For a book that is hard to forget once you’ve read it, the feminist cult classic I Love Dick begins in a very straightforward way. Chris Kraus, a filmmaker in her late-30s, and her husband, Sylvere Lotringer, a university academic in his mid-50s, are having dinner at a sushi restaurant with an acquaintance of his named Dick.
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But the seemingly mundane soon gives way. During the boozy night that follows, Kraus develops an unrequited love obsession for him.

Because Kraus and her husband are no longer having sex, “the two maintain their intimacy through deconstruction: ie, they tell each other everything”. And so the following morning over breakfast at a restaurant she tells Lotringer her fantasies and together they embark on a project of writing love letters to Dick.

When Chris Kraus (the filmmaker and author, not the fictional character) published I love Dick in 1997 it attracted a band of devotees, mainly young women drawn to its genre-bending exploration of female desire, creativity and relationships, and those interested in literary and cultural theory.

But the bookhas reached a new generation of young women – with some high-profile readers including writer, director and actor Lena Dunham and musician Lorde – since it was republished in 2006. More than 50,000 copies reportedly sold around the world in 2016.

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While Kraus avoids the term memoir, the book is based on events in her life. She was married to critic and theorist Sylvere Lotringer, who founded the famous publishing house Semiotext(e), known for publishing influential French theorists including Jean Baudrillard, Felix Guattari??? and Paul Virilio???.

She did fall in love with Lotringer’s friend Dick and they did start writing letters to him. The project brought them closer, but also divided them.

Kraus says she was in a “kind of wonderful delirium” while obsessed with Dick, and when the letters started to turn into essays she realised she had the beginning of a book. The spell, Kraus says, was “not so much cast by the person named Dick as cast by those circumstances and that desperation of feeling, like you have only just a limited amount of ‘last chance’ to figure some things out”.

The eponymous Dick, who was revealed in the New York Magazine to be the theorist Dick Hebdige??? (although he is not named directly and details about his life are altered in the novel), was far less enthused about the project.

Kraus says when she contacted Hebdige to let him know she planned to write a book she received a cease and desist letter from his lawyer. She responded inviting him to write an introduction, saying it would look like a “joke” between the trio. He refused and Kraus has not spoken to him since.

She has now written four novels, with Aliens and Anorexia and Torpor continuing to dwell on what Kraus now describes as a ” 96NormalfalsefalseEN-GBX-NONEX-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:””;mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0cm;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

After Kathy Acker, Kraus’ latest book, was released this year, and is a literary biography of Kathy Acker, the writer and filmmaker who came to be associated with the New York punk scene and who died of untreated cancer aged 50 in 1997.

When Kraus was “living as a gutter rat” in New York after giving up on a career in journalism in New Zealand, she encountered Acker’s art, poetry and film. 96NormalfalsefalseEN-GBX-NONEX-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:””;mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0cm;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}96NormalfalsefalseEN-GBX-NONEX-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:””;mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0cm;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

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It is just before midnight and an 18-year-old girl is sitting in the gutter after her high school formal after-party.
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The end-of-year celebration at a house in Auburn in Sydney’s west has been shut down. The teen, from a Catholic school on the north shore, is eager for a lift home after several hours’ drinking.

A car, with a man in his 30s behind the wheel, pulls up beside her and sparks up conversation.

The teen will later tell police the next thing she recalls is being in the passenger seat of his car and feeling the overwhelming effects of alcohol as they weaved through the streets of western Sydney.

It was the beginning of a nightmare 24 hours for the school student, who was allegedly kept captive, sexually assaulted repeatedly by three men and forced to smoke drugs.

The scale of the allegations can be revealed after a statement of facts was tendered in Penrith Local Court, where the accused, Ali Imrak, 37, and Ruhi Dagdanasar, 45, made a failed attempt for bail last week.

Another man involved in the alleged sex attack hasn’t been identified.

Four separate videos showing the alleged sexual assaults at a house in Glenwood were played during the bail hearing with the crown alleging the victim was so intoxicated she was incapable of giving consent.

According to the fact sheet, after getting into the man’s car outside the after party, the victim was driven to a two-storey house where Imrak and Dagdanasar were.

Feeling uneasy, the teen sent her friend a text stating “can you come and get me. I am scared. I am at these weird druggo guys house”.

