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AN Australian family who met Michael Jackson more than 20 years ago and became lifelong friends was devastated by the pop star’s surprise death.

Joy Robson, mother of choreographer Wade Robson, said her family could not come to terms with the news the King of Pop was dead.          Michael_Jackson_1971_got_to_be_there

”We are all in shock right now,” Ms Robson, sobbing heavily, said.

”We’re devastated.”

A Los Angeles County Coroner’s office spokesman has confirmed Jackson had died.

Lieutenant Fred Corral told CNN Jackson, 50, was pronounced dead at 2:26pm (0726 AEST) local time after reportedly suffering a cardiac arrest.

The Robsons, formerly of Brisbane, befriended Jackson when Wade, at the age of five, won a dance competition in Australia where first prize was a meeting with the star.

When Jackson toured Australia in 1987 the pop star invited Wade to perform at his Brisbane concert.

Robsons, formerly of Brisbane, befriended Jackson when Wade, at the age of five, won a dance competition in Australia where first prize was a meeting with the star.When Jackson toured Australia in 1987

Two years later, with the help of Jackson, the Robsons moved to the US so Wade could pursue his dancing career.

Wade appeared in three of Jackson’s music videos, Black or White, Jam and Heal the World and today, at the age of 26, is one of the world’s most renowned choreographers, hosting his own MTV series The Wade Robson Project, working with Britney Spears and N’SYNC and winning two Emmy Awards.

Wade, Ms Robson and her daughter, Chantal, were called as witnesses at Jackson’s 2005 molestation trial in California.

Jackson was eventually acquitted.

The Robsons spent many nights at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. After Jackson’s acquittal in 2005, the Robsons were again in tears, but back then it was tears of happiness.

”I’ve never questioned Michael,” Ms Robson said in 2005.

”That’s the bottom line. I’ve never ever had a second of a concern.

”I don’t care what people say of me.

”You have to know Michael to understand.

”I’ve always said to Michael I wished the world could know the Michael we do.

”He’s not what the media makes him out to be.”

Jackson, aged 50, died in Los Angeles today, although a cause of death is yet to be officially announced.

Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at Jackson’s $US100,000 ($A124,378.11) a month rented mansion in the exclusive LA suburb of Holmby Hills, just after midday.

He was taken to the nearby UCLA Medical Centre but was pronounced dead.

RIP

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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ROVE McManus and Tasma Walton have tied the knot in a secret ceremony on a beach in Broome, Western Australia.  rove

They were married yesterday and celebrated the day with a small group of close family and friends.

It was Tasma who proposed to Rove, having first asked his mother for her blessing. There are no honeymoon plans and both Rove and Tasma will be returning to the east coast for work commitments.

Tasma said: “The day was everything we hoped for: simple, quiet and intimate, in a beautiful Broome landscape with a small group of family and close friends celebrating beside us.

Rove said: “Tasma and I are very happy and look forward to that continuing for a long time to come. It was wonderful to get to share that happiness with both our families and friends around us.”

Tasma wore a white, vintage 1970’s sundress. Rove wore no shoes.

The news comes as a shock given Walton, just two weeks ago, shut down the prospect of imminent marriage, saying: “Beyond this year, we’ll see what happens”.

News of their relationship hit the headlines in October 2007, a year after McManus lost his wife, Belinda Emmett, to cancer.

In a recent interview with the Herald Sun, McManus, renowned for guarding his privacy, confessed he was in a state of happiness that, two years ago, he’d have thought impossible.

“Yes, and not only that, it’s wonderful to have someone to share it with again,” he said.

Read full article in  http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25649256-5012974,00.html  :

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Migration Agents – Migrant numbers need to increase to support infrastructure projects

The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) has warned the government that work on infrastructure projects will be difficult to accomplish following the decision to put australian-immigration-construction-workers restrictions on the skilled migration program.

While the MIA welcomed the Australian immigration ministers decision to increase the number of humanitarian and family reunion Australian visas for the 2009/10 Migration Program, they were less than impressed with the decision to remove a number of trade-level occupations from the skilled occupation list.

“The MIA awaits with great interest to see how the Government proposes to administer the new job-readiness criteria for trade occupations. It’s hard to imagine a one-size-fits-all assessment system of employability,” said Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia.

The Government reduced the Australian skilled migration program at the turn of 2009, when the recession was starting to take effect. The planning level for the remainder of the 2008-09 financial year was reduced from 133,500 to 115,000 skilled migration visas and the Critical Skills List (CSL) and priority processing order were both introduced so that the Government could target the skills it needed most.

As of the 01 July 2009, the Australian skilled migration planning levels will be further reduced to 108,100 visas, and the CSL and priority processing order will remain as guidelines for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s visa processing officers. This means that sponsored visas and independent visas with skills nominated in the health, engineering and IT sectors will constitute a major part of Australian visa approvals during the start of the next financial year.

