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Strawberry contamination across the nation

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The contamination of strawberries around has devastated the industry.STRAWBERRIES CONTAMINATED BY NEEDLES HAVE NOW BEEN DISCOVERED IN ALL SIX STATESBerry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook Berries have recalled their strawberries nationwide.
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Now health authorities across the country are urging people to cut up strawberries before eating them.

QLD* Original source of the scare with strawberries from a Sunshine Coast grower being pulled from shelves last week after two separate reports of needles being discovered inside berries.

* Multiple reports are under investigation by Queensland health of people discovering needles in strawberries in the past two weeks.

* Queensland government has offered $1 million to help farmers struggling due to the scare.

* A $100,000 reward has been offered leading to the discovery of the culprit or culprits.

* A woman received a warning by police after being caught sticking a needle into a banana at a shop in Mackay.

NSW* NSW Police have received reports of contaminated strawberries purchased at supermarkets at Tweed Heads, Taree, and Wingham.

* NSW Police on Tuesday confirmed needles had been found in an apple and a banana purchased from separate Sydney stores.

WA* Contaminated strawberries have been reported four times in Western , including three reports from Perth.

TAS* A woman reported on social media she’d found a needle in a punnet of strawberries she bought from a Hobart supermarket on the weekend.

SA* Two contaminated punnets of Western n-grown Mal’s Black Label strawberries have been found in towns outside Adelaide.

VIC* Two contaminated punnets reportedly located in regional Victoria as part of original investigation. No further reports since.


Qld strawberry body labels media reports “overblown”

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A DESPERATE Qld strawberry industry is calling for “calm and common sense” amid the finding of needles in strawberries across the country.
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In a special address this afternoon, Qld horticulture body, Growcom, labelled some of the media reporting as “overblown” and feeding a nationwide scare.

Queensland Strawberry industry officer, Jennifer Rowling, said while the industry was absolutely committed to consumer safety, mishandling of the issue by some authoritative spokespeople, coupled with high profile and sometimes hysterical media, had damaged the industry and cost growers millions of dollars.

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Needles in strawberries in all six statesStrawberry growers needled by ‘terrorism’Strawberry saboteur manhunt now nationwide“Fundamentally we are looking at a very small number of cases of actual tampering related to just three brands; all other reported cases have either been copycats or unsubstantiated claims,” Ms Rowling said.

“This issue has attracted attention as far away as Russia and the UK, and as a result a number of our trade partners have either already blocked n strawberry imports or are talking about doing so.

“It should be acknowledged that much of the damaging commentary did not come from Qld and we call on other state agencies to commit to supporting the industry and closely examine their own crisis communication processes.

“To put this issue in context, the industry produces around 800,000 punnets per day and, apart from the original incident ten days ago where a consumer sought medical assistance, needles have been confirmed in only a small numberof punnets, resulting in instructions by Queensland Health to withdraw three brands from sale.

Rachel Mackenzie, Growcom

“The advice to cut open all strawberries prior to consumption still remains.”

It comes after media reports today of a NSW woman finding a needle within a Pink Lady apple from a Woolworths store.

The Qld strawberry industry welcomes the commitment from the Qld government for a million dollars to address this issue and to improve traceability through the whole fresh food supply chain.

Individual growers have already implemented a number of safety measures to minimise the risk of tampering and are working with the rest of the supply chain including major supermarkets and independent retailers to investigate the most effective approach to providing ongoing certainty about the safety of strawberries.

Growcom chief advocate, Rachel Mackenzie, said that reported incidents with other fruit meant the issue had gone beyond strawberries and demonstrated how important working together and clear communication was to protect agricultural industries both here and internationally.

“The poor coordination of the handling of this matter between the state authorities and overly emotional messages has effectively wiped out a significant sector of farming during peak season for what was effectively a very minor public health risk,” Ms Mackenzie said.

“We cannot let this happen again and we will be working with all levels of government across jurisdictions to ensure that systems and processes are put in place to not only best manage risk to the public, but reduce unnecessary threats to the livelihood of farmers and their families.”

Good Fruit & Vegetables

Coca-Cola watching cannabis in drinks

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Coca-Cola is watching the use of a cannabis element in wellness drinksThe Coca-Cola Company is “closely watching” the wider use of a cannabis element in drinks, another sign cannabis-related products are getting more acceptance in mainstream culture and a harder look from US business.
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The statement came after reports the beverage giant was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company to create a health drink infused with cannabidiol, a naturally occurring non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant.

