Monthly Archives: July 2018

need2know: ASX set to open higher

Local shares are poised to open higher ahead of another slew of earnings from, among others, Arrium, IAG, Seven West Media and Woodside Petroleum.

Here’s what you need2know: SPI futures are up 18 points to 5838Australian dollar is fetching 78.22 US cents, 93.30 Japanese yen, 68.58 Euro cents and 50.95 British penceOn Wall Street in late trade, Dow +0.1%, S&P flat, Nasdaq flat  In Europe, FTSE +0.6%. Dax -0.3%, CAC flat  Brent crude added 1.2% to $US62.16 per barrelSpot gold fell 1.9% to $US1208.74 an ounce

What’s on today

Australia Westpac leading index; US FOMC meeting minutes, housing starts, building permits, industrial production; NZ PPI input/output; Japan Bank of Japan statement on monetary policy; UK Bank of England minutes.

Earnings reports expected from Arrium, Asciano, Bega Cheese, Dexus Property Group, Insurance Australia Group, MacMahon Holdings, Mount Gibson Iron, Recall Holdings, Seven West Media, Toll Holdings, Western Areas, Woodside Petroleum, Trade Me, Primary Health Care, Carsales苏州美甲美睫培训学校.

Stocks to watch

Toll Holdings has received a takeover approach from Japan Post, sources told the Australian Financial Review on Tuesday night. The offer price is said to value the company at about $5 billion and an announcement is expected as early as Wednesday.

Credit Suisse has a “neutral” recommendation on James Hardie Industries and a target price of $14.60 a share in the lead-up to it reporting earnings on Friday, February 20.

Macquarie Wealth Management maintains an “outperform” on Beach Energy with a 12-month target price of $1.25 a share. BPT will report 1H15 interim financial results on February 23.

Deutsche Bank says Rio Tinto is delivering on all fronts and has a “buy” rating on the miner and a target price of $83.90 a share.


The euro recovered from initial losses on Tuesday, helped by a bounce in German investor sentiment and hopes that Greece will find a common ground with its euro zone partners.

“The market recognises that Greece is fairly isolated … without much of a contagion impact,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

“The market is not assigning a high probability for a Greek exit now, though the chances are rising,” said Petr Krpata, FX strategist at ING in London.

Central bank news will be a large driver of currency moves in the coming days with the U S Federal Reserve and the Bank of England both due on Wednesday to release minutes from their latest policy meetings.


Gold and silver fell to six-week lows, while platinum fell to the lowest since 2009.

Copper and other base metals fell amid concerns about China and Greece. Trading volumes have been winding down in Asia ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in China.

Copper has shed 10 per cent this year and touched a 5-1/2 year low last month. LME inventories rose again on Tuesday, bringing total stocks to 295,475 tonnes, a rise of two thirds so far this year.

Oil futures are lower. “Growing concerns about whether a ceasefire will hold and Greece’s problems have got people worried about demand for oil in a shaky European economy,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

United States

US stocks were flat in afternoon trade on Tuesday, paring modest early losses.

The S&P 500 topped 2100 points for the first time at about 1.30pm in New York.

The route for stocks this year has been uneven – the S&P 500 has rallied 5.1 per cent in February, heading for the best monthly performance since October 2011, after losing 3.1 per cent in January for its worst month in a year. That evens out to a 1.9 per cent gain for 2015, trailing most developed markets.


Greek stocks fell on Tuesday, weighing on broader European indexes, after debt talks between Athens and its EU peers broke down, putting the country’s future in the shared-currency bloc at risk.

The main Athens index fell as much as 4.7 per cent after the open. It then recovered the lost ground only to drop once more, to close 2.45 per cent down on the day.

After the markets closed, Reuters reported that Greece intends to ask for an extension of a loan agreement on Wednesday.

What happened  yesterday

Australian shares fell on Tuesday as some lacklustre earnings reports took their toll on market sentiment while Commonwealth Bank traded ex-dividend. The S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 30.5 points, or 0.52pc, to 5858.2.

