Wine retailer attacks ‘grossly unfair’ licence fees

A Melbourne wine retailer has claimed it is being charged the same liquor licence fees as a nightclub.

Swords Select has wine stores at the Queen Victoria, South Melbourne and Prahran markets.

It opens the stores before 9:00am as part of its lease agreement.

However the extended trading hours means the business is classified as a ‘high risk’ venue, under the state’s licensing system.

Company spokeswoman, Georgia Beattie, says their fees have increased six fold this year.

“It is grossly unfair that John Brumby has put our small retail business in the high risk category, the same as a King Street nightclub,” she said.

“This has cost our business a total of $9,540.”

The Consumer Affairs Minister, Tony Robinson, says he is aware of the concerns.

“We do appreciate that they find themselves in a very unusual situation,” he said.

“We have met with Swords and will continue to meet and discuss with them to see whether there’s the possibility exists of revising that licence category to provide a fairer deal.”

Alcohol accord issues pub bans

A man who allegedly king hit a patron outside an Alice Springs bar has been slapped with a five-year pub ban under the town’s alcohol accord.

Twenty-nine licensed venues in Alice Springs have signed onto the accord which was established in October last year.

At this month’s meeting, a 23-year-old man who allegedly king hit someone on the street outside a venue has been banned from entering participating premises for the next five years.

The accord has also issued a ban to a 16 year old who tried to alter his ID card to get into a venue. However, the accord says he had altered the ID to show he was 17 – still under the legal drinking age.

He will not be allowed to enter any of the participating venues until he is 20 years old.

Two 17-year-old girls have also been issued bans.

Webber could “call it a day” at the end of this season: Hamilton

Sydney, Mar 25(ANI): Former Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has said he would not be surprised if Australian and Red Bull driver Mark Webber retires at the end of the season.

Hamilton also reckons that Webber has his best chance of winning his home grand prix at Albert Park in Melbourne this weekend, 10 years after his F1 debut at the same venue.

“I don”t know how long he (Webber) plans to stay in Formula One, but I get the sense that it”s one of the years he wants to finish on top and perhaps call it a day,” The Age quoted Hamilton, as saying.

“He has the best chance to end on that high this year and I wouldn”t be surprised if he is considering it,” he added.

The 25-year-old further said he himself had emerged as a “stronger individual” following the 2009 Australian Grand Prix, in which he was disqualified for providing “misleading evidence” during the stewards’ hearing.

“A lot of thoughts went through my mind. So of course at that moment I thought there was something else I”d rather be doing,” Hamilton said.

“I got through it and came out a much stronger individual … that was one of the very tough learning experiences. I always have to learn the hard way,” he added. (ANI)

Broome considered for World Cup training

Broome will be included as a host site in Australia’s bid for the soccer World Cup.

FIFA representatives toured regional Australia last year in search of potential training sites.

The short list is confidential but the Shire of Broome has confirmed it has been formally approached to be part of Australia’s bid for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

Shire president Graeme Campbell says the council voted last night to allow the local sports field to be nominated as a venue.

“We’re very excited about it. There are no guarantees with this, but it’s really important for Broome to be even considered,” he said.

“Obviously the infrastructure and facilities in the long-term, if it were to come about, would be very good.”

Alex Reid, wife Kate Price looking for venue to hold UK wedding

London, March 23 (ANI): Alex Reid and wife Kate Price are set to remarry in the UK.

The pair is reportedly looking for a venue to hold the wedding.

“We’re not doing it as a celebrity thing – it’s about us celebrating with our family and friends,” the Daily Star quoted cagefighter Reid, as telling Star magazine.

Earlier this year, they had a quick wedding in Las Vegas. (ANI)

Fed up with drunken toublemakers: Baillieu

The State Opposition is proposing new, on-the-spot fines for revellers who cause trouble around licensed venues.

A Liberal Government would impose an on-the-spot fine of $584 for people who loiter outside, or attempting to re-enter, a venue they have been ejected from.