She was allegedly pressured into drinking alcohol before Dagdanasar put a pipe up to her mouth and told her to smoke the white substance inside.

Over the next few hours she was allegedly sexually assaulted by three men despite being dizzy and unable to stand.

At one point, Dagdanasar allegedly commented that the victim was drooling and unable to lift her head while one of the other men was allegedly having sex with her.

She passed out and woke up to someone forcing her to have oral sex. The teen was allegedly led up to a bathroom and undressed while the unidentified man stood watching her, stating “you’re so f—ing gorgeous”.

The teen was allegedly made to have sex but “continued to fall over due to her level of intoxication”, according to the facts.

“(The teen) yelled out in pain saying no,” the court documents state.

“At this point the unknown accused moved away grabbed his clothes and said ‘you’re really fucking annoying me, you’re so frustrating’.”

When the teen moved down stairs she was assaulted again, with the men allegedly taking turns to have sex with her with Imrak remarking “you love it”.

After a few hours, it was just the teen and Dagdanasar left at the house as the alleged victim started to feel the effects of alcohol wearing off.

It was 5pm on November 10 – hours after she was found sitting in the gutter – when the teen texted her sister: “I got raped, I am still here I need to leave”.

Trying to remain calm, the girl convinced Dagdanasar to let her leave, according to the facts.

Walking her to the door, Dagdanasar let the teen outside, telling her: “You’re always welcome back here babe.”

In the rain in the middle of the night, the teen walked through the streets following directions from her sister on the phone until police met up with her.

The victim was left with bruising to her legs and knees and a tear to her tongue from the force of the assaults.

She told police she felt she had no choice but to be at the house and was forced to take drugs so she was in a limp state.

The court was closed while Dagdanasar and Imrak, charged with sex assault and deprivation of liberty, made bail applications last week but both were refused.

Outside court lawyer Elias Tabchouri said he had been instructed to defend the charges.

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Foreign minister Julie Bishop speaking at the opening of the Kimberley Process in Perth on Monday May 1, 2017.?? Photo: Supplied continues to assist in international prosecutions where the death penalty is an option, while underpinning its bid for a seat on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council with a call to abolish capital punishment worldwide.
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Newly released figures, obtained through freedom of information laws, show the n Federal Police have assisted in nearly 130 foreign investigations involving more than 400 people since 2015, where a successful prosecution could potentially lead to a death sentence.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop lobbied for ‘s election to the Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term in New York this week, and has stated the worldwide abolition of the death penalty is one of ‘s goals.

But the AFP continues to assist foreign investigations where the death penalty could be handed down, refusing to co-operate in only nine of 129 cases it has been asked for information.

AFP approval rates for international assistance, mostly involving drug crime, have been steady since 2010. In 2015, 92 per cent of requests were, rising to 96 per cent in 2016. No other information, such as the countries requesting the information, or the cases involved, was given.

has used its opposition to the death penalty – and a call for a global abolition of the punitive measure used in nearly 60 countries – as a key argument for its inclusion on the UN Human Rights Council.

But this year, the government quietly rejected recommendations from a parliamentary committee which would have banned the AFP from sharing drug crime information with other countries unless provided with assurances the death penalty would not be applied, prompting fears of a repeat of the Bali nine heroin plot which saw ns Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed after tip-offs to Indonesian authorities.

The committee recommended ministerial approval be required for “high-risk” cases and the AFP refuse co-operation on drug trafficking cases unless assurances that the death penalty would not be sought, both of which were rejected by the government.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s department said the government “has and will continue to seek suitable assurances in appropriate cases where it is clear that the death penalty is likely to be imposed”.

But Emily Howie of the Human Rights Law Centre said was sending mixed messages.

“Global abolition of the death penalty is meant to be a core objective of ‘s Human Rights Council bid,” she said.

“But whilst the Foreign Minister spouts the right language to delegates in New York, the reality is that every week the AFP continues to share information that puts peoples’ lives at risk. If really opposes the death penalty, it must do so not just through the speeches of our ministers but through the actions of all n departments and agencies.

“The fact remains that if the Bali nine case were to happen again tomorrow, there is nothing to stop the AFP from doing exactly the same thing.

“Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran learned from their mistakes, we owe it to them to learn from ours.”

Researcher Sarah Gill, who has studied ‘s response to the death penalty, said neither legislation, or the guidelines the AFP follow when asked for co-operation “present much of an obstacle to information sharing”.

