February, 2019

Woman critically injured as car crashes onto footpath, hits pram in Chatswood

A woman has been critically injured after a car mounted the footpath and struck her in Chatswood. Photo: TNV A woman has been critically injured after a car mounted the footpath and struck her in Chatswood. Photo: TNV
Nanjing Night Net

A woman walking along a footpath on Sydney’s north shore has been struck by an out-of-control car and critically injured, police say.

Police said the Toyota sedan was travelling along Victoria Avenue near Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre in Chatswood just before 8.30am on Friday when it left the road.

It first struck a pram, before hitting the woman who was walking nearby along the footpath.

The vehicle then crashed into a pole, hit a motorbike and flipped onto its side, coming to rest on the footpath outside a Chinese restaurant.

Remarkably, the child in the pram was not injured but has been taken to a medical centre for precautionary checks.

The injured woman has no connection to the child, police said.

NSW Ambulance paramedics and CareFlight’s medical team treated the woman, aged in her early 30s, for head injuries before taking her to Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition.

A witness, Oubie Elrish, was on Victoria Avenue getting coffee with his brother when the crash occurred in front of him.

“All we know is that he [the driver] mounted that curb, lady was walking that way, [the car] collected her, collected the second lady,” Mr Elrish said.

“The second lady was alright, but the first lady was all bloodied and bruised. It wasn’t a good sight.

“We just had her in our arms, and she wasn’t too well.”

He said it was “very lucky” only one person was injured, given how busy the shopping strip usually is.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said police had been told that the child in the pram was not injured and was taken by family to a medical centre to be checked as a precaution.

“Police are yet to confirm the child’s age or sex,” the spokeswoman said.

Police are understood to be investigating whether the 67-year-old male driver of the vehicle suffered a medical episode before crashing.

The driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries. He was taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing, police said. Pedestrian knocked over by a car at Chatswood which has veered off the road and onto the footpath @9NewsSydpic.twitter南京夜网/Ywn7agFQh3— Laura Tunstall (@LauraTunstall9) February 23, 2017

Police from North Shore Local Area Command and the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit are at the crash scene and have closed Victoria Avenue in both directions between Neridah and Archer streets.

“Motorists are strongly advised to delay travel or avoid the area where possible,” police said. \n”,colour:”green”, title:”Crash”, maxWidth:200, open:0}] );}if (!window.gmapsLoaders) window.gmapsLoaders = [];window.gmapsLoaders.push(CreateGMapgmap2017124103323);window.gmapsAutoload=true;/*]]>*/]]>

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Oscars 2017: How Brad Pitt went from Hollywood hunk to movie mogul

David Oyewolo as Martin Luther King in Selma. Pitt starred in baseball movie Moneyball.
Nanjing Night Net

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave, for which Pitt won an Oscar as producer.

If you want to dazzle your friends on Monday with your depth of Oscar-related trivia, you might casually mention that Brad Pitt has been nominated for six Academy Awards, with one win so far. But if you really want to impress them, you’ll need to remember the role for which he collected that little gold man.

Was it as the teeth-tapping madman Jeffrey Goines in 12 Monkeys, for which he was nominated as best supporting actor in 1996? Or as a man who lives his life in reverse in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (best actor 2009)? Or maybe as the number-crunching baseball team manager Billy Beane in Moneyball (best actor again, 2012)?

Actually, it was none of those.

Brad Pitt’s sole Oscar win has come in the role for which he has garnered least notice to date – as a movie producer.

When 12 Years a Slave collected the best picture Oscar in 2014, Pitt was one of the five producers who took home a statuette (the best picture award is given to the producers, not the director, of the film). His co-winners were Steve McQueen, who also directed, independent producer Anthony Katagas, and Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, the co-presidents of Plan B, Pitt’s production company.

This year, his Plan B will be among the contenders again, with Moonlight up for eight Academy Awards, including best picture.