The Opposition has previously promised to ban people convicted of alcohol-related violence from entering licensed venues for two years.

Opposition leader Ted Baillieu says Victorians are fed up with drunken troublemakers.

“This is about putting a responsibility on patrons to behave and also giving Victoria Police and licensees the capacity and the authority to deal with these ongoing offences, he said.

Over the summer, police issued 3,110 penalty notices for drunkenness and related offences.

The penalties carry an on-the-spot fine of $234 and apply to the offences of being drunk, drunk and disorderly, disorderly conduct and failing to move on when directed by police.

The majority of fines were issued in Melbourne and most of them were for being drunk.

Partnership aims to improve suicide response

Police and Anglicare have formed a partnership to improve the response to suicides in the Kimberley.

Police have pledged their support to the Standby Suicide Response Service, which was started by Anglicare to coordinate support for families and communities in the wake of a suicide.

The programs also keep detailed records of when and where suicides occur, to try to prevent them in the future.

Standby coordinator Zoe Evans says their aim is minimise the ripple effect an unexpected death can have on a small community.

“It can be support through from safety concerns, family concerns, grief, loss, just walking them through that process,” she said.

“They may need assistance finding a venue for the wake, finding a bit of extra money for the funeral, all those extra things that, following a crisis, can really compound their trauma.”

Police chief laments likely nightclub nod

Newcastle local area police commander Max Mitchell says he is resigned to the fact a proposed nightclub will get a licence to operate, despite his officers being totally opposed to it.

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing is considering a licence application for the Kensington nightclub in Hunter Street.

Its owners have already started promoting the venue on a social networking site.

Superintendent Mitchell says he is against any new licensed venues opening in the city.

“Look, to be honest I’m not in favour of it,” he said.

“We’ve put in our submission and the likelihood is we will have to deal with this place opening, but certainly if we have to deal with another licensed premise all I’m asking is that certainly their restrictions would be brought in line with all other late trading venues.”

Thompson sparks grand final pitch concerns

Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson has slammed the Docklands pitch as “a cow paddock” and warned something must be done quickly to improve it ahead of the A-League grand final on Saturday week.

The Victory were beaten 2-0 in their Asian Champions League match against Korean side Seongnam Ilhwa at the venue on Tuesday night.

Even by recent standards, the pitch was in poor condition – uneven, bumpy and with grass threadbare in large patches.

“It was basically a cow paddock,” Thompson said.

“We could harp on about it … but they had to play on it also and they managed to get two goals, and we didn’t.

“But for a grand final you can’t have a pitch like that. I’d rather play it at (local Melbourne club) Green Gully’s pitch than play on something like that – it was terrible.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do for the grand final.

“I’ll even go out and cut people’s lawn out of their yards if I see some patches that are better than that.

“The pitch was … probably the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

The Docklands surface has been the source of consternation all season for the Victory – coach Ernie Merrick describing it earlier this season as like “a car park”.

Merrick was more diplomatic on Tuesday night, though he admitted it still remained a problem and Seongnam coach Tae Yong Shin was also critical of the surface.

“I’ll agree with him (about the pitch) but our players to their credit didn’t resort to playing long balls,” Merrick said.


Rang barse, bheege chunariya in Sao Paulo

SAO PAULO: The earth was green. The sky was black. The rain came down in red, blue and purple sheets of water. The air was pink with gulal. And there was Rang barse, bheege chunar waali – written by a Bachchan, sung by a Bachchan – pulsating the cold, wet air of Sao Paulo. While 1.1 billion people were probably sleeping on the eve of Holi some 15,000 km away, the small Indian community of this megapolis painted the Sao Paulo Athletic Club red with their colours and songs as a German DJ belted out the best bhangra numbers.

The Brazilian rugby players, roughing it out on a pitch nearby, constantly threw curious glances at the “Indian carnival” party in full flow on Sunday morning in the heart of this megapolis.

