Socceroos World Cup squad: new faces

In: Mark Milligan made the cut. Photo: Anthony JohnsonSocceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has named two uncapped players in his extended 30-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by including 21-year-old defender Bailey Wright and German-based winger Ben Halloran in the preliminary team that will travel to Brazil.

The duo are among a rejuvenated Australia squad that has an unprecedented blend of youth, experience and domestic based players with 11 currently playing in the A-League.

“The majority of them have strong seasons this year and I guess for a lot of them, hopefully, they have similar fire in their belly to myself in wanting to prove themselves,” Postecoglou told a news conference in Sydney.

“I had some specific criteria – form, fitness and an eye for the future – and I think this squad reflects that.”

Wright, who plays centre back for English League One club Preston North End has been included at the expense of injured defender Trent Sainsbury who was ruled out due to ongoing problems with his knee.

Fortuna Dusseldorf winger Ben Halloran has had a strong finish to the Bundesliga II season with a goal for every third game he features in.

Potential Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak has been declared fit to play in Brazil despite suffering a groin injury on the final day of the English Premier League while playing for Crystal Palace.

Josh Kennedy, the scorer of the vital goal that sealed Australia’s passage to Brazil has been selected for the first time under Ange Postecoglou and will have to prove himself during the 10 day camp in Gosford beginning Thursday, May 15.

Australia will play South Africa in a friendly in Sydney on May 26 before departing for Brazil two days later. The final 23-man squad will be announced on June 2.

Preliminary World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Eugene Galekovic and Mark Birighitti.

Defenders: Josh Brillante, Jason Davidson, Ivan Franjic, Curtis Good, Ryan McGowan, Matthew Spiranovic, Alex Wilkinson, Luke WIlkshire, Bailey Wright.

Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic, Mark Bresciano, Ben Halloran, James Holland, Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Adam Sarota, James Troisi, Dario Vidosic

Forwards: Tim Cahill, Josh Kennedy, Matthew Leckie, Adam Taggart.

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Batfleck begins: First glimpse of Ben Affleck as Batman

Director Zack Snyder posted a sneak peek of Ben Affleck as Batman. If you look closely you can just make out Ben Affleck’s chiselled jawline in the first glimpse of the Hollywood A-list actor-director as he steps into the bat suit.

‘‘Batfleck’’ appears in a photo posted by director Zack Snyder on Twitter in an early image from the Batman-Superman film which will be released in May 2016.

Costume designer Michael Wilkinson, who is Australian and worked on Man of Steel and American Hustle (the latter for which he was nominated for an Oscar), also posted a close-up of the suit in the image. The sinewy outline of the costume is evident, but thankfully there’s no return to the ‘‘bat nipples’’ which marred George Clooney’s time as Batman.

While fans may dispute whether Affleck is the right person to take on the brooding superhero, the evidence here from this sneak peak is that he will feature in a dark, moody production as he becomes the fifth actor to play Batman since its big-screen revival in 1989.

The photo is the first image to emerge from the Batman-Superman film which will be released in May 2016. The as-yet untitled film co-stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jeremy Irons as Batman’s faithful butler Alfred.

Fans reacted with outrage last August when the 41-year-old star of Good Will Hunting and Argo was cast as Batman, claiming he would not be able to carry off the deep, tormented, nature of the character. However, this early glimpse shows Snyder is ramping up the gloom for this particular Batman outing. At the very least, it will give chance for fans to debate the new-look costume and batmobile.

Previous incarnations of Batman, since it was revived in 1989 with a Tim Burton-Joel Schumacher production, have been played by Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale.

I shot this with my @Leica_Camera M Monochrom. #Batman#Batmobile#Gothamhttp://t.co/WPHKLxgBLMpic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/p5DEf6fLzJ — ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) May 13, 2014  This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美睫培训学校.


Missing flight MH370: No one knows what happened to plane, says Malaysian PM Najib Razak

Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak says nobody knows what happened on board MH370 or precisely where the plane is more than two months after it disappeared.

Revealing that a Malaysian police investigation has not uncovered the cause of the plane diverting thousands of kilometres from its flight path, Mr Najib admitted that his country “didn’t get everything right” in the first few days after the disappearance but said there are important lessons for the global aviation industry.

Police in Kuala Lumpur have not released any significant findings from their criminal investigation.

“The disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight on March 8 has been one of the most extraordinary events ever to befall Malaysia – and one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries,” Mr Najib said.

Mr Najib said one of the most astonishing things about the tragedy is the revelation that an airliner the size of a Boeing 777 could vanish, almost without trace.

“In an age of smartphones and mobile internet, real-time tracking of commercial airplanes is long overdue,” he said.

Mr Najib, writing in the Wall Street Journal, urged the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which has been meeting in Montreal, to act on a Malaysian recommendation to implement real-time tracking of aircraft.

He said the communication systems on aircraft such as transponders and the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting Systems (ACARS) should be changed so they cannot be disabled mid-air.

Mr Najib said the systems on board the missing plane “were disabled. MH370 went dark.”

He said that policy makers need to reconsider the capabilities of airliners’ black box recording devices.

“At the moment, the location pingers – which are activated if a plane crashes – last for only 30 days. This should be increased to at least 90 days, as the European Union has proposed,” he said.

Mr Najib said it was “wholly inadequate” that today’s black boxes only record the last two hours of cockpit conversations, meaning the important minutes and hours after the plane vanished will not be available.

“Given that a standard i-phone can record 24 hours of audio, surely the black box should have sufficient memory to record cockpit conversations for the full duration of any flight,” he said.

Mr Najib also said that airliners’ emergency locator transmitters – which emit a distress signal when the plane is in trouble – could be improved.