Shares of the company, Aurora Cannabis, closed up nearly 17 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the report.

The companies declined to comment on the report but acknowledged their interest in that segment of the cannabis market.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, does not produce the high commonly associated with marijuana. It is believed by many to have anti-inflammation and pain-relieving properties, and numerous CBD-infused products have emerged recently.

Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said her company “has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space and we intend to enter that market”.

A Coke spokesman said the beverage giant has made no such decision.

“Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly,” Kent Landers said.

Coke’s interest is another indication of the growing acceptance of cannabis by established companies and of the importance of Canada to the development of those businesses.

Marijuana becomes legal across Canada on October 17. Cannabis companies from the US – where marijuana remains illegal at the federal level – have flocked to Canada to raise funds and establish businesses.

American companies interested in making a play in the cannabis space can try things out in Canada without risking doing something illegal at home.

Constellation Brands, a giant spirits company that counts Corona beer among its labels, bought a multibillion-dollar minority stake in Canopy Growth, a Canadian medical marijuana producer.

Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, and both contain CBD, which can be extracted as an oil that can be added to everything from dog food to hand lotion to drinks.


Experts believe Upper Hunter earthquakes were not caused by mining activity

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Fault line: The fault, known as the Hunter-Mooki Thrust, forms the boundary between the Sydney Basin Rocks and the New England Fold Belt to the north.Movement in afault line that runs through the Hunter Valley is the most likely explanationfor a series of earthquakes that have rocked the Upper Hunter over the past week.
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The fault, known as the Hunter-Mooki Thrust, forms the boundary between theSydney Basin Rocks and the New England Fold Belt to the north.

A Geoscience spokeswoman said the fault may have been reactivated due to a build-up of pressure.

“While this feature has not been the subject of detailed earthquake study, it is favourably oriented for reactivation in the current stress field,” she said.

“A possible continuation of the thrust offshore Newcastle shows significant earthquake-related uplift across it.”

Geoscience recorded seven earthquakes near Muswellbrook rangingfrom 2.1 to 3.5 on the Richter Scale between last Thursday and Monday.

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Another earthquake shakes the Upper HunterThe spokeswoman said seismic activity in the Hunter was not surprising, with90 earthquakes recorded in the region over the past decade.

They include 19 earthquakes that have occurred within 50 kilometres of Muswellbrook since last January.

The director of n Centre for Astrobiology at the University of NSW, Martin Van Kranendonk, said it was unlikely the recent earthquakes were the result ofmining activity.

“Earthquakes are much more likely to be the result of movement in the crystalline structures of the earth,” ProfessorVan Kranendonk said.

“If it was a mining-related earthquake it would almost certainlybe a one-off event. You might get a little bit of uplift but that would be it,” he said.

ProfessorVan Kranendonk said it was common for richore seams to be found along geologicalfault lines.

The Geoscience spokeswoman said mine sites were not monitored for seismic activity.

“The National Earthquake Alerts Centre monitors earthquakes across using a national network of seismometers,” the spokeswoman said.

“Monitoring of individual mine sites for low levels of seismicity is not an activity that Geoscience is engaged in.”

Warkworth resident John Krey said it was difficult to distinguish between an earth tremor and a mining blast.

“If it’s a blast then you are kind of relieved that it’s done for the day,” he said.

NSW Minerals Council chief executiveStephen Galilee said thenumber of coal mines operating in the Hunter had fallen by a quarter since 2012.

Warkworth resident John Krey

“All mine blasting in the Hunter is conducted under strict regulation and with public safety as the first priority,” he said.

Ponting backs Finch to open, Marsh for VC

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Ricky Ponting wants WA skipper Mitchell Marsh to be Tim Paine’s deputy against Pakistan.Ricky Ponting has named his top six for ‘s Test series against Pakistan in the UAE, backing white-ball specialist Aaron Finch to open the batting alongside Matt Renshaw and Mitch Marsh to assume the vacant vice-captaincy.
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Tim Paine will lead a heavily-depleted 15-man squad into next month’s two-Test series with suspended trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft unavailable along with frontline quicks Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Coach Justin Langer recently admitted he doesn’t know who his best six batsmen are in the absence of Smith and Warner, and the inclusion of Queensland bolter Marnus Labuschagne has emphasised the rawness of the squad.

