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Hotel guest’s shock at $135 bill for water

Written By kom limapulan on Selasa, 29 Juli 2014 | 15.48

Edward Heaton had a surprise during his visit to a luxury hotel in London when he received a $135 bill for three bottles of water.

How much can water possible cost? Well, a lot actually ... Source: ThinkStock

ALL that Edward Heaton ordered during his visit to a luxury hotel in London was three bottles of sparkling water for himself and a client.

So imagine his surprise when he was handed a bill for £75 ($A135).

Mr Heaton, 44, had ordered the 500ml bottles of San Pellegrino at the Wellesley Hotel's Crystal Bar, the UK's Independent reported.

But what he didn't realise was that the bar has a minimum charge of £25 ($45) per person after 4pm, so that totalled $90 for both of them, plus a £8.33 ($15) service charge.

By comparison, a six-pack of 500ml San Pellegrino sparkling water costs $12.64 at Coles.

Mr Heaton says he wasn't informed of the extra charges, and will never visit the hotel again.

"For £75, we probably could have had a nice glass of wine each or maybe even a bottle of champagne," Mr Heaton told the Independent. "But three bottles of water? I wasn't angry. I was just totally bemused.

"I spend a lot of time in central London and I have a lot of meetings in the top hotels. I am pretty well versed in how these places work but I have never had this before. I will never set foot in that hotel again."

The hotel issued this response to Mr Heaton via Twitter:

The hotel Tweeted further on the issue on its own account:

But social media users still weren't impressed:

news.com.au has contacted the Wellesley for further comment.

What have you been charged a ridiculous amount for? Email us at news@news.com.au.


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Did Eddie give away the answers?

Teenager Khaled El-Katateny walked away from a game show with $100,000 despite not knowing a single answer.

Poker faced ... Eddie McGuire on the Hot Seat set. Source: Supplied

MELBOURNE law student Khaled El-Katateny yesterday walked away from the game show Millionaire Hot Seat with $100,000 despite not knowing the answer to a single question.

The 19-year-old had the audience and home viewers in stitches with his comedic antics, which included asking people to follow him on Instagram and telling host Eddie McGuire he planned to buy 10 jetskis if he won.

But instead of relying on his smarts, the second-year university student claimed he used his incredible knack for being able to read body language.

Khaled El-Katateny on Millionaire Hot Seat. Source: Supplied Source: Supplied

For each of the five questions he was asked, El-Katateny said he repeated the possible answers back and scanned host Eddie McGuire's face for a reaction.

"I didn't play the game — I played the man," he explained.

"If you look at it, you see me working Eddie McGuire. I'm reading every single subtle thing about his face. I was reading the audience behind him too. That's telling me the answer."

AS MILLIONAIRE HOT SEAT celebrates its 1000th episode, do you have what it takes to win $1 million?

The footage doesn't show any readable clues or cues in McGuire's face and the larrikin teenager is looking down at his screen while repeating the options back.

There is every chance El-Katateny, much as he did during his appearance on the show, is simply taking the mickey.

Although the probability of fluking the answer to five questions from four options is low.

Whatever his trick, he has pocketed $100,000 and a couple of hundred new Instagram followers thanks to his on-air promotion of his account.

"When I got in the chair, there were five questions left to $100,000. I thought I'd make the best out of it and yell out my Instagram."

His username, which he reminded viewers repeatedly, is Kahled_ELK. His profile features a collection of selfies, pictures of his car and happy snaps with mates.

While he told McGuire he'd buy 10 jetskis for him and his mates if he won, El-Katateny has since backtracked on the cash splash.

"I'm definitely going to buy one jetski, but not 10. Look, it has struck a bit of controversy (with my mates).

"I really, really need a car charger for my phone. Every time I go somewhere, my phone dies — especially now it's blowing up."

Before planning how he'd spend the money, he offered it all to his parents but they refused the generous gesture and told him they were proud of the remarkable effort.

Just don't describe the cash as "winnings".