“Currently they don’t work very well under water and their mandated battery life is just 24 hours.”

Mr Najib said the aviation industry failed to implement changes after Air France flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 and the changes need to be made to help reassure the travelling public and reduce the chances of such a drawn-out disaster reoccurring.

He said experts have identified that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean, discounting dozens of other theories and reported sightings.

“Yet, despite the efforts of the world’s brightest minds and best militaries, the search area remains huge,” he said.

“Finding the plane will be neither quick nor easy.”

Mr Najib said without physical evidence or a clear explanation for what happened, people’s attentions turned to the authorities – and Malaysia has borne the brunt of the criticism.

But he said in the passage of time he believes Malaysia will be credited for doing its best under near-impossible circumstances that involved overcoming diplomatic and military sensitivities to bring together 26 countries to conduct one of the world’s largest peacetime operations.

“But we didn’t get everything right. In the first few days after the plane disappeared we were so focused on trying to find the plane we did not prioritize our communications,” he said.

“Also, it took air-traffic controllers four hours to launch the search-and-rescue operation.”

But Mr Najib said the plane vanished at a moment between the air-traffic controls of Malaysia and Vietnam, causing maximum confusion.

“Nevertheless, the response time should and will be investigated,” he said.

Mr Najib said none of this could have altered MH370’s fate.

“Instead of heading to Beijing, the plane made a sharp turn across Peninsula Malaysia, traveled north up the Straits of Malacca, made a u-turn over the coast of Sumatra and ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” he said.

“Little wonder the words commonly used to describe MH370 include ‘bizarre’ and ‘unprecedented’.”

Mr Najib said the lack of definite proof – such as wreckage from the plane – has made the disappearance more difficult to bear for the families of those on board.

“I pledge that Malaysia will keep searching for the plane as long as it takes,” he said.

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ANZ customers left in the lurch as goMoney app goes down

ANZ customers were unable to access their funds using the bank’s smartphone apps because of “technical issues” on Wednesday morning.

On the iOS and Android ANZ goMoney apps, which have more than 1 million users, some customers received a message saying “service has been interrupted” when they attempted to submit their PIN. Others were told that, on their first login attempt, it was the “Incorrect passcode. Last try.”

The bank confirmed the outage via social media, where irate customers were venting their frustrations.

“Morning, we’re aware that some customers are currently experiencing issues with our goMoney app,” the bank wrote on its Facebook page. “Our tech team is looking into this and we’ll update as soon as we know more … Very sorry for any inconvenience.”

It gave no indication of when the app would be available again.

ANZ said earlier this month that its goMoney app has 1.1 million active users, and has handled $78 billion in transactions since it launched in August 2010.

The bank’s social media team was diligently responding to individual Facebook posts and tweets, and said customers could still access their funds via internet and mobile banking.

However, when one Facebook user had difficulties logging on via internet banking, ANZ suggested they use a browser other than Google Chrome.

The website Aussie Outages, which tracks social media reports, detected hundreds of reports this morning from about 5am.

It follows a recent outage at the Commonwealth Bank, when a system outage – including EFTPOS, telephone and internet banking, and apps such as Kaching – meant customers across the country could not access their funds.

Update 5pm: The bank has advised the apps are working again.

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Distressed sales at low level

There is further evidence that the commercial property sector is on an upwards trajectory as the number of distressed properties advertised for sale across national newspapers are at the lowest level for many years.

The LandMark White Forced Sales Monitor says only 43 distressed properties were advertised in the March quarter this year, the lowest number of the series so far. The corresponding quarter last year had 62 distressed sale advertisements.

The series has covered ads run in metropolitan newspapers since its inception in 2011.

The fall in the amount of receivers appointed to sell land, offices and shops, is due to the relaxing of strict guidelines from banks and financiers, higher demand for the space from residential developers and a rise in the use of empty shops by internet groups, looking to expand out of the garage or spare room in to bricks and mortar.

Already, companies are scouring suburbs to open shops with lockers as a collection point for goods bought over the internet.

Australia Post is looking to convert older post offices that in the past few surveys were listed by receivers as forced sales.

Since the beginning of last year, the total number of properties advertised in the national press has fallen. However, this has been outpaced by the fall in the number of distressed listings which has resulted in the distressed ratio steadily falling from 22 per cent to 14 per cent in the past 12 months.

The majority of the listings remain outside major metropolitan areas and are primarily zoned industrial. But that is changing as this land is now being snapped up by housing developers.

The survey says that in Victoria, the distressed ratio fell slightly from 12 per cent in the December quarter 2013 to 11 per cent in the March quarter 2014. In the year-to-date, Victoria averaged an annual distressed ratio of 10 per cent compared to the previous year’s average of 17 per cent.

In NSW, the distressed ratio rose from 10 per cent in last year’s December quarter to 13 per cent in the March quarter this year. Overall, the year-to-date distressed ratio was 14 per cent compared to the previous year’s average of 20 per cent

Robert Wilson, the managing director of LMW, said nationally, the total number of commercial properties/development sites being advertised in the national press continued to fall, the year to date total down 21 per cent compared to the previous year.

Distressed sales are more likely to be advertised in the national press than general listings as receivers and mortgagees seek to maximise exposure to relevant markets. However, receiver sales have fallen as only 19 per cent of listings were distressed assets in the year to date compared to 28 per cent in the previous year.

Research manager at LMW Max Gran said although one in five commercial properties advertised in the national press was receiver sales, trends show that this number was falling.

”Our view is that their effect on the market is diminishing and will continue to do so in the absence of any economic shocks or a major increase in the cost of borrowing,” Mr Gran said.

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