It is the fourth year straight the company has had a best picture nominee, after 12 Years… (2014), Selma (2015) and The Big Short (2016). In a relatively short space of time, it has emerged as a major-minor player, racking up receipts (global box office of more than $US2.1 billion), favourable notices, and award nominations, an uncommon trifecta in the movie business.

Pitt launched Plan B in 2001 with his then wife Jennifer Aniston and Hollywood executive Brad Grey. Grey exited soon after, when he was appointed top dog at Paramount (a job from which he has just been dumped, following a $US450 million loss for the studio last financial year).

When he and Aniston divorced, Pitt assumed sole ownership of the company, which had been around in name since 1996, passing through a few sets of hands before reaching the glamour couple.

The first film produced by Plan B was Troy, in 2004. It gave us the memorable sight of Pitt in a leather skirt, and was a reasonable success in commercial terms (taking about $US500 million worldwide, on a budget of $US175 million), but the sword-and-sandals epic gave little indication of the direction Plan B would head in years to come.

It didn’t take long for this boutique production house to start mixing it with the big boys. In 2006, the firm produced Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, which won four Oscars the following February, including best picture (including, finally, a best director award for Scorsese, who had been nominated and overlooked five times before that).

Pitt is listed in the movie’s credits as one of that film’s four producers. But only one of them, Englishman Graham King, received an Oscar.

That was down to the Academy’s guidelines on who is eligible, which state in part: “The nominees will be those three or fewer producers who have performed the major portion of the producing functions.” The rules are rubbery, though. Producing teams can sometimes be treated as a single producer, and producers ruled out can appeal, and sometimes be ruled back in.

At any rate, the Academy ruled in the case of The Departed that neither Pitt nor Grey was eligible. Nor will Pitt be invited onto the winners’ podium should Moonlight win best picture next week – the nominated producers are Plan B’s Gardner and Kleiner and independent producer Adele Romanski, who initiated the project with writer-director Barry Jenkins in 2013.

But while Gardner and Kleiner are clearly the driving forces in Plan B, Pitt isn’t just a nominal producer. There are films on which he takes an executive producer credit – a sure sign that his involvement isn’t very hands-on – but on plenty of Plan B’s titles he is credited as one of a small number of producers. Indeed, on some of the company’s forthcoming pictures (many of which will undoubtedly fall by the wayside) he is the only credited producer.

Hollywood is of course full of producers, some of whom might never have even been on a movie set. On Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey, for instance, 23 people get a producer credit of some stripe (Pitt is one of seven listed as a producer proper).

The Producers Guild of America draws a distinction between those who have merely traded cash for cache or been cogs in a machine and those who have been genuinely instrumental in getting a film conceived, financed and/or distributed. The Academy largely follows suit when it comes to Oscar eligibility. It hasn’t entirely stopped the stampede to the stage on awards night, but it has at least cut down on the work of those who engrave the names on the statuettes.

At 53, it seems Pitt is easing himself into a future where he will inevitably seem less viable as a leading man. He has 42 producer credits on imdb南京夜网. On about half of those he is listed as a producer – one of the people who actually make the thing happen – rather than an executive producer (someone who makes sure they make it happen, usually on behalf of a studio or other financial backer).

True, he also appears in many of the films he has a producer credit on, but it’s often no more than a cameo or small role – just enough to help make the project more appealing to those who will bankroll, distribute or screen it.

It’s a smart way to leverage on-screen appeal to build an off-screen business, but ultimately Plan B will have to outgrow its owner’s star power if it is to go the distance. And that’s where projects such as Moonlight and the Netflix TV series The OA matter so much. Their success owes nothing to Pitt onscreen.

Indeed, it’s highly likely that at some point Plan B will become Pitt’s plan A. Maybe that is already starting to happen.

The company has four films slated for release in the near future; Pitt is a producer of two, an EP of the other two, and appears in only one of them, War Machine, a satire about the military campaign in Afghanistan directed by Australian David Michod (Animal Kingdom).

