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Lancefield fire: Your photos

Lancefield fire: Your photos Instagram: @cfavic – Southern Belle showed her class yesterday during a trip south to help out at the #Lancefield fire. The #VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) is currently based with @NSWRFS but came to #Victoria to help during our unusually bad fire weather conditions. The tanker is dropping fire retardant ahead of the fire line to stop / reduce it’s spread. (The orange colour is added to help pilots and ground crews know what areas have been covered.) #cfavic #nswrfs #vicfires #fireservice #bushfire #wildfire #southernbelle
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Instagram: @jessie_wrightt

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Instagram: @edgarsmission – Where are you Scooby Doo? Safe and sound at Edgar’s Mission! Goodnight friends, we appreciate everyone’s concern following the too-close-for-comfort fire and want you to know we’re all OK. Last but certainly not least, a massive thank you to the CFA for their tireless work. #bushfireseason #Lancefield #CFA www.edgarsmission上海龙凤论坛.au

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Instagram: @mini_manolis – Live cross for @theprojecttv with @joelcrean at the bushfires near Lancefield, Victoria.

Instagram: @josiiebrnz – LAT and VLAT arriving from NSW CFA to assist with the Lancefield fire

Instagram: @cfatalk – Photo @mini_manolis shows a bit of what’s happening at the moment in Lancefield, Victoria. Around 50 CFA appliances and DELWP fighting to bring the blaze ‘under control’.

Instagram: @fsleeman1

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Instagram: @matman91 – Busy night with the Craigeburn Crew 🚒🔥 #Striketeam1421 #vicfires #Lancefield

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Picture: @davidmcomau/Twitter

Picture: @davidmcomau/Twitter

Picture: @davidmcomau/Twitter

Picture: @micknicholls/Twitter – Photo taken by my sister on the main road of Lancefield just before.

Instagram: @dodgegordon

Instagram: @dodgegordon

Instagram: @tom_winter_97

Picture: Matt Blair/Facebook

Picture: Matt Blair/Facebook

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‘Why don’t you do something useful’: Man’s spray before terror raid

The 22-year-old man who was arrested on Wednesday in the terrorism raids. Photo: Facebook Police search a house in Sydney’s west. Photo: Peter Rae
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Counter-terrorism raids in SydneyHome searched for gunsmonths agoSword-arrest mandetained againMan’s spray before terror raidGunmanJabarkept a low profile

Homes raided by counter-terrorism police on Wednesday morningwere also targeted in sweeping pre-dawn raids in September 2014.

And another home was raided by police in February after intelligence was received about a possible disruptionat Sydney’s Downing Centre Court complex.

More than 200 police on Wednesdayraided homes in Guildford, Wentworthville, Merrylands and Marsfieldas part of the investigation intothe death of police accountantCurtisCheng, 58, at Parramatta last Friday afternoon.

One of the targeted men spoke to Fairfax Media on Tuesday night, just hours before his home was raided by heavily armed police.

When Fairfax Media asked the 22-year-old in an interview via Facebookon Tuesday night about his connection to Jabar, he fired back, saying the killing of Muslims around the world was more important than Mr Cheng’s death.

Why don’t you do something useful?” he said. “And talk about real events occurring in Palestine. The killing of Muslims all ova the world [sic]. The oppressions in Burma, Palestine.”

The 22-year-old was detained during Operation Appleby raids in 2014 but was later released without charge.

On Wednesday, two teenagers aged 16 and 18, were arrested following raids in Wentworthville.

The home raided inBursill Street, Guildford, on Wednesday is believed to be the family home ofOmarjan Azari, 23, who was arrested in September 2014 for allegedlyplanning a terrorist act.

Police allege he had a phone call with Mohammad AliBaryalei, ‘s most senior member of the terrorist group Islamic State, and was told to pluck a random person off the street and behead them.

The home raided in Booth Street, Marsfield, is home to 22-year-old Mustafa Dirani, who was also detained during the Operation Appleby raids in 2014, but not charged.

Among the itemsseized from his family home last yearwas asword, which MrDirani said was a common house decorationmade from plastic. The n Federal Police have refuted that, saying it wasa legitimate weapon.

Mr Dirani was arrested on Wednesday morning and taken to a police station to be interviewed.

Two men, aged 22 and 24, were also arrested following a raid on a home in Lockwood Street, Merrylands.

The 24 year-oldman arrested at Merrylandswas not detained as part of the terrorism operation but on an outstanding warrant for fraud matters.

Neighbours have told Fairfax Media it was the same home targeted by police onFebruary 19. On that occasion heavily armed officers surrounded the home to search for firearms.

The raid came hours after police received a tip-off that courtproceedings could be disrupted, including a possible shooting.