“The question we need to ask is: are we serious about human rights or aren’t we? Capital punishment is a core human rights issue, and we ought to have a consistent approach, including in relation to law enforcement co-operation, if we think this really matters,” she said.

Under the guidelines, a senior AFP official can sign off on requests from overseas before detention, arrest, charge or conviction. After an individual has been arrested, detained, charged or convicted, requests for information must have ministerial approval.

Police-to-police assistance can include everything from providing personal information like dates or birth or criminal records to wider co-operation in investigations. Some of the data includes foreign citizens.

Philip Ruddock, who served as attorney-general in the Howard government and is now ‘s special human rights envoy, led calls for a ban on sharing information in prosecutions where the death penalty could be handed down as a sentence following the executions of Chan and Sukumaran in 2015.

The Coalition said those recommendations were impractical because foreign law enforcement partners could not provide such assurances and it would be “inappropriate” to undertakings from prosecutors.

It is believed there are 12 ns sitting on death rows across the world, mostly for drug crimes.

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Bayleigh McIntosh from Sydney’s east knows the risk if her child car restraint isn’t buckled snug and tight: “If you are in crash you will fall out a window,” the five-year-old said.
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Properly secured and in the right child car seat for her age, a child like Bayleigh is the safest occupant in the car, said pediatric surgeon Susan Adams, director of surgery with The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

Yet Dr Adams has treated children who were severely injured in “horrific preventable crashes” with broken necks, backs and internal injuries because of errors in how they were restrained.

Experts say the number of potentially fatal mistakes in how child restraints are fitted or installed hasn’t improved, becoming an “intractable problem” threatening the lives of children.

A 2010 study of 503 children from newborn to the age of 12 found half of all restraints had errors in how they were used. Some had up to seven errors each, ranging from failing to buckle the child in to slackness in the belts and sashes. Most often parents weren’t aware they had made a mistake.

Now, a new study has found the error rate is even worse, with nearly all parents struggling to understand manufacturers instructions and manuals.

Researchers from Neuroscience Research (NeuRA)watched as parents read manuals and then attempted to correctly fit and install a child-sized mannequin in a rear-facing restraint.

They found 90 per cent made at least one mistake. Many made several. Yet after many rounds of revisions using suggestions from parents, the level of errors dropped to 10 per cent.

“Everyone is seeing this intractable problem of incorrect use,” said Dr Julie Brown, a senior research fellow with NeuRA.

Researchers around the world were witnessing a similar level of mistakes.

“What we’ve been doing over past decades has made no difference to correct use,” Dr Brown said. “It’s a longstanding problem, and nothing has really changed.”

Nearly all n children now wear the right restraint for their age, following the introduction of national laws in 2009 and 2010. Car crashes remain a leading cause of death and disabling injuries among children, but the fatality rate for child passengers has dropped from 70 to 40 a year in recent years.

Since January, 11 children under 16 have died on NSW roads alone, including a young child who died when a car rolled over late on Friday in the Hunter Valley. In 2016, nearly 1000 NSW children under 16 – many passengers in vehicles – were seriously injured in collisions.

A properly-installed and fitted child restraint stops a child moving in a crash, by attaching them to the vehicle’s rigid structure. It ensures the force of an impact hits the strongest parts of the body more likely to recover, like bones, instead of internal organs and the brain which may never heal properly.

Mistakes occur in three ways:

In what could be music to the ears of anyone who has struggled to install a car seat, Dr Brown and her colleague Professor Lynne Bilston are asking parents for advice.

“Instead of a group of experts sitting around, we are actually talking to parents, and parents and consumers are driving the direction of our research,” Dr Brown said.

“We are trying to ensure information supplied with child restraints is comprehensible, and to improve restraint design so they’re actually difficult to use incorrectly,” Dr Brown said.

They are conducting three different projects: a naturalistic study where 700 families will have videos installed in their cars to see what really happens; focus groups asking parents for feedback; and laboratory studies that watch adults install car seats and then try to improve the design.

Professor Bilston said the research had shown it was possible to develop instructions and manuals that reduced dangerous mistakes. But sometimes it took seven iterations – for each type of restraint – before users could install them with 90 per cent accuracy.

“We keep going until they can be understood,” she said.

The key was breaking instructions into simple and numbered steps, and providing clear diagrams.

