Archive for August 2019

Winehouse tragic death verdict

“A lovely, funny girl” … Amy WinehouseShe sang about having to wake up alone, but tragically that is how she died instead.
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Famous for the defiant song, ‘Rehab’ Amy Winehouse died alone, at home, watching YouTube clips of herself after drinking two bottles of vodka.

An inquest into the troubled singer’s death found what has already been widely reported; that the 27-year-old died of alcohol poisoning in her London home on July 23, 2011.

Miss Winehouse drank so much that she stopped breathing and fell into a coma, The Daily Mail reported.

While her live-in body guard was home and had seen the Grammy-award winning singer earlier in the evening, he insisted to the courts that she was her ‘usual, bubbly self’ and while he could tell she had been drinking, she ‘wasn’t completely drunk’.

According to the body guard, Winehouse, who was struggling with alcoholism, bulimia and who was a recovering drug-addict, spent the night watching television and listening to music in her bedroom.

In a statement read out at court, he said he had left her around 2.30am before checking on her again at 10am. Lying fully-clothed, face-down in bed, he believed she was sleeping. He realised there was a problem when he found her in the same position at 3pm that same day and alerted emergency services.

She was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived.

Pathology tests showed she had 416 mgs of alcohol per decilitre in her blood – 350mg is enough to kill.

The death was described as a ‘misadventure’ by the coroner.

This was in light of a statement by Winehouse’s doctor, who said: “In the course of the last consultation, Amy did not appear to be depressed at any stage… She specifically said she did not want to die.”

This was the second inquest into the singer’s death. The first inquest was rescheduled after it was found the original coroner was underqualified.

Winehouse wrote her first song as a 10-year-old and learned to play guitar when she was a teenager.

She went on to win six Grammys from her album Back to Black which documented her personal problems.

Her father Mitch has previously said she was working hard to overcome her troubles and described his daughter as “a lovely, funny girl.”


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

As public fumes, AIGwon’t sue America

Facing anger from Congress and the American people, AIG says it won’t sue the US government over terms of the company’s multi-billion dollar bailout.
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Insurer American International Group had been weighing whether to join a lawsuit filed by its former chief executive Hank Greenberg and his company Starr International, which owned 12 per cent of AIG before its $US182 billion rescue that started in 2008.

Mr Greenberg claims the rescue was unfair to shareholders and that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York charged an excessive interest rate on its initial loan. He is seeking billions of dollars in damages.

AIG said its board had carried out its legal and fiduciary duty to consider joining Mr Greenberg’s lawsuit before making its decision. Mr Greenberg has a case pending in the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC, and is also appealing the dismissal of a lawsuit in the federal court in New York.

AIG chief executive Bob Benmosche said in an interview with CNBC that ultimately the public had to trust the company.

“It is not acceptable socially for AIG to have taken this money and to think we can go back and sue the government,” Mr Benmosche said.

AIG said it would not pursue Starr’s claims nor would it allow Starr to pursue them on AIG’s behalf, setting the stage for a fresh legal fight between Mr Greenberg and the company.

The idea that AIG might sue the government struck a raw nerve with the public, which took to the Internet to vent its anger at what it viewed as the company’s audacity. The volume of AIG mentions on Twitter rose more than 50-fold on Tuesday, according to Topsy Analytics.

Starr’s attorney, David Boies, said in a statement that AIG’s effort to block Starr from pursuing claims was contrary to shareholders’ interests.

“Whether or not the AIG board will be successful in blocking Starr’s efforts to recover damages for their shareholders will ultimately be decided (by) the court,” Mr Boies said.

Emotions run high

Former Obama administration adviser Austan Goolsbee said “GO SCREW YOURSELVES” in a multi-tweet tirade. Comedian Andy Borowitz drafted a mock letter from the company to taxpayers, asking for more bailout money to pay for the cost of the lawsuit. Dozens of obscene comments made descriptive references to the anatomy of chief executive Robert Benmosche.