"I didn't win anything — I earned it."


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Earth’s 6th mass extinction is here

Cancerous growth ... Humanity's sprawl is on the verge of triggering a 6th mass extinction event, with the loss of up to 75 per cent of life on Earth. Source: ThinkStock

Astronomer Dr Alan Duffy is on the search for exoplanets in our distant universe and explains how we'll find extraterrestrial life.

It's happened before. It's happening again. Scientists are warning Earth is in the early stages of a "mass extinction" event. Source: News Corp Australia

EARTH'S sixth great extinction event has already begun. Now science is calling for urgent action to prevent life as we know it going the way of the dinosaurs.

The first five "events" destroyed more than 75 per cent of this planet's life.

Animals. Plants. Entire ecosystems. The fossil record reveals all were smashed by natural disasters such as asteroids.

It's happening again: But this time the experts say we are the cause.

Life on Earth is dying at an unprecedented rate.

The journal Science reports more than 320 animal and bird species alone have vanished since the 1500s. Most other animal populations from among the more than five million species on our planet have declined by an average 28 per cent.

RELATED: The tiny fern that saved the planet. Can it do it again?

One third of all life on Earth is now threatened or endangered.

Remember how we always predicted bugs would inherit the world?

That now looks to be wrong: Studies show these humble creepy-crawlies are among the worst affected with losses representing as much as 45 per cent of their populations in the past 35 years.

Only humanity has thrived: Our population has doubled in the same time frame.

Doomsday looms — without the comet.

What's causing it?

Eating the planet ... a fisherman drying salted fish at Kerumutan protected tropical rainforest, which is the Sumatran tiger habitat in Sumatra, Indonesia. Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of natural forest in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil. Source: Getty Images

Wars. Pollution. Hunting. Fishing. Farming.

And climate-change induced natural disasters.

The new all-of-science review by international biologists and palaeoecologists warns all are seriously undermining the ecological health of the planet.

And our struggling ecosystems will increasingly start to hurt humans.

Already the effects are increasingly obvious: The current Ebola outbreak is just one example.

Out of Africa ... Bats evicted from their natural habitat are believed to be behind the worst outbreak of the devastating Ebola virus currently being experienced in western Africa. Source: AFP

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW?

Bats. Birds. Monkeys. Even mice.

All are among species being forced out of their habitats and into ever-expanding human territory.

Some even thrive amid the rubbish or under the eaves of our sprawling suburbs.

With them come previously unencountered — or at least rare — forms of disease.

Beetles. Butterflies. Worms.

All are vital for the health — and reproduction — of plants.

Not just a food source ... caterpillars for sale in a street market in the Ngaba district of Kinshasa — crushed, boiled or fried. It's easy to overlook their importance in maintaining the food chain. Source: AFP

Insects are responsible for the pollination of 75 per cent of the world's food crops — yet they are the target of intense insecticide spraying and habitat-changing activities.

The loss of such small creatures is having a trickle-up effect.

EARTH 2.0: Astronomers say we'll find it within 20 years

It's not just the fertilisation of next year's wheat, barley, corn and apple crops: There's also the vital nutrient recycling and composting roles which keep soils productive.

Balanced invertebrate ecosystems are also a strong natural source of pest control. Without them, US farmers would have to spend an extra $5 billion each year on eradication programs, the study says.

Resource wars ... A Japanese fishing boat, bottom, a small Japanese pleasure boat, top centre, Japan Coast Guard vessels, third and fourth from bottom and top left, sail along with a Chinese surveillance ship near disputed islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China in the East China Sea. Source: AP

Then there are the wars.

As fish stocks vanish in one area, fleets need to move to another. This is already the source of increasing tensions in the South and West China Seas.

Unhealthy habitats also can unsettle streams from their paths — if they're not already dammed.

Justin Brashares warns in Science that declines in wildlife have been linked to economic and social stresses which lead to exploitative child labour practices and the proliferation of terrorism.

