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Taxpayers cough up $7MILLION in one year on cocktail parties - including $165,000 on canapes and Sauvignon Blanc for Australia's sports stars

The Turnbull Government last year spent close to $7million on cocktail parties and hospitality with one minister hosting two gala dinners worth $165,000 for elite athletes.Taxpayers in 2017 stumped up $45,000 and $120,000 for two separate Australian Sports Commission dinners in Melbourne and Sydney.Sports Minister Greg Hunt in December hosted an extravagant dinner which saw Olympic hurdler Sally Pearson awarded athlete of the year.The grand Australian Sports Performance Awards, at Sydney's The Star casino, saw the public purse fund a $120,045 gala event, which included $39,490 for a three-course meal, $20,880 in beverages and $47,052 for venue hire.  The Turnbull Government ...

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    Mother-of-three Kate takes a ride with Camilla at Trooping The Colour

    The Duchess of Cambridge is no stranger to dazzling crowds with her flawless outfits.And joining Prince William for the Trooping The Colour ceremony in London today to mark the Queen's 92nd birthday, Kate didn't disappoint.She showcased a seriously chic power blue dress and oversized head piece as she made her way through the capital in an open-top carriage. Royal wave: Riding beside the Duchess of Cornwall in an open-top carriage, the Duchess of Cambridge looked effortlessly elegant for the Trooping The Colour ceremony Chic: Kate completed her sophisticated look with a statement fascinator by Juliet BotterillWaving to crowds alongside the Duchess ...

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    Fashions in the Field gets underway as hundreds of well-dressed punters arrive at Stradbroke races

    A sea of fancy females have converged on Queensland's Doomben Racecourse dressed to impress for their shot at taking home a Fashions on the Field prize.Women opted to keep with a regal red, white and black theme for Stradbroke Day - the final fixture in Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival's 10 day program. Attendees began flooding through the gates in dazzling frocks from 9.30am, covering up for the cooler weather in sleeved dresses and tasteful coats.  A sea of fancy females have converged on Queensland's Doomben Racecourse dressed to impress Saturday omen opted to keep with a regal red, white and black theme ...

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    Eric and Lara Trump teach their son Luke how to walk

    Eric and Lara Trump's baby boy, Luke, isn't even officially nine-months-old yet, but he is already taking his first steps.Eric, 34, took to Instagram on Thursday to share a heartwarming video of their only child standing on his own while Lara, 35, urges his to walk in the background. 'Okay baby, lets see it. Let's see it. Come on buddy,' she coos as another woman helps Luke find his balance and holds her arms out to him.  Too cute: Eric Trump, 34, took to Instagram on Thursday to share a video of his nearly nine-month-old son, Luke, taking his first steps  ...


  • Travel

    Walks of wonder: Six of Europe's best coastal hikes that will take your breath away...

    There is no better way to explore the great outdoors than by foot. Here we reveal a selection of magnificent coastal hikes, including a jaunt through the remotest corner of Iceland and a precarious tour along Ibiza's south-west cost.Scroll down for six walks that will take your breath away.EDGY WILDERNESS Rugged beauty: Madeira's Ponta de São Lourenço offers sensational coastal walksMadeira’s finger-shaped peninsula, Ponta de São Lourenço, marks its easternmost point and offers a sensational six-mile hike, with plenty of ups and downs. In addition to passing high above rocky coves and along stark cliffs that plunge into the Atlantic Ocean, ...

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    There’s a message from the French founders of Novotel in the lobby. It describes Accor Hotels — which owns Novotel —as representing ‘the breath of France that kindles the spark of conviviality, no matter where you are in the world’.Well, I’m at Stansted Airport and not entirely convinced the spark has been kindled, even though this particular Novotel has been completely refurbished. For those with long memories it’s like a modern version of Crossroads motel. Harsh lighting, constant piped music in the bar and large TV screens on the walls.There’s massive competition among airport hotels. This one is not the ...

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    The ITV2 programme Love Island may be an acquired taste (dumb blondes, buff blokes, inane chatter), but it seems to be doing wonders for Majorca.Bookings and internet searches are up and I dare say there’s been a run on fake tans, too.The villa where all the cuddling up takes place is in the north-east — which, as it happens, is only ten miles or so from where we are staying, in unspoilt countryside, around an hour’s drive from Palma.s  The harbour in Palma at twilight (above). The Celebrity Rave's Mark Palmer took a guided tour of Majorca's busy capital city ...

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    Tourists are being warned that they could risk arrest by taking sex toys on holiday with them.That's because certain countries, from the Maldives to Saudi Arabia, have bans on them.Read on to find out which countries won't be too happy if you turn up with a sex toy in your luggage.  Tourists are being warned that they could risk arrest by taking sex toys on holiday with themThe MaldivesThe Maldives is known as a popular honeymoon destination thanks to its white sand and clear blue waters.But pornographic materials are prohibited by the Maldives Customs Service, says British-based sex toy retailer Carvaka.  Sex ...