In focus groups of more than 40 women, users found images unrealistic and uninformative.

Others wanted prompts to remind others looking after children to do the right thing: “Have a big sign saying ‘fasten me tight.”

Another suggested linking warnings to specific risks such as “your child is going to have a punctured spleen or something if this [strap is twisted]”.

Dr Adams said the uptake of the new restraints had been good, but much more energy needed to be devoted to making them easier to use. “Parents want to do the right thing, but they need support to do that,” she said.

The impact of these crashes was “awful because it is so sudden. One day your life is going on in one direction, and if you had your time over you would do something different,” she said.

Bayleigh’s mother had taught her to sit still: “I don’t wiggle around!” she said. Older children may unbuckle restraints, or ask to sit in the front. The current recommendation is that children 12 and under should sit in the rear seat.

Lisa Keay from the George Institute for Global Health, said parents needed to introduce hard rules early and stick to them.

“You may think it is quite safe because you are just going down the street,” said Professor Keay, a deputy director of the Injury Division at The George Institute,

“But there is a risk always. Even a low speed crash can cause injury.

“You have to be inflexible: it is like you don’t let kids eat poisons.”

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If you stuck your head into a classroom at Inaburra School in Sydney’s south, you might see 112 students scattered around a giant space, doing maths exercises on their iPads. Or you might see an English class with 50 students and, across the room, a different teacher working with six students.
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Since the beginning of the year, the private school has turned the traditional concept of a classroom on its head and put all year 5 and 6 students into an open-plan room with five teachers.

“Teachers and students are grouped for learning in a way that’s more fluid and flexible than in the traditional rectangular classroom,” principal Tim Bowden said.

Throughout the day, students have three sessions with regular teachers covering literacy, numeracy, history, geography and science, and one lesson with a specialist teacher in areas such as music, PDHPE and robotics.

But instead of pairing 20 students with one teacher, groups are configured according to need.

“In lessons involving direct instruction, teachers can teach 40 or 50 students as easily as 20,” Mr Bowden said.

“But with numeracy, for example, we know these 10 students need remedial work and one teacher can take them aside while a different teachers takes all the students who are on track.

“It’s a recognition that students learn at difference paces.”

At NSW state schools, the number of students in multi-age or composite classes has grown twice as fast as enrolments, with the NSW Department of Education attributing the shift to a variety of factors including enrolment patterns and school preference.

The number of students in composite classes grew 4 per cent between 2015 and 2016, compared to a 2 per cent growth in student numbers, according to a FairfaxMediaanalysis of the Department’s latest figures.  

Roughly one in three students in greater Sydney are in composite classes – a figure rising to one in two across the rest of the state.

Sydney schools with the fastest adoption of composite classes include Grose View Public School in Sydney’s north west, which went from having no multi-age classes in 2010 to having 83 per cent of its students in composite classes in 2016.

Similarly, the neighbouring Kurmond Public School went from having 10 per cent of its students in composite classes in 2010 to 88 per cent in 2016, and at Chullora Public School in Sydney’s west, the share leapt from 8 per cent to 86 per cent.

However, some schools have moved in the other direction and significantly reduced composite classes. At Parklea Public School, the number of students in composite classes plunged from 84 per cent in 2010 to less than 9 per cent in 2016.

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said principals were responsible for choosing class structures.

“[Multi-age or composite classes] may be established because of the uneven pattern of enrolment in the school, because of the small size of the school or where it’s considered that mixing students of different ages is academically and socially advantageous,” he said.

“The key finding from research is that the type of class [organisation] will not determine either educational advantage or disadvantage.”

A negative perception of composite classes among parents is still an issue for schools but these opinions “often change once their children are already in the class”, Linley Cornish, a leading researcher in the field, said.

The multi-age approach is also better for teaching and learning, according to Associate Professor Cornish, who is chair of teaching and learning at the University of New England

“Even when you’ve got single-grade classes with 10-year olds, you’ll have some kids working at the nine-year-old level, and some at an 11-year-old level,” Associate Professor Cornish said.

“With mixed-grade classes, there’s a much more overt recognition of different learning needs.”

However, schools should either move all classes to a composite structure, or none, Associate Professor Linley Cornish said.

“Schools only having some composite classes sets up a stigma, and parents start to think, ‘should my child be in a different class, is my child being disadvantaged?’,” she said.

