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New The X-Files makes a dazzling debut as Cannes hosts world premiere

The truth is out there: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson star in a six-episode So happy #TheXFiles opening credits are the same ones from 1993!— Meredith Jacobs (@MeredithJJacobs) October 6, 2015
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The original series aired between 1993 and 2002. It ran for nine seasons and two feature films, in 1998 and 2008. In the 1990s it was a massive TV hit, not just in the US, but also in .

If you did not watch it, it focused on FBI special agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) whose interest in the paranormal had seen him sidelined to the agency’s basement where he worked on unresolved “X” files. Into his world came FBI agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) initially to assess his work with a view to debunking it, though in time a great partnership blossomed.

The redux picks up the story in the present, more than a decade after the FBI’s “X Files” department has been closed down. The first episode is fast and tight, outlining a conspiracy which is worthy of the show’s best, blending everything we know with more contemporary connective tissue such as conspiracy theorist TV pundits, the Snowden case and the NSA scandal.

Brilliantly, it manages to be box up all the touchstones of the original series, in a very present framework. It plays fast, like modern television must, but as the pieces of its jigsaw slowly assemble themselves, we’re almost slowly, subtly turning back the clock to the point that Mulder and Scully are re-partnered and the X Files re-opened.

To some extent it works because despite the water under the bridge, the show’s authorship is unchanged. Chris Carter who created the series and has steered it through its entire life, returns as producer and writer. Mark Snow, whose music defined the tone and texture of the original, returns as composer.

At the heart of The X-Files now, as it always was, is an ages-old clash of ideologies. Mulder, the believer, a man of faith and hope, versus Scully, the scientist, whose logic must deny faith. Both positions have come a long way since the original, but at their heart they remain true to their original selves.

The first episode of the six foreshadows a compelling new series, with hints that it will ultimately knit together many of the show’s touchstones, such as the abduction of Mulder’s sister, The X-Files, Roswell and the origin of the show’s iconic Smoking Man.

There are also lovely moments, including the return of FBI assistant director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), and a conclusion -the details of which we will omit here – which will send fans into paroxysms of pleasure, horror and delight. (Clue: yep, it’s him, and he’s super creepy.)

From its first frame more than two decades ago The X-Files proposed a fascinating notion: the truth is out there. Whether it wholly or properly answered that in its original life is debatable. But it demonstrated, powerfully, that the journey, and not the destination is what mattered most.


need2know: Flat open ahead

Weak biotechs dragged on Wall Street. Photo: Mark LennihanLocal shares are set to open slightly higher on a weak lead from a mixed day on Wall Streeet.
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What you need2know

SPI futures up 10pts at 5179

AUD at 71.58 US cents, 86.06 Japanese yen, 63.49 Euro cents and 51.93 British pence

On Wall St,S&P 500 -0.3%, Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq -0.6%

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +0.9%, FTSE +0.4%, CAC +1%, DAX +0.9%

Spot gold up $US10.90 or 1% to $US1146.65/ounce

Brent crude up $US2.68 or 5.4% to $US51.93/barrel

Iron ore untraded at $US53.14 per tonne

What’s on today

HIA new home sales; US consumer credit; Bank of Japan policy meeting concludes

Stocks in focus

Deutsche Bank has a “hold” on Crown Resorts and a target price of $13.85. “Macau gross gaming revenue in September declined by 33 per cent to MOP17.13 billion, which was in-line with market expectations. YTD revenue is down 36.2 per cent on pcp. Sequentially, revenue is down 8 per cent vs August.”

Citi moved OceanaGold to “buy” from “neutral” after the now-likely acquisition of the Haile Gold Project in South Carolina via Romarco Minerals (R.TX), and a pullback in the OGC share price, but put a lower target of $2.46 a share on the miner, from $$2.73 previously.

Trading ex dividend today: ARB Corp, Ausmani, ICSGlobal, Japara Healthcare, Premier Investments.

Currencies

The n dollar strengthened for a fifth day as traders pared bets that the central bank will lower interest rates this year after keeping them unchanged at a record low of 2 per cent on Tuesday. “While there was chatter over the previous weeks and days that the bank was considering doing more, there doesn’t seem to be any rush to do so,” said Jeremy Stretch, head of foreign- exchange strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in London. “We’re looking for Aussie to continue squeezing higher.”

