Foley apologises over ‘white flight’

Opposition leader Luke Foley has apologised for using the term “white flight” while describing issues surrounding immigration in Sydney after a backlash that transcended party lines.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Foley used the term “white flight” to describe the many “Anglo families” forced to leave suburbs in western Sydney struggling with the “huge burden” of migration.

A livid Gladys Berejiklian blasted Labor leader Foley in parliament on Thursday, describing his words as “divisive, offensive, dangerous and nasty”.

The NSW premier said Mr Foley had “crossed the line”.

“The language used is desperate and inflammatory, it goes to the heart of the kind of person you are,” she told Mr Foley during a heated question time.

Within an hour, Mr Foley issued an apology for his comments, citing “feedback”.

“In the course of a 30 minute interview yesterday I used the phrase ‘white flight,’ that phrase is offensive to many,” Mr Foley said in a statement.

“I apologise and I will not use that phrase again.”

The Labor leader had earlier in the day defended his comments, arguing “white flight” was an academic term.

“It’s an identifiable phenomenon in many western cities that reflects the changing cultural mix of many suburbs,” Mr Foley told ABC radio.

“This is a class issue more than a race issue.”

Mr Foley named Fairfield, Guildford, Yennora, Sefton, Granville and Regents Park as suburbs of concern, where there were large numbers of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

“I don’t want anyone to think you have to move out of those suburbs to do well in life, that’s what I’m fighting,” he said.

NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi called Mr Foley’s comments “disgraceful” and said Labor had joined the “race to the bottom on race-baiting”.

“We need to call out lack of investment in public transport, healthcare and education in southwest Sydney, but suggesting that only Anglo families are suffering is just ridiculous and offensive,” Ms Faruqi said in a statement.

“Language like this from politicians scapegoats refugees, who are already amongst the most vulnerable in the community, and it emboldens racism.”

Brisbane coach Bennett Sydney bound?

Would a new deal for Wayne Bennett mean moving back to Sydney?The telltale signs a coach should retire are clear, Wayne Bennett says.

And at 68, the Brisbane mentor reckons he’s not showing any of them.

But a belated move to Sydney may be on the cards for Bennett if he wants to extend his glittering NRL career when his Broncos contract expires in 2019.

Twelve years after his infamous Roosters backflip, Bennett is again being linked to a NSW move after revealing two clubs had already approached him in the wake of news Brisbane are pursuing Craig Bellamy.

Bennett has already been linked to Canterbury – under rookie coach Dean Pay this year – and Brad Arthur’s maligned Parramatta following confirmation the Broncos had talked to Bellamy about a 2020 move.

Questions have been raised over NRL clubs signing Bennett, who would be working into his 70s if offered a new deal.

But Bennett said no alarm bells were ringing for him ahead of his unprecedented 800th NRL game – Thursday night’s clash with the Eels.

“If you don’t want to get up at 5.30am, don’t want to get home at nine at night every day, don’t want to enjoy these blokes and be around them and just sit in your office and let everyone do your job – that’s when you know you are finished,” Bennett said.

“I don’t tick any of those boxes right now.

“I am not going to say it won’t happen to me but right now I am not.

“I am not in a position that I know everything because I don’t but at this point in my life I feel I still have a lot to offer.”

And perhaps it will bring Bennett back to Sydney after being convinced by Roosters kingpin Nick Politis to sign with the Tri-colours for 2007, only to renege when the handshake deal broke in the press.

Bennett’s son in law – Fox Sports league expert Ben Ikin – even speculated the Brisbane coach could follow Penrith general manager and ex-mentor Phil Gould’s lead and take up a director of coaching role at a club.

Brisbane CEO Paul White fronted the media on Wednesday to guarantee Bennett would be coach next year but gave no other assurances despite the seven-time premiership coach’s clear desire to stay.

Bellamy has reportedly been offered a four season, $5 million-plus Broncos deal from 2020 but is also mulling over a lucrative Storm offer.

Marshall-King set to take on brother Benji

Canterbury’s Jeremy Marshall-King will play against brother Benji in Sunday’s NRL clash with Wests.When Jeremy Marshall-King last year turned his back on the chance to play alongside big brother Benji Marshall at the Wests Tigers, he did it so he could write his own legacy.

Canterbury hooker Marshall-King will for the first time face off against the man he looked up to most of his life when he lines up opposite Benji and his Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Born 10 years apart, the brothers are at opposite stages of their NRL careers.

Benji is in his 16th and possibly final season after a career that has spanned a premiership, a World Cup win, a stint in rugby union and countless ups and downs.

Marshall-King is 22, in his second year of first grade and has this year nailed down a starting spot after his off-season move to the Bulldogs in search of an opportunity.