“It’s also better for the teachers. If you’ve got some mixed and some single-grade classes, you’ve got to be much more careful about the work you give in the composite class so they don’t repeat it the following year in a single-grade class.”

At Inaburra, Mr Bowden said daily lessons with a specialist teacher give permanent teachers time to collaborate, something teachers at most schools are able to do less often and only outside class time.

“Teaching is improved when it’s not a solo practice, teachers working in the presence of one another can give each other feedback and support,” Mr Bowden said.

He said teachers, students and parents are happy with the change so far.

“It’s only been five months but the response is very positive. No one’s left the school.”

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Taking a dip at Sydney’s beaches remains an attractive option even this far into the autumn, and the projections of climate change mean you soon won’t have to be an ice-berger to swim year round.
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“Sydney will have tropical waters by between 2040-60,” Adriana Verges, a marine ecologist at the University of NSW, said. “Summers [will be] above 25, winter 19 degrees.”

Those celebrating the future demise of the wetsuit, though, might want to take a look beyond the shallows.

A paper published in Geophysical Research Letters this month highlighted the extent of warmth wasn’t being captured by the readily available surface temperature measurements.

“Satellites are not getting the full picture,” Moninya Roughan, an associate professor at UNSW’s Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab and co-author of the paper said. “They are missing the peak and intensity, and sometimes the duration [of marine heat waves].”

Professor Roughan and her colleague Amandine Schaeffer used data from two offshore moorings to create one of the first long-term assessments of temperatures from the surface to the seabed as deep as 100 metres.

Marine heatwaves off Sydney – based on at least five consecutive days when temperatures were in the top 10 per cent of readings – were found to last as long as a month. The average duration was between eight to 12 days.

The biggest average anomalies were at 50-metre depths and the most extreme temperatures were as much as 6 degrees above the norm, based on two data sets covering seven and 25 years.

“Weeks [of heatwaves] are a long time when you’re a marine organism, a small creature, at the bottom of the food chain,” Professor Roughan said.

While the data periods were too short to identify longer term climate trends, an abundance of research suggested marine hot spots were likely to get hotter and there would be worsening impacts.

The Great Barrier Reef was an area of much-publicised concern, where two warm summers in a row had triggered unprecedented coral bleaching; about two-thirds of the reef was affected.

But the East n Current skirting the eastern seaboard including Victoria and Tasmania was also changing, extending southwards about 350 kilometres in 60 years.

“The predictions and the models all indicate that [the EAC] will only continue to intensify,” Dr Verges said.

An impact of the so-called tropicalisation of temperate waters was that herbivorous species, such as rabbitfish, silver drummers and sea urchins, were moving into rich ecosystems such as kelp forests.

“They are essentially destroying the habitat that is the foundation for the entire ecological community,” Dr Verges said.

Bursts of heat can also take their toll. The extreme event off Western in the 2010-11 summer – the worst recorded in 160 years of records – killed about 150 kilometres of the kelp’s range, which had not recovered, Dr Verges said.

“We should be as concerned about the loss of kelp as we are for the loss of corals,” she said, adding the 8000-kilometre stretch of kelp forests in ‘s southern coastal waters, with its abalone, lobster and other industries, generated $10 billion a year in economic activity.

Knowing more about the extent of heatwaves -and how they are changing – will be important to coastal communities everywhere, Professor Roughan said.

“They are the most productive regions on earth ??? and so maximum ecosystems damage will also occur,” she said.

Scientists said the research benefited from having long-term uninterrupted data sets supported by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and the Integrated Marine Observing System, the type of programs the CSIRO sought to cut last year.

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To his staff he was Tony Smith. To banks and financial authorities he was Tony Agius.
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To investigators he appears to be little more than a puff of smoke left behind by someone who could be living in Asia, possibly Hong Kong or Beijing.

And to a growing list of consumers across the country who believed they were buying solar panels for their homes, he is the man who stole their savings.

The story of a million dollar-scam began in March when the real Tony Agius, of suburban south Brisbane, answered an online job ad seeking solar panel sales people.

Mr Agius provided a scan of his driver’s licence to his supposed new boss – crucially, someone he had never laid eyes on and who he only communicated with via email.

Days later, on March 28, the n Securities and Investment Commission registered a change in officeholders at a company called LG Energy Solutions Pty Ltd.

The sole director became Anthony Agius of Underwood in Brisbane.