Since 2010, Pitt has acted in 10 movies and produced 10. He has also produced two TV series. There have been big-budget blockbusters such as World War Z (with a sequel in the works, allegedly to be directed by David Fincher) and Fury, as well as quirky smaller films such as Moneyball and Kick-Ass.

And of course there have been the critical darlings.

To date, Plan B has notched up 36 Oscar nominations since its first (for costume design), in 2005, for Troy. It has won nine, and if the predictions hold true, Moonlight looks set to add to that tally come Monday.

Whether that happens of not, it’s fair to say Pitt’s plan B is working out just fine. For now at least, successful producer is a role he appears to have nailed. Plan B at the Oscars

Troy 1 nomination, 2005. No producer credit for Pitt

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 1 nomination, 2006. No producer credit for Pitt

The Departed 5 nominations, 4 wins, 2007. No Oscar for Pitt, despite being one of four credited producers

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 2 nominations, 2008. Pitt was one of five producers

The Tree of Life 3 nominations, 2012. Pitt was one of six named producers

12 Years a Slave 9 nominations, 3 wins, 2014. Pitt was one of five eligible producers

Selma 2 nominations, 1 win, 2015. No producer credit for Pitt

The Big Short 5 nominations, 1 win, 2016. Pitt was one of four producers

Moonlight 8 nominations 2017. No producer credit for Pitt

Karl Quinn is on Facebook at karlquinnjournalist and on Twitter @karlkwin

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Civil war as Abbott lights up against Turnbull and Shorten sits back

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull on the day of the Liberal leadership spill, in September 2015. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Tony Abbott listens to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressing the party room at Parliament House in November. Photo: Andrew Meares
Nanjing Night Net

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Burwood, Sydney on Friday. Photo: Janie Barrett

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull depart at the end of Question Time, just before a leadership spill was call, at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 14 September 2015. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

An uncivil war has broken out in the federal parliamentary Liberal Party, within the government of Australia.

Exaggeration? A livid Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t seem to think so, judging by his demeanour.

And there’s no exaggerating the anger of moderates Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne, and even Abbott’s old mate and right wing fellow traveller, Mathias Cormann.

The normally reserved, ultra-cautious, philosophically conservative Finance Minister, who stuck with Tony Abbott to the bitter end, has angrily cut the tag.

Admitting to being “flabbergasted”, Cormann described Abbott’s extraordinary interview on Sky News on Thursday evening as “completely unacceptable”. And he went on, branding it deliberately unhelpful, hypocritical, and plain wrong.

‘He’s not helping our cause, he’s not helping our country, he’s not helping himself, much of what he says is either wrong or inconsistent with what he did,’ Cormann responded via the same network on Friday morning.

Shades of 2012 when Wayne Swan, Nicola Roxon, Tony Burke et al, went on breakfast TV to reveal what they really thought about Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership. We know where that all led.

Abbott of course, had promised not to become a wrecker – a now explosively broken pledge to add to those he shattered while at the helm of a government unparalleled for its dogma, its ludicrous inconsistencies (remember its gold-plated paid parental leave scheme), and its political tin ear.

Now, wounded and unpredictable, Abbott has obviously concluded he has nothing left to lose. In this guise he is an existential threat to the unity of the Coalition, its leadership, and its capacity to maintain public confidence.

Displaying a selective memory and no hint of responsibility for a government that slipped into negative territory quicker than any in polling history, Abbott accuses Turnbull’s government of being “Labor light” and of drifting to defeat.

Actually, that “defeat” had been a virtual certainty under his leadership. And yet his prescription is be more like me.

The right is fracturing and it is doing it live on television. Its main institutional pillar, the Liberal Party, is riven with divisions. Abbott remains inside the tent where his presence portends catastrophic disunity. Others hold the same view and could wreak further havoc.

Just weeks ago Cory Bernardi legged it, taking his Senate sinecure with him while claiming the true conservative mantle. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation nips at the Coalition’s right flank, sending Nationals into paroxysms.