"Leadership must move beyond superficial reactions to elephant and rhino poaching and consider the complicated fate of the billions of people who rely on our planet's rapidly disappearing wildlife for food and income," his study concludes.

Leftovers ... The skeleton of a mammoth (Mammutus columbi) which lived in America over a million years ago exhibited in a museum. Source: AFP

SIGNS OF THE SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION

This extinction event differs from others in the long history of our planet in one major way: It's been brought about by the loss of major predators and herbivores through human interaction.

Scientists have a term for it: Anthropocene defaunation.

All previous extinctions have been driven by cataclysmic events (such as asteroid collisions or super volcanoes) or natural transformations (such as the impact of world-spanning ice ages).

The impact of this one — which is already affecting up to 33 per cent of all animals — will be equally severe.

"Where human density is high, you get high rates of defaunation, high incidence of rodents, and thus high levels of pathogens, which increases the risks of disease transmission," said Stanford University Biology Professor Rodolfo Dirzo who helped produce the review for the journal Science.

The demise of the megafauna — such as giant kangaroos, woolly mammoths and giant sloths — as recently as some 20,000 years ago may just have been the start. Many anthropologists believe such beasts were easy meals to the newly organised and armed homo sapiens (us).

Then there's the fate of the Tasmanian tiger and the passenger pigeon. One of the most recent additions to the extinct-at-human-hands list is the baiji freshwater dolphin of China.

More than 1000 species have been killed off in the past 200,000 years. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature keeps records of 20,000 more plants and animals classified as endangered.

Large animals remain at the forefront of decline: Now, it's the ever-present tale of rhinos and elephants being slaughtered for their horns, lions and leopards killed for the thrill (and dried testicles), and whales hunted for the sake of tradition.

But the greatest threat comes from loss of habitat: Less space to roam means fewer offspring, which in turn results in less viable populations.

The loss of such large animals is having a trickle-down effect.

Revitalisation ... a Zebra bolting out of an enclosure after a herd was translocated from Soysambu conservancy in the Kenyan Rift Valley in an effort to restock Kenya's famous Amboseli game reserve where indigenous species of large herbivore, particularly zebra and wilderbeast were decimated by a severe dought in 2009. Source: AFP

Kenya is cited as a case-study: After the kill-off of most of its zebras, giraffes and elephants — the nation has become overwhelmed by rodents gorging on the ungrazed terrain.

Professor Dirzo states this loss of animal diversity will most likely have a very harmful future impact.

"We tend to think about extinction as loss of a species from the face of Earth, and that's very important, but there's a loss of critical ecosystem functioning in which animals play a central role that we need to pay attention to as well," Dirzo said.

Some 3.5 billion years of evolutionary experimentation is under threat and with it much of the knowledge which could improve our own futures.

After all, we still striving to unravel the secrets of spider webs, gecko toes and pigeon homing.

Uncertain future ... Two 3-month old female Cheetah cubs at the Nairobi Orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. The two Cheetah cubs were abandoned by their mother due to shortages in prey. Source: AP

IS IT TOO LATE?

It can be done, they say. If we have the will.

Scientific American cites the example of the black-footed ferret. Merely seven of these little animals were still alive little more than a decade ago. Now they're back from the brink. Similar stories can be found for critically endangered animals ranging from condors to salamanders.

Philip Seddon reports in the journal Science that human efforts have saved 424 species of plants — mostly through careful cultivation and moving them to new areas away from human activity.

We've also seen — in the abandoned landscape around Chernobyl and the deliberate attempts to reforest the US eastern seaboard — that woodlands return (along with all their associated life) when farms and towns are abandoned.

Urgent action required ... Dr Mark Eldridge a Senior Research Scientist in Terrestrial Vertebrates at the Australian Museum with a preserved Eastern Quoll. The Eastern Quoll soon could be extinct. Source: News Corp Australia

But it remains a task requiring willpower from among general populations, government and industry.

There is no point saving animals without preserving the habitats within which they would live, the study says.

