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Canberra cop praised for managing crash scene while trapped in car

Constable Nicole Watkins and the crash scene of January 5, 2016. Photos: Karleen Minney, ACT PolicingPolice officers routinely manage crash scenes, but rarely are they trapped in a car while doing so.
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Constable Nicole Watkins was on duty while driving along Pialligo Avenue on the rainy morning of January 5, 2016, when she hit a truck head on.

She had been travelling at roughly 70-kilometres an hour towards Queanbeyan at 8.30am, when an approaching truck indicated to turn onto Sutton Road. The truck turned in front of the police car and crashed into the driver’s side.

Despite being crushed at the waist and left mostly immobile, Ms Watkins’ only concerns were of her injured partner in the passenger seat and the on-lookers’ safety.

She was recently awarded a prestigious federal police medal for her impressive management of the scene, which included looking after her colleague and organising traffic control.

The crash left Ms Watkins with a dislocated knee and torn triceps as a result of her elbow falling through the windscreen. But her mind immediately turned to her partner, Constable Yvonne Brian, who suffered a cracked sternum and torn ankle ligaments.

Canberra police woman Nicole Watkins was recently awarded the highest honour at the AFP award. Photo: Karleen Minney

“She was laying, shaking, hugging herself, and I could see that she was in a lot of pain,” Ms Watkins said.

“I told her that it was okay, that I was here and we were getting some help.”

The force of the crash propelled the car’s radio off the dashboard and onto Ms Brian’s chest. To call for back-up, Ms Watkins managed to twist around and grab her own radio from the back of her uniform, despite being stuck between the steering wheel and the front of the car.

Her attention then turned to the bystanders on the road.

“People were standing on the road, and I didn’t want that to cause another collision,” Ms Watkins said.

“So I told a member of the public how to direct traffic for me. I just wanted to keep the traffic flowing to prevent another collision and make sure that everyone trying to assist us or standing on the side of the road was safe.”

Ms Watkins said she was extremely lucky to have escaped the crash without more serious injuries. Photo: ACT Policing

The uninjured truck driver was apologetic.

After taking care of traffic diversion and telling a nurse that had pull over to help her partner, Ms Watkins was yet to think of herself. As her patrol car was one of the few in the area at the time, she was concerned about the lack of resources on the road.

“I thought, oh no, what will they do without our car if something happens?”

Fear barely crossed her mind in the 15-minutes between the crash and back-up arriving, except for when she observed the smoke coming from the engine and realised she and her partner could not escape if it went up in flames.

The sound of sirens in the distance signalled a lifeline. Both ACT and NSW emergency services turned up to help.

It took about 45 minutes free Ms Watkins from the car. The moderate pain she had so far felt was intensified as rescuers moved materials around to untrap her, placing pressure on her legs.

Ms Watkins took three weeks off work and returned to regular duties on February 24. She has since joined the criminal investigations team.

Her partner’s recovery is ongoing.

On March 23 Ms Watkins was awarded the Commissioner’s Medal for Excellence for handling the crash scene with dedication and tenacity – a big achievement four years into her policing career.

The medal sits on her desk “to remind me of what I have achieved, to help me continue to achieve great things, and as a career driver.”

Since the incident she had concluded her actions were equally a result of her training and her instinct to worry about others’ before herself. She was honoured to receive the medal, thankful for the AFP’s support and grateful for her speedy recovery.

“I feel extremely lucky because it could have been much worse.”

“I’m grateful for every day.”

The Canberra Times

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NRL Rd 7: Eels v Wests Tigers

NRL Rd 7: Eels v Wests Tigers Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images
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Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

Action from the round seven NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium . Photo: Getty Images

TweetFacebookMitchell Moses almost undid his future employers and Brad Arthur wants him wearing the blue and gold within a week after the Parramatta Eels waged a stunning second-half revival to snap a four-game losing streak at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday.

ThewantawayTigers five-eighth played a starring role for the joint venture, but could be swapping colours and joining a winning side as soon as Tuesday to link with early-season Dally M Medal contender CoreyNorman.

Moses’ moral dilemma – playing the club he has asked to join immediately – didn’t prove a problem as theTigers star scored his side’s first try and was generallyoutstanding alongside the in-demand JamesTedesco, yet to ink a contract extension which has been on the table for months at Concord.

But it was a second-half fade-out from the Tigers which undid Ivan Cleary’s promising start to life at the joint venture, the Eels racing in three tries in a 10-minute blitz to recover from a 12-point deficit fora wild 26-22 win.

“When you’ve got some bad habits they come out under pressure,” Cleary said.”It’s a lost opportunity. We’ll get it right and we’ll keep chipping away.