It was a rainy day. It’s summer here but the mercury is happy to be at 22 degrees. When we arrived at the club at 10.30 in morning with George Matthew, an Indian who teaches English here, there was hardly anyone at the venue except for Kesavan Nair, one of the directors of the Indian Association of Sao Paulo.

Reddy inaugurates Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi

New Delhi, Mar 6 (ANI): Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy has inaugurated the Yamuna Sports Complex, a venue for archery during the upcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

The stadium has a capacity of around 3,500 seats.

The stadium would host the preliminary rounds of the archery events during the Commonwealth Games, which is scheduled to be held in October-November this year.

The venue has been constructed over an area of 4.8 hectors at an estimated cost of rupees 250 million.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna, who was present at the inauguration, expressed confidence that the under-construction work for the games would be completed well in time for the Games.

“I want to assure that all things would be ready in time and country”s pride would rise manifolds by the event,” Khanna told reporters.

The games organizing committee came under severe criticism after construction of several venues and facilities for the games, including the athletes” village, fell behind schedule, forcing the postponement or shifting of many international meets planned as test events. (ANI)

Hong Kong Super Sixes 2009 | Hong Kong Super Sixes | Hong Kong Super Sixes Schedule | 2009 Hong Kong Super Sixes Schedule | 2009 Hong Kong Super Sixes Time Table | Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes

Hong Kong Super Sixes 2009 | Hong Kong Super Sixes | Hong Kong Super Sixes Schedule | 2009 Hong Kong Super Sixes Schedule | 2009 Hong Kong Super Sixes Time Table | Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes

The Hong Kong Cricket Sixes is an annual 10-team international cricket tournament held at the Kowloon Cricket Club and fully sanctioned by the International Cricket Council. The tournament is made for television, with rules and a venue that encourage aggressive batting and high scoring. Because every player (except the wicket-keeper) is required to bowl one over, the format suits all-rounders.

The 2009 Tournament will be held from 31 October to 1 November and 8 Teams will participate in this event

The All-Stars will join nine representative international teams in the tournament – 2007 champions Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, England, Pakistan, India, South Africa, Bangladesh and hosts Hong Kong.

The Schedule is as follows :

1. Hong Kong vs South Africa at 8.20am
2 . India vs Sri Lanka at 9.05am
3 . Hong Kong vs New Zealand at 9.50am
4 . Pakistan vs England at 10.35am
5 . South Africa vs Australia at 11.20am
6 . Sri Lanka vs Pakistan at 12.05pm
7 . Hong Kong vs Australia at 12.50pm
8 . India vs England at 1.35pm
9 . South Africa vs New Zealand at 2.20pm
10 . India vs Pakistan at 3.05pm
11 . New Zealand vs Australia at 3.50pm
12 . Sri Lanka vs England at 4.35pm

Meet Prince Charles and Camilla, the ‘wedding planners’!

London, Sept 20 (ANI): Prince Charles and wife Camilla are turning wedding planners and “loaning out” their country retreat of Highgrove House to wannabe brides and grooms.

And included in the package will be the royal couple’s shared “expertise”.

Like Charles and Camilla did at their Windsor wedding four years ago, couples will be encouraged to “keep it simple”, say reports.

As per rumours, the first pair to enjoy a “Charles and Camilla wedding” are TV babe Jenni Falconer and her actor fiancé James Midgley, reports The Daily Star.

A royal source said: “Obviously with it being their house they would want control of the event. But they also recognise what a great opportunity it would be to showcase their home.

“Highgrove is an absolutely fantastic building and would make a wonderful venue for a wedding and reception.”

The nine-bedroom country house on a 37-acre estate near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, was bought for Charles in 1980.

A source said: “Charles is hugely proud of Highgrove. It’s a wonderful property and he has spent thousands of pounds on the gardens and grounds. I’m sure by holding weddings there Charles would take great pleasure being the host.