Reintroducing animals to unbalanced habitats is one tactic the study supports. Whether through introducing new predators to fill a vacated niche, or through genetically rebuilding lost animals, such stability has a cascade effect on the survival of other local animals, plants and trees.

How long do we have?

A study published by Nature in 2011 says we have just a century to change our ways before the "tipping point" is reached that will guarantee mass extinction.


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Did Eddie give away the answers?

Teenager Khaled El-Katateny walked away from a game show with $100,000 despite not knowing a single answer.

Poker faced ... Eddie McGuire on the Hot Seat set. Source: Supplied

MELBOURNE law student Khaled El-Katateny yesterday walked away from the game show Millionaire Hot Seat with $100,000 despite not knowing the answer to a single question.

The 19-year-old had the audience and home viewers in stitches with his comedic antics, which included asking people to follow him on Instagram and telling host Eddie McGuire he planned to buy 10 jetskis if he won.

But instead of relying on his smarts, the second-year university student claimed he used his incredible knack for being able to read body language.

Khaled El-Katateny on Millionaire Hot Seat. Source: Supplied Source: Supplied

For each of the five questions he was asked, El-Katateny said he repeated the possible answers back and scanned host Eddie McGuire's face for a reaction.

"I didn't play the game — I played the man," he explained.

"If you look at it, you see me working Eddie McGuire. I'm reading every single subtle thing about his face. I was reading the audience behind him too. That's telling me the answer."

AS MILLIONAIRE HOT SEAT celebrates its 1000th episode, do you have what it takes to win $1 million?

The footage doesn't show any readable clues or cues in McGuire's face and the larrikin teenager is looking down at his screen while repeating the options back.

There is every chance El-Katateny, much as he did during his appearance on the show, is simply taking the mickey.

Although the probability of fluking the answer to five questions from four options is low.

Whatever his trick, he has pocketed $100,000 and a couple of hundred new Instagram followers thanks to his on-air promotion of his account.

"When I got in the chair, there were five questions left to $100,000. I thought I'd make the best out of it and yell out my Instagram."

His username, which he reminded viewers repeatedly, is Kahled_ELK. His profile features a collection of selfies, pictures of his car and happy snaps with mates.

While he told McGuire he'd buy 10 jetskis for him and his mates if he won, El-Katateny has since backtracked on the cash splash.

"I'm definitely going to buy one jetski, but not 10. Look, it has struck a bit of controversy (with my mates).

"I really, really need a car charger for my phone. Every time I go somewhere, my phone dies — especially now it's blowing up."

Before planning how he'd spend the money, he offered it all to his parents but they refused the generous gesture and told him they were proud of the remarkable effort.

Just don't describe the cash as "winnings".

"I didn't win anything — I earned it."


15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

The man who turned down seven reality TV shows

Written By kom limapulan on Senin, 28 Juli 2014 | 15.48

Because I Said I Would's Alex Sheen honors drunk driving victim by keeping the roads safe. Courtesy: Fox News

because I said I would founder Alex Sheen, pictured driving around punters who had been drinking as part of a promise he made last month. Picture: because I Said I Would Source: Supplied

HIS inspiring social movement has spawned a legion of followers - and a swag of offers from TV networks too.

But Alex Sheen has one message for the Hollywood production companies knocking at his door — don't come in because he's not interested in talking.

The 29-year-old American founded because I said I would , a sort of real-life pay-it-forward scheme. It went viral after he filmed a man confessing he'd just killed another driver in a drunken crash.

Despite being approached by seven production companies that want him to host his own reality show, Sheen insists his movement is not for sale and, despite needing funds, he would not be selling out to Hollywood.

"They want to make a reality TV show about the challenges our supporters face in keeping their promises and they want me to host it," Mr Sheen said.

"I have refused every single one of these offers.

"I will not allow 'because I said I would' to become some oxymoronic "reality" television show made and edited for the purpose of selling product placement and advertisements."

Alex Sheen went to his local bar and held up this sign last month. Picture: because I Said I Would Source: Supplied

Mr Sheen said it was his duty and honour to protect the social movement he created two years ago and he didn't care how much money they offered him.