He debuted for the Tigers in round 26 last year and following his first game Benji led an emotional haka in the Leichhardt Oval stands.

After Benji signed to return to the Tigers, it looked like the pair would realise a dream of playing alongside each other this year.

However Marshall-King turned it down after being offered an opportunity under Dean Pay at Belmore.

“That was the plan, to stay at the Tigers and play with my brother,” Marshall-King told AAP.

“The opportunity came up here at the Dogs and I took it and I’m glad I made that decision.

“I just wanted to do what’s best for me in the future.”

Even since Marshall-King pulled on a pair of boots, he has been compared to his older and more famous brother and he displays a real drive to step out of Benji’s long shadow.

“I’m trying to make a name for myself, I’m trying to play some good footy here at the Bulldogs,” Marshall-King said.

“I’m trying to show the people and the fans out there what I’ve got.

Marshall-King and his mother Lydia moved to Sydney from New Zealand when he was 10 to be closer to Benji after he first signed with the Tigers.

To this day, they still text about football regularly, Marshall-King trying to soak up as much as he can from someone who has achieved just about everything in the game.

“It was really good to see him doing really well at his job that he loved doing. Seeing that was cool and inspiring for me,” Marshall-King said.

“Now I’m here and doing that job that he started 10 years ago.”

Powerful presentation of art in the Hunter Region

Hunter Red: Detail from Juz Kitson’s work, Thousands of words exist silently in your memory, 2017, at Newcastle Art Gallery. The exhibition is titled Corpus and runs through July 22.This weekend marks a first-ever collaboration on a suite of exhibitions under the theme Hunter Red across the Hunter’sthree major public galleries (Newcastle Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie City Art Galleryand Maitland Regional Art Gallery)along with cutting-edge creative space, The Lock-Up.

Hunter Red draws from the colloquial tourism phrase for a good locally-made red wine, repositioning it as a term open to interpretation, with all four spaces offering their own creative fingerprint.

Newcastle Art Gallery’s contribution to the project is titled, Corpus, with works unified by themes of the body represented in different and arresting ways –controlled, out of control, stolen, the abject of “other”. It includes works byNell,Bill Henson andFrancisco Goya. Official opening isFriday, May 25, 5.30pm.

The Lock-Up show,Seeing Red, focuses on the city’s history ofpolitical activism. Official opening: Saturday, May 26, 5.30pm.

At Maitland: Treasure, a work by Nell, is part of the Razzamatazz exhibition at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

Maitland’s show, Razzamatazz, showcases theatrical, vibrant collected artworks from the Hunter Region. It includes works by Tony Albert, George Gittoes, Tracy Moffatt, Martin Sharp, Wendy Sharpe andNell. Official opening: Sunday, May 27, 10am.

The Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery show,titled,Re(A)d Earth, presents contemporary Aboriginal artists’ perspectives on connection to country and acknowledges “reading” of the earth as elemental for all Aboriginal people. Offficial opening: Sunday, May 27, 2.30pm.

Nun fights Philippines deportation order

n nun Sr. Patricia Fox has had her appeal against deportation from the Philippines denied.An n missionary nun who has had her appeal against deportation from the Philippines denied will take her case to the Department of Justice in an attempt to remain in the country.

Sister Patricia Fox, 71, was on April 23 ordered to leave the Philippines by May 25 because the Bureau of Immigration said she had violated her missionary visa.

Her lawyers appealed the decision but the bureau on Wednesday said it had reaffirmed its order and directed her to leave the country where she’s lived for more than 27 years.

Lawyer Jobert Pahilga said an appeal will be lodged with the Department of Justice.

“She expects that the BI (bureau) would also follow the rule of law and its own rules of procedure and will not arrest or forcibly deport her, to give her the opportunity to appeal,” Mr Pahilga said in a statement to AAP.

The nun will “exhaust all available legal remedies” to challenge the bureau’s order, Mr Pahilga said.

Sr Fox was detained in the Philippines on April 16 for almost 24 hours because she engaged in “illegal political activities” after the country’s President Rodrigo Duterte ordered she be investigated for “disorderly conduct”.

Her lawyer says the claims have no factual or legal basis.

The nun insists she was helping promote and protect the rights of the poor and the needy in accordance with her mission as a nun with the Sisters of Our Lady Sion.

One week later, the bureau told Sr Fox she had 30 days to leave the Philippines after “she was found to have engaged in activities that are not allowed under the terms and conditions of her visa”.

Sr Fox’s renewable missionary visa, which was due to expire in September 2018, was also cancelled.

Bureau spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said the complaint against the nun engaging in political activities was separate from her visa issue and pending the investigation into that complaint, Sr Fox could return to the country as a tourist.