And those were the gentler barbs. The New York Daily News ran an editorial cartoon in which a lifeguard saves a drowning man with “AIG” on his belly. When the lifeguard asks the man how he feels, the victim says, “Like suing you.”

The vitriol was just like it had been in late 2008 and early 2009 when, with the United States deep in recession, AIG employees hid ID badges and their families were threatened amid an uproar over bonuses.

A group of congressmen led by Vermont Democrat Peter Welch sent AIG’s chairman a letter late on Tuesday, advising, “Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it.” Other members of Congress threatened hearings.

AIG took to Twitter to defend itself, saying it was legally obligated to at least consider action, but its defence mostly fell on deaf ears.

The US government rescued the company from the brink of bankruptcy in September 2008 with a bailout that ultimately topped $US182 billion. After a recapitalisation deal closed in early 2011, the US Treasury owned 92 per cent of AIG.

The Treasury sold the last of that stake in mid-December 2012. The government has said it earned a return of $US22.7 billion on the rescue.

AIG shares rose 0.3 per cent to close at $US35.76. The stock lost half its value in 2011 but then rose more than 50 per cent in 2012, as it showed consistent profitability.


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

2013 BAFTA Award nominees

Hugh Jackman. Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Director Tom Hooper. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
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Bradley Cooper. Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Actor Alan Arkin. Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival

Eric Fellner. Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Universal

Writer/director Quentin Tarantino. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images

Director Steven Spielberg and Producer Kathleen Kennedy. Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images

Producer Dimitri Doganis. Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Director Bart Layton and producer Dimitri Doganis. Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

John Madden. Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Actress Jessica Chastain. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Actress Amy Adams. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Actress Jennifer Lawrence. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Actor Suraj Sharma. Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Marion Cotillard. Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Actres Emmanuelle Riva. Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Director Michael Haneke. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Elizabeth Olsen. Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

Actor Tommy Lee Jones. Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Actress Sally Field. Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Actress Helen Hunt. Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images for BFI

Actress Anne Hathaway. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Producer Graham Broadbent. Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Actor Javier Bardem. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Sir Cameron Mackintosh. Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images


ARGO – Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney

LES MISÉRABLES – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh

LIFE OF PI – Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark

LINCOLN – Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy

ZERO DARK THIRTY – Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison


ANNA KARENINA – Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster, Tom Stoppard

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL – John Madden, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Ol Parker

LES MISÉRABLES – Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh, William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS – Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin

SKYFALL – Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan


BART LAYTON (Director), DIMITRI DOGANIS (Producer)- The Imposter

DAVID MORRIS (Director), JACQUI MORRIS (Director/Producer) – McCullin

DEXTER FLETCHER (Director/Writer), DANNY KING (Writer) – Wild Bill

JAMES BOBIN (Director) – The Muppets

TINA GHARAVI (Director/Writer) – I Am Nasrine


AMOUR – Michael Haneke

ARGO – Ben Affleck

DJANGO UNCHAINED – Quentin Tarantino

LIFE OF PI – Ang Lee

ZERO DARK THIRTY – Kathryn Bigelow


THE IMPOSTER – Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis

MARLEY – Kevin Macdonald, Steve Bing, Charles Steel

McCULLIN – David Morris, Jacqui Morris

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN – Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn



AMOUR – Michael Haneke

DJANGO UNCHAINED – Quentin Tarantino

THE MASTER – Paul Thomas Anderson

MOONRISE KINGDOM – Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola



ARGO – Chris Terrio

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD – Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin

LIFE OF PI – David Magee

LINCOLN – Tony Kushner



AMOUR – Michael Haneke, Margaret Ménégoz

HEADHUNTERS – Morten Tyldum, Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn

THE HUNT – Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Morten Kaufmann

RUST AND BONE – Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux

UNTOUCHABLE – Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun


BRAVE – Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman


PARANORMAN – Sam Fell, Chris Butler



BRADLEY COOPER – Silver Linings Playbook


HUGH JACKMAN – Les Misérables




HELEN MIRREN – Hitchcock

JENNIFER LAWRENCE – Silver Linings Playbook





CHRISTOPH WALTZ – Django Unchained





AMY ADAMS – The Master

ANNE HATHAWAY – Les Misérables

HELEN HUNT – The Sessions

JUDI DENCH – Skyfall



ANNA KARENINA – Dario Marianelli

ARGO – Alexandre Desplat

LIFE OF PI – Mychael Danna

LINCOLN – John Williams

SKYFALL – Thomas Newman


ANNA KARENINA – Seamus McGarvey


LIFE OF PI – Claudio Miranda

LINCOLN – Janusz Kaminski

SKYFALL – Roger Deakins


ARGO – William Goldenberg


LIFE OF PI – Tim Squyres

SKYFALL – Stuart Baird

ZERO DARK THIRTY – Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg


ANNA KARENINA – Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

LES MISÉRABLES – Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson

LIFE OF PI – David Gropman, Anna Pinnock

LINCOLN – Rick Carter, Jim Erickson

SKYFALL – Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock


ANNA KARENINA – Jacqueline Durran

GREAT EXPECTATIONS – Beatrix Aruna Pasztor


LINCOLN – Joanna Johnston



DJANGO UNCHAINED – Mark Ulano, Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti, Wylie Stateman

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY – Tony Johnson, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Brent Burge, Chris Ward

LES MISÉRABLES – Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Jonathan Allen, Lee Walpole, John Warhurst

LIFE OF PI – Drew Kunin, Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton, Ron Bartlett, D. M. Hemphill

SKYFALL – Stuart Wilson, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Per Hallberg, Karen Baker Landers


THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Peter Bebb, Andrew Lockley

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White

LIFE OF PI – Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer


PROMETHEUS – Richard Stammers, Charley Henley, Trevor Wood, Paul Butterworth


ANNA KARENINA – Ivana Primorac

HITCHCOCK – Julie Hewett, Martin Samuel, Howard Berger

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY – Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater

LES MISÉRABLES – Lisa Westcott

LINCOLN – Lois Burwell, Kay Georgiou


HERE TO FALL – Kris Kelly, Evelyn McGrath

I’M FINE THANKS – Eamonn O’Neill

THE MAKING OF LONGBIRD – Will Anderson, Ainslie Henderson


THE CURSE – Fyzal Boulifa, Gavin Humphries

GOOD NIGHT – Muriel d’Ansembourg, Eva Sigurdardottir

SWIMMER – Lynne Ramsay, Peter Carlton, Diarmid Scrimshaw

TUMULT – Johnny Barrington, Rhianna Andrews

THE VOORMAN PROBLEM – Mark Gill, Baldwin Li


Elizabeth Olsen

Andrea Riseborough

Suraj Sharma

Juno Temple

Alicia Vikander

Fires burn family’s treechange dream

Geoff and Nicole McKenzie with their three children, Tyler, Elizabeth and Connor.Source: The Cooma-Monaro Express
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A young family of five are picking up the pieces after their home was the only major property loss in this week’s NSW bushfires.

Geoff and Nicole McKenzie have lost everything except the clothes on their back and what items they could squeeze into the boot of their car after the bush fire at Mount Forest Road destroyed their home on Tuesday.

The family, Connor, 8, Tyler 6 and Elizabeth, 2, had moved from Nowra to the 30 acre property about 20 minutes from Cooma on Mount Forest Road Carlaminda six months ago.

“We were looking for a bit of space. A country change. Some peace and quiet,” Mr and Mrs McKenzie said.

They had owned the property for just over a year. They had a shed, two caravans and a shipping container set up on the property and were planning to build a house there.

Now all that stands is an empty shell, ash and a generator that survived the blaze.

“We are gutted. It is not so much the shed. It’s the possessions that we have lost.

“Like my great grandfather’s war medals and Christmas presents the kids just got,” Mr McKenzie said.

