Monthly Archives: September 2019

The best sights along the east coast of Italy

MY WIFE AND I INTEND TO TRAVEL SOUTH ALONG THE EAST COAST OF ITALY BY RAIL FOR ABOUT THREE WEEKS FROM RIMINI TO BRINDISI IN APRIL. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR MUST-SEES AND IN WHICH TOWNS TO STAY. P. FLYNNE, POTTSVILLE NSW
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Even better would be to start in Ravenna, just a little north of Rimini, and take in some of the wonderful mosaics in its churches, which must surely rate among the most wonderful collections of early Christian artworks. For several hundred years this was the capital of the Western Roman Empire, a role that left it bestowed with an artistic treasury, don’t miss it.

Rimini is essentially a beach resort and in April the city will be slumberous, although it does have a wonderful Roman museum, a grandiose cathedral in the Tempio Malatestiano and a Roman triumphal arch commissioned by Emperor Augustus.

Pesaro is another beach resort although it’s worth stopping just for the architectural wonders of the Piazza del Popolo. South is a string of seaside towns that come alive in the summer, Civitanova Marche, San Benedetto del Tronto, Pescara and Termoli. Further south Barletta is a real gem with a great history and well worth stopping for a couple of nights, and the same applies to Bari. Rather than stopping at Brindisi you’d be well advised to continue to Lecce, one of the gems of the Puglia region.

Three weeks is a long time to devote to this journey. In April I’d be more inclined to start in the south to take advantage of the better weather and work your way north. You might even consider a side trip to take in the Croatian coast and its islands, easily done with a ferry trip from Ancona to Split.

TIPOLOGIST

Codeshare partners will often sell seats aboard the same flight at different prices. If you see the words “operated by” attached to your flight details check both partner airline’s prices and you might score a cheaper seat.

Three teenagers charged with sexually assaulting 14-year-old girl after party at Bolton point

Newcastle courthouse. A 14-YEAR-OLD girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by three teenagersafter leaving a party at Bolton Point on Saturday night repeatedly told the trio to “stop”, according to detectives.
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But it wasn’t until the grandmother of one of the 18-year-old menburst into the bedroom that the alleged ‘gang rape’ ceased, according to police facts.

Two men, both 18,appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday charged withaggravated sexual assault in company.

A 17-year-old male has been charged with the same offence and was granted conditional bail to appear in Broadmeadow Children’s Court in December.

The 14-year-old girl told detectives she met the three teenagers at a party at Bolton Point on Saturday night and kissed both of the 18-year-oldsa number of times.

Police arrived at the home to break-up the party about 9.30pm and a large number of party-goers fled through the back gate into bushland.

Among them was the 14-year-old girl and the two 18-year-old men.

One of the 18-year-old menkissed the 14-year-old girl before he allegedly exposed hispenis and placedthe 14-year-old’s hand on it.

The 14-year-old girl told detectives she asked the 18-year-old: “can we go somewhere safe?”

He allegedly suggested they go back to his house.

The 14-year-old girl told detectives she was “carried” for some part of the walk and police say a witness saw the 18-year-old “grabbing” the 14-year-old by the arm and “dragging” her, according to a statement of police facts.

Once at home, the 18-year-old is alleged to have removed the 14-year-old girl’s skirt and underwear, but the girl says she told him“no”.

A short time later the other 18-year-old man and the 17-year-old boy knocked on the bedroom window and the manallegedly told the 14-year-old girl “I’m going to let my friends in”.

While he was outside of the bedroom, the 14-year-old girl says she put her clothes back on and walked outside, only to be “confronted” by the 18-year-old she had been kissing, who grabbed her arm and took her back into the bedroom.

The other 18-year-old and the 17-year-old male came into the bedroom and the three young men all allegedly kissed the 14-year-old girl and exposed their penises.

The 18-year-oldis then alleged to have had sexual intercourse with the 14-year-old girl, during which the girl says she said: “Stop, I don’t want to”.

