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Herald Breakfast – January 16

Morning Shot: Herald photographer Darren Pateman caught this early morning frame outside Surf House at Merewether Traffic: No major incidents reported on Hunter roads.
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Weather: Rain will hinder the weekend in Newcastle, with possible showers on Friday (25 degrees) and Sunday (25 degrees). Saturday will be sunny and 27 degrees. There are possible showers forecast in Maitland on Friday (32 degrees) with a sunny Saturday (33 degrees) and potential for late rain Sunday (30 degrees). At Scone it will be mostly sunny on Friday (33 degrees) before the sun comes out on Saturday and Sunday (both 34 degrees).

Trains: No trackwork or delays reported on the Hunter or Newcastle lines. Buses replace trains between Hamilton and Newcastle.

Beachwatch: There’s the chance of an early shower but overall it shouldbe another fantastic day beachside, let’s hope the shark isgone and the beaches are open as lots of beachgoers aregetting withdrawal symptoms. The wind will be north-west inthe morning heading north-east in the afternoon with the swellfrom the south around 1 to 1.3 metres.It’ll be interesting to seehow the sandbanks perform with the change of swell directionbut wave quality should be good early.

Morning Shot: Herald photographer Darren Pateman caught this early morning frame outside Surf House at Merewether

Sharks hanging around to eat dolphins: Several massive sharks seen feeding on dolphins off two of the city’s iconic beaches on Thursday haveprompted authorities to announce beaches from Stockton to Redhead would remain closed for at least a seventh day.

Hunter researcher’s bed may spell end of snoring:A HUNTER researcher has helped develop a new kind of bed that could put an end to snoring – and completely transform the way humans sleep.

Labor names candidate, 22, for byelection:Labor has confirmed that 22-year-old Declan Clausen will be its candidate at next month’s council byelection in Newcastle.

Awabakal lodges harbour land claim:THE entrance to Newcastle Harbour will fall under the control of the local Aboriginal community if a land claim for the area succeeds.

Flores flies the coop but Carney, Birighitti stick with Jets:NEWCASTLE Jets coach Phil Stubbins shot down speculation on Thursday that David Carney and Mark Birighitti were set to follow Marcos Flores and Sam Gallaway through the club’s departure lounge during the transfer window.

Five questions for the ODI Tri-Series

Will the show go on: Glenn Maxwell shone for the Prime Minister’s XI, making 136 from 89 balls. Photo: Melissa Adams Burning questions: can Eoin Morgan save an English side under siege? Photo: Jamila Toderas
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Will the show go on: Glenn Maxwell shone for the Prime Minister’s XI, making 136 from 89 balls. Photo: Melissa Adams

Burning questions: can Eoin Morgan save an English side under siege? Photo: Jamila Toderas

Will the show go on: Glenn Maxwell shone for the Prime Minister’s XI, making 136 from 89 balls. Photo: Melissa Adams

Burning questions: can Eoin Morgan save an English side under siege? Photo: Jamila Toderas

Will the show go on: Glenn Maxwell shone for the Prime Minister’s XI, making 136 from 89 balls. Photo: Melissa Adams

Burning questions: can Eoin Morgan save an English side under siege? Photo: Jamila Toderas

Now that the Test series against India is done and dusted, attention turns to the ODI Tri-Series between England, India and Australia, with the host nation playing its first match against England on Friday. Here are five questions that could be answered by the end of the tournament:

Can Eoin Morgan turn things around for England?

With Alistair Cook dropped as captain and Kevin Pietersen seemingly barred from ever being selected again, England’s squad is in transition. The team has a lot to be excited about, however, with batsman Ian Bell and spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali providing hope to the English with some stellar performances in recent tour matches. Into this state of flux steps new captain Eoin Morgan, and the Dublin-born 28-year-old now faces a hostile world of English tabloids, fired-up Aussie quicks and ECB politics. Morgan has to demonstrate that he can negotiate all of these things during the Tri-Series, or his stint as English captain may be short-lived.

Is the Big Show really ready for the big time?

Glenn Maxwell is as enigmatic as ever. After clubbing 136 runs off 89 balls as part of the Prime Minister’s XI against a full-strength English bowling attack, Maxwell continues to make himself indispensable to the Australian squad in the same way that Shane Watson has at Test level – by intriguing everyone with unfulfilled potential. The self-designated ‘Big Show’ has never had his ability called into question, but whether Maxwell succeeds or fails dramatically, the triangular series will no doubt make the selectors’ jobs even harder.

How much longer does Dhoni have in international cricket?

Despite retiring from Test match cricket, there can be no question that MS Dhoni is still a force in one-day internationals. His batting average may be just a hair over 38 in Tests, but the Indian captain averages almost 53 after 250 ODIs. In fact, Dhoni is the only player who averages – or has ever averaged – more than 45 after 250 ODIs, and has scored half-centuries in five of his last nine ODI innings. Don’t expect Dhoni to give up the Indian captaincy, let alone his spot in the team, at least until the Cricket World Cup is done.

Where to now for Australia’s captain?

Michael Clarke is racing to get fit for the World Cup, and faces weeks of hard work on the sidelines throughout the whole of the triangular series. His injury, however, sees him miss the much-needed match practice that this tournament offers before the first group game he can possibly hope to be fit for, the February 21 match against Bangladesh. Whether the lack of time in the middle will be too much for the Aussie skipper, only time will tell.

Are Australia’s bowling stocks being mismanaged?

