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Sydney victims had come forward over alleged abuse after publicity in Fairfax Media earlier this month.NSW POLICE are investigating complaints that Jewish children were abused in Sydney.
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Fairfax Media understands that complaints have been made against two perpetrators, both associated with the Yeshiva Centre at Bondi, one of whom has more than one alleged victim.

A police spokesman said the allegations dated back to the late 1970s and 1980s, and referred to abuse of children by adults associated with a Jewish school operating at that time.

The spokesman said eastern suburbs detectives began inquiries in February last year after getting information from Victoria Police, and had spoken to people interstate and overseas.

These are the first formal complaints about the Orthodox community in Sydney, but there have been several in Melbourne.

Rabbi Pinchas Feldman, the spiritual leader of Sydney’s Yeshiva Centre, said he was shocked to hear of the allegations, and the call from Fairfax was the first he had heard of it. ”I do not recall anyone ever coming to me with such a problem. I am shocked to hear that anything of this nature has taken place here,” he said, adding the centre would co-operate fully with any inquiry.

Victims advocate Manny Waks, himself abused at Melbourne’s Yeshiva Centre as a boy, said other Sydney victims had come forward after publicity by Fairfax Media about comments by senior Chabad rabbi Manis Friedman minimising the effects of child sex abuse.

Rabbi Friedman, based in the US, compared abuse with a case of diarrhoea – embarrassing but private – and said victims learnt a valuable lesson from abuse. He later apologised, saying his intention was to help empower victims to move forward.

Mr Waks, founder of the Tzedek advocacy group for Jewish abuse survivors, said there had long been credible reports of child sex abuse victims within the ultra-Orthodox community in Sydney, as well as reports of cover-ups.

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Rio Tinto has confirmed it will keep Gove up and running.THE underperforming Gove alumina refinery – and 1500 jobs at Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory – are saved, but a tussle remains over who will pay for it.
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Rio Tinto confirmed on Wednesday that it would keep Gove, operated by its Pacific Aluminium subsidiary, up and running after the NT government said gas would be supplied from Italian major Eni’s offshore fields in the Bonaparte Basin for the next 10 years, via a new 600-kilometre pipeline to Nhulunbuy. The gas will help the loss-making refinery move from expensive fuel oil to gas – an option apparently rejected by former operator Alcan in 2003.

It is understood Pacific Aluminium will buy gas directly from Eni on commercial terms without a direct government subsidy, at a price to be negotiated.

The deal is only possible because in 2005 NT signed a 25-year contract with Eni, at about half the market price, in the vicinity of $6 a gigajoule, and is prepared to make some of that gas available to Gove, by bringing forward production plans and shortening the territory’s period of gas price certainty. There will be no immediate increase in gas prices for territory consumers, however.

NT Chief Minister Terry Mills put the cost of the deal at $1.2 billion. Eni and the APA Group will spend $500 million on a new offshore well and new compression equipment.

Another $500 million will be needed to build a pipeline from Katherine to Nhulunbuy, perhaps owned by APA, and part-funded by the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.

The Commonwealth is being asked to underwrite the pipeline, but it is not clear whether this will be through guarantee or direct funding.

The total cost will be recovered from gas sales to Pacific Aluminium, which will spend $200 million to convert its generators to gas.

Deutsche Bank’s head of resources, Paul Young, said the Gove refinery had long been the ”problem child” of the Pacific Aluminium portfolio as it had never achieved its nameplate capacity, due to design flaws. But the deal on Gove – which supplies alumina to Rio’s smelters at Bell Bay, Tiwai, and Tomago – would improve Rio’s chances of selling Pacific Aluminium, which Deutsche valued at $US3.5 billion.

Mr Young said, however, that the decision to keep Gove operating was less than optimal and would cost shareholders half a billion dollars, even factoring in closure costs, compared with the option of exporting 100 per cent of the bauxite to China.

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Mobile … new Sydney signing Jarrod Kyle hopes his short spell could turn into something more permanent.HE’S big, he’s tall, and Sydney FC coach Frank Farina reckons 19-year-old Jarrod Kyle might be the secret weapon to unleash on unsuspecting rivals in the race to the finals.
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The burly striker has been on trial for the Sky Blues in recent weeks after being released by Sheffield Wednesday last month and impressed enough to win a deal for the rest of the season.

Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Kyle had an impressive time at the Owls academy – winning their player-of-the-year award last season – but asked to be released so he could chase a deal in the A-League.