RFS hazard reduction burns: Fires spotted near Fernleigh Loop

Can you see smoke? Hunter hazard reduction burn near Fernleigh Rural Fire Service crews carry out hazard reduction burns near Stanford Merthyr – Keith White of Lochinvar crew with his drip torch lighting the fire at the edge of the area to be cleared. Picture: Peter Stoop

Rural Fire Service crews carry out hazard reduction burns near Stanford Merthyr. Picture: Peter Stoop

Rural Fire Service crews carry out hazard reduction burns near Stanford Merthyr – Jenna Maynard from Lochinvar crew lighting a drip torch line. Picture: Peter Stoop

Rural Fire Service crews carry out hazard reduction burns near Stanford Merthyr – Jenna Maynard from Lochinvar crew lighting a drip torch line. Picture: Peter Stoop

Rural Fire Service crews carry out hazard reduction burns near Stanford Merthyr – Jenna Maynard from Lochinvar crew lighting a drip torch line. Picture: Peter Stoop

Rural Fire Service crews carry out hazard reduction burns near Stanford Merthyr. Lochinvar RFS crew in the smoke. Picture: Peter Stoop

Rural Fire Service crews carry out hazard reduction burns near Stanford Merthyr. Lochinvar RFS crew in the smoke. Picture: Peter Stoop

Rural Fire Service crews carry out hazard reduction burns near Stanford Merthyr. Lochinvar RFS crew in the smoke. Picture: Peter Stoop

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

Firefighters conducting hazard reduction burns at Cardiff. Pic: Karl Hofman

TweetFacebook ARCHIVE: Hazard reduction burning in the HunterThere will be plenty of smoke around the Fernleigh Loop on Thursday due to hazard reduction burns.

The Rural Fire Service is conducting the burns alongHighfields Parade south west of Gun Club Road and across to the Fernleigh Loop, Highfields.

“There may be some smoke and fire activity visible from local roadways during and after thehazardreductionoperations,” a NSW RFS spokesman said.

“Motorists in these areas should slow down and take care if driving through smoke, including keeping windows up and turning their headlights on.

“Residents in these areas should take the appropriate precautions including keeping doors and windows closed, remove washing from clothes lines and ensure any pets are in a protected area.”

There are more hazardreductionburns planned for this week:

Macquarie St West HR , Morisset – Friday 255 hectares – to rear of properties off Macquarie St, Morisset, commencing approximately 10am to be completed approximately 6pm.

Norah Head, Norah Head – Saturday 2614 hectares – bushland off Victoria, Barton, Bayton and Dyson Dr Norah Head, commencing approximately 10am to be completed approximately 8pm

Should weather conditions change the burns will be postponed.

For more information visit


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Fresh probe against Harvey Weinstein

Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into Harvey Weinstein.Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer says federal US prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.

Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a declaration filed on May 3 in the Weinstein Co’s bankruptcy proceedings that he had been advised Weinstein was a “principal target” of an investigation being conducted by the US attorney’s office in Manhattan.

“I am trying my very best to persuade both the federal and state prosecutors that he should not be arrested and or indicted, because he did not knowingly violate the law,” Brafman wrote.

He said the allegations that Weinstein forced himself on women were “entirely without merit.”

Scores of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from inappropriate comments to rape.

Weinstein is under criminal investigation in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and London. He has not been charged with any crimes, though police in New York have said publicly that they believe there is enough evidence to make an arrest.

Two law enforcement officials confirmed that Weinstein has been under federal investigation. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sex crimes, aside from child pornography cases, are usually handled by local prosecutors under state law, but federal charges can be brought under certain circumstances if a person brings a victim across state lines for the purpose of a sexual assault or the attack happens on federal lands.

In the bankruptcy case, Brafman sought access to emails and correspondence under the control of the Weinstein Co. to help him in his defence efforts.

A Delaware bankruptcy judge approved a private equity firm’s purchase of the Weinstein Co. Dallas-based Lantern Capital offered to pay $US310 million in cash for the Weinstein Co.’s assets and to assume $US127 million in project-related debt. It also agreed to cover obligations related to the assumption of certain contracts and leases.

Boyd to stay at Broncos if Bennett leaves

If Wayne Bennett leaves Brisbane, for the first time in his NRL career Darius Boyd won’t follow.

Broncos captain Boyd said he would see out his contract at the club which expires at the end of 2021 – even if Bennett was shown the door by Brisbane.

Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett looks on during a team training session at Red Hill in Brisbane, Wednesday. Photo: AP

Since Bennett handed him his 2006 debut, Boyd – now 30 – has never played under any other NRL coach after following his beloved mentor to a different club three times.