Mr Sheen's movement was thrust into the limelight last year when Matthew Cordell's stunning confession of a fatal drink driving accident was posted on YouTube.

Cordle was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail for his crime and promised he'd never drink drive again.

To honour that, Mr Sheen last month offered drinkers in Ohio a free lift home, promising to get them home safely.

Along the way he picked up several passengers from his local neighbourhood, refusing to take money — all because he promised he would.

The move, which was posted on Imgur, got 2.3 million views in just a few days and has now hit more than 3 million.

Mr Sheen's first passengers were from a bachelorette party. Picture: because I Said I Would. Source: Supplied

Since then his movement has continued to spread, with people offering to help others for free.

He said because I said I would is a social movement and non-profit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept.

At his father's funeral two years ago, he handed out promise cards to encourage people to make and keep promises that bring good into this world.

Since then, he has mailed out more than 1.4 million promise cards to more than 105 different countries — including many to Australia.

But it seems doing good doesn't come cheaply and the former corporate strategy leader is now turning to crowd-funding to keep his movement independent.

Mr Sheen now wants to create a year-long ad-free YouTube series about the promises of his supporters.

"This approach ensures that our mission to better humanity remains the genuine focus of our efforts," he writes in a newsletter to his supporters.

"This crowd-funding campaign ends in five days and it is far from its goal. I want you to know that even if the campaign fails, I will not resort to the TV offers. We will remain independent."

So far the crowd-funding plea has raised almost $15,000 and is only halfway to meeting its goal.

Mr Sheen said while some of his stories have gone viral there were many others which were yet to be told.


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How criminals break out of our prisons

A 20-year-old sex offender is on the run after escaping from a country Victorian jail.

Police in WA and Victoria have been hunting escaped prisoners today. Source: Supplied

POLICE in two Australian states have been hunting prison inmates who have broken out of jail, including one who has escaped before, and a "dangerous" sex offender.

The prison breaks come after a string of similar incidents across Australia in recent months where inmates have escaped while being transported between jails and even convicted murderers have managed to evade security and run free.

In Western Australia, detectives from the Regional Investigations Unit have been searching for Brett Shannon Klimczak who fled Acacia Prison early today.

The 31-year-old was recaptured about midday, after a police pursuit, in a suburb in Perth's east. His car became bogged and he was taken into custody after being surrounded by police.

Brett Shannon Klimczak was recaptured today after escaping a WA prison — his second escape in four years. Source: Supplied

Police allege Brett Shannon Klimczak was caught after a chase where his vehicle came to a stop after being bogged. Picture: Nine News Perth Source: Supplied

Brett Shannon Klimczak is back in custody. Picture: Nine News Perth Source: Supplied

Authorities have not said how he managed to get away but he was so determined to break out he injured himself busting through two razor wires, something the WA Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis admitted was a serious concern.

Klimczak has a history of jail breaks. In December 2010 he hot-wired a prison officer's vehicle and smashed through a prison compound while he was serving time for vehicle thefts and aggravated burglary.

During three weeks on the run he stole cars, petrol, registration plates, phones cash and clothing but was eventually tracked down by police after a manhunt through the desert.

WA Police are still seeking another inmate, 20-year-old Michael James Hayward, who broke free from custody when he was being transported from a hospital back to prison a week ago.

Escapee Michael James Hayward is still evading WA Police Source: Supplied

In Victoria today police are warning people not to approach Mana Lumm, 20, who had been at a youth justice facility.

Police would not say where he was being held or even when guards last saw him, despite their warnings for the public not to approach him.

A spokeswoman told the Herald Sun they could not provide the details for "legal reasons", but refused to specify what they were.

Lumm is described as caucasian, 175cm, of solid build with brown eyes and brown hair.

An image supplied by Victoria Police of Mana Lumm, a man who escaped from a correctional facility in central Victoria early this morning and is considered dangerous. Source: Supplied

Officers have searched the area where Lumm was living but so far have not been able to find him.