The Sky Blues waited until the final hours of the transfer window on Monday before adding Kyle to their list. Jason Culina was released on the same day after falling out with Frank Farina but the coach insists he would have signed Kyle regardless.

”We had some information that he was coming back from England and we had a look at him and liked what I saw,” Farina said after training at Macquarie University on Wednesday. ”He’s a young kid, an Aussie, well over six foot. It’s worth having a look until the end of the season and we’ll go from there.”

However, Farina said Kyle wouldn’t be ready to face Adelaide United at Allianz Stadium on Saturday. ”He’s most probably a little bit underdone at this stage,” he said. ”That’s up to him [when he gets an opportunity], how he goes fitness-wise and in the games at training.”

Farina described his new acquisition as ”arguably an old-fashioned centre-forward”. ”He’s very strong, he’s quite mobile and you don’t often see strikers come along at that age of that size and pace,” the coach said.

Farina refused to be drawn on his split with former Socceroo Culina. ”That’s a closed chapter and everyone’s said what needs to be said,” Farina said. ”We’ve moved on and I’m sure Jason has as well.”

Kyle said he was hoping to impress when given a chance and that his short spell could turn into something more permanent. ”I’ve been overseas for 2½ years, so to have the opportunity to come back is brilliant,” he said.

”There was one or two [other A-League clubs interested] but this club appealed to me the most. They’ve won the A-League twice and they’re a massive club. I’m just so enthusiastic to start, so once I get on the pitch and get my opportunity to play, I’ll make it count.”

The forward believes his stint with the Championship side has made him all the more ready to impress at A-League level.

”The amount of experience I picked up while I was over there was invaluable,” Kyle said.

The visit of Adelaide gives Sydney a chance to avenge their two defeats at the hands of the Reds earlier in the season. With the Sky Blues in the top six for the first time since the opening month, confidence is high at Moore Park.

But with Alessandro Del Piero in blistering form, and competition for places heating up, the fans expect the team to keep improving. ”Every game for the club, at the moment, is huge,” Farina said. ”It’s like playing finals football 12 weeks early.”

Adelaide halted their slide last week with a barnstorming win over Melbourne Victory, galvanising the team behind new coach Michael Valkanis – even though he’ll be watching this game from the stands after being sent off.

”They were really up for that game and have been most probably inconsistent due to what’s happening around the club,” Farina said. ”But they’re worthy of being where they are. They’re mobile, have got some dangerous players up front and they’re a compact team. They’ve beaten us twice this year, so they’re a difficult opponent for us.”

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WORLD No.1 Yani Tseng endured a rocky relationship with her golf clubs last year but now they have kissed and made up.
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Before Thursday’s Australian Open at Royal Canberra, Tseng said she broke down in tears when told by her coach to take the unusual step of thanking her golf clubs.

Having won four majors during 2010 and 2011, finishing fourth on last year’s LPGA Tour is considered a lean year by fans who expect perfection from the 24-year-old.

But the Taiwanese superstar, named in Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people in the world last year, says she is now better equipped to deal with the pressure.

”My coach told me I should be more appreciative of what I’m doing right now and he asked me a question – ‘have you said thank you to your golf club?’,” she said.

”I started crying because I feel like I never did that to my club. My club is my best friend. I do my job and my club does his job, so I know my club is helping me to win in a tournament, too.

”I know it’s so funny but I always thank my caddie, thank my team. I never think about my club and then I started feeling very appreciative about everything.”

Last year, Tseng won three of her first five tournaments but missed three cuts and failed to crack the top 50 in five mid-season events.

Tseng will begin her Australian Open campaign in the same group as young guns Michelle Wie and Lydia Ko on Thursday morning.

”I know it’s been a tough year for me but, when I look back, I have three wins, I have 12 top 10s, so that’s still pretty good because all the people are putting high expectations on me, even myself,” Tseng said.

”Last year, I looked at lots of press and the news – it drove me crazy, people saying ‘Yani is struggling’ and ‘Yani can’t play golf any more’.

”I know winning is not easy and I feel very lucky right now.

”I just want to focus on enjoying this week, enjoying my travelling and just keep smiling.”

Leading Australian Karrie Webb couldn’t help but smile when asked about Tseng’s so-called ”rough patch” last year.

”Yeah, that was a terrible year she had last year – three wins, $1.5 million [prizemoney]. I would have hated to have had a year like that,” Webb said.