After this, police allege either the other 18-year-oldor the 17-year-old boy digitally penetrated the girl and rubbed her breasts.

Again, the girl says she said “stop” several times.

The group were then interrupted by the 18-year-old’s grandmother, police said.

Live it up at one of Hawaii’s most luxurious resorts

THE PLACE
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The Halekulani, Honolulu THE LOCATION

The Halekulani, perhaps Hawaii’s most iconic hotel, has been welcoming guests for more than a century. On the famed Waikiki beach strip, the historic hotel commands a plum beachfront position and oozes style and grace. Order a Mai Tai and wander through the open courtyards, lush gardens and swaying palms where former Miss Hawaii winners perform the hula nightly under a magnificent century-old kiawe tree. I could easily picture actor Clarke Gable, who stayed at the hotel in the post-war years, leaning on a doorway smoking a cigar.

The original Halekulani began in 1907 as a beachfront home with just five bungalows owned by Robert Lewers. The fishermen of the area would bring their canoes onto the beach in front of the property to rest. The welcome they received was always warm and friendly, so the locals named the location “house befitting heaven” or Halekulani.

A decade later Juliet and Clifford Kimball bought the hotel, expanded it, and established it as a stylish resort for wealthy holidaymakers. Almost 100 years on, it’s a 453-room resort on two hectares of prime Waikiki beachfront, cocooned from the surrounding bustle of sprawling tourist hotels, shops and restaurants. While the Halekulani has beachfront access, it’s a slim strip of sand directly in front of the hotel. What it lacks in terms of sandy real estate, it makes up for with views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean, which can be seen from most guest rooms. From the Halekulani you can browse the shops along the touristy Kalakaua Avenue and stroll the 3.2-kilometre stretch of the famous Waikiki Beach. THE SPACE

The Halekulani is made up of five low density buildings ranging from two to 17 storeys. It’s a reasonable sized hotel, but feels boutique. Guests arrive at a porte-cochere, and are directed through to an airy, floral filled reception. At the heart of the hotel is the orchid mosaic pool fashioned from 1.2 million South African glass tiles. Neat rows of white terry towelling covered sun loungers face the pool where guests are waited on by attendants. Overhead are swaying palm trees. There are also three restaurants, three cocktail lounges, SpaHalekulani with a Polynesian treatment menu, fitness room, business centre, bakery, florist, meeting and banquet rooms. THE ROOM

My oceanfront room is a generous place of calm and understated elegance in the hotel’s signature “seven shades of white” colour scheme, with a large lanai overlooking the ocean, all the way to Diamond Head. There’s a king-size bed and underfoot is plush carpeting. The all-white bathroom has a Kohler deep soaking tub, separate shower, and marble vanity. On arrival, guests are welcomed with a fruit plate and chocolates, scattered with purple orchids; at night small gifts are left on your pillow during the turndown service. There are also three premium suites – the Halekulani suite designed by Vera Wang, Orchid and Diamond Head suites. THE FOOD

The Halekulani has three well-regarded restaurants, including its formal fine diner La Mer, serving modern French cuisine from a Michelin-star chef, with ocean and garden views. Due to our short stay we didn’t get to try any of the restaurants; however, we did enjoy cocktails and canapes on the verandah at Lewers Lounge at sunset, which was pretty special. STEPPING OUT

Bills Hawaii (n chef Bill Grainger’s Waikiki outpost) is a two-minute walk from the Halekulani for good coffee and breakfast. Koko Head Cafe is a short taxi ride away for an interesting brunch menu and all day dumplings. There’s good shopping just outside the hotel or head nearby to the gigantic Ala Moana Centre. Take a 15-minute walk to the sprawling Kapiolani Park for people-watching and beach yoga. At night, book a table at the Pig and the Lady, a hip restaurant in China Town, serving lip-smacking Vietnamese fusion dishes and lush cocktails. THE VERDICT

The Halekulani lives up to its reputation as one of Hawaii’s most acclaimed and luxurious hotels with elegant rooms, beautiful views and impeccable service. It was so hard to leave. ESSENTIALS

2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu. Rooms start from $US540, or $US585 (Sunrise package) including breakfast for two in either Orchids or House Without a Key. Tel (808) 923- 2311. See halekulani成都夜总会招聘HIGHLIGHTS

A Mai Tai on the lush lawns, and the flawless service. LOWLIGHTS

The Halekulani’s small beach area made it near impossible to swim during high tide.