Fortunately, the Australian skilled migration program remains flexible to the needs of the Australian economy. While states/territories and employers have been given greater power to target the skills they need, the Immigration Minister Chris Evans also has the ability to extend the planning levels for the Australian skilled migration program and amend the CSL so that certain nominated trades can have priority for processing, if the economy needs a boost in skilled workers.

Senator Evans said in a recent statement that the Government is committing itself to “a long-term planning framework for migration as a key component of the current reform agenda” and that their extension of the family migration scheme is testament to its perception of the importance of family.

“We are recognising the importance of family through this boost which will benefit Australians who seek to have their parents, partners or children join them to live here permanently,” Senator Evans added.

The family stream of the Australian migration program has had 2,500 places added to the Spouse and Fiancée Visa program, 1,000 places to the Parent Visa program, and 300 to the Child Visa program.

Source www.gettingdownunder.com

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For the 1000’s hot footing it Down Under to live in Perth every year, it can be in the search of a better job, a better life or just the chance of a sun tan.

It can be a daunting decision to pack up your life, leave your family and make the move.  Not knowing what to expect when you get here can oftwestern-australia-kangaroo-beachen be the biggest nail bitter of all, and sometimes the reason used for not making the move at all.

Many people I know, including me I might add, move to Perth without even coming over for a nose around first.

Some, like me again, have never even set foot on Australian soil before coming.

While this to some might seem like a crazy thing to do, for those who have, the chance at a better life is validation enough for such an otherwise impulsive and risky decision.

So if you’re thinking of packing up your sunnies and heading south and your knowledge of Aussie life is limited only to your in-depth knowledge of the neighbours of Ramsey Street and Summer Bay, then here is the inside scoop on what life can really be like at the bottom of the world…

Just to state the blindingly obvious and save any possible cyber bashing, everything I write about is only based on my opinions, experiences and life here in Perth and yes, although the odd thing about this place really does make you scratch your head in disbelief, on the whole, I can’t think of a place that I would rather live. 

Source  :  www.rachelhenwood.com

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A GIRRAHWEEN man has  won $1 million from Wednesday’s Lotto draw – after he was mistakenly sold a ticket for the midweek draw.

The man, in his 40s, actually wanted a ticket in Monday’s Lotto draw, but was instead sold a ticket in Wednesday’s draw by a teller at Summerfield News & Lotto in Girrawheen.

When the sales assistant attempted to rectify the mistake by cancelling the ticket, the man insisted that the ticket not be cancelled.

“Please don’t cancel the ticket; it might be lucky,” he told the sales assistant.

His decision ended up winning him the entire Wednesday Lotto Division One amount on offer.

The man, who has been playing Lotto for five years, said that $1 million may not be much money for some people, but for his family it is.

“For us, its big money,” he said.

Whilst he was still coming to terms with the win, the man said his first priority would be to pay off his debts, and then he may consider building another house. His plans also included an overseas family holiday later in the year.

This was the third Division One Lotto win within the past week for WA and the 33rd Division One win for the state so far this year.

Tickets on sale for $30 million OZ Lotto jackpot draw

$30 million remains as the largest Division One amount ever won by a WA Lotto player and is up for grabs in Tuesday’s OZ Lotto draw.

Two Western Australians have won a $30 million Lotto prize in the past; the first, a couple from Leeming in 2001; the second, a university student in October 2007.

And, only last week the Western Australians have won a $30 million Lotto prize in the past; the first, a couple from Leeming in 2001; the second, a university student who for 10 months hadn’t bothered to check a ticket her father had given her as a gift. When she finally decided to check it, she became more than $13 million richer.

With OZ Lotto proving to be a ‘winning’ game for WA players, anyone who hasn’t already got a ticket in Tuesday’s $30 million OZ Lotto draw could put it on their weekend shopping list, or get a friend or work colleague to prompt them to buy their ticket before 6pm on Tuesday,” says Lotterywest spokesperson Jodi Eastman.

Lotterywest is unique in Australia in its role of returning its profits directly to the community through a grants program. Last financial year alone, over $205 million was raised for WA hospitals, sports, the arts and not-for-profit organisations

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WHILE the plunge in western suburbs property prices is common knowledge, at least one prominent millionaire is willing to test the waters.

 

Eileen Bond, ex-wife of businessman Alan Bond, wants to sell one of her plush Peppermint Grove homes.  eileen
The View St mansion, which is on the market for $6.35 million, has been used as a guesthouse for “Big Red’s” family and friends since she moved to Leake St to live behind her daughter, Jody, three years ago.

Real estate agent William Porteous said Ms Bond was downsizing and looking for something more practical.

Her daughter lives in another part of Peppermint Grove and so she bought a house directly behind her daughter’s which is just more practical for their day-to-day lives,” he said.

Jody Fewster lives with her husband, Damian, and their two sons, aged six and 10.