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Amazon's Alexa is coming to the Apple Watch - sort of.A new third-party app, dubbed Voice in a Can, lets you use Alexa on the Apple Watch instead of the iPhone maker's voice assistant, Siri. It's a standalone Apple Watch app, so you don't have to be tethered to your iPhone, according to the Verge, which first spotted it.  A new third-party app, dubbed Voice in a Can, lets you use Alexa on the Apple Watch (pictured) instead of the iPhone maker's voice assistant, SiriInstead, all you need is a WiFi connection or access to an LTE network.However, it doesn't mean ...

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    That's a good boy! Encouraging your dog can boost its ability to solve complex problems

    They say dogs are man's best friend, but it may actually be the other way around.A study from Oregon State University found that encouragement from a canine's owner can help boost the animal's ability to solve complex problems.The researchers evaluated the behavior of search and rescue dogs and pet dogs when presented with the same problem-solving task.The pups had to open a puzzle box containing a sausage within two minutes. They compared a group of 28 search and rescue dogs and a group of 31 pet dogs. A study from Oregon State University evaluated the behavior of search and rescue ...

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    US beats China to build world's fastest supercomputer that's one million times faster than a laptop

    The US just took back the title for the world's fastest supercomputer. On Friday, the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee unveiled the 'Summit' supercomputer that can deliver a peak performance of 200 petaflops, or about 200 quadrillion calculations per second. It managed to beat out the previous record holder that was China's Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer.  the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory unveiled the 'Summit' supercomputer (pictured) that can deliver a peak performance of 200 petaflopsSummit is 60% faster than the TaihuLight supercomputer, which could achieve a peak performance of 93 petaflops.The feat puts the ...


  • Markets

    East European oil and gas firm Block Energy to list on the stock exchange

    An oil and gas company that plans to become one of the biggest independent players in eastern Europe by developing a £30 million prospect in Georgia is listing on the stock exchange on Monday.Fund managers Miton Group and Amati Global are among investors who have raised £5 million funding for Block Energy through an oversubscribed share placing.The firm will list on Aim with a £10.3million valuation, after buying two oilfields near Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. Fund managers Miton Group and Amati Global are among investors who have raised £5 million funding for Block EnergyBlock Energy, chaired by Gulf Keystone non-exec Philip Dimmock, ...

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    Caroline Neville is President of Cosmetic Executive WomenCaroline Neville, a leading figure in the UK beauty industry has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.The honour is in recognition for her work in promoting UK Beauty, her mentoring of female entrepreneurs and young executives and charitable work within the sector, which is worth £25 billion and employs a million people.Caroline, 76, who has been married for fifty years with two children, is President of Cosmetic Executive Women, the leading industry organisation.She set up her own PR consultancy at the age of 20 in 1962 at a time ...

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    Thousands of football fans will head to Russia next week for the 2018 World Cup, but would you invest your money there?The oil and gas-rich nation will be in the spotlight during the tournament – and the influx of supporters will provide a boost to the Russian economy.But experts say putting your money in Russian companies could be an own goal for investors.Not only do you have to stomach a political regime that may be unpalatable to many, but you would also have to be prepared for a rocky ride.  Eastern promise? Experts say putting your money in Russian companies ...

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    SHARE PUNT OF THE WEEK: AIM- listed training company Malvern International has schools in London, Singapore and Malaysia

    WHO IS IT? Malvern International, an AIM-listed training company with schools in London, Singapore and Malaysia, has recently bought an English language school in Manchester and launched online services in a bid to build its UK customer base.It focuses on English language courses as well as accounting and business, and last year it enrolled more than 7,000 students.WHAT’S THE LATEST The firm recently raised £4million to fund its Manchester acquisition and to further grow the business.It has secured a collaboration with Oxford University Press and partnered with the University of East London to provide courses in English as a ...

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    DAILY BRIEFING: Half the population braced for interest rates rise over next 12 months, Bank of England study finds

    RATE RISE Half the population are braced for a rise in interest rates from 0.5 per cent over the next 12 months, a Bank of England study has found.CAR BOOST Customers borrowed £1.6billion to buy cars in April – up 31 per cent on a year earlier. A total of 81,734 cars were bought with loaned cash during the month, a rise of 27 per cent, said the Finance & Leasing Association.ROMAN RUINS Markets in Italy have suffered further stress as investors fret about its new Eurosceptic leadership. It suggests investors see Italy as a risk after a coalition hostile to ...