Former skipper Ponting expects Renshaw and Test debutant Finch to open for the first Test in Dubai with Usman Khawaja at first drop, Shaun Marsh at No.4 and Travis Head and Mitch Marsh filling middle-order positions.

“I don’t think they would have picked (Finch) otherwise with no other specialist opener,” Ponting said at a BBL sponsorship launch in Melbourne on Tuesday.

“Maybe they could try Shaun Marsh up there and bat Finch in the middle but I just think Finch, although his red-ball numbers aren’t outstanding, he’s been in really good form in other formats of the game around the world for the last few years.

“The conditions in the UAE in the next few weeks, I don’t think the new ball will do too much. It’ll probably be more like starting an innings against a white ball which Finchy is very, very good at.”

Paine’s vice-captain will be named ahead of the first Test with Ponting backing WA skipper Marsh for the role.

Paine is no certainty to retain the ODI captaincy following a 5-0 series defeat in England and Ponting believes Marsh should also spearhead ‘s World Cup defence next year.

“I just think the way Mitchell’s developed over the last couple of years, we saw his Test summer in last year was outstanding,” Ponting said.

“They might go for someone a bit more experienced just to help Paine out for the next few months but Mitchell Marsh would be my vote.”

Ponting expects both Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland to be deployed in the spin-friendly conditions of the UAE and has backed 33-year-old workhorse Peter Siddle to hold down an end opposite pace spearhead Mitchell Starc.

Langer’s men will play Tests in Dubai, starting October 7, and Abu Dhabi before taking on the world’s No.1-ranked Twenty20 side in three T20 fixtures.


Souths’ Inglis grateful for clean record

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Greg Inglis has been cleared to play in Souths’ NRL grand final qualifier against Sydney Roosters.South Sydney captain Greg Inglis admits being relieved to escape suspension for his crusher tackle that could have ruled him out of Saturday’s NRL grand final qualifier.
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Inglis will lead the Rabbitohs against arch rivals the Sydney Roosters after taking the early guilty plea on a grade one dangerous contact charge for a tackle last week.

It was the same charge that resulted in a ban for Roosters counterpart Latrell Mitchell, who was brought undone by 75 carryover points from a previous indiscretion.

“It’s pretty good to have a clean record. It’s quite handy the grading and obviously happy to play,” Inglis said on Tuesday.

“I didn’t lose any sleep over it. I wasn’t nervous at all.

“I knew whatever the match review committee came up with, there was nothing I could control.”

Inglis did concede that the crusher tackle – where an attacker’s neck gets bent forward by the weight of a defender – is a “disturbing” trend in the game.

Melbourne star Will Chambers will make his return for the Storm in Friday’s preliminary final after missing their past three matches for a similar incident.

Inglis insists no player commits the illegal tackle deliberately.

“Even though I did get charged for one, I didn’t mean anything by it,” he said.

“There was no menace (sic) behind it or anything like that. It was one of those accidental things that just happen.

“I personally don’t like the tackle even though I got charged by it.

“It’s a disturbing feeling to have once you do ever put one on and get done by one.

“It’s not a great tackle to be charged by.”

A win for the Rabbitohs would advance the club to a decider for the first time under Inglis’ captaincy, against Melbourne or Cronulla.

It will be cap off an inspiring turnaround from the Kangaroos and Queensland State of Origin representative, who missed all of last season with an ACL injury and also battled depression.

“Having 12 months off last year did hurt. I didn’t think I’d be back in this position,” he said.

“To have the team I play in every week has helped me get me back to where I am now.

“Playing in a prelim game against the Roosters, doesn’t get much better than that for a spot in the GF.”


Queen’s Wharf Tower bottle openers raise money for prostate cancer awareness

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Fundraiser almost over: Queen’s Wharf Tower immortalised The Queens Wharf bottle opener.
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Marty Adnum with the Queens Wharf bottle opener. The keepsakes will raise money for prostate cancer awareness.

Marty Adnum and Nuatali Nelmes with the Queens Wharf bottle opener. The keepsakes will raise money for prostate cancer awareness.

