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TWO Australian women on a bus tour of Hollywood stars’ houses have told of the chaotic scenes as they accidentally witnessed the King of Pop’s final exit.

Helen Battaglia of Alfred Cove and her friend, Sally Wilson of Melbourne, were on a Starlight bus tour when their driver decided to show them Michael Jackson’s mansion.

“We turned into where Michael Jackson’s been staying and as we came round the corner we saw a fire truck.”                                                                  The+Best+Of+Michael+Jackson

“The driver said ‘Oh there’s a fire truck here, there’s a bit happening’.”

Ms Wilson said the bus pulled up in front of the gates of the mansion while photographers milled around the entrance.

“All of a sudden the gates open and out came the ambulance while paparazzi were all running and banging and trying to take photos in the back of the ambulance,” she said.

Ms Battaglia said the scene became chaotic as Jackson’s staff fought to block the paparazzi from grabbing final pictures of the dying star.

Ms Wilson said passengers on the bus had no idea what they were witnessing.

“It was all happening. We weren’t sure who was in the car at that stage,” she said.

“They were just yelling out and then the ambulance took off and two black SUVs came out of the driveway and followed it.”

The women said photographers dashed to follow the ambulance.

“The paparazzi were running towards our bus saying ‘go go go’,” Ms Battaglia said.

“They got in a car and took off driving erratically, chasing the ambulance,” she said.

“I couldn’t believe what was going on. It was surreal.”

As their bus then left the scene, the driver paused to speak to a local woman who sells maps to the stars’ houses.

“She was crying on the phone and the bus driver stopped and said “Mary, what’s going on? Is it him?” Ms Wilson said.

“She was wailing and crying but she couldn’t talk, she just said “Yes, it’s him. It’s Michael.”

The two women were feeling flat after their brush with celebrity death.

“Today we’re a bit sad about the whole thing,” Ms Wilson said.

The event lent a bizarre and tragic twist to a celebrity-filled day for the two Australians, who were staying at the historic Hotel Roosevelt, once home to Marilyn Monroe and Clark Cable.

Earlier that morning, Ms Wilson ran into Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as they were leaving the hotel.

“That was about 10.30 in the morning. I was just walking down a corridor with no one else there and this door flicks open and there’s Brad and Angelina,” she said.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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Socceroos qualify for 2010 World Cup

AUSTRALIA have booked a ticket to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa with a scoreless draw against a determined Qatar at the Al Sadd Club in Doha.

Needing only a point to officially seal qualification, the Socceroos got the job done against a youthful Qatar side to ensure back-to-back World Cup appearances for the first time.

The home side proved tougher opposition than they had in three previous losses, but Australia could feel unlucky not to have won after Tim Cahill struck the post with a spectacular bicycle kick in the first half and Qatari keeper Qasem Burhan made several brilliant saves in the second.                                      world cup 2010
 
The win means the Socceroos cannot finish any lower than second in Asia’s Group A, with the top two teams earning qualification.

They joined Asian rivals Japan as the first two sides to qualify for next year’s tournament, after the Blue Samurai sealed their spot with a 1-0 win over Uzbekistan earlier on Saturday.

Hosts South Africa are exempt from qualifying.

Both sides made a tentative start in front of a small but vocal  Doha crowd, with the Socceroos content to keep possession in the hot and humid conditions.

Qatar’s star striker Sebastian Soria Quintana looked dangerous early on and had the first real chance of the half after getting in behind Chris Coyne, but he flashed his shot across the face of goal.

The Socceroos muscled their way back into the game before Cahill was denied one of the great goals by the woodwork in the 27th minute.

Josh Kennedy, who impressed up front, flicked on a Mark Bresciano free kick with his head, before Cahill found himself in space, controlled with his chest and drilled an overhead kick into the right upright.

Harry Kewell became increasingly menacing after switching to the right win, going close to scoring himself before creating another move which led to Vince Grella firing a volley just over the bar in the 33rd minute.

Qatar had two chances late in the half with Cahill blocking Quintana’s effort and Mark Schwarzer punching away an ambitions long shot from Ahmed Faris.

Australia stepped up their game early in the second half with a flash of chances within a 10-minute period.

The first came to an unlikely source in defender Chris Coyne, who had his shot cleared off the line after attempting to turn in a headed Cahill effort.

The impressive Everton midfielder was again another stunner when his powerful drive was brilliantly saved in the 57th minute by Burhan.

Burhan was called into action again to tip over a Kennedy shot from out wide and once more in the 63rd minute when Kewell collected a brilliant Grella ball, cut inside Ibrahim Majed and forced another great save by Burhan with his right foot.

Continued to threaten and fired across the face of goal in the 80th and although they didn’t get the goal they perhaps deserved, it meant little when the whistle blew to ensure another historic World Cup appearance.

The Socceroos now have matches against Bahrain and Japan at home to celebrate.

Source www.news.com.au

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