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THE MORNING GRILL: Wednesday, February 18

8.45am: That’s it from us today. Don’t forget to check out the latest news updates on our websites …


8.30am:Is it your birthday today?

If so, you share it with the following celebrities …

John Travolta turns 61

John Travolta with Olivia Newton John and the Qantas A380

Fellow actor Molly Ringwald, best known for her work in the 1980s, turns 47

Molly Ringwald

Meanwhile Yoko Ono, artist, singer and widow of Beatle John Lennon turns 82.

Yoko Ono

8.20am: For something a little lighter to kickstart your day, if you think you have it bad, spare a thought for this cat every time he wants to squeeze in and out of this door.

8.10am: In entertainment news, the latestfromI’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here.

Freddy Flintoff watches on as Merv Hughes wrestles with a cat fish during their treasure chest hunt. Photo: Ten

8.05am:Dubbo MP and Deputy Premier Troy Grant has labelled live-baiting in the greyhound industry “absolutely abhorrent” as the fallout continues from the ABC’s Four Corners investigation into the issue. Has what you have heard in recent days changed the way you think about the greyhound racing industry?

8.00am:Did you see the GWS Giants during their visit to Dubbo?

Greater Western Sydney Giants Sam Reid (left) and Dylan Addison with mayor Mathew Dickerson at Westerns Plains Zoo on Tuesday. Photo: Belinda Soole

7.45am:Dubbo City Council (DCC) has thrown its support behind the Evocities concept and given its strongest indication yet that it would like the program to continue for another four years.

Dubbo is one of seven cities in the Evocities program and has been one of the most active participants. Do you think it is a good thing for Dubbo to be part of the Evocities program? Have your say here.

7.31am: For those on the road around Dubbo this morning …

Dubbo City Council would like to advise that a Liquid amber tree located on the footpath adjacent to 43 Boundary Road, west of the Fitzroy Street intersection will be removed.

This work is scheduled to be carried out (weather permitting) during this morning.

The tree will be removed due to a previous failure and the appearance of decay in a critical section of the tree which could result in the potential failure of the tree.

Traffic control will be implemented during the removal process so short delays should be expected.

Council apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please be aware of potential traffic delays on Boundary Rd, #Dubbo tomorrow

— Dubbo Council (@DubboCouncil) February 16, 20157.19am: Taking a quick look at your local news highlights this morning:

► DUBBO:Dubbo City Council has thrown its support behind the Evocities conceptand given its strongest indication yet that it would like the program to continue for another four years.

► REGIONAL:DubboMP and Deputy Premier Troy Grant has labelled live-baiting in the greyhound industry “absolutely abhorrent” as the fallout continues from the ABC’s Four Corners investigation into the issue.

► DUBBO:Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants star Dylan Addison admits his visit to Taronga Western Plains Zoo during his two days at Dubbo has given him something to brag about when he returns to his club this week.

Greater Western Sydney Giants Sam Reid (left) and Dylan Addison with mayor Mathew Dickerson at Westerns Plains Zoo on Tuesday. Photo: Belinda Soole

► NARROMINE:Late on Sunday night a car lost control and crashed into an electric pole on the corner of Terangion and Algalah Street, Narromine Police said.

► WELLINGTON:Celebrating a unique relationship between Wellington and brain cancer research, Doctor Brindha Shivalingham of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital said the Brain Ball was part of a beautiful story about passionate locals from a small town looking for a cure for brain cancer.

7am: Good morning and welcome to today’s Morning Grill. You are here this morning with Lynn Pinkerton and a little later Angela Clutterbuck will join us.

In today’s Grill we will take you for a look at your local, regional and national news, plus bring you a few important notices throughout the morning.

If you have anything you would like to share in today’s Grill or a future Grill please email me at [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au.

Taking a look at your all important weather today we have:

Dubbo / Trangie / Nyngan -Partly cloudy. Medium (40%) chance of showers on the southern plains, slight (20%) chance elsewhere. The chance of a thunderstorm during the morning and afternoon. Winds N/NE 15 to 25 km/h becoming light in the middle of the day then becoming E/SE 15 to 20 km/h in the late evening. Daytime maximum temperatures 31 to 36.