For commodity and emerging market currencies, a drop in 10-year Treasury yields to below 2 per cent helps, but is more placebo than medicine for the underlying ailment, says Kit Juckes at Societe General. “The same can be said, by the way, of global equity markets. Can we really expect asset markets to rally again, lemming-like, on the back of easy money and in the absence of better growth? I can’t see a lasting rebound in EM and commodity FX until we have more clarity on the Chinese economic outlook and crucially, on China’s currency policy.”

Commodities

Oil prices jumped as much as $US2 a barrel, breaking out of a month-long trading range on a mix of technical buying and US government data suggesting that the global supply glut could be ebbing. Global benchmark Brent crude rallied for a third straight day and was set to settle above $US50 a barrel for the first time in a month. This convinced some dealers that there was little chance prices would slide back to the 6-1/2-year lows touched in August.

“We have reduced the probability of a return to the $US37-$US38 area per nearby WTI,” said Jim Ritterbusch of oil consultancy Ritterbusch & Associates in North Wabash, Chicago. “We will maintain a longstanding view that price declines below this support level are virtually off of the table.”

Total world supply is expected to rise to 95.98 million barrels a day in 2016, 0.1 per cent less than forecast last month, the EIA said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook. Demand is expected to rise 270,000 bpd to 95.2 million barrels, up 0.3 per cent from September’s forecast.

United States

US stocks fell on Tuesday as healthcare companies lost ground and investors eyed upcoming quarterly reports that are expected to show a dip in corporate earnings. A surge in DuPont’s stock helped keep the Dow Jones industrial average in positive territory but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq lost ground, with a sharp drop in biotech stocks.

The S&P health index lost 2.2 per cent, the worst performer among the ten major S&P sectors. The sector has been under intense scrutiny over high drug prices.

“What we’re getting today is quite frankly just people taking some chips off table after a five-day rally,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.

Europe

European stocks advanced for a third day as investors assessed valuations and speculated that weak economic data will encourage central banks to keep monetary policy accommodative for longer. The Stoxx 600 rose 0.6 per cent to 360.41 at the close of trading, its highest level in more than two weeks. The equity gauge had lost as much as 18 per cent from its April record, posting its worst quarterly drop since 2011 amid concerns about the slowing Chinese economy and an impending Federal Reserve rate increase.

“The (latest US) job report lowered the bets for any rate hike this year, which should give some boost to the markets after suffering this third quarter,” said Guillermo Hernandez Sampere, who helps manage about €150 million as head of trading at MPPM EK in Eppstein, Germany. “Investors are tired of betting that the Fed will do anything this year. A lot of people have to reduce their protection, which will feed into a rally. From a value point, we are still on an inexpensive level.”

The recent selloff in European equities has once again pushed them into attractive territory, trading at 14 times their estimated earnings, down from an April high of 16.6. The earnings yield of Euro Stoxx 50 Index companies makes them more appealing than at any time since 2011 relative to government debt.

What happened yesterday

A two-day rally on the n sharemarket lost some of its puff of during Tuesday’s session, but strong buying in the miners helped push the index to a near three-week high. At close of trade the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed 17 points, or 0.3 per cent, higher at 5167.4 after reaching as high as 5220 in early trade. The All Ordinaries finished 15 points, or 0.3 per cent, higher to 5199


Sydney weather: heat to be blown away by damaging winds

Bronte Beach won’t be so pleasant on Wednesday morning when the cool change arrives. Photo: Nic Walker Windy weather disturbs beach goers in Melbourne on Tuesday. Photo: Joe Armao
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Sydneysiders had a warm night – but a southerly buster has moved up the NSW coast early on Wednesday and the city’s three-day record run of warmth has come to an abrupt end.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds for the Sydney metropolitan, Hunter, Illawarra and south coast forecast areas for Wednesday.

Peak gusts reached 95 km/h at Wattamolla to Sydney’s south as the cool change swept in. Sydney Harbour has also had wind speeds reaching 78 km/h.  #SoutherlyBuster moving through Sydney helping reduce temps & fire dangers. http://t上海龙凤论坛/qgTljnosfs#NSWRFSpic.twitter上海龙凤论坛m/z4jGbAVTDu— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 6, 2015

Gale force southerly winds were likely along the coastal fringe between Narooma and The Entrance, the bureau said.

Those sustained southerly winds should range from 35-55 km/h before easing to 25-35 km/h later in the morning before turning south-easterly and easing to 15-20 km/h during the afternoon and evening, the bureau said.