Another young man escaped from a correctional facility near Shepparton, in Victoria, at the weekend but was found and returned a few hours later.

Even though prisons are supposed to be near impossible to get away from, prison breaks are a regular occurrence.

There has been renewed concerns in recent months after a spate of escapes by sex offenders who have clipped off their GPS tracking bracelets. In the most high profile example an interstate manhunt begun after Sean Carmody-Coyle, one of Victoria's worst sex offenders, cut off his bracelet and fled a correctional facility on a mountain bike.

One of the most infamous jail breaks occurred in 1999 when bank robber John Killick and his Russian lover Lucy Dudko orchestrated a helicopter escape from a Sydney prison and spent 45 days on the run.

Killick told Channel Seven's Sunday Night program how the couple devised the daring plan during her regular visits to see him.

Dudko hired a three-seater helicopter for a joy ride over the Sydney Olympic stadium that was being built at the time as a test run. A week later she hired it again and threatened pilot Tim Joyce with a gun.

John Killick famously escaped jail when his girlfriend hijacked a helicopter. Source: News Corp Australia

Joyce told the program he realised something was wrong was when Dudko asked him to "take a closer look" at the prison.

"I looked over my shoulder … and as I looked back she had pulled a pistol out of her purse and she put it to the side of my head and said "this is a hijack"," Joyce told reporter Mike Willesee.

"He got in the chopper and said, "You can either make a lot of money from 60 Minutes or you can be dead"."

Their escape may have been straight out of a Hollywood thriller but others have been just as daring.

John Killick spoke about his daring chopper escape from a Sydney prison on Channel 7's Sunday Night program. Source: Supplied

In fact, they may have got some inspiration from a similar brazen attempt at freedom that occurred in the United States in 1985.

James Rodney Leonard, 20, was serving a life sentence for murder in a maximum-security prison in South Carolina. It was supposed to be escape proof.

A friend of his, Joyce Mattox, chartered a helicopter at a nearby airstrip and as it lifted off she pulled a gun out of her purse and forced him to fly to the prison, where 200 inmates were in the yard doing their daily exercise.

Five tried to board the chopper and a fight broke out where Leonard shoved two aside with two others climbing aboard.

But it was still overloaded and only just made it over the barbed wire fence on the prison walls as guards opened fire on them.

They had only a brief taste of freedom after being quickly arrested.

Another infamous example was in 2000 when a group of inmates dubbed the "Texas 7" escaped from the John Connally Unit by pulling off an elaborate scheme involving attacking guards, removing their clothing and gagging them.

They did this to eleven prison workers in total — taking credit cards and identification from their victims. The group then impersonated prison officers on the phone and created false stories to ward off suspicion from authorities, and eventually made their way to the prison maintenance pick-up-truck which they used to escape from the prison grounds.

Despite these horror stories prison breaks in Australia are still incredibly rare with the vast majority of prisoners staying behind bars where they belong.

In most states the escapes are from minimum security prisons and Corrective Services has previously said there were spikes in escapes from time to time.

Police search for an escaped prisoner around the outskirts of Darwin after another break out earlier this year. Source: News Corp Australia


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Why Anja dumped Delta’s song

The winner of The Voice fro 2014 is Anja Nissen. Courtesy: The Voice, Nine Network.

VOICE winner Anja Nissen has revealed the real reason why her winner's single, which was co-written by Delta Goodrem, was dumped as her career suffers a shaky start.

Nissen was due to release the track titled My Girls, which was co-written by Goodrem, as her winner's single last Friday.

However it was axed for a new song recorded with will.i.am which Nissen said has yet to be finished.

"My Girls is an awesome song, a great song," Nissen said.

"It just came down to whether or not it's my style or not. Will just wasn't sure.

"We didn't have enough time. Will wanted to be part of the decision making process when it came to choosing the single. Will wasn't sure if My Girls was the right style for me. He wanted to have a few more days to think about that and start working on ideas, looking at where to go next."