It is understood a target may have been a key witness in the trial ofthe two men, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, both who havelengthy criminal histories.

Fairfax Media has been told police received the information about the threat to the court complexthe nightbefore and were left with no other choice but to send a heavy policepresence to the court in case a disturbance eventuated.

Two residents of Lockwood Street confirmed seeing police at the home in February.

“That’s not the first time it has happened,” a neighbour said of policesurrounding the home.

“It happened [earlier this year]over something to do with a courtcase in the city.

“That time it happened the raid was about 2pm in the afternoon.”

All five men have been taken to various police stations to be interviewed, a police statement said.

– with Ava Benny-Morrison

NOTE:An earlierversion of this story was changed for legal reasons.


Microsoft unveils Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones, Surface Pro 4 tablet, and Surface Book, its first ever laptop

Hands on with Lumia 950 and 950 XL
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Microsoft has made a firm push into the consumer hardware business, unveiling at a dedicated devices event on Wednesday morning a trio of new phones, a new surface tablet, and the first laptop the company has ever built.

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL are the first smartphones to run Windows 10, with Microsoft committing to the promise of letting people use the same software across its phones, tablets, PCs and video game console.

The powerful phones feature 5.2-inch and 5.7-inch Quad-HD AMOLED displays, and are powered by Snapdragon hexa-core and octa-core processors respectively. Otherwise they are largely the same device, with a 20 megapixel main camera, USB-C port, 32GB storage, and a micro-SD slot for expansion.

The use of USB C allows for the phones’ signature feature, known as Continuum. With an optional accessory called the Microsoft Display Dock, users can connect their phone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and use it like a Windows 10 PC, all while the phone charges.

Full n launch details are yet to come for the two flagship phones, but Microsoft said they would be hitting our shores before Christmas. The company also announced the budget Lumia 550, which also runs a version of Windows 10 and features a 4.7-inch screen. Surface Book

The laptop, named Surface Book, is a sleek, high-spec machine that clearly caught a lot of people by surprise, beginning to trend on social media almost instantly as it was unveiled.

The machine boasts a full-sized keyboard, a glass-laminated precision trackpad and a 13.5-inch screen with a resolution of 3000×2000 and 10-point multitouch functionality. It’s powered by a sixth generation Intel i5 or i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and a dedicated 1GB graphics card, features a solid state hard drive, and comes with Windows 10 Pro.

In introducing the device, Microsoft devices executive Panos Panay claimed it was twice as fast as the MacBook Pro. To top it all off, a video revealed that the laptop’s screen can detach from the keyboard (much like Google’s new Pixel C), allowing the device to function as a Surface Tablet. The Surface Book even comes with a redesigned Surface Pen stylus.

The high-end device comes at a high-end price, starting at $2299 when it launches in on November 12.

Microsoft also introduced the Surface Pro 4 tablet, which features some similar specifications to the laptop (although cutting back on things like storage space and dedicated graphics) but has a smaller screen and weighs only 786 grams. The lowest-priced version of the tablet, which packs an Intel Core m processor instead of an i5 or i7, will be $1349 in , and also launches on November 12. A new Surface Type Cover, available separately, features redesigned keys and a fingerprint scanner. Fitness tracker

At the top of the event Microsoft briefly detailed a new fitness tracker, called the Microsoft Band 2. Featuring a curved display, the band is capable of replying to texts or setting reminders on your phone with the touch of a button.

The device packs a GPS sensor and heart rate monitor. Like the original band can track your activity and sleep, and it adds the ability to track your altitude. The data is all crunched and stored by the Windows Health app, available across Windows, Android and iOS. n launch details are yet to be announced. Gaming and AR

Rounding out its announcements, Microsoft talked gaming by giving a glimpse at the free update coming to the Xbox One in November, which brings a version of Windows 10 to the game console and loungeroom-centric media box. The company also showed off a new game for its augmented reality headset HoloLens, and said a developer version of the device would be available in early 2016.

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Is China’s economy heading for a crash?

downgraded by IMF
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Markets are well aware that China’s exceptional growth rate is finally slackening but economists are increasingly cognisant of this slowing could turn into a crash for the world’s second largest economy.

Concerns are beginning to rise about China’s future economic prospects. While the International Monetary Fund chose not to downgrade its economic forecasts for the country’s GDP, Citi’s chief economist Willem Buiter has warned China will drag the rest of the world into a global recession.

“We consider China to be at high and rapidly rising risk of a cyclical hard landing,” Mr Buiter and his economist colleagues said in a report. “The reasons behind China’s downturn and likely recession are familiar: rising excess capacity in a growing number of sectors, excessive leverage in the private sector and episodes of irrational exuberance in asset markets.

Deutsche Bank research has joined the ranks with a new report that analyses the potential for a hard landing and economic crash in the economy that powered much of ‘s mining boom prosperity.