A scene from the video made to promote the Queens Wharf bottle opener.

A scene from the video made to promote the Queens Wharf bottle opener.

TweetFacebookTHE Queen’s WharfTower is slowly reachingthe end of its time as a Newcastle icon. As this comes to a close, so does the fundraiser for theHunter Prostate Cancer Alliance.

Out of the Square Media created stainless-steel bottle-openers which resembled the tower toraise money for the alliance.

“The tower is such an icon of the city–we wanted to mark that in some form,”Out of the Square managing directorMarty Adnum told Fairfax Media

“We were aware it was prostate cancer awareness month inSeptember.We reached out to those guys and said we’d like to donate funds. They said ‘yep, that’d be awesome’.”

Thelimited-editionkeepsakebottle openers are only availableuntil midnight Thursday.

“We have been overwhelmed and truly appreciative of the support to date,” Mr Adnum said.

“So many have embraced this bit of fun for a very good cause. It really says so much for our Novocastrian spirit and sense of humour.

“We look forward to sharing the final amount achieved very soon.”

To buy a bottle opener, visit getyourhandonone苏州夜总会招聘.

READ MORE:Newcastle’s skyline changes as Queen’s Wharf Tower removal begins

Bill to get tougher on unions suffers blow

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Independent senator Tim Storer says he won’t support the government’s new bill on unions.A push to make it easier to deregister unions and disqualify officials has suffered a blow, with a key crossbench senator signalling he won’t support it.
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The coalition’s Ensuring Integrity Bill, which could be debated in the upper house on Wednesday, would also put a public interest test on union mergers.

South n independent Tim Storer said on Tuesday he was not inclined to support the legislation at this stage.

He noted the public interest test would apply to unions, but not corporate mergers.

“The bill also applies harsher penalties to unions than currently apply to disqualified company directors and is more expansive,” Senator Storer said in a statement.

Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has urged parliament to pass the bill, saying it will help combat lawless behaviour in militant unions.

She’s been trying to drum up eight of the 10 crossbenchers needed, six months after the government failed to win Senate support for the measures.

n Council of Trade Unions president Michele O’Neil has been in Canberra for the past two weeks, pushing for senators to block the legislation.

Senator Storer said the bill would also enable a wide range of individuals to initiate legal action against unions and union leaders, which was not the case for companies.

“The bill does not contain any provisions to prevent frivolous or vexatious applications to disqualify union officials. The Corporations Act does,” the SA independent said.

Earlier in the month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison signalled he would get tough on industrial relations and threatened to deregister the construction union.


Ambitious Avondale’s rise up the ranks

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Ambitious Avondale FC have surged into the quarter-finals of the FFA Cup.No Pirlo? No problem.
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Avondale FC’s audacious play for Andrea Pirlo is further proof the FFA Cup quarter-finalists are nothing if not hugely ambitious.

Retired Italian great Pirlo won’t be dusting off his boots to make a one-off appearance against Sydney FC on Wednesday night, as Avondale’s volunteer committee had dreamed.

But considering where they’ve come from, it’s amazing they had a crack at him at all.

For most of their lifespan, Avondale have been just another amateur soccer club plodding around in Melbourne’s north-west.

No rich history of success.

No famous juniors who went on to achieve professional stardom.

No real supporter base besides the friends and family of players.

These days, they’re a Victorian NPL powerhouse and one of the most enterprising clubs in the country outside the A-League.

Everything changed in 2009, when consecutive relegations sent Avondale tumbling back to the suburban wasteland of Provisional League 2 – the state’s sixth tier.

A club-wide cleanout and the injection of new players, coaches and officials dramatically reversed their fortunes.

Five promotions across the next six seasons vaulted Avondale into Victoria’s elite bracket for the first time in 2015.

It’s been a romantic rise, perhaps unparalleled in modern n sport. But it’s no fairytale.

It’s the result of a simple yet brutally effective plan supported by wealthy sponsors, wily administrators and aggressive recruitment.

Building magnate Dino Strano has been at the centre of it.

Strano’s company Winslow Constructions began sponsoring the club when his son Anthony started playing. He’s used his business contacts to attract wider corporate support.

Strano’s first contribution was just $2000.

“I said to them at the start, if you get promoted I’ll double the sponsorship,” he told AAP.