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“There’s been a lot of people who have been around the club for a long time as well, and they’ve all helped contribute to the success that we’ve had” … John Hutchinson.JOHN HUTCHINSON is on track to become the first player to complete a decade of service with the Central Coast Mariners after agreeing to a contract extension until 2015.
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The 33-year-old joined the Gosford club upon their entry into the A-League in 2005 after a decade in the National Soccer League, first with home-town club Morwell Falcons, then with Northern Spirit.

His time with the Mariners was broken only by a four-month loan spell in 2011. That was with their sister club, Chinese side Chengdu Blades, then under the guidance of inaugural Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna.

After looking as though his career might be wound up by the emergence of several brilliant youngsters at Central Coast, Hutchinson – who played his early career as an attacking left-winger – reinvented himself as a holding midfielder in the past two seasons, effectively filling the hole left by Rostyn Griffiths.

The club will commemorate his decade at Bluetongue Stadium with a testimonial match to be played before the next A-League season.

”It would be good if that happened and if it does I’d like a lot of people to come back and celebrate the day with me,” Hutchinson said. ”There’s been a lot of people who have been around the club for a long time as well, and they’ve all helped contribute to the success that we’ve had.”

Despite having played in three grand finals without tasting the ultimate success, Hutchinson is proud of topping the table twice with the Mariners. Coach Graham Arnold, widely credited with transforming and extending Hutchinson’s career, said the Maltese international was the kind of player you could build a club around. ”’Hutch’ … is one of the true servants of the club,” Arnold said.

■ Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith will miss the rest of the season after hip surgery. He will be out for up to four months. “I am bitterly disappointed to be out for the rest of the season,” Smith said.

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ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA prop Dan Hunt has thrown his support behind coach Steve Price, saying the embattled mentor had the approval of the team.
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Following Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy’s decision to reject the Dragons, Hunt, who won a 2005 Jersey Flegg premiership under Price, said the coach should be the club’s long-term option.

”I’ve got a great relationship with him and he knows how to get the best out of me,” Hunt said.

”I’d love him to stay as our coach. I don’t think there is a decision to be made. Pricey is our coach for 2013 and we’ll deal with whatever comes in the future.”

The Dragons’ four-month pursuit of the premiership-winning coach ended when Bellamy committed to the Storm until at least the end of 2016 on Monday.

Although St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust said he would work through potential coaching options, Hunt insisted the innuendo had not been a distraction.

”We’ve got Pricey’s back all the way,” Hunt said.

”We weren’t too worried about the Bellamy stuff; we don’t really buy into that type of stuff.

”We’ve got our ranks pretty closed and we’re buying into what Pricey is coaching and we believe in him. I think it’s disrespectful to Pricey to talk about it; he is a really good coach.”

A slight calf strain has kept Hunt, 26, in Wollongong as most of his teammates prepare for their first hit-out of the season against North Queensland in Cairns on Saturday.

Hunt, fellow prop Michael Weyman (knee) and the overlooked centre Nathan Green are among the top players not travelling with the squad. He expects to play in next Friday’s annual Charity Shield clash against South Sydney.

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Grounding the ball … last year’s awarding of Billy Slater’s try against Manly would not be a try this year.REFEREE boss Daniel Anderson has appointed former players Luke Patten, Matt Rodwell and Justin Morgan as video referees for 2013.
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Anderson, who also intends to have two officials in the video referees’ box for all matches, announced the trio as part of a push from the former NRL coach to increase the number of former players among the refereeing ranks.

The trio will take part in a level-one referees course before the start of the season, with Patten to make his debut alongside Steve Clark in the Charity Shield match on Friday, February 22.

”They will be part of a two-man team to ensure no errors occur upstairs,” Anderson said.

The obstruction rule, which was the subject of great debate in an error-plagued season last year, was again discussed at Wednesday’s briefing.

Anderson admitted there would still be some grey area around the rule this year but believed he had minimised the uncertainty with new interpretations.

He had instructed referees to penalise a blocker if he made any contact with the defensive line, encouraging players to stop before the line or run through it without impeding a defender.

The message had been relayed to all 16 coaches, who had worked overtime in the off season to ensure players were aware of it.

”You can’t run at defenders and initiate contact and the defensive line cannot be disadvantaged,” Anderson said.

Regardless of whether the impeded defender had any chance of making a tackle, the referees would penalise the offender, even if the infringement was made at the ruck and the try was scored out wide.

It’s an interpretation that Australian coach Tim Sheens believed could provide more obstacles than answers. Sheens was concerned coaches and players would try to exploit the rule.