According to its ASIC company extract, the address of LG Energy Solutions was level 27, 127 Creek Street in Brisbane’s CBD.

Alarm bells should have rung at the corporate regulator. The building only has 23 floors.

By April, LG Energy Solutions’ “Easter Sale” was popular in the booming market for rooftop solar and battery packages, a product heavily subsidised by the federal government’s solar rebate.

Calling himself Tony Smith, the man no one had seen hired sales staff over the internet on commission-only contracts to flog his “product”.

This turned out to be an easy job for any half-experienced seller because LG Energy Solutions was offering top of the range German-engineered LG panels.

For a package that LG, the Korean-owned conglomerate, sells for $25,000, LG Energy Solutions was offering for $15,999.

The company was advertising on Facebook, Gumtree and in Fairfax Media metro newspapers.

Anita Jackson, an experienced solar saleswoman, sold $140,000 worth of orders in her first week.

“It was a really bloody good price,” she told Fairfax Media.

She queried with Smith how it was that LG Energy Solutions could sell the same product so much cheaper but was told that as a “reseller”, the company could set its own price, while LG’s licensed distributors were forced to follow the Korean company’s price.

As April went on and a number of “red flags” were raised around dodgy tracking numbers and installations that had not happened, the truth dawned on Ms Jackson.

“I had to get in touch with my customers and let them know it was a complete scam,” she said.

There had never been any solar panels and Smith’s staff had been selling little more than fresh air.

Making things worse, consumers had rushed to lock in the deal of a lifetime by agreeing to pay the total price upfront.

Fairfax Media has learned of one buyer who lost $35,000.

Helen Vleugel, a retiree from Mt Martha in Victoria, and her husband Peter paid $9999 for panels that will never be installed.

“You’re looking at the LG logo wondering how this can be a fraud,” she said. “It leaves you not wanting to buy anything off the internet ever again.”

Some consumers have taken to solar industry online chat forums to seek answers.

One poster, “Smartywishbone”, said: “We are now so sad. My wife and I bought a system from these people (which was to be installed next week) for our son and daughter in law. We were hoping to help them with cost of living as they have a young family and are struggling with mortgage payment. Our $10,000 is now lost. We researched the company online – seemed all good.”

Iain Luck, who paid $9999 for panels for his home in Warragul, regional Victoria, said: “I’ve been saving forever to get solar panels.”

The Vleugels were alerted on April 21 in a “weird” phone call by their bank, ANZ. Its fraud department had been alerted to the scam but Ms Vleugel was left wondering why her payment, made 48 hours before, could not be frozen.

At Bendigo Bank, the accounts of LG Energy Solutions had been frozen but not before Smith had managed to transfer what could turn out to be up to $1 million offshore.

The money was transferred to a company known as “Four Horsemen Limited”.

In a bizarre twist, Smith appointed Sydney liquidator Steven Kugel, instructing him to wind up the company.

Mr Kugel believes his appointment could have been part of a naive plan to free up the final transfer from Bendigo Bank.

What it did was lift the lid on the scale of wreckage left behind by the identity thief.

There are 60 victims owed more than $700,000 but Mr Kugel suspects there are more, including people too embarrassed to come forward.

According to people who spoke to Fairfax Media, the fraud is being investigated by ASIC, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Queensland Fair Trading and Queensland Police, among others.

An ASIC spokesman said it was “aware of the matter” but no other agency would comment on the record.

DFAT is interested because Smith provided a fake passport to Mr Kugel bearing the same details as the driver’s licence of Brisbane’s Tony Agius.

The real Agius is a citizen of Malta who does not have an n passport.

The fake Agius is said to be well-spoken with an n accent, which one person said has a “hint of British”.

According to an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court of NSW, at various times Smith has told Mr Kugel that he is in Hong Kong but resides mainly in Beijing.

At one time he even claimed that he had been the victim of identity theft, the court has been told.

In a separate court case that happened before Smith closed LG Energy Solutions, the company was sued by the real LG for its website and promotional material which could mislead consumers into believing they were dealing with the reputable LG.

In a statement, LG solar marketing manager Russ Prendergast said: “As soon as we were alerted to the issue, LG Electronics took immediate and aggressive legal action against the company, including seeking an urgent injunction in the Federal Circuit Court. We were successful in obtaining the injunction to stop the company leveraging the LG brand and believe that this action did help disrupt their activity.”