Ms Fewster said they had always been a close family.

We even lived in View St with her for a short time when we first came back from Sydney; it’s a fantastic house, she said.

Ms Fewster said her house was attached to her mother’s through an adjoining room and gymnasium.

We love having mum here, we have a ready-made babysitter, she said. Ms Fewster said the View St home held precious family memories.

I really miss the tennis court there, she said. At Christmas we’d all be out there playing cricket under the lights.

The classic Italianate residence has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and a marble ensuite to the master bedroom.

It also has a swimming pool and a two-storey foyer, and is on a 1500sqm block.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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cute-dogWEST Australian dog owners are getting busy grooming their four-legged friends as The Sunday Times and PerthNow search for the state’s best-looking canines.   towel-cute-dog-illusion

 

 

More than 200 entries have been emailed in so far for WA’s top dog categories.  

Two-year-old bernese mountain dog Borris, weighing in at 36kg, is in the running for honours as best-looking big dog. His owner has called him a “gentle giant”.

Mel Birch and her children Mikey, 13, Mason, 9 and Taylah, 7, of Helena Valley welcomed their second family shih tzu, Moshi, two years ago.

Moshi will be competing in the category of cutest small dog.

“His best qualities would be his super-long eyelashes and his ability to fly like Superman – his front legs just leap out when he jumps off ledges and it makes everyone laugh,” Ms Birch said.

“People think he’s a girl because of how long his eyelashes are, but he’s just a pretty boy.”

Long-haired miniature dachshund Piper is another heart-melter in the cutest small-dog category.

There are categories also for ugliest dog and the dog that looks most like its owner. ElwoodUglyDog

dogThe winner of each category will receive $100.

www.news.com.au

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Perth has a new millionaire after a woman won $1.8 million from the weekend’s Lotto Superdraw.  lottery

The winner recalls the words uttered by the staff member who sold her the winning Slikpik 50 ticket in the Superdraw: “Good luck dear, I hope you win.”

Looking forward to celebrating the good news with family this weekend, the woman said an overseas holiday with family and clearing debts were first on her to-do list.

A 14-member syndicate claimed WA’s second Superdraw Division One winning ticket this afternoon.

Strong sales in Saturday’s $20 million Superdraw translated into a huge win for community groups around the State with approximately $3.6 million raised from the draw to go back to WA hospitals, sports, the arts and not-for-profit organisations.

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NRL personality Matthew Johns has been stood down indefinitely from all his on-air commitments with the Nine Network following the group sex allegations that aired this week.

The announcement was made on the network a short time ago.matthew-johns-05

In a statement, Nine CEO David Gyngell said the mutual decision had been taken in the best interests of the Nine Network, Matthew Johns and his family, the game and its supporters.

“The fact is, whatever the arguments about the details of the New Zealand incident involving Cronulla players in 2002, the conduct and its aftermath was simply unacceptable, fullstop,” he said.

“I fully endorse David Gallop’s comments concerning the indefensible conduct of some players and the lack of respect for women — and the critical focus on all stakeholders to help eradicate it from our game.”

“I join with him in extending my apologies and sympathy to the young woman involved in the incident, who clearly is still distressed as a consequence.”

Mr Gyngell said Johns had agreed the decision was in everyone’s best interests.

 

“I have always had great regard for Matt, but he knows better than anyone that this incident has placed him in untenable position,” he said.

“To his credit he has recognised that and acted upon it.”

Johns’ future has been under a cloud since the ABC’s Four Corners program aired allegations about his involvement in a 2002 group sex incident in New Zealand while he was playing for Cronulla.

The former Test star arrived at Nine’s Sydney offices this morning, along with his manager John Fordham, for the meeting with Mr Gyngell.

www.news.ninemsn.com.au

 

 

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carpenter-full
THE federal Government has cut the skilled migration intake by a further 6900 people to help protect local jobs during the economic crisis.

But it will increase the number of people allowed to migrate to Australia for family reunions, the Government said yesterday as part of Budget 2009.

In March, the Government shed 18,500 skilled migration places in response to growing unemployment, which is forecast to hit 8.25 per cent in 2009-10.

The latest cut, the second to be made this year, brings the program down to 108,100 places in 2009-10.

Overall, the Government has slashed previous planning levels by close to 20 per cent.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the cuts would not be made to professions on the critical skills shortage list such as IT.

The migration intake in the coming year reflects the economic climate while ensuring employers can gain access to skilled professionals in industries still experiencing skills shortages,” Senator Evans said in a statement. The Government will provide more opportunities for family reunions by increasing the family component of the migration program by 3800 places to a total of 60,300 in 2009-10.

“This boost … will benefit Australians who seek to have their parents, partners or children join them to live here permanently,” Senator Evans said.

Overall, the migration program will total 168,700 for 2009-10.

www.news.com.au

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