But Anderson defended the decision to penalise all contact made by decoy runners, regardless of its impact on the play, and insisted there couldn’t be exceptions to the rule based on how far the play had gone after the impact.

Under the new interpretations, the attacking team would not be penalised if the defender initiated the contact on the blocker.

He also gave a detailed explanation of how the video review system would work under the new rules.

If the on-field referees wanted to double check a ruling, they would have to make a ”live decision” – try or no try – before sending it up to the video referee for review.

The decision could only be overturned if there was sufficient evidence to suggest the on-field referee’s live decision was incorrect.

”There was too much going upstairs last year,” Anderson said. ”Referees have an instinct and are usually in the best position to make a call and we want them to have the confidence to do that.”

There was also some clarification on the banned shoulder charge. A player would escape penalty if he attempted to wrap his arms around the ball-runner.Explained: The NRL’s rule adjustments

LIVE DECISION, TRY: If the referee thinks it’s a try but wants to review the play, he will signal after calling time off and initiating the review. His original decision can only be overturned if evidence suggests otherwise.

LIVE DECISION, NO TRY: The onus is on the referee to make a live decision before asking the video referee to review his initial decision. If he thinks it’s not a try, he will signal after calling time off and initiating the review. His original decision can only be overturned if evidence suggests otherwise.

GROUNDING THE BALL: Billy Slater’s try, pictured, when he grounded the ball with his arm but has lost control. It was called a try last year but would not be a try this year.

BLOCKING: Referees will penalise players who don’t attempt to catch the ball but impede the path of the chaser.

OBSTRUCTION: If a defender initiates the contact with the block runner, it is not deemed to be an obstruction.

SHOULDER CHARGE: If a defender makes no attempt to use his arms on the attacking player in the tackle, he will be penalised for a shoulder charge. The defender doesn’t have to wrap his arms around the ball carrier but must at least attempt to.

OBSTRUCTION: If the block runner initiates contact with a defender, the attacking team will be penalised, even if the impeded player has no chance of making a tackle. The block runner must stop or run through the line.

OBSTRUCTION: The ball-runner is not permitted to run behind an active block runner, regardless of the depth, if he disadvantages the defender. A try was awarded last year but wouldn’t be this year.

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A BRITISH couple accused of killing their six children in a house fire started the blaze themselves as part of a ”plan that went horribly wrong”, a court has heard.
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Prosecutors claim that Mick Philpott, 56, and his 31-year-old wife Mairead set fire to their house in Derby, in the English Midlands, last May in a bid to frame his ex-girlfriend and claim custody of the four children they had together.

The Philpotts, along with a third defendant Paul Mosley, 46, each denied six counts of manslaughter at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday.

As their trial opened, Philpott sobbed and tried to leave the dock as the jury listened to the frantic telephone call the couple made to emergency services when the fire took hold in the early hours of May 11, 2012.

Mairead Philpott was heard screaming on the tape, while her husband choked back sobs and told the operator: ”I can’t get in.”

The jury heard that neighbours tried to rescue the children, aged five to 13, but were overwhelmed by smoke and flames. When police carried the children’s bodies from the house, their father had to be restrained.

”It must have been quite clear the plan had gone horribly wrong,” prosecutor Richard Latham told the court.

Philpott was overheard at the hospital saying: ”It wasn’t meant to end like this.”

Police later made secret recordings of conversations between the couple. In one extract, Philpott told his wife: ”Make sure you stick to your story.”

The jury was told the fire broke out early on the morning Philpott was due to attend court with his ex-mistress, Lisa Willis, to discuss where their children should live.

The court heard that a fortnight before the tragedy, Philpott told friends he had a plan that would help him win his children back.

”[Ms Willis] was being set up as the culprit,” Mr Latham said.

Mosley is accused of having planned with the Philpotts to rescue the children from the fire. AFP

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AN AUSTRALIAN diplomat knew that Melbourne man Ben Zygier was being held in an Israeli prison before he died in his cell, the government has admitted, amid reports that Mr Zygier was a Mossad agent known as ”Prisoner X”.
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Fairfax Media can also reveal that Mr Zygier was one of at least three dual Australian-Israeli citizens being investigated in early 2010 by ASIO over suspicions they were spying for Israel.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr was forced into an embarrassing backflip yesterday as he ordered his department to investigate the Zygier case.

His office was forced to correct earlier claims that the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv knew nothing of the case until after Mr Zygier died in prison in December 2010 when his family – a prominent Jewish family in Melbourne – asked for his body to be repatriated.

