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In his first interview since he miraculously survived almost two weeks lost amid freezing temperatures in Sydney’s Blue Mountains, the 19-year-old from north London, who was found by bushwalkers last Wednesday, also denied his story was a hoax.

“I was thinking I might die on that mountain,” he told the 60 Minutes current affairs television program in Australia in an interview for which he was paid an estimated $200,000 (£100,000).

“I had actually written some goodbye notes and things to my family saying, my last walk, saying sorry, explaining how I’d got lost and different things like that.

“I’m not a particularly religious person but I started thinking about God and I was praying and saying, ‘Surely you can move a helicopter an inch and find me,’ and ‘Why won’t you just help me?’”

Mr Neale returned to the location of his near-fatal bushwalk with the television crew after being released from hospital in Katoomba on Friday.

He posed for photos at the Narrow Neck Plateau near Katoomba where he had been discovered last Wednesday by bushwalkers, and was then flown over the Blue Mountains by helicopter.

He said he had lost the notepad with his goodbye letters, and his digital camera, while trying to get out of the dense bushland.

His incredible tale of survival – where he endured 12 nights in freezing temperatures, eating kangaroo berries and geebung weed, and drinking from local streams – has attracted many sceptics questioning the veracity of his story.

However Mr Neale remains adamant that he became lost after getting disorientated by the sun, and dismissed talk his disappearance was a hoax or a stunt to make money.

“I know what happened, and I know the people who were out searching for me,” he said in the interview, which was set to air in Australia on Sunday night and will be broadcast in the UK on Sky.

“They know that it happened and that’s good enough for me. People can say what they want because I’m not lying. It’s the truth.”

Mr Neale and his father Richard Cass hosted drinks in Katoomba on Friday night for some of the scores of volunteers who searched the rugged bushland looking for the lost backpacker.

Mr Cass, who had flown to Australia from the family home in London to help search for his son, returned to England on Saturday.

Mr Neale will now travel by train to Perth to stay with relatives as he cannot fly for eight weeks due to air bubbles on his lungs.

Source  :  www.timesonline.co.uk

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Jamie Neale was found alive this morning at about 11.30am by two bush walkers.

After missing for twelve days he is now in hospital where police say he is suffering with exposure and dehydration.

His mother Jean Neale said they never gave up hope looking for their 19 year old son Jamie and she knew he would be coming home one day.

Jean has had a brief conversation with her son and said he sounds tearful and exhausted.

Jamies father was about to return to England when he finally got the good news.

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A young Perth cricketer bashed with a brick outside a nightclub in Leeds in England might not be able to fly home for several months because severe head injuries that have left him unable to talk.
  
Chris Thomson, 26, suffered a fractured skull when he was attacked early on Monday.                                                                                                                           WAwa
  
A man hit him in the face with a brick and he fell backwards and struck his head heavily on the footpath. His attacker left in taxi.
  
Thomson, who made his A-grade debut for WACA club Mt Lawley at the end of the summer, was playing for Clayton West in West Yorkshire.
  
Thomson’s mother Jeannette went to England on Wednesday and was greeted with the news that her son was out of intensive care.

Source www.thewest.com.au

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SYDNEY (AFP) — Prime Minister Kevin Rudd officially launched Australia’s bid to host the football World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Rudd told an official ceremony at Parliament House in the national capital Canberra that Football Federation Australia (FFA) had the full backing of the government to bid for the showpiece event.

“The sheer odds are tough against Australia, eight other countries, but the reason the government had got behind the bid is that we as a nation can rise behind this great bid,” Rudd said.aus_worldcup

The premier said the chance to host a World Cup was a great opportunity for the nation.                               

“The challenges are great, but the prize is much greater,” he said.

“I salute those who have had the courage and the initiative and creativity to bring forth this idea.”

English Premier League stars, national skipper Lucas Neill and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, also spoke at the launch, urging Australians to throw their support behind the World Cup bid.

FFA chairman Frank Lowy said it would be an “unparalleled opportunity” for Australia to earn official acceptance as a World Cup host.

“On the world stage, there is no event with the same level of global appeal or audience reach as the FIFA World Cup,” the property billionaire said in a statement.

Lowy said Australia?s “secret weapon” for winning the World Cup bid was the Australian people, and Australia’s desirability as a travel destination.

“People from all over the world want to visit our country and thanks to the performance of the Socceroos at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, as well as the many thousands of Australian fans who followed them, the rest of the world has a very positive view of us.”

Lowy also pointed to Australia’s record of hosting successful major sports events such as the 1956 and 2000 Olympic Games.

Australia are among nine bidders, along with Belgium-Netherlands, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Portugal-Spain, Russia and the United States, for the 2018 World Cup.

The same nine bidders are also in the running for the 2022 World Cup, along with Qatar and South Korea.

World football governing body FIFA will announce both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts in December 2010.

Australia have already qualified to play in next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Source  :  www.google.com

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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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Entertainment

Entertainment

The sun shone. The beer flowed. The Four’n Twenty meat pies were a hit. The Aussies thrashed the Poms. The Americans were largely clueless about what they were watching.

That sums up the second annual Westfield Hollywood Ashes cricket match held on the picturesque Woodley Park cricket field in Los Angeles on Saturday, with retired Australian paceman victory.

leading a team of Australian celebrities and ring-ins to a 29 run victory.

England were the favourites for the Twenty 20 contest.

At last year’s inaugural Hollywood Ashes, England scored a one run upset victory over an Australian team led by one of the all-time greats, Steve Waugh.

With lanky 65 test veteran Graham Hick at the helm this year, the English team also included actor Julian Sands, a star of the action TV series 24, and 65-year-old UK and US Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman.

England also had plenty of celebrities in the VIP tent, including Monty Python funnyman Eric Idle and comedienne Tracey Ullman, the game’s official “coin tosser”.

“It is one of the greatest wins of my entire cricket career,” Kasprowicz, a 38 test and 43 one day international veteran for Australia, said with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

“Nineteen years of first class cricket, so yeah, as you can see it is a big moment.

“I’m glowing.”

Australia batted first and set the healthy target of 153, with Kasprowicz the top scorer with 29 not out off 17 balls, and former Perfect Match host Cameron Daddo drawing on his high school cricket days to add a quick fire 23 off 17 balls.

England managed just 135, with Hick scoring 20 not out.

Jessie Spencer , a star on the TV series House, and celebrity chef Curtis Stone, were late scratchings from the Australian team but former Calvin Klein underwear model model Travis Fimmel was a favourite among the female fans in the 800 or so strong crowd.

Fimmel, however, was limp with the bat, scoring a duck.

Kasprowicz gave a one word answer when asked after the victory if any members of his team may be good enough to sneak a spot in Australia’s test or one day team.

“No,” Kasprowicz replied.

Daddo was not so sure.

“I disagree with that,” LA-based Daddo, 44, who has appeared in numerous US TV series including 24, Without a Trace and Boston Legal, said.

“I think Travis has a good shot and I think I can carry the drinks for the test team.”

The biggest laugh came when an American spectator watching her first cricket game asked why it was called “The Ashes”.

“Who died?” she asked.

http://www.thewest.com.au

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