Sheriden Rhodes was a guest of Hawaii Tourism Oceania

Tussie Mussie Vineyard Retreat review

The Location
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On the Bittern-Dromana Road in Merricks North, Tussie Mussie is smack bang in the middle of Mornington Peninsula. It feels secluded, on 11 hectares, but it seems close enough to be almost no more than five or 10 minutes away from every restaurant and winery in the area. Within a 10-minute radius are big guns Jackalope, Montalto and Ten Minutes by Tractor; an extra five will take you to Dromana Beach. The Place

Tussie Mussie is a private retreat on top of a valley overlooking its vineyards. There are three properties you can rent on the site – a two-bedroom owner’s cottage, the “old laundry” suite which is designed as a private space for couples, and the Vineyard Lodge, more of a large house with four king bedrooms each with their own en suite. Book out one of the properties, or all three.

Adjoining the lodge is a professional kitchen with a casual dining space and a cold room, and another outdoor dining area contains a wood-fired pizza oven. There’s a rustic outdoor dining table in front of the vineyards which would be a perfect setting for a wedding, or an episode of The Bachelor, or a picturesque spot for a hen’s do (of which there are plenty around) or a more casual getaway for a group of friends or family. The Space

Oh, the serenity. We’ve got the entire place to ourselves for the stay and we barely heard a noise all weekend. The only living things we shared the property with were king parrots and a half-dozen rabbits. Apart from vineyards, the property is surrounded in an endless supply of lavender, fresh herbs and flowers, the smell of each intoxicating. Inside, a French rustic design embraces neutral colours. Props such as old suitcases appeal to the travel ethos and an akubra hat and driza-bone is a nod to its former life as a country cottage. Across the three properties there are plenty of leafy spaces for quiet reflection and there’s also a grass tennis court. The Rooms

Sometimes private accommodation gets the details right more than hotels. And here, there was no struggle to find the right light switch. Not a hint of sunlight entered the blinds in the morning. The heating set-up was amazing – there are heated floors in the bathroom and WC, an oil heater in every room, and electric blankets on the beds. In the lounge, a reverse cycle air conditioner and a wood fire. Back in the bathroom, the shower had two manoeuvrable heads. On the downside, the no-name brand television would be better served in the hard rubbish along with the musty collection of DVDs. A Chromecast is cheap and guests can BYO their own Netflix. The Food

This is the kind of place you don’t want to leave, and with a fully equipped chef’s kitchen, pizza oven and several barbecues plus an endless supply of some of the state’s best wineries nearby it is hard to find reason to. Unless you don’t like to cook, in which case some of the peninsula’s best restaurants are close by. Stepping Out

It would be remiss of you to not visit Jackalope and its seriously good food while so close. Drivers can take comfort in the knowledge that Jackalope’s wines can be served by the half-glass. Take heed, fellow country wineries, for this is a smart idea.

Further west, at brand-spanking new Point Leo Estate you can grab yourself a glass of wine and wander through their unique sculpture park that has spectacular views over Phillip Island, and then go dine in its restaurant run by three-hatted former Rockpool chef Phil Wood.