“And I’ll double it every time you get promoted.

“The buggers kept getting promoted.”

This week is by far the biggest in Avondale’s history.

First up is the FFA Cup.

Then on Sunday, they’ll face Heidelberg at AAMI Park in their maiden Victorian NPL grand final.

The long-term goal for Avondale is much grander – financial sustainability, steady NPL success, and eventually, a spot in a national second division.

“We’re going to work our way to the highest league we possibly can,” Strano said.

“If there’s a B-League, we want to be there.

“The thing is, everybody has always figured we were going to fail. After the promotions, everyone thought we’d get relegated the next year.

“I think people are starting to believe we might be around for a while.”


El Dorado Dreaming: Owner looks to plan B after irregular swab setback

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WINNER: Damian Lane returns to scale after riding El Dorado Dreaming to victory in the Sires’ Produce Stakes for owner-breeder Yvette Pearce, right. Picture: AAPOwner-breederYvette Pearce said it was a “big surprise” and “very disappointing” when her star filly El Dorado Dreaming returned an irregular swab for a prohibited substance last week.
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The Singleton motel owner, though, said she still had “a lot of time for” now suspended Newcastle trainer Ben Smith, and the positive sample was “just a bump in the road” for her horse.

That setback was removed on Tuesday when Racing NSW stewards gave the group 1-winning three-year-old, now with Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, the green light to return to the track.

The ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner will trial at Newcastle on Wednesday ahead of a likely resumption atCaulfield inthe group 3 Thousand Guineas Prelude on September 30.

El Dorado Dreaming. Picture: AAP

SixSmith-trained horses were swabbed on September 11 during a raid of his Newcastle stables and home, after stewards received irregular samples from two of his runners. Unlabelled bottles of substances were seized and Smith was charged after givingfalse evidence to stewards and refusing to provide information on suppliers.

El Dorado Dreaming was then oneof two horses whichreturned a positive swab from Tuesday and she was scratched on Friday from Saturday’sTea Rose Stakes.

Pearce said the news came as a “bloody big surprise”.

“You don’t go into thisthinking that sort of thing is going to happen, it’s always someone else that it’s going to happen to,” Pearce said.

“It’s very disappointing but you’ve just got to look upon it as a bump in the road,regather and go to plan B.

“We’ve had to change everythingaround but it’sonwards and upwards,keeping our fingers crossed and we’ll go from there.

“If we can get this trial into her tomorrow then we’re heading down for the Thousand Guineas Prelude and then we’ll go from there.”

El Dorado Dreaming broke her maiden status with victory in the Sires’ at 80-1 and backed that shock win up with third in the group 1 Champagne Stakes in April. Shewas not one of the two Smith-trained runners which sparked the inspection last week.

“At this stageanyway they are not doing any retrospective testing because whatever it is that she’s gone positive to this time, she was tested for at that time,” Pearce said.

Yvette Pearce with the Newcastle 2YO of the Year award.

“It would be useless going back and doing the same tests –you’re going to get the same results.But she passed everything.”

Pearce accepted El Dorado Dreaming’s Newcastle two-year-old of the year award last Wednesday night. In her speech, Pearce praisedSmith and his team’s work with her filly and pointed out that the horse had not yet returned a positive swab.

Asked about Smith on Tuesday, she said: “I’m always for ‘you’re innocent until proven guilty’, and nothing has been proven yet, so I’m just going with the flow as far as that goes.

“As far as Benthe boygoes, I have a lot of time for him and we all make mistakes in life.If that’s what he’s done, well, then he will haveto face the consequences, but at this stage none of us know.”

Smith’s official suspension, pending the resumption of an inquiry, started on Tuesday, whenall horses in his stable had to have been moved.

While Lees also picked up starIn Her Time, which trials alongside El Dorado Dreaming on Wednesday,Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer gained Iron Duke and Tabrobane.Tootz and Bridyn May have gone to Danny Williams, whileAndiamo Miss has joined Brett Cavanough in Scone.

Meanwhile, Lees-trained favourite Graff drew well in four on Tuesday for Saturday’sgroup 1 Golden Rose at Rosehill. Newcastle trainer David Atkins’ Jonker drew two.

Lees opted to take Gem Song to abenchmark handicap at Rosehill instead of the Golden Rose, which hadonly 11 acceptors.