“Our defensive reads and cohesion on the edges needs some work. Anyone who has been watching this team for a while now will say it’s been like that.

“You can’t just turn off like a tap or turn on like a tap. We’ll keep working on it. We were exposed a bit tonight.”

A dejected Mitch Mosesin Tigers olours against Parramatta on Monday. Photo: Getty Images)

KirisomeAuva’abagged a double for the hosts while wingers Josh Hoffman and SemiRadradraalso scored in the frenetic flurry which settled a scrappy contest between the two western Sydney neighbours.

It will leave Tigers coach Ivan Cleary with plenty of thinking – not least of all about the immediate future of Moses – after an against-all-odds win over the Cowboys in Townsville last week.

The result came with a huge dose of relief for Eels coach Brad Arthur, whose side was staring down the barrel of a fifth straight loss at one stage. They will play another local derby of sorts on Saturday night against the struggling Panthers.

Arthur said it would be “nice” if they can get Moses across town as early as this week, but will need to work on his side’s limp defence which conceded a couple of soft tries on their own line.

The Tigers’ Kevin Naiqama looks dejected after Parramatta surged to victory at ANZ Stadium. Photo: Getty Images

“It was a lot of relief,” Arthur said.”We’ve been working hard and playing some good football, but we need to be able to sustain that for 80 minutes. There’s some soft tries we’re letting on which is not good.

“Our energy was good. Their attitude and fight and desperation to get a result [was great].”

But the usually edgy Arthur might have been sporting a smile too with the display of his soon-to-be No.6, who might have put the match beyond the Eels’ grasp if the Tigers had opted to take the two points to send the margin beyond two converted tries.

It gave the Eels, who repelled the ensuing set, a sniff and after Auva’a and Hoffman scored a David Nofoaluma mistake from a rifled Moses pass allowed Michael Jennings to race downfield and Radradra put the Eels ahead for good four tackles later.

If Moses is required inTigertownfor the rest of 2017,Tedescois surely required well beyond then. His value continues to soar with another all-action display, but it counted for nothing in the end.

Moses was the first and last Tiger to touch the ball in the match and judging by his disgust at the full-time whistle his heart is still very much with helping Cleary’s men.

But no doubt his finals football ambitions might be better fulfilled in blue and gold in 2017.

“Parramatta are notorious fast starters and we were on the back foot there, but I thought we fought back pretty well,” Cleary said.

“There’s a lot going right today, bit there’s some things that haunted us under pressure that has probably been happening for a while. We were well on top and in control at that stage. Momentum swung and still under pressure we have been coming up with some mistakes.”

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North Korea will not ‘willingly’ give up its nukes, Bishop warns

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media in Mumbai, India on Wednesday 12 April 2017. Photo: Andrew Meares Photo: Andrew MearesForeign Minister Julie Bishop says North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un will not “willingly giving up his nuclear program” without a significant intervention from the rogue regime’s powerful ally China.
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In a bracing assessment of the tough choices faced by the United States and its allies, Ms Bishop and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull both escalated their rhetoric calling on Beijing to act on Tuesday.

Ms Bishop said that the US had put “all options on the table” but appeared to play down the prospect of any immediate military clash.

“I believe they mean it but I also believe they would use every other creative option, including putting pressure on China to take a role,” she said of the Trump administration’s plans.

Despite widespread reports that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group is steaming towards the Korean peninsula, the group has in fact been carrying out drills with Royal Australian Navy ships in the Indian Ocean.

Ms Bishop also played down the prospect of Australia becoming militarily entangled if the US decided to strike at North Korea to curb its nuclear weapons ambitions.

“We hope it will not come to that, but if the United States were to act, I don’t envisage a situation where Australia would be asked to be involved in that,” she said in an interview with Sky News.

“Clearly what the United States would be looking at is taking out the nuclear facilities that are giving rise to our concerns.”

But in her strongest language yet on China’s role, Ms Bishop said that it could “no longer shirk responsibility” on North Korea, saying the days when this was an issue primarily to be resolved between the US and North Korea were over.

“I can’t see Kim Jong-un, from what I have heard and seen and read of him ??? willingly giving up his nuclear program, because he sees that as a deterrence against the United States. He needs to be convinced … and I believe China is the key.”

Mr Turnbull meanwhile said he was “optimistic but not unduly so” that the crisis could be resolved peacefully.

Speaking ahead of US Vice-President Mike Pence’s visit to Australia on Saturday, Mr Turnbull dismissed China’s suggestion it could not easily pull the rogue regime into line. He said the major power had “enormous leverage” over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

“The Chinese often express frustration with North Korea – and disappointment – but the fact is that they have the overwhelming leverage over the North Korea regime,” he said. “So, the eyes of the world are now on Beijing. Beijing has to step up and bring this reckless threat to the peace and stability of our region to an end.”