Sydney’s maximum on Wednesday will be a cool 21 degrees, just shy of the 22 degrees typical for October. The mercury finally dropped below 20 degrees just after 6 am on Wednesday.

Cloudy conditions should then persist for a couple of days with little chance of rain before city temperatures start climbing back to the mid-20s through to early next week.

Temperatures in the city’s west should reach the mid- to high-20s each day to next Tuesday, on current bureau forecasts.

Sunday has the best chance of rain, with 1-5 millimetres predicted for Sydney.

Hottest trio

The city sweltered through another day of temperatures more than 10 degrees above average for October, with multi-day records likely to fall across many parts of south-eastern .

“Sydney, Dubbo, Condobolin, Balarand had their hottest trio of days this early in the season on record,” Tristan Meyers, a Weatherzone meteorologist, said.

Coastal breezes helped cap Sydney’s peak at 32.3 degrees on Tuesday but they failed to prevent inland regions, such as Penrith, reaching a scorching 38.6 degrees.

Melbourne smashed its record maximum for this early in October on Monday, recording 34.4 degrees, and backed it up with an even hotter 35.8 degrees on Tuesday.

Towns only 80 kilometres north-west of Melbourne were facing fire threats on Tuesday amid changing conditions. Temperatures in the city plunged 13 degrees in 10 minutes as the cool change arrived.

NSW fire authorities, meanwhile, were dealing with 42 bush and grass fires as of late on Tuesday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Rural Fire Service said.

Some 28 of them were not contained, including a blaze near Bredbo, just west of the Monaro Highway in the state’s south.

“As temperatures come down, we will see a reduction in the fire activity,” the spokeswoman said.

The fire danger ratings will be very high in the state’s north-east but low-moderate to high in most other regions, the RFS said.

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website


Scrum guru Mario Ledesma wants to help Wallabies at Rugby World Cup and beyond

An England scrum collapses during the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between England and at Twickenham in London on October 3. Photo: Matt Dunham/APEddie Jones open to England coaching job
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Rugby World Cup interactive: your guide to every teamFull coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup

LONDON: He’s gone from the intern to the master and scrum guru Mario Ledesma pushed the knife deeper into England’s broken hearts by claiming loosehead prop Joe Marler should have been penalised more often in the hosts’ embarrassing World Cup exit.

And the bad news for England and Wallabies’ rivals is that the man who has transformed ‘s set piece declared he wants to stay on Michael Cheika’s coaching staff and build an n scrum reputation.

Ledesma has helped turn the Wallabies scrum from an Achilles heel to a potential weapon in less than a year, going from NSW Waratahs’ “video intern” to Test magician.

The former Argentina hooker insists the Wallabies scrum has to get better in its clash against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEDT).

Wales will draw confidence from the fact they marched all over the Wallabies last year and were awarded a penalty try at scrum time.

Ledesma’s results in a short period with the Wallabies have been brilliant, but he has his eyes on a longer stint after originally arriving in with a tourist visa.

Teams from around the world will come knocking on his door, but the intern-turn-master says his job with the Wallabies is unfinished.

​”Yes, definitely [I’d like to stay coaching in ]. Since I came here, things have been developing really naturally,” Ledesma said.

“I came to with a tourist visa and just helping, being the video intern at the Waratahs. Then things started building up. I know ‘Cheiks’ … my wife can worry because I never sign things.

“But I trust ‘Cheiks’ 100 per cent … I got a third visa and he said maybe I can help with the Wallabies. I’ve been going from there, I’m not worried. I’m enjoying myself, this is the place I want to be right now. I would definitely [stick around for the England series next year].”

Ledesma grinned as he spoke of the Wallabies’ strong scrum performance against England.

He was reluctant to talk about the challenge and any technical deficiencies in the Welsh pack, but rubbed salt into England’s wounds by saying Marler should have been punished even more than he was.

Referee Romain Poite pinned Marler for his illegal technique of angling in and he was one penalty away from being sent to the sin bin before England’s coaches dragged him from the field.

“Technically I wasn’t really happy with the way we were scrummaging [against England], there are a lot of things to work on and the good thing is that the guys know that,” Ledesma said.

“I thought the loosehead [Marler] was doing the same in all the scrums but he wasn’t penalised.

“I’m happy he [referee Romain Poite] penalised him the times he did, but if he penalises him once he should penalise him every time because he always did the same thing.

“He scrummed like that against Fiji, Wales and us, you can’t change that in a week so we knew it was coming.”

