continuously on all routes, taking into account demand and capacity, competitor actions and business performance,” a Qantas spokeswoman said.

Qantas has already been successful in raising domestic airfares by 5-10 per cent and desperately needs to get international fares up to improve yields, which in October were 24 per cent down on the previous year.

Qantas will test the water to see whether the increases affect passenger loads and whether competitors match them.

But even if the new fares stick, increased competition and continuing market softness is unlikely to see ticket prices return to previous high levels any time soon.

Read the full report in The Australian.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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Adult criminals sentenced to outdoor community work will from today wear bright yellow vests emblazoned with “Repay WA” as part of a Government repay wacampaign to increase public confidence in community service as a punishment.
   
Corrective Services Minister Christian Porter claimed community work had not been used as a sentencing option as often as it could be because there was a perception among the public, and sometimes the courts, that it was becoming “a joke”.
   
“For the public to view community work as an appropriate sentencing tool, they need to see the work carried out as ordered by the courts,” Mr Porter said.
   
The State Government has adopted the tougher stance after statistics showed more than 40 per cent of offenders sentenced to community work in 2007-08 did not finish their programs.
  
WA’s completion rate of 56 per cent, 14 per cent below the national average, confirmed it as the worstperforming jurisdiction in Australia.   
   
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan had suggested the vests after seeing them used in Britain this year.
   
“These vests will go a long way towards providing reassurance to the community that justice is in fact being done with these sorts of offenders,” Mr O’Callaghan said. 
 
Mr Porter said a crackdown on breaches had resulted in 55 per cent of offenders complying with their orders by attending work sessions, up from 40 per cent in June last year.
   
The rules will be tightened further in the next year, with offenders hauled back to court if they miss work on any two occasions. The existing scheme allows for three consecutive breaches before action is taken.

Australian Lawyers Alliance WA president Tom Percy said in February he was appalled by the idea. He said it was designed to humiliate offenders.

But Corrective Services community and juvenile justice deputy commissioner Heather Harker said yesterday she did not think offenders would be taunted or abused. “Many people out working in the community wear high-visibility vests and in many respects this is no different,” she said.
   
The vests will be worn by adult offenders working outside — such as in maintenance, repairs and gardening.
   
Juveniles will not be forced to wear the vests, which have been printed by inmates at Casuarina Prison.
   
More than 5500 adults and 770 juveniles are completing community justice orders of between 10 and 240 hours with punishments such as cleaning, gardening, administration, recycling, kitchen duties or sorting donated clothes for charity.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Australia’s demand for IT support staff is currently soaring, promising potential applicants with faster immigration process. IT workers are at an advantage with Australia’s visa system, wherein applicants are categorized by points and are classified by age, language, skill, occupation and experience.                                                                          IT
 
According to the Australian Visa Bureau, over 23,000  UK citizens have migrated to Australia.
 
Australian Visa Bureau director Guy Bradley said, “As many IT professionals have critical skills needed throughout Australia, and/or are on specific state and territory sponsored lists, the government will fast-track them through the skilled migration process, and process their visas as a matter of priority.”
 
“Of course the lure of the glittering beaches, open spaces, and high quality of life down under will never be overlooked, but Australia is increasingly attractive to emigrants because it looks to be pulling out of the global recession sooner than Britain,” Bradley added.
 
IT positions needed require expertise in data warehousing, C++, C and C#, risk management, e-commerce security, SAP, Siebel, .Net, Cobol, Unix, Java, SQL Server, networking LAN/WAN and IT project management.
 

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Days after a public rant aimed at Tracy Grimshaw, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has fired a second volley branding the TV presenter “sad”ramsay and “bitter” for defending herself.

Ramsay denied calling the Nine Network veteran a lesbian at a weekend appearance at Melbourne’s Good Food and Wine Show during which he also allegedly compared her to a pig, using an offensive photo as a prop.

Ramsay on Tuesday said he was “deeply mortified” that his intended joke had been blown out of proportion – and that was before Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the chef’s comments reflected a “new form of low life”.

Mr Rudd’s deputy Julia Gillard and Health Minister Nicola Roxon joined the fray, saying Ramsay should confine himself to the kitchen and stop abusing women.

But there was no remorse from the TV chef after Grimshaw used her A Current Affair program on Monday to take him to task over his food show rant.