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    Henri Lloyd is next High Street shop to go bust: Sailing fashion retailer has seven stores around the UK

    Henri Lloyd is the latest High Street retailer to go bust.The sailing fashion retailer, which was founded in Manchester in 1963 and counts the Duchess of Cambridge among its fans, has seven stores around the UK.It had earned a reputation for innovation in the designs of its waterproof clothing. Bust: Henri Lloyd, which was founded in Manchester in 1963 and counts the Duchess of Cambridge among its fans, has seven stores around the UKHenri Lloyd’s clothes are sold in House of Fraser, which yesterday announced it planned to shut 31 stores.RSM Restructuring Advisory, the appointed administrators, said Henri Lloyd had ...


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    Horrific images have emerged of a woman struck down by a silver sedan while out on the town on Friday night. Emma Dowling, 20, has suffered facial fractures and a head injury after being tossed in the air, with friends saying she 'looked like a rag doll.'  She was one of two pedestrians struck on Hindley Street in central Adelaide suffered facial fractures and a head injury after being tossed in the air.  'Never take life for granted and be kind to one another, you honestly never know how quickly it can change,' Emma Dowling said after her accident The twenty year old (pictured) ...

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    Father charged with the murder of his five-year-old son 'thought the child was the Devil' and was treated at two mental facilities before being turned away from a third just two days before the stabbing

    The father accused of murdering his five-year-old son was treated at two mental health facilities and turned away from a third just days before the alleged attack.The 36-year-old man was charged shortly after the stabbing murder at a Carlingford home in Sydney's north-west early Friday morning. The boy's grandmother frantically rushed the boy about 400metres away from the home before calling Triple Zero but the child died shortly after arriving at hospital. The father accused of murdering his five-year-old son (pictured) was treated at two mental health facilities and turned away from a third days before the alleged attack The 36-year-old ...

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    History repeating itself: As Trump prepares for historic summit with Kim Jong-un, incredible black and white shot shows generals from the US Army and North Korea signing a truce 65 YEARS ago in a bleak shed in no-man's land

    A black-and-white photo taken more than six decades ago shows North and South Korea coming together to sign armistice documents - which put a stop to roughly three years of fighting between the two countries - but didn't necessarily end the Korean War.In the July 26, 1953 photo U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William K. Harrison Jr. of the United Nations Command Delegation is seated at a table on the left while North Korean General Nam Il sits at a table on the right.Both leaders signed armistice documents in Armistice Hall in Panmunjom, a no-man's-land between the Koreas.  In this July 26, 1953 ...

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    Chinese President Xi Jinping has cleared out half a city in preparation for a summit between Russia, Iran and other allies to discuss tensions with the US - while Trump and leaders of the West attended G7 in Canada.Armoured vans lined the streets of the coastal city of Qingdao today as world leaders arrived for the 18th annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).Its member states include Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and China . Iran is an observer member. Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation ...

  • News

    Is he on ste-roo-ids? Meet Monty the buff kangaroo, an 'alpha male' who is taking after his ripped father Roger

    Monty the red kangaroo has developed a bulging set of biceps to rival those of his iconic ripped father Roger.At a towering height of more than two metres tall, the muscular marsupial provides quite a spectacle with his bodybuilder-like physique.The 'stunning' alpha male was seen puffing up his huge chest as he tried to square up with the Kangaroo Sanctuary manager in a video shared online.  Monty the kangaroo (pictured) appears to be taking after his iconic ripped father with a bulging set of biceps  Towering at more than two metres tall, the muscular marsupial (pictured) puts on quite a ...

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    Theresa May and other world leaders are pressing Donald Trump for a last-minute agreement on tariffs before he flies out to Singapore to meet with Kim Jong-Un. After days of verbal sparring over new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Trump joined the leaders of major nations in an idyllic Canadian resort town. The U.S. President plans to leave Canada several hours early, heading to Singapore for his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. It will mean he misses G-7 sessions on climate change, clean energy and ocean protection. The Prime Minister will join other world leaders in pressing the US ...

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    Actress Eunice Gayson who played the first ever Bond girl has died aged 90.She played Sylvia Trench in 007's 1962 onscreen debut, Dr No, and flirted with Sean Connery's Bond in 1963's From Russia With Love.During filming of Dr No, Gayson helped calm down a nervous Connery so he could say the famous catchphrase 'Bond, James Bond'.   The first ever Bond girl - Eunice Gayson (pictured in 007's 1962 debut Dr No ) - has died at the age of 90A message posted on her official Twitter feed read: 'We are very sad to learn that our dear Eunice passed ...

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    Crack German troops rescue hostage in dramatic exercise to mark the country's armed forces day

    A dramatic photo has emerged of German troops 'freeing a hostage' in a training exercise during Tag De Bundeswehr (Armed Forces Day) in Dresden today.In an image eerily reminiscent of the 1980 Iranian embassy siege, four geared up troops have been pictured holding guns, standing on a ledge and smashing a window with debris flying in the air.The training exercise is part of a day of events across Germany.    A dramatic photo has emerged of German army members free a hostage during a practise Sim Harris, former BBC member of staff who was one of 26 hostages seized by the ...

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Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999