Danger abounds. Bernardi says Abbott still believes he can return. Right wingers who agree, grumble that Turnbull is still planning to revive gay marriage reforms and warn this would be the trigger. A pall of hate and suspicion has replaced the sunny optimism that accompanied Turnbull’s arrival.

And a baying right wing media facilitates all of this, virtue signalling a “true” conservatism while delivering nothing but unproductive anger and of course, an electoral windfall to Bill Shorten.

Follow us on Facebook

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Abbott calls it; Turnbull won’t be provoked. Not half . . .

Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s unspoken sixth point in his plan is that he must be returned as gang leader. Photo: Stefan PostlesIf the Liberal Party were a schoolyard – and really, it is, isn’t it? – there’d be excitable kids rushing about, yelling that oldest of rallying cries: “Fight, fight, fight.”
Nanjing Night Net

Here’s Tony Abbott squaring off with his five-point plan for victory, neglecting only to shout the as-yet unspoken sixth, which is that he must be returned as gang leader.

And here’s Malcolm Turnbull drawing a new line with his toe, a metre back from the one he drew before, and muttering “I won’t be provoked.”

Which sounds like a fellow whose alert level has just moved from agitated to adrenally disturbed.

Meanwhile, Christopher Pyne is dancing around, throwing shadow jabs and getting himself in a frightful lather of excitement. How dare Abbott, who Christopher once adored, nettle Malcolm, who Christopher has really, really come to cherish since the Adelaide $50 billion subs thing?

Lurking in the shadows, Eric Abetz and Kevin Andrews, the geriatrics from grade 13, are almost weeing themselves at the prospect that their champion bruiser might actually step across that line. Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison shift nervously, fearful that something could actually come of this madness and Abbott could beat them to the prize.

Abbott, once so scatter-brained he chose Prince Philip of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl??cksburg as his knight defender, has clearly been working on his timing.

Pauline Hanson has been seeding ever-spreading broad-acre paddocks with a new anti-immigration strain. Jump on that tractor and call it a housing policy. Tick.

Turnbull and his own ministers have been questioning renewable energy and talking up coal in fear of increased energy costs. Get on that message and soup it up. Tick.

The Human Rights Commission? Its only remaining friends are lefties. Elite bullies who don’t like freedom of speech, even if it’s only to call little kids names. This is 2017, the year of Trump. Malcolm doesn’t much like the commission any more, so he can’t argue. Scrap it. Tick.

The Senate. Enough said. Drives people crazy. Been useful driving Malcolm crazy, of course, but wouldn’t want that to continue under a sensible new leader. Reform it, whatever that means. Tick.

Oh, yes. And STOP THE SPENDING. Makes no actual sense, but you know, three-word slogans. They work. Tick.

A five-point plan. With a sixth to come.

“I won’t be provoked,” says Malcolm. Not half. He’s already been provoked. Better sharpen the toe to draw another line.

Problem is, every kid knows that once a challenge is made in a schoolyard, there’s no stepping away from it. You can hear the chant growing, and Bill Shorten’s voice is joining in, loud with delight.

“Fight, fight, fight.”

Follow us on Facebook

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

In a time of hot, angry air, simple pleasures rule

Punch and Judy came out to play. Photo: Damian White Trip back in time: Brianna, 14, and Colby, 15, Wilksch get ready for a ride on Andrew Duyvestyn’s reproduction coach. Photo: Katrina Lovell
Nanjing Night Net

Mason Galpin, of Penola, won the supreme exhibit with his limousin cow at the Tyrendarra Show. Photo: Katrina Lovell

I attended a country show a couple of weeks ago.

It was one of those shows where chooks are awarded ribbons and there are tables groaning with scones and fruit cakes and creations with fancy icing and cooks eyeing off the competition; where shining horses prance about a show ring which doubles for a footy oval in winter and triples as a cricket ground in summer; and where you can still find a pavilion for a sit-down luncheon served by the good ladies of the district.