In a revelation that raises questions about the extent of the Australian government’s knowledge, Senator Carr’s spokesman said an Australian diplomat – who was not the ambassador – was aware that Mr Zygier, 34, was being held by Israeli authorities.

The revelation follows a report by the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent that said Mr Zygier was the notorious ”Prisoner X”, an inmate held in the utmost secrecy in a special section of Israel’s maximum security Ayalon prison.

The report stated Mr Zygier, a husband and father of two, moved to Israel around 2000 and became a Mossad spy. But something went tragically wrong with his intelligence activities and he reportedly committed suicide in a tightly guarded cell, where he was held in solitary confinement.

His father, Geoffrey Zygier, executive director for B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, did not comment on Wednesday.

The government acknowledges Mr Zygier died in jail but Senator Carr’s spokesman could not confirm that it was Ayalon prison. The Foreign Affairs Department refused to say who the official was or when it knew of the case, saying only that the department would hold an ”internal review” of its handling of the case.

As Fairfax Media reported in 2010, ASIO was investigating at least three dual citizens for their links to Mossad. Mr Zygier was one of them. It is understood Mr Zygier changed his name to Ben Allen and obtained an Australian passport in his name that allowed him to travel to countries such as Iran and Syria that normally bar entry to Israelis.

The issue has sparked a political storm in Israel, where opposition politicians demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lift a veil of secrecy surrounding Mr Zygier’s imprisonment and death and brief the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.

Outgoing Justice Minister Yaakov Neema vowed that ”if true, the matter must be looked into”.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy refused to comment. But the Coalition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Julie Bishop, who by chance met the Israeli ambassador on Wednesday, said she had expressed her concerns about the case and ”he has undertaken to communicate my concerns back to the appropriate officials in Israel”.

Warren Reed, a former officer with Australia’s external intelligence agency ASIS, said it was implausible that an ambassador would not be told of an Australian national being held in prison – whether or not his knowledge would be acknowledged. ”On anything like that, the ambassador would be personally briefed,” he said. ”They would have to be aware of something potentially that big and explosive.”

Kevin Rudd, who was foreign affairs minister at the time of Mr Zygier’s death, said through a spokesman he supported the DFAT review of the case.

Greens leader Christine Milne urged Senator Carr to take up the issue with Israel.

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GATHERED on one side of the cabinet table were the newly-installed Prime Minister Julia Gillard, her Treasurer Wayne Swan and her Resources Minister Martin Ferguson. On the other were the heads of Australia’s three big mining companies: BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.
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Absent were the key people from the Treasury – the ones who really understood the tax being discussed.

As the then Treasury head Ken Henry later told a Senate committee: “We were not involved in the negotiations, other than in respect of crunching the numbers if you like and in providing due diligence on design parameters that the mining companies themselves came up with.”

The smartest people were kept out of the room. They were ferried draft agreements and asked to examine them quickly. They were unable to test with the miners the propositions they were putting to the government.

The 1½-page heads of agreement signed by the ministers and executives on July 1, 2010, replaced the 40 per cent resource super profits tax with a much weaker 30 per cent minerals resource rent tax applying only to coal and iron ore. An “extraction allowance” cut the actual rate paid to 22.5 per cent. It would be paid only if the profits themselves reached a much higher hurdle.

And then there was the drafting error.

The agreement allowed “all state and territory royalties” to be deducted from the tax.

Ferguson thought the words referred to “royalty rates that applied, or changes to royalty rates that were scheduled to apply in the future, as at 2 May 2010”.

The interpretation made sense. Those were the royalty rates referred to in the original super profits tax. Agreeing to refund whatever any state government chose to charge in the future would expose the Commonwealth to an uncontrollable expense.

But read baldly, that’s what the ministers had signed up to.

Western Australia promptly lifted its iron ore royalty from 5.6 per cent to 7.5 per cent. It now grabs money the ministers believed the federal government would get.

Appearing before the Senate, treasury official David Parker later tried to explain the less-than-precise drafting this way: “This is a document which is 1½ pages long. One could say that the heads of agreement is, to use a musical analogy, a rather staccato document.”

The agreement allowed the mining companies to do more than deduct their royalty payments from the new tax. It allowed them to ”grow” the amount they could deduct at the long term bond rate plus 7 per cent, if low profits meant they owed less resource tax than the royalty payments.

The concession means the miners are unlikely to pay much of the new mining tax for some time to come.

Julia Gillard and her ministers brought peace on July 1 2010, but at a heavy financial price.

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