There are loads of monster-wineries near Tussie Mussie, but we preferred some of the smaller cellar doors nearby. Quealy, just down the road, produces wine made from Tussie’s vineyards. Ocean Eight produce fine chardonnay in Shoreham, and stop by Bass and Flinders distillery for gin and vodka (go early to avoid bus tours). We also took great delight playing with kids of the four-legged variety at Main Ridge Dairy, the goat’s cheese farm in Main Ridge. The Verdict

A gorgeous retreat in lush country surrounds and a perfect base for hunting and gathering the area’s top quality produce. Highlight

Quiet comfort and solitude in close proximity to Mornington Peninsula’s best wineries. Lowlight

The crappy TV. OK, so we didn’t really have time to switch on a telly but it would have been nice to had we stayed more than one night.

Essentials

206 Bittern-Dromana Rd, Merricks North, VIC 3926.

Ph 0437 403 778, tussiemussie成都夜总会招聘.au. Rates start from $395 per night.

The writer was a guest of Visit Victoria, visitvictoria成都夜总会招聘.au

ASIC’s case against Westpac a ‘fallacy’, court hears

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 15: Generic Westpac Bank on September 15, 2014 in Melbourne, . (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Fairfax Media via Getty Images). Westpac logoThe corporate watchdog’s case against Westpac alleging the bank had rigged one of ‘s key interest rates is a “fallacy”, a court has heard.
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The n Securities and Investments Commission has accused Westpac of rigging or attempting to rig the bank bill swap rate (BBSW), a key rate used to set interest rates for business loans, on 16 occasions between 2010 and 2012.

Westpac’s defence to the claim in the Federal Court in Melbourne was challenged by Justice Jonathan Beach on Wednesday.

Westpac lawyer Matthew Darke spent Wednesday afternoon explaining that recordings of Westpac’s internal conversations ASIC says show the bank was manipulating the rate was “nothing more than light-hearted banter”.

Mr Darke told the court Mr Roden’s statement to Commonwealth Bank trader Garfield Lee that Westpac “controlled the market” was “just industry jargon”.

“What Mr Roden is talking about is controlling the bank bill market,” Mr Darke said.

Justice Beach responded: “He does use the word control, it is a very unusual word to use.”

On Tuesday, the court heard Westpac’s lead trader Colin Roden had used expletive laden language to his colleagues to describe his alleged manipulation of the market including “I know it’s wrong but f???k it,” and that he would “f-ck the rate set”.

Mr Darke is yet to explain in detail what Mr Roden meant by saying “I know it is wrong, but f–k it”, references he made about to going to jail over his alleged actions.

Mr Roden is expected to give evidence in the coming weeks.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Darke said ASIC’s case against the bank was weak on both factual and technical grounds.

“ASIC’s case completely disregards Westpac’s circumstances,” Mr Darke said.

“There were legitimate reasons for Westpac trading on those days.”

Mr Darke said that conversations between Westpac’s traders including those with Mr Roden and his colleague Sophie Johnson were not about rigging the bank bill swap rate.

“They [the conversations] have been misinterpreted by ASIC; Mr Roden and Ms Johnson have signed affidavits to that effect,” Mr Darke said.

“They are, it seems, the best ASIC can do,” Mr Darke said.

Mr Darke also told the court that concerns Westpac had breached its Chinese walls and that traders within its treasury department were sharing information about the rate set with its financial markets team were unfounded.

Yesterday the court heard Ms Johnson had communicated with Westpac’s financial markets trader Adam Parker about where the bank bill swap rate would be set.

“We would respectfully submit that was not so,” Mr Darke said.

“When one looks at the communication, Ms Johnson refrains from giving Mr Parker any information.”

A key plank of Westpac’s defence is that its traders inside treasury were working to shore up Westpac’s balance sheet and its treasury function is completely separate from its other departments.

ASIC has accused Westpac of engaging in unconscionable conduct by rigging the BBSW. Last week ANZ and NAB settled their cases with the regulator for $50 million each.

The bank bill swap rate, known as BBSW in financial markets, is a key rate at which banks lend to each other over short periods. It is one of the most important interest rates in the economy, providing a benchmark for the setting of a range of business loan interest rates.

The case before Justice Jonathan Beach continues.