Ramsay on Tuesday said he’d never used the word “lesbian” to describe Grimshaw, and said she herself was guilty of a “disgusting” attack on his wife Tana, who’s due in Australia in two weeks.

“She’s obviously doing it for the ratings,” he said of Grimshaw, speaking to reporters after a run along Melbourne’s Yarra River.

On Monday, Grimshaw branded Ramsay a bully and an “arrogant narcissist”. She said he’d made “uninformed insinuations” at the food show about her sexuality, and she told her viewers she was not gay.

Grimshaw said that before a recent interview for her program, Ramsay had insisted she refrain from asking about his private life following allegations of a long-running extra-marital affair.

“We all know why,” she said.

She added: “… I’m not surprised by any of this. We’ve all seen how Gordon Ramsay treats his wife – and he supposedly loves her. We’re all just fodder to him.”

Asked if he could understand how Grimshaw felt, Ramsay told reporters: “I never once said the word lesbian, I was having a tongue-in-cheek joke – it was not at her expense.

“For me on a personal front, to see how sad and how bitter for someone to come out like that, for a renowned pro to come out and stoop that low, is disgusting.”

He said tapes of the alleged incident were being scrutinised by his lawyers.

Mr Rudd was firmly in Grimshaw’s corner on Tuesday, congratulating her for giving Ramsay a “left uppercut” in her reply.

“I think I can describe his remarks as reflecting a new form of low life,” he told the Fairfax Radio Network.

“I just drew breath when I saw the sort of stuff which was said about her. I just think that’s off and offensive.”

Earlier, Ms Gillard said the celebrity chef should stay in the kitchen.

“I think perhaps what he should do is confine himself to the kitchen and make nice things for people to eat rather than make public comments about others,” she said.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon said there was no need for “women to be abused in our community at any level”.

Grimshaw said she had been overwhelmed by the avalanche of support she’d received.

The fallout from Ramsay’s rant has gone global, spreading to his homeland Britain and to the US and New Zealand.

Britain’s The Mirror sent up Ramsay in a report headlined: “Good thing Gordon Ramsay is such a sex god.”

“Gordon is such a handsome devil, a veritable sex god come to Earth to live among men, you can understand why he might feel that mere mortals are unworthy of his presence,” the report said.

The Mail Online carried a report about the outburst and the angry reaction it had generated among audience members and women’s groups.

US celebrity watcher Perez Hilton said Ramsay had gone too far with his “sexist, homophobic remarks”.

Source www.ninemsn.com.au

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A SET of ancient Aboriginal remains found during a clearout of a house in northern England are soon to be returned to Australia.
Workers stumbled across the two femurs, three skulls and an assortment of other bones while sorting through the Cheshire home of university professor John Kempster, a former Aboriginal Rights Association president, after he moved to New Zealand in 2008.

He had instructed auction house Andrew, Hilditch and Son to clear out his home and sell anything they thought valuable.

“After the removalists finished the clear-out they found a small wooden crate and jokingly said to me they were the dog’s bones in there,” auctioneer Tom Andrew said.

“I said ‘Let’s open it and see what’s inside’ and we found three skulls and one or two other pieces.

“I also found in another briefcase two femurs wrapped in newspaper.”

Not realising that Britain had an agreement with Australia to return indigenous remains, the bones and a selection of weapons given to Prof Kempster while he lived in South Australia in the early 1960s were put up for auction in November 2008.

But after about 20 minutes of frantic bidding, the remains were dramatically pulled from sale after the Australian High Commission telephoned to stop the auction.

A scientist was sent to examine the bones, which were confirmed as being of Australian indigenous origin.

They will be handed over on Thursday to two Ngarrindjeri elders who flew from South Australia to London to collect 16 individual remains held by three museums and the auction house.

Mr Andrew said he was happy to know the remains would soon be on their way to the National Museum of Australia, which will try to determine which indigenous community they came from.

“I’ll certainly be on the look out for more,” he said. “I think there are more around than we think.”

The Liverpool museum has two more sets of remains it plans to return to Australia at a later date.

Further south, the Brighton & Hove City Council has agreed to return two skulls and two femurs for further study in Australia.

However, it is still debating whether to give back a skull modified to be used as a water vessel and which has been stored at the museum since 1925.

www.news.com.au

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