“And he could use them to promote the Duchy Originals organic products he’s involved with.” (ANI)

Amy Winehouse ‘enjoys date with ex-boyfriend Tyler James’

Washington, Sept 18 (ANI): Amy Winehouse has dismissed rumours that she has reconciled with ex-hubby Blake Fielder-Civil by enjoying a date with former boyfriend Tyler James, it has emerged.

The Rehab singer dogged reports of secret meetings with Blake after she was seen stepping out in London with U.K. singer James – her former lover, reports Contactmusic.

The pair was spotted enjoying an intimate date at restaurant Pizza Express, before heading to the British capital’s Jazz After Dark venue.

A loved-up Winehouse even rebuffed a fan’s request for a kiss, telling the disappointed passerby, “Sorry, I’m with my boyfriend.”

The pair dated in 2003, and were labelmates at Island Records, until James was dropped in 2005. (ANI)

Country’s largest Ramadan congregation held in Kerala

Malappuram (Kerala), Sep 17(ANI): Around six people from across the country attended the country’s largest Ramadan prayers congregation at Swalatha Nagar in Kerala’s Malappuram district on Thursday morning.

The Lailat Al Qadr (the Night of Power), which is held at the Ma’din campus on the 27th night of the holy month of Ramadan, is thought to be largest congregation outside Mecca and Medina.

This annual conclave has attracted attention from believers across the country and from abroad as well and the discipline with which people arrange themselves for prayers is another amazing aspect of the event.

The prayers, which started on Wednesday evening, lasted till 3 am on Thursday and many Muslim dignitaries gave special speech to the gathered congregation.

“Most of our sayings believe that on the 27th Lord Almighty gives blessings. So, we congregate here to take the blessings on this date. When you have one prayer it has only one value. When you pray in a congregation, then it is accumulated, it is accumulative and it is proponent and in large you get pure bonding. The whole night we pray and this is why we congregate here,” said Hajee K.M Mustafa Kamal, Programme convenor of Swalatha prayer conference.

“This started in a very small way and this itself shows that Allah has given so much of success to this. When every other movement has failed over the years but every year this congregation grows and today this year this has become the largest Muslim congregation after Mecca and Medina,” Mustafa Kamal added.

Apart from the main venue, people were accommodated in 10 other grounds, which were spread across 10 km on either sides of the NH-213. Of these, 5 were specially designed and prepared for women. (ANI)

Hundreds take part in ‘Ram Baraat’ in Agra

Agra, Sept 17 (ANI): Hundreds of people here took part in ‘Ram Baraat’, which is a part of the Ramlila celebrations.

Jeetander Chauhan, a worker, who erected the decorations for the celebrations, said that people were happy that god was among them.

“We are feeling that Lord Ram has appeared among us. Hundreds of people have come to witness this famous god’s marriage,” said Chauhan.

Maya Sharma, a devotee, said that women were also excited about this deity marriage.

“I’m really feeling good that ‘Baraat’ procession of Lord Rama and Sita is taking place. We are feeling good that god himself is present here,” said Sharma.

Every year, a new locality is chosen in Agra and festivities last for three days and the area is elaborately decorated with lights and flowers. The area is given a major face-lift befitting the venue for the divine marriage.

The marriage procession sees marriage between saint Shaligram who represents Lord Ram and holy Basil plant, which represents Sita, his wife.

The place is lit up with thousands of lights and non-stop music. The cinema theatres run film shows throughout the night to accommodate the migratory crowd.

These three days are like a carnival when people from all walks of life come together to have a great time.

The history of Ram Baraat is said to be around 125 years old, when Lala Kokamal, a cloth merchant, started the tradition of three-day festivities, revolving around the royal wedding. (ANI)

Winehouse ‘to sing at Greek wedding for 20k pounds’

London, September 12 (ANI): Amy Winehouse has agreed to perform in a Greek wedding ceremony for a massive 20,000 pounds.

The troubled singer apparently accepted the offer, as the venue is just down the road from her home in Hertfordshire.

“Amy agreed to do it because it was a nice little earner and didn’t involve a lot of travel,” the Sun quoted a source, as saying.