Nissen said she has started working with will.i.am on new material, but would not confirm when it would be released.

MYSTERY CONTINUES: Winner's single ditched for Anja

TEN THINGS: Who is singer Anja Nissen?

Sorry Delta ... Anja Nissen's song my Girls was dumped. Picture: Luke Fuda Source: News Corp Australia

Still songless ... Anja Nissen won The Voice this year. Picture: John Appleyard Source: News Corp Australia

"We've been playing around with some ideas, but there's nothing ready to go as such."

Nissen will release her self-titled covers album on Friday, without a song to promote it on radio.

The 18 year old recorded all the remakes on the album in one day last week in order to go on The Voice Top 8 national tour.

The Voice finale ... Anja Nissen with will.i.am on stage. Picture: Adam Ward Source: News Corp Australia

However the tour kicked off and played to a reduced capacity at its first stop at Perth Arena yesterday.

Perth Now reported the "modest stage was pulled forward and half the seating closed off."

The Adelaide show this Wednesday has been downsized from the 8000 capacity Adelaide Entertainment Centre to an adjacent smaller theatre that can hold just 2500.

Just an album cover ... without a song to go with it. Source: Supplied

Insiders suggest sales for upcoming shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne have also been slow, with the tour launched before punters knew who would be in the final eight.

One half of the duo ZK was also absent for the first Perth show.

National tour ... Channel Nine's The Voice top eight are going around the country. The top three were (from left to right) Jackson Thomas, Anja Nissen and Johnny Rollins. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper Source: News Corp Australia

The promoters for the tour have been approached for comment.

If The Voice Grand Final did not ignite ticket sales for the tour, it also provided no sales boost for Nissen, despite being seen by millions.

Her cover of Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing only went to No. 54 on the ARIA chart yesterday after last week's Grand Final, achieving only 2102 extra sales.

The only Voice finalist to crack the ARIA Top 50 this week after the Grand Final was Johnny Rollins, who sold 2562 copies of his cover of When A Man Loves a Woman.

On the road ... Channel Nine's The Voice is kicking off its national tour with it's top eight. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper Source: News Corp Australia

Indeed, throughout the entire Voice run this year only three songs made the ARIA Top 30 — ZK made No. 35 with Time After Time, Sabrina with Chandelier peaked at No. 39 and Gab and Cecilia hit No. 40 with I Dreamed a Dream.

The only person who scored any major chart success from The Voice Grand Final was will.i.am, whose single It's My Birthday (performed on the show) bulleted 23 spots to No. 6 with 13,869 sales.


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Former speaker Peter Slipper found guilty

Disgraced former Speaker of the House Peter Slipper at the Magistrates Court in Canberra. Pic by Gary Ramage Source: News Corp Australia

FORMER federal parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper has been found guilty of misusing taxpayer funds to visit Canberra wineries for his own enjoyment.

ACT Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker this afternoon ruled three charges relating to the misuse of about $1000 in Charcharge vouchers on three occasions in 2010.

He will be sentenced on September 22.

Chief Magistrate Walker told the court she had found Slipper had used multiple dockets and filled them out in such a way so as to disguise his real destinations and purpose of journeys.

Those journeys included visits of around 15 minutes to wineries that were consistent with the time a wine tasting might take, and at least one much longer visit that indicated he may have enjoyed lunch, she said.

Disgraced former Speaker of the House Peter Slipper and his legal team are confronted by media outside court in Canberra. Source: News Corp Australia

She said an analysis of the vouchers showed several in no way reflected his actual movements on the days in question.

"There could only have been one reason," she said.

"... He was not travelling within entitlements and he knew he was not traveling within entitlements."

Slipper last week faced a four-day trail during which his defence team had argued that just because Slipper had used the dockets in an unusual way, did not mean he had been acting dishonestly.

Mr Slipper stepped down as the independent speaker in 2012 after lewd text messages he sent describing the female anatomy became public.