“Market commentary continues to point to uncertainty about the Chinese economy as an important source of negative sentiment. ‘Hard landing’ fears, it seems, also persuaded the US Federal Reserve not to raise rates last month,” chief economist Peter Hooper said.

Mr Hooper said the global investment bank was maintaining their forecast of 7 per cent GDP growth in quarter three but said there was some downside risk, adding a crash was unlikely.

“We interpret the (current economic) evidence as pointing to at worst a gradual decline in growth such as has been observed over the past couple of years.”

A significant factor in the growth to date has been a major construction boom triggered by the Beijing authorities as an economic stimulus. As this cools, other industries and in particular the rise of consumer demand would need to grow to maintain China’s economic momentum.

“With appropriate reforms, relatively high (albeit slower than in past decades) growth could continue for very many more years,” Mr Hooper said.

Deutsche’s research comes as the Commonwealth Bank revises its global growth target from 3.5 per cent 3.1 per cent, well below the recent historic average of 3.7 per cent.

“An extended period of weakness in the large emerging market (EM) economies is the main reason behind the cut to our global growth forecasts,” economist Joseph Capurso said, adding China’s slowing would exacerbate these declines.

“Economic recovery in China is delayed by continued headwinds in heavy industry, exports and housing investment.  There appears to be no quick fix.”

The Commonwealth Bank has downgraded its forecast for China’s GDP to 6.5 per cent, a whole 0.5 lower than the emerging superpower’s official target.

A slowing China consumes fewer commodities, which is daunting news for ‘s ailing economy. Mr Capurso said was going through a transition but added they did not expect China to fall into an economic crisis.

“Continued growth in urbanisation, high savings, large FX reserves, an underdeveloped inland economy, the emerging middle‑class in coastal cities and pent‑up demand for quality services will support economic growth in coming years,” he said.

“Our larger concern for China is the political struggles in Beijing that appear to have resulted in partial paralysis amongst government officials.”

A slowing Chinese economy was key to the International Monetary Fund decision last month to downgrade its global GDP forecasts from 3.3 to 3.1 per cent in 2015 for emerging markets.

Capital Economics senior world economist Andrew Kenningham said the recent turbulence flowing out of China’s equity markets have shown how vulnerable the world was to Chinese investor sentiment but said a crash was unlikely.

“If China’s economy weakens much further, global growth will slow. Growth of 2 per cent rather than 6 per cent in China would directly reduce world GDP growth by nearly one percentage point,” Mr Kenningham said.

“Along with the knock-on effects elsewhere, global growth could fall from around 3.5 per cent to just over 2 per cent for a year or two. Industrial metal producers such as and Chile could be hard hit. But the impact on the major advanced economies, including the US and eurozone, would be much smaller.”


Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection 100 word reviews

All three games now display in 1080p and at 60 frames per second, which combined with the visual overhaul make them much prettier than they were on PlayStation 3.Uncharted 2 is one of the most critically acclaimed games of the last decade.
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There’s little in the way of added content or special bonuses, but there are new difficultly levels to encourage newcomers who want to avoid the combat and enjoy the story, or veterans who need a challenge.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

The first of three games included in The Nathan Drake Collection, UDF was first released in 2007, but the brilliance of its design and charming, globe-trotting narrative has barely aged a day. Part Indiana Jones, part Tomb Raider, Uncharted is a pulp fiction classic in game form that combines exploration, puzzle-solving, gunplay, great characters and colourful environments.

Although all three games feature improved visuals, UDF’s age means it benefits more than the others. The bothersome motion-controlled grenade throwing from the original game is gone, which is a great move and one of the very few gameplay tweaks in the collection.Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

The bump to character models, level geometry and detail that makes UDF palatable makes the already-pretty U2 absolutely gorgeous, and it’s a joy to play through its snowy peaks and urban warzones.

Unchanged is the perfect pacing, great character dialogue, improved combat and incredible bombastic set-pieces that made this game hands down the best of 2009. U2 takes the first game and elevates it in every way, from the vertigo-inducing climbing sections to the mysticism-infused historical intrigue. Very little content has been added, as is the case across the whole collection, but when the game is this good that’s ideal.Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Rounding out the package, the excellent but divisive U3 is my personal favourite. The refined gameplay and huge action of its predecessor returns, but this time the pacing and narrative are twisted to deliberately subvert the player’s expectations, and deliver an incredibly high-stakes story for the characters we’ve grown to love over the prior games.

More than the others, this is an ambitious and cinematic game that really feels like its creators — having already nailed the technical aspects of their creation — are delivering the story and experience they really want to communicate. This is how big-budget video games should be.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is out October 7 for PlayStation 4 at an RRP of $99.95. It is classified MA15+.

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