Mr Turnbull backed Mr Pence’s assessment that the policy of “strategic patience” – waiting for the regime in Pyongyang to collapse or become desperate enough to negotiate – had run out of time. But when asked what his message was to worried Australians, he said he was reassured by the conversations going on between Washington and Beijing.

“I believe now the conversations, the engagement between China and the United States, are such that I am optimistic, but not unduly so,” he said. “I’m optimistic that a resolution can be found, because, as Vice-President Pence said in a statement, I think that will concentrate the minds of all involved. The strategic patience has come to an end.”

On Sunday, the rogue nation launched another failed missile test, and later threatened to conduct missile tests weekly.

In South Korea on Monday, Mr Pence said the US and its allies would deal with North Korea if China did not act.

“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new President in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” Mr Pence said, in a joint appearance with South Korean acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn.

“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.”

Ms Bishop said that under Barack Obama’s presidency, “strategic patience” had led to a stalemate, during which time “North Korea’s illegal missile and nuclear program accelerated”.

On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry said the US, rather than China, was “the most important party” to the issue, and urged the US to “try all peaceful means to achieve demilitarisation”.

With Kirsty Needham in Beijing

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

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The lower the yield, the higher the cost of fees

This might sound like a fairy story, but once upon a time investors expected to receive double digit returns and often did. Fat yields and easy money were all the rage, so if various fees were chewing up 3 per cent or so, what the heck – there was plenty to go around.
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Of course, money was not growing on trees and inflation was eating up a bigger slice of earnings than most realised, but the structure of the wealth management industry and a mixture of innocence and laziness on the part of average investors meant high fees were the norm and therefore didn’t seem so high to most people. In other words, we were mugs.

A quick real-world example from a fairly basic eight-year-old statement of advice provided by a bank financial planner for a $550,000 portfolio: leaving aside the 1 per cent implementation fee, there were annual fees of 0.68 per cent for account keeping, 1 per cent for regular reviews and individual product fees ranging from 0.22 per cent for a cash fund to 0.88 per cent for an imputation fund and 0.89 per cent for an international share fund. Draw a line through the products and keep it simple by saying they averaged 0.72 per cent – thus total annual fees of 2.4 per cent before individual transaction fees. And this is by no means an extreme case.

By comparison, the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Accumulation Index – the guts of most portfolios – has averaged 4.2 per cent a year over the past decade. More than half of the investors’ earnings would have been going on fees over that period. Lose more than half your earnings to fees and the “magic” of compound interest loses a lot of its abracadabra.

In this example, the adviser, the wrap, the bank and the fund managers were together making more with no risk than the investor. And no prize for guessing the recommended “wholesale accumulation fund” has substantially underperformed the index.

When presumed pre-fees earnings were 10 per cent on, say, a $500,000 portfolio, $38,000 for me, $12,000 for sundry fees didn’t look so bad if you didn’t think about it, if you didn’t mind forgoing 24 per cent of income.

With gross earnings of 4.2 per cent, $9000 for me, $12,000 for fees focuses the mind. That lower yields boosts the cost of fees to a whopping 57 per cent of income. Ouch.

A lower yield world, the legislation-enforced rise of professionalism in financial planning and the educational impact of industry superannuation fund advertising stressing the long-term impact of higher fees mean we shouldn’t be so easily fooled now – in theory.

Genuinely independent financial advisers, no longer dependent on commission for flogging products and platforms and aware of the fee pressures, are increasingly recommending lower cost exchange traded funds and listed investment companies.

A BetaShares/Investment Trends report claimed a 31 per cent rise in the number of Australian exchange traded funds investors last year. ETF holdings are nudging towards $27 billion. Marcus Padley scores about $32 billion in LICs in a nice summary of that universe, led by the “old school” Australian Foundation Investment Company with market capitalisation of $6.77 billion.

Money’s ability to attract fees is always at work, though. AFIC boasts a management expenses ratio of just 0.16 per cent, but some “new school” LICs know how to charge more than 10 times that and not necessarily for better performance. If the investment managers control the board, they have the potential to ride the Hotel California nature of such “closed end” structures – the capital doesn’t leave short of the company being wound up.

And ETF’s inexpensiveness can be undermined by adding the word “managed”. The recently launched Switzer Dividend Growth Fund ETMF has a MER of 0.89 per cent.

The correlation between high fees and performance is far from clear – but the cost of fees in a low-yield environment should be.

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

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