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Six years after she captured the world’s attention as a royal bridesmaid, Pippa Middleton has married financier James Matthews – brother of Made In Chelsea star Spencer – in a semi-private ceremony.
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However, while she stunned the world during her 2011 debut outside Westminster Abbey with her physical attributes, on Saturday royal watchers – who were kept a respectful 200 metres away – were fascinated by Middleton’s toned biceps peeking out from her designer dress.

The sister of the Duchess of Cambridge looked every inch the royal bride. Albeit a royal bride with more impressive guns than the British Army and Madonna combined.

The 33-year-old party planner and regular marathon runner opted for a bicep-framing, cap-sleeved, white lace appliqu??, full skirted gown by British designer Giles Deacon.

The colour, train and traditional veil had hallmarks of her sister’s Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown. That was about where the similarities ended.

For her wedding to Prince William in 2011, the Duchess of Cambridge wore the royal family’s Cartier Halo Scroll tiara complete with 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette sparklers. On Saturday her younger sister wore a more modest hair clip in her glossy up-do.

Middleton was flanked by her niece Princess Charlotte, nephew Prince George and a gaggle of other young bridesmaids and pageboys.

The Duchess of Cambridge, dressed in a bespoke dusty pink Alexander McQueen dress, was on child minding duties while the young royal’s nanny, Maria Borrallo, was seated inside for the hour-long ceremony.

The Duchess escorted the youngest members of the bridal party into the 12th Century St Mark’s Church in Berkshire, stopping occasionally to tell them to “shh” with her finger pressed to her lips.

George, in beige breeches by Pepa & Co., and Charlotte, looking resplendent in a floral garland, were joined by other bridesmaids Countess Philippa Hoyos, Lily French and Avia Horner. Casimir Tatos, Edward Sebire and William Ward were the other pageboys. Old mate Charlotte looks like she’s headed to day two of Coachella and just found out Beyonc??’s performing #pippamiddleton #royalwedding #princesscharlotte #coachellaA post shared by Jenna Clarke (@jennamclarke) on May 20, 2017 at 4:45am PDT

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Angela Brown believes that turning her toddler’s car restraint around so it was forward-facing caused the child’s horrific injuries in a 100km/h car crash which transformed a once happy family life into a nightmare.
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The Mudgee woman says she won’t know for seven years whether her daughter Summer-Rose, who turns three this week, will fully recover from the severe whiplash that caused the young girl’s neck to break in three places.

The trauma has given Summer’s father terrible nightmares, although he wasn’t to blame for the accident and the forward-facing car seat had been properly fitted, Ms Brown said. She now lives in fear, imagining accidents happening, and hearing the sound of the crash over and over again.

Even Summer, who has a small scar on her forehead to show for the months in hospital, has changed her behaviour.

“Careful, careful, you got to be careful,” Summer warns her family and friends.

To protect her neck, she can’t bounce on a trampoline, play sport or go anywhere where other children play vigorously.

Ms Brown’s post on Facebook last year urging parents to keep their children rear-facing in vehicles struck a chord with those lobbying for n laws to be changed to make it compulsory to keep youngsters facing the rear for much longer. Sweden recommends children be kept rear-facing until the age of four.

Ms Brown had always been unsure about turning her children around, but that changed after the crash.

“I will forever rearward-face my babies as long as I possibly can. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. It could cost you your baby’s life,” she urge friends.

Summer’s sister Emelia, now 23 months old, was in exactly the same restraint but it was reverse-facing when the family’s car flipped over. Emelia suffered a small bruise to the shoulder.

In , babies up to six months old must be restrained in a rear-facing seat, shown to reduce their risk of injuries by as much as 90 per cent. Children from six months to four years of age must use either a rearward-facing child seat or a forward-facing child seat with a built-in harness.

Experts who wrote the national guidelines recommend children be kept rear-facing for as long as possible to stop heads and necks from moving suddenly. Some newer restraints can be used rear-facing for children up to three years.

PROOF REAR FACING FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE IS IMPORTANT!! I write this sitting next to my nearly 2 year old (she is…Posted by Angela Brown on Monday, May 23, 2016

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THE FUN PART: After endless hills (or mountains) we got to run through rainforest like this, which was a lot less painful and made us appreciate why people keep doing these events. Pictures: Sarah Elliott
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“Worse than child birth”, is how I described my first Ultra Trail experience in the Blue Mountains last week.