The family fled their home on Sunday afternoon when a bush fire started in the area.

Mr McKenzie said they could see the fire two properties away. When it was safe, at about 6pm, they packed the car with clothes and important documents, drove to town and stayed in a motel.

“We couldn’t get out before that,” Mr McKenzie said.

“When it cleared we got straight out.

“When they started the water bombing it became a bit more serious.”

On Tuesday morning Mr and Mrs McKenzie drove to Pambula to drop the children their grandmother’s house, while they went out to the fire and watch it from a neighbour’s property.

“The wind was just crazy out there,” Mr McKenzie said.

“It was swirling around.”

With crews defending the property throughout the day, the couple decided to come into town about 5.30pm for dinner when it looked like their home would be safe. After dinner they received a call from a neighbour who told them the news.

“We went up there but couldn’t see because of the smoke,” Mr McKenzie said.

Mrs McKenzie said she was too upset to look.

“It was all gutted. All gone,” Mr McKenzie said.

“We put all the more important stuff in the shipping container but it blew apart.”

The couple went back to their property on Wednesday morning to have a closer look.

They described what was left as an “empty shell” and “ash”.

“The odd thing is the generator out the back survived, out of everything,” Mr McKenzie said.

“The hardest part is telling everyone. As soon as you try to say anything the tears swell up,” Mrs McKenzie said.

Despite the loss, Mrs McKenzie said they still planned to build at the property.

“We will be back,” she said.

For now, the family is staying at a motel and have been offered accommodation at the Cooma Martial Arts Centre by Sensei Jim McDonald.

There is a kitchen, laundry and bedrooms for the family to stay.

Sensei McDonald is also organising an appeal for the family, to help them get back on their feet.

Details are still being finalised but in the meantime Sensei McDonald said donations such as food were welcome. To make a donation call Sensei McDonald on 0419993449.

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

Photos: Kirrily Carberry

US website ‘outs’ gun owners

GAWKER, the Manhattan-based gossip site, has posted a searchable list of licensed gun owners in New York City, following a move last month by a newspaper in nearby Westchester County to publish a map of pistol permit holders.
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The information was obtained from the New York Police Department via a Freedom of Information Law request in 2009, Gawker writer John Cook said yesterday in a posting on the blog. The 446-page list dates from 2½ years ago and contains names but not addresses.

The move thrusts Gawker into a growing debate over gun control and the privacy rights of firearms owners, sparked by the shooting deaths of 20 children at a Connecticut elementary school on December 14.

It comes as Steve and Amber Mostyn, wealthy Texas trial attorneys, said that they are giving $US1 million to help start the gun-control advocacy group formed by former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

Steve Mostyn, who has a shooting range on his ranch in west Texas, is listed as treasurer of Ms Giffords’ new political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions.

‘‘It’s time to stop the [National Rifle Association] from bullying common sense out of the discussion,’’ Mr Mostyn said. ‘‘There are more options than just ‘guns or no guns’.’’

The White Plains, New York-based Journal News drew outcry last month when it published a map showing the names and addresses of handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties, seeking to better inform readers about firearms in their neighbourhoods.

Other community newspapers have criticised the Journal News for singling out people who have obtained permits legally and putting them at risk.

‘‘While the information is public record, what they’ve done is point out all these homes to criminals and burglars and also point out all those homes that don’t have weapons that they could target,’’ said William Pape, the editor and publisher of the Waterbury, Connecticut-based Republican-American.

Unlike New York state, Connecticut prohibits the names of gun permits owners from being released. In New York, the names must be requested at the county level.

Last week a group of Rockland County lawmakers held a press conference vowing to make New York gun information confidential.

The elementary school shooting took place in Newtown, Connecticut, about 30 kilometres from the border with Westchester County.

In the wake of publishing the gun map, the Journal News has hired armed guards to protect itself against threats, according to the New York Times.

Gawker said in a separate post yesterday that its staff began receiving death threats after its gun list was posted.


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.