The Wallabies are preparing for a new set-piece battle against Wales this weekend and hope their scrum performance will start earning back respect among referees and opposition teams.

Twelve months ago the Welsh scrum demolished and won a penalty try in Cardiff.

But the Wallabies showed they are a completely different scrum unit when they forced five penalties and conceded just two against England.

“We’ve got to be smart,” Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde said.

“We are fully aware of the threat pose, but also in the knowledge we actually were awarded a penalty try against them last autumn, so we’ve got to take confidence from that.

“Obviously they are benefiting from the experience of Mario Ledesma … so there’s a certain Argentine flavour to their scrum.

“The challenge is there, so fortunately, we have a whole week to focus on those perceived weaknesses.”

​n rugby is traditionally known for its back-line stars and try-scoring prowess.

But Ledesma has been soaking up the attention on the scrum and rebuilding pride in the set piece.

“It’s all about self-belief and getting better every day … the guys concentrate on that, not the England or Wales scrum,” Ledesma said.

“There are a lot of things we can do better. It’s always harder to reproduce something like that [against England]. But there are a lot of areas we have to improve. They get what we’re trying to do and they’re not doing it, they realise they could have done better.

“What’s strong is respecting our philosophy, our mind set, our intent and technique.”


Brisbane’s 130-metre Spire apartments to rise after setting June sales record

An infinity pool will be a rooftop feature of Brisbane’s new Spire residential development. Photo: Supplied A huge hole in the ground will set the foundations for Brisbane’s new Spire apartment building. Photo: Cameron Atfield
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Work has started to turn a massive hole on Brisbane’s CBD fringe into a 130-metre apartment building.

The Spire residential tower has been completely sold off the plan in what the developers said was the city’s fastest-selling apartment release in the June quarter.

Consolidated Properties executive chairman Don O’Rourke said the 340 units went to market in March and the final contract was signed last week.

The units sold for between $350,000 and $720,000.

Mr O’Rourke said Spire’s sale record was a good sign Brisbane’s unit market was still going strong.

“At the end of the day, you’re in the hands of the market,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“You can do all the research under the sun, but if it’s wrong and the market’s not there, then the presales won’t be there and then the project won’t happen.

“That, then, is the definition of the end of the market for that particular category.”

During construction of the 39-storey building, 1500 people would be employed, including 135 apprentices.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said it was “another step forward for Brisbane” as he marked the official start of the construction stage, following a period of excavation work at the site.

Cr Quirk said the abundance of units in the Brisbane marketplace was not a sign of oversupply – at least not yet.

“I think the market will determine when enough is enough,” he said.

“At the moment, though, these have all been pre-sold so there’s not one left for people to buy.

“I think when the market says ‘enough’, then obviously things will slow down, but at the moment Brisbane’s price point is very attractive (compared with Sydney and Melbourne).”

Cr Quirk said Spire and other developments of its ilk were the only option left as Brisbane continued to grow.

“We know that we’ve got no major greenfield sites left – we’ve got a bit out there at Rochedale, we’ve got a bit at Drewvale, we’ve got a bit of course at Upper Kedron and maybe Bulimba Barracks is another site,” he said.

“But there are very limited land opportunities in Brisbane, so we know that our future will be around redevelopment (of existing developed sites).”

Mr O’Rourke said Spire’s design would provide a visually appealing welcome point to the CBD.

“This is really the gateway site to the CBD and really was what drove us to choose John Wardle from Melbourne as the architect to produce a beautiful piece of architecture as a gateway to our city,” he said.

“…The stand-out feature of the architecture, for me at least, is the beautiful concrete veil that runs the entire length of the façade.

“That’s going to be the defining feature that people will see from halfway down the Valley as they arrive into the city.”

Mr O’Rourke said Spire, which had attracted interest locally, interstate and internationally, was attractive to those prices out of other markets.

“Those people are buying here, I think, for two reasons,” he said.

“One is that we’re about three-quarters of the price point of Sydney and Melbourne and also our rental yield is about 6 per cent, which is significantly more than Sydney and Melbourne.”

Mr O’Rourke said sales were split “roughly 50/50” between investors and owner-occupiers.

“All we can see today is that what has been built has sold and what has been built has been rented,” he said.

“That’s the definition of a healthy market.”

In 2013, Consolidated Properties had planned to build an office tower on the site, but those plans changed last year, prompted by what Mr O’Rourke described as a tanking commercial market.

Along with the units, Mr O’Rourke said there would be retail opportunities – most likely one or more restaurants – at street level.