But move No.4 has been ruled out by Boyd despite speculation linking off-contract Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy with the Brisbane job.

Seven-time premiership winner Bennett’s future is in the air after Brisbane CEO Paul White confirmed he had spoken to Bellamy about a move north in 2020.

Bennett, 68, is off contract next year.

Asked if he would stay if Bennett left, Boyd told Fox Sports’ NRL Tonight: “Yeah, I’m almost done (career-wise) anyway.

“I love the Broncos and I’ll definitely be staying.”

Boyd denied he had a “Bennett clause” in his contract that let him again follow the coach and vowed to finish his career at Brisbane where it all started 12 years ago.

“Brisbane has always been my favourite club and the club I always followed, since I was six years old,” Boyd said.

“I never wanted to leave in the first place but an opportunity presented itself for a number of reasons to go with Wayne and I’m very grateful for the experience I’ve had to be with Wayne all these years.

“I hope he doesn’t go because it would be sad to part ways with him.”

Boyd followed Bennett to St George Illawarra from 2009-2011 – winning the 2010 Clive Churchill Medal and NRL title in 2010 – then to Newcastle (2012-14) before returning to Brisbane in 2015.

But Boyd said he would have no problem with playing for an NRL coach other than Bennett.

“Of course. I’ve been coached by a lot of other coaches in the rep arena but obviously not at club level,” he said.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with Kevvie Walters, Ricky Stuart and Mal Meninga and I’ve really enjoyed my time under those guys.”

White told media on Wednesday Bennett would coach the Broncos in 2019 but gave no other guarantees as they sweat on Bellamy.

Political novice gets nod to be Italy PM

Political novice Giuseppe Conte has got the nod to lead the next government in Italy.President Sergio Mattarella has given political novice Giuseppe Conte a mandate to lead the first government in Italy made up of anti-establishment parties that have vowed to shake up the European Union.

Conte, a little-known Florence law professor, said he would need a few days to draw up a list of ministers for his administration, which will be backed by the radical 5-Star Movement and far-right League.

“I’m preparing now to defend the interests of all Italians in all places, in Europe and internationally,” Conte told reporters after holding two hours of talks with Mattarella.

“I will be the defence lawyer for the Italian people.”

Italy has been deadlocked since an inconclusive election in March. After weeks of fruitless talks between the various parties, 5-Star and the League finally agreed to a government pact last Friday, promising to hike taxes and jack up spending.

Conte was plucked from obscurity by 5-Star. He holds no elected position and has no political or management experience. Critics say he risks being an exceptionally weak leader who will have little influence over his coalition partners.

Volatile Italian markets saw renewed selling pressure on Wednesday over fears the League/5-Star programme would led to a spending spree that would endanger the country’s heavily indebted accounts and spark a showdown with the EU.

The European Commission warned on Wednesday that Italy’s financial stability was at risk from possible interest rate increases and political worries.

Powerful Italian business lobby Confindustria also raised the alarm, saying the nascent government had to show it had a plan to cut the country’s debt pile, the second highest in Europe in relation to output after that of Greece.

But Conte, in his first words since receiving his mandate, suggested his initial priority would be European reform.

“The government must immediately contend with ongoing negotiations over the European budget, the reform of asylum law, and the completion of the banking union,” he said.

Sharkie to run ‘old style’ campaign

Candidate for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie (R) will continue campaigning in SA with Bob Katter.Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie will campaign to retain her Adelaide Hills seat on “pennies not pounds”, and will not accept donations from big business or unions.

Ms Sharkie, who was forced to resign earlier this month after being caught up in the citizenship saga, said she will have a maximum of $50,000 to spend on the campaign.

“I put a second mortgage on the house last time, which I haven’t finished paying off, so I’m going to redraw on that,” she said.

She said a small amount of money has been allocated for corflutes, but glossy leaflets will not be delivered to houses.

In a bid to remain uninfluenced, Ms Sharkie will not accept donations from big business or unions, instead opting for an “old style” campaign.

“I am happy to have a debate in every town hall meeting,” she said.

“I’m just wearing out my shoe leather, just like last time.”

Her opponent, Liberal candidate Georgina Downer, has come under fire for an opposite approach, having left the region 20 years ago and moved back days before she was preselected.

Ms Sharkie will continue to campaign with fellow crossbencher Bob Katter on Thursday, after the pair held a number of community events in the electorate on Wednesday including a question and answer session at a community centre.

Ashley Edwards, 35, who attended the forum, said support for Ms Sharkie in the region was strong.

“I’d be very surprised if she didn’t get back in,” he said.

“She’s kind of like your next-door neighbour but she speaks up and that’s what this area really needs.”

The date of the by-election is expected to be announced in the coming days.