She may even get some more cash as an age-old Greek ritual has guests throwing money at musicians.

Meanwhile, Winehouse reportedly got back in bed with her druggie ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil. (ANI)

Polish vodka, Cuban cigars and Uma Thurman for Warne’s 40th birthday

Melbourne, Sep 10 (ANI): Australian spin legend Shane Warne will celebrate his 40th birthday with 200 mates, a bottle of Polish vodka, a Cuban cigar – and possibly Hollywood actress Uma Thurman.

Warne turns 40 on Sunday.

Speculation mounted on Wednesday that the Hollywood superstar of Kill Bill fame will join the 200-strong invitation list including Sam Newman, Garry Lyon, Eddie McGuire, Jeff Fenech, poker ace Jo Hachem and a host of business leaders and media chiefs.

Ex-wife Simone Callahan will also be there in the latest sign their roller coaster romance is back on track.

Cricket legends Allan Border and Ian Chappell have been invited, but Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist are not on the list.

Best mate Aaron Hamill, who played for Warne’s beloved Saints, will lead the AFL contingent.

Warne has booked a ritzy Chapel St cocktail lounge for tomorrow night’s bumper bash. And the party is tipped to extend well into the early hours of Saturday morning thanks to a 7 a.m. liquor licence, the Daily Telegraph reports.

It is believed Warne’s only request to venue management was for a regular flow of his preferred drink of choice – “Belevedere vodka and Red Bull”-and somewhere to enjoy a celebratory smoke.

On offer are 1500 dollars bottles of French champagne and a range of pricey seafood and Asian dishes, but no baked beans or pizza. (ANI)

Rahul holds meeting with Congress activists, farmers in Thanjavur

Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu), Sep 9 (ANI): All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who is on a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu, visited Thanjavur on Wednesday and held meetings with Youth Congress activists and farmers.

Gandhi was welcomed by thousand of Congress supporters, who stood outside the venue, Kandha Saras Mahal, just to have a glimpse of the young leader.

“We are very happy to be a part of this meeting, which focuses on propagation of policies and programmes of the Congress party towards the youth. And the idea of this meeting is to further the ideology of the party,” said Swaminathan, Chairman of Municipal Corporation Committee.

However, his speech got a mixed response from the farmers who attended the meeting. They felt that Gandhi neglected the agriculture sector in his speech.

“The entire focus of Rahul’s speech was targeted towards strengthening of grassroots of the party in the state whereas his neglecting of farmers’ issues have disappointed us,” said Sundra Vimalanathan, a farmer.

It is believed that Gandhi is aiming to revitalise the Congress party in Tamil Nadu, where Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are the two major political players. (ANI)

PCB yet to decide venue for ‘home’ series against New Zealand

Lahore, Sep. 4 (ANI): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is still undecided regarding the venue of the ‘home’ one-day international series against New Zealand scheduled to be held in November.

While it was being speculated that the series would be held either in the UAE or Malaysia, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt said final decision in this regard would be taken after his meeting with the UAE authorities next week.

“I will meet a member of UAE team in Dubai on September 7 to take a decision on this matter,” The Daily Times quoted Butt, as saying.

“I told them the rates for holding the ODI matches against Australia in Abu Dhabi in April this year were reasonable. Naturally, we don’t want to incur a loss and I informed him to give us rates like that of Abu Dhabi,” Butt added.

Speculations are that Pakistan might host New Zealand in the United States or Malaysia if the PCB fails to convince the UAE cricket authorities regarding hosting the matches in that country.

“These are available options for us although our first preference is to have the series in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” a PCB official said.

New Zealand was to tour Pakistan in October-November this year, but refused to visit the country citing deteriorating security conditions there.

Later, the New Zealand Cricket Board agreed to split the series into two parts.

It was decided that Pakistan would host the Kiwis in an ODI series at neutral venues in October-November and the Test series in New Zealand in November-December. (ANI)