But, just as I went back for two more babies after the first, I can see why trail running has become a popular past time around the world.

I listened intently nearly a year ago as Shortland couple Renae and Justin Brock told me how their trail running addiction began and turnedinto doing the 100k UTA event in the Blue Mountains.

At the time I thought, ‘You’re mad’and ‘There’s no way I’m ever doing that’.

Yetsomehow last Friday there I was, albeit at the start line of the “sprint distance” 22k event.

My long-time soccer teammate, Kirsty “Whippet” Elliott had somehow convinced me to enter as a great event to both be fit at 40 in the next 12 months.

But as the event drew closer and she started saying things to me like, “Have you got your emergency blanket and whistle?”, I started to wonder what I had got myself in for.

Then I saw the course profile,down then upwith a 1km stair climbto finish.

She had also roped in her sister-in-law, Sarah Elliott, and as we stoodin rainy, freezing conditions on the start line, we were wondering “Why?”

I won’t lie. It was gruelling. The hills were brutal, and relentless. But along the way, when I could breathe properly to talk I discovered there were a range of people doing it. There were inspiring stories of cancer survivors, and just everyday people out in the bush, challenging themselves and getting closer to nature.

There could be far worse things we could have been doing.

We were literally in the middle of the Blue Mountains, surrounded by bush. The only negative was it was really foggy, which obscured what would have otherwise been some magnificent views.

Then there was this rainforest part, in the final 5km, which was actually really fun and quite serene.

There is no way to describe the 951-stair climb to the finish line. It was steep and people were groaning, cramping and hurting.

But there was a real comfort in the feeling that everyone was in it together. I think that’s what I liked most. There were hundreds of people who didn’t know each other doing it, all with a common goalto get to the end.

And that feeling at the end of seeing the finish line and knowing you’d made it, I can’t describe.

My family was there, waiting to high five me, which was pretty special, and there was a guy ahead of melimping his way to the end.

And then there was “Whippet”, who’d finished well ahead,waiting, smiling, ready to spring the next challenge on us. I’m pretty sure I said:“I’m not talking to you at the moment”, but just like child birth, by the next day I had signed up for Thunderbolt’s Run, a 16k trail run in Barrington Tops in August.

So, there was pain along the way,but there was a pretty special feeling at the end and the recovery was much better than child birth.

Mention must be made to Newcastle runner Vlad Shatrov, who won the 22k race in an incredible one hour, 42 minutes and 39 seconds. Word is it took him just three minutes to bound upthe Furber Steps!

And a shout out to the many Newcastle runners and walkers who took part in this event, the 50k and 100k over the weekend. Some really inspiring efforts.

WORTH IT: We had ran-walked for 21 kilometres and were about the hit the dreaded Furber Steps, 951 in total, so here seemed as good a place as any for a scenic shot. Picture: Sarah Elliott

Tips for tackling hills in a run programThis week expert running coachDave “Robbo” Robertson (www.runbetter苏州夜总会招聘.au), who incidentally completed the UTA 50k on Saturday,offers some helpful information on hill training:

Robbo says running hills may not seem very appealing but“can add an enormous amount of value to your training” throughimprovementin strength, fitness and technique.

He suggests finding asolid hill,not too steep, of150m-500m in length and running 6-8 repeats, each followedby arecovery walk or jog back down the hill.

“The effort doesn’t have to be a sprint but you want to focus on good, upright form and a high stride turnover, and grind it out all the way to the top,” he says.

Upcoming fitness eventsRaffertys Coastal Run, July 8, Lake Macquarie:An 11km, 22km or 35km trail run along the stunning coastline of Catherine Hill Bay and through the Munmorah State Conservation Area.www.raffertyscoastalrun苏州夜总会招聘.au.

City2Surf, August 13, Sydney:’s iconic, and testing 14-kilometre course from the centre of the city to Bondi beach. It is 12 weeks from May 21.www.city2surf苏州夜总会招聘.au.

Thunderbolt Trail Race, at Barrington Tops, August 19:Take on the 16k Thunderbolt’s challenge or the 33k Corker Trail andrunthrough patches of untouchedforest.www.thunderbolttrailrace苏州夜总会招聘/.

Renee Valentine is a writer, personal trainer, mum and newly convertedtrail runner. [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au.

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