He had resigned from the LNP to take the highly lucrative post offered to him by former prime minister Julia Gillard.

Mr Slipper, who the court was told is suffering a major depressive illness, was present for the verdict and each day of last week's hearing.

He earlier lost two bids to have the charges against him dismissed.


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Couple capture lightning strike

Written By kom limapulan on Minggu, 27 Juli 2014 | 15.48

This cute couple got a little more than they bargained for during their romantic holiday. Photo: YouTube. Source: NewsComAu

HOW'S this for a close call?

A young couple have captured the moment they were nearly struck by lightning while taking a romantic selfie on holiday in Mexico, Metro reports.

Luis Morales Fukutake and his girlfriend were swimming during a storm near Cancun and decided to take a selfie, when a lightning bolt hit the ground just a few metres behind the pair.

Luckily no one was hurt.

The whole thing was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube on Thursday. The video already has over 500,000 views.
Check it out.


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How to pick the perfect travel buddy

Travel buddies. Source: ThinkStock

A WEEKEND away can fly by in a pleasurable flash if you pick the right travel buddy. However. get the chemistry wrong, and those 48 hours can seem like an eternity.

So how do you choose the right person to go away with? TFE Hotels has collated the top ten travel buddies to look for — helping to make any minibreak memorable for all the right reasons ...

1. Gift of the gab

Pick a friend who can talk their way out of any situation — or into anyone's circle of friends. What better way to circumvent surly bouncers, get invited on board the superyacht in the harbour, or explain your presence if you didn't manage to score an official invite?

2. First aid specialist

Actual medical training, though handy if you're trying to impress good-looking strangers, is not strictly necessary. Instead, consider a travel buddy who always carries essential supplies like antiseptic ointment for grazes inflicted by hard-to-open beer bottles, and ibuprofen for the morning after.

3. Nightcap enthusiast

"Time for bed?" or "Just one more?" Give your sense of adventure a head start by travelling with a friend who always drags you for a nightcap, which turns into a night for the memory bank …

4. Fit for the picking

Spending the entire ferry trip with your head in the sick-bag is a nightmare. Being the one holding your friend's hair out of the sick bag isn't much better. Pick a travelling companion with a hearty constitution and guts of steel.

5. Financially solvent

Unless you have a killer trust fund or a career in corporate finance, you probably don't want to be picking up the tab for your buddy all weekend. Choose someone with a similar budget, so you're not stuck eating pot noodles in your hotel instead of heading out on the town.

6. A touch of the geek

Hands up who knows how to work Apple TV? If your IT skills need some finetuning, pick a tech-savvy travel buddy. You can also hit them up for quick online recommendations, and rely on their superior Instagramming talents to make your holiday snaps look picture-perfect.

7. Cool customer

Neurotic travelling companions can blow small dramas out of proportion. From delayed flights to snaking taxi queues, things can go wrong on weekends away. It's best to be with someone who can go with the flow. Or charm their way onto an earlier flight.

This is NOT what you want in a travel buddy. Source: ThinkStock

8. Culture vulture

Yes, musicals often suck. But they can be fabulous. Ditto modern art, museums, theatre, dance. If you're not usually inclined to seek out artistic events, consider heading away with someone who knows a bit about the arts. They might open your mind to new experiences, and add a dose of cultural cred to your weekend away.

9. Card-carrying wingman

Singles, every minibreak is an opportunity to find the love of your life. You want to be with someone who will help break the ice, laugh at your jokes, and not mind absenting themselves if things go swimmingly. Discuss the logistics beforehand though, especially if you're sharing a room. No one wants to spend the night on the couch in the hotel lobby.

10. Survival expert

If you need to turn your phone upside down to see where Google Maps is pointing you might reach your destination a whole lot quicker travelling with someone with an innate sense of direction. Other modern-day survival skills include familiarity with weather forecasting websites and the ability to locate the nearest bar serving polenta chips with gorgonzola sauce.

Lesson learnt? Source: ThinkStock


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