Frontline Test bowlers Ryan Harris and Nathan Lyon haven’t been selected in the squad for either the Tri-Series or the Cricket World Cup, and pundits are questioning the omissions. With Xavier Doherty the only specialist spinner in the squad and every fast bowler (apart from Mitchell Johnson) aged under 25, Australia’s rookies will have to fight for their places with some standout performances. The inclusions of Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitch Marsh and Shane Watson suggest that all-rounders are prized above out-and-out bowlers for the World Cup, and the final XI for Saturday’s game against England will no doubt make the selector’s preferences abundantly clear.

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

Brisbane woman to hike 3555km Appalachian Trail

Stephanie Jones is preparing for a 3555km hike across the Appalachian Trail. Photo: suppliedCome March 28, Stephanie Jones will be starting a 3555km, six-month hike she expects to push her to the very edge of her physical and mental limits – and perhaps beyond.
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But the Eatons Hill 27-year-old isn’t being subjected to some sort of cruel and unusual punishment, instead she’s paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of hiking the Appalachian Trail on the United States east coast.

Ms Jones believes she’ll be one of just five Australians ‘thru-hiking’ the trail this year. Meaning she plans to walk the whole track in one big block.

The former Navy sailor first heard about the trail on a cop show a few years back but it didn’t take for her long to become utterly obsessed.

First it was a book by author Bill Bryson, then discovering blogs and first-person accounts and by last year she was following the personal journeys of a couple of walkers and even sending them care packages.

A huge online community has sprung up around the 2000-3000 people who walk the trail every year, making it easy to become involved.

She left the Navy in July last year and made the call a few months later.

“I don’t really know what it is that draws me to want to challenge myself in that way,” she said.

“It’s sort of something that stuck in my mind and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I was just like, I have to do this.”

The Navy helped prepare Jones for the mental anguish of spending months away from family friends and she’s been hiking as much as possible for physical training. But she knows that no preparation can really be enough.

“How you prepare for 21 days straight of rain I don’t know,” she said.

“The impact that it has on your body to walk up and down X amount of miles worth of mountain, you know the knees and the ankles and the feet.

“Blisters will just be a small thing compared to the way the rest of my body will be feeling by the end of it.”

With a failure rate believed to be 70-80 per cent, Ms Jones knows she’s up against it.

Even a 2011 journey along the Kokoda Track, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, isn’t quite the same experience as six months in the mountains.

Where four years ago she was with friends from the Navy, this time she will be flying solo.

The hikers start out together but make their own way through the 14-state journey stopping only occasionally in towns to resupply. She plans to allow herself a handful of nights in a hotel along the way to help get herself through.

She’s almost ready to go but is looking for reader support to win an invaluable collection of hiking gear in a competition, which closes Monday.

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

Man dies in Kennington crash

Man dies in Kennington crash The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN
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The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The scene of a fatal crash on Townsend Street in Kennington this morning. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

TweetFacebookUPDATE 9.59am:

TOWNSEND Street in Kennington has been reopened following a fatal crash early this morning.

Townsend Street at Kennington has been reopened following the fatal crash this morning.

— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) January 15, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

American ace primed for Bayliss Classic

Bayliss Classic riders Josh Hook, Troy Bayliss and Jared Meers enjoying some R and R at Oxley Island before the Saturday January 17 event.AMERICAN Jared Mees is enjoying his first trip to Australia, but the AMA flat track champion bike rider assures he’s not here for a holiday.
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Mees will be one of the star attractions at tomorrow’s Troy Bayliss Classic at Taree Motor Cycle Club’s Old Bar Roadside Circuit. He’s also tipped to be Bayliss’s biggest challenger for overall honours.

But while they’ll be rivals on the track tomorrow, at the moment Bayliss is ensuring that Mees has a great time while he’s here. The Times caught up with Bayliss, Josh Hook, who’ll also be riding tomorrow and Mees while they were enjoying the Manning River at Oxley Island at the home of Col and Samantha Robb, close friends of Bayliss.

“It’s a pleasure to be out here,” Mees said.

“The weather’s just awesome and Troy is showing me the ropes and taking good care of me.”

Mees had heard about the classic while racing in America and he was invited to take part by Bayliss when both were competing at the Superprestigio in Barcelona in December.

“He said ‘hey mate, we need to get you out here man.’ So we started to work on it and put it all together,” Mees explained.

“Before I knew it we had me a plane ticket and all the accommodation was taken care of.

“They’ve taken care of me first class. I don’t have one thing I can complain about – maybe too much sun, that’s about it,” he laughed.

Mees was direct when asked if he can win the classic.

“Yeah, I think I can,” he said.

“I was testing at Gunnedah a week ago. Troy was going pretty good and another American Henry Wiles was going pretty good. But I feel I’ve got a good a shot as anybody.”

Mees has no doubt his bike will be up to the task.

“It’s a motor cycle, it’s got a throttle and a brake. I’ll figure out the rest,” he assured.

He concedes the Old Bar track is ‘a little different’ to what he races on in America.

“But I’ll adapt to it pretty quick I reckon,” Mees added.

He’ll start racing in America at the beginning of March.

“When I get home it’s all business until I get to Daytona. I’ve got bikes to build and I have to pay attention to my program.”

Mees hails from Michigan. The 28-year-old admits the weather will be freezing when he makes it home. He’ll leave early next week.

“If I knew I was going to have this much fun out here I would have stayed another week,” he smiled.

Mees hopes to be back again.

“As long as they keep inviting me I’ll be out,” he said.

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