Burly blokes in singlets hefted pitchforks and hurled wheat bags stuffed with three and a half kilograms of oaten hay, their faces getting redder as they laboured to lob their sheaves over a bar that rose higher and higher during the heat of the day.

This was the 100th annual Tyrendarra Pastoral and Agricultural Show, or it would have been if they hadn’t called it off in 1942 and 1943 because just about all the men in that far-west Victorian district had trooped off to war.

It is lore that a member of my father’s family has been at every one of these shows since they began. With my dad gone, I was left to carry on the observance, accompanied by a daughter. I remembered my childhood when grandparents took me along and laid out a picnic in front of the highland dancing stage.

Family is a big thing at country shows – this year cousins cleaned up the first prizes in the produce section with their artistic arrangements of fruit and vegetables, won plaudits for their flowers and an aunt got a ribbon for her chutney.

There were no sideshow alley whirly rides.

There was, however, an old-time Punch and Judy puppet booth, and little kids squealed at it goggle-eyed as if TV and video games had never been invented.

Yes, and there was a wombat that escaped its enclosure, causing much leaping and carry-on as it hurtled among the feet of show-goers.

And I kept running into people I hadn’t seen for years and swapping stories about our lives and those of our families.

The sun shone and the rest of the world seemed a long way away.

If that day at the show put me in mind of the infinite worth of simple pleasures, the idea was reinforced a couple of days ago when I opened up my Facebook account.

There is something of a dread in this process these days, where rants about Donald Trump, Pauline Hanson, Jacqui??? Lambie or Yassmin??? Abdel-Magied are becoming about as common as the daily requirement to send some old or new friend a birthday wish.

A distant friend posted that “I’m getting a bit tired of Facebook. It’s all about news stories and they are all a bit the same – plus I’ve read them already. I want to know what’s going on in my friends’ lives.”

It was as if she had opened a gate to a crowd that had been milling outside, starved.

Messages of the small, lovely things of life poured in. From everywhere.

“My homegrown tomatoes,” someone wrote along with a photo of a bowl of the fruit. “I’m just so proud I had to share it with you.”

“Here’s my daughter in a bag,” wrote another, supplying a picture of a baby peering out from a little cloth playpen.

“I am writing a book while looking after a friend’s chickens and huge fruit and vegie garden and pondering a shift to the mountains and wondering if I will ever work full-time again,” offered another.

And there was the woman who wrote that she had just received a phone call “that made my heart squeeze”.

“Doctor phoned to let me know that Gracie girl does not have a torn ligament in her knee, nor any other nasties and will now be free to dominate at softball in a week or so.”

“I’m in the Solomon Islands meeting award-winning local cocoa farmers who are now teaching others to improve their growing and processing techniques to access global markets, benefiting entire communities” revealed some fellow. “Inspiring.” And a photographer announced she was on location in Germany, working on an exhibition to be called “Walking in Wiesbaden”.

There was a little tale of a christening (the baby wore “her great-great aunt’s christening dress which is 100+ years old”), of a broken wrist just as a house was being prepared for sale, of children born and kitchens renovated, of a son who confessed to being surprised at how easy it was to live without a phone after losing his in a mugging, of a grandmother who had just been married (with photo), and the news from someone else that “oh, and I cooked a chook the other night”.

On and on went the small stories of lives being lived.”My son caught a bus from an unfamiliar suburb to another unfamiliar suburb all by himself (if you don’t count a few frantic text messages),” informed a mother, with an update: “HOME AT LAST.”

And this: “Well, I went to the Kangaroo Valley Show on Saturday”, accompanied by an amusing picture of a blow-up shark jumping castle.

In a time that seems often to have surrendered to the shouted insult and where antagonists insist we take a side, it is worth knowing that much of it is wasted breath, and that true value resides in the small, universal and often unspoken things: simple pleasures.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.