Bourke / Cobar -Partly cloudy. Slight (30%) chance of a shower, most likely during this afternoon and early evening. The chance of a thunderstorm. Winds NE/SE 20 to 30 km/h becoming light in the middle of the day then becoming E/SE 15 to 20 km/h in the late afternoon. Daytime maximum temperatures in the mid to high 30s.

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Katherine school scores scores $143,000 Valentine

FOR THE KIDS: Variety national director Patrick Gray, Peter Gazey, Kintore Street School principal Margaret Chamberlain, Deshaun Dawson and Tabitha Rossi unveil a special Valentine’s Day present as the charity officially handed over the keys for the school’s new $143,000 bus on February 14. The modified bus includes special seating and a hydraulic hoist for wheelchairs.THE staff and students at Kintore Street School have had their most exciting Valentine’s Day ever, thanks to the generosity of Variety and a group of passionate organisations in Katherine.

The school officially received the new keys for its modified bus on February 14 and celebrated by opening its doors to showcase the resources it had purchased with the assistance of the children’s charity.

The majority of the $143,000 needed to purchase the bus – which features 16 specialised seats and a hydraulic hoist for wheelchair access – was raised during last year’s Katherine River crocodile race, but principal Margaret Chamberlain said a new set of wheels had been on the school’s wishlist for several years.

“This is huge,” she said, as eager students posed for photos in the driver’s seat.

“When I got here three-and-a-half years ago, our bus wasalready 15 years old.

“The difference [the new bus] will make is that we canadd to our program thingswe would never have beenable to afford.

“There’s stuff we wouldn’t be able to afford as a school if we didn’t get the support we get.”

“You can’t describe the difference it makes.”

Ms Chamberlain praised Variety for its support but said that the entire community had thrown its weight behind resourcing the school.

“There’s a lot of other community organisations that have helped,” she explained.

Following the open house,the crowd made its way to the Katherine Club for lunch, before the bus was formally handed over in the car park to cheers andapplause.

Hananiah Lurda gets comfortable after the keys to the new Kintore Street School bus were handed over on Valentine’s Day.

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Fairfax front pages: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fairfax front pages: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 The Herald, Newcastle, NSW.

Parkes Champion-Post, NSW.

Canowindra News, NSW.

Hunter Valley News, NSW.

Illawarra Mercury, Wollongong, NSW.

The Courier, Ballarat, VIC.

Manning River Times, NSW.

Bendigo Advertiser, VIC.

Southern Highland News, NSW.

The Area News, Griffith, NSW.

The Tamworth Times, NSW.

Beaudesert Times, QLD.

The Bellingen Shire Courier-Sun, NSW.

Blue Mountains Gazette, NSW.

Camden Haven Courier, NSW.

Coastal Leader, Kingston, SA.

The Transcontinental, Port Augusta, SA.

Narooma News, NSW.

Wingham Chronicle, NSW.

The Border Mail, Albury, NSW.

Mid-Coast Observer, NSW.

The Northern Daily Leader, Tamworth, NSW.

Goulburn Post, NSW.

Nyngan Observer, NSW.

Eastern Riverina Chronicle, NSW.

The Advocate, Burnie, TAS.

The Advocate, Hepburn, NSW.

The Examiner, Launceston, TAS.

South Coast Register, NSW.

Merimbula News Weekly, NSW.

Port Macquarie News, NSW.

Daily Liberal, Dubbo, NSW.

The North West Star, Mt Isa, QLD.

Milton Ulladulla Times, NSW.

Redland City Bulletin, QLD.

The Daily Advertiser, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Katherine Times, NT.

The Weekly, NSW.

Central Western Daily, Orange, NSW.

Yass Tribune, NSW.

The Observer, NSW.

Bay Post, NSW.

Braidwood Times, NSW.

Augusta-Margaret River Mail, WA.

The Wimmera Mail-Times, VIC.

Narromine News, NSW.

Hawkesbury Gazette, NSW.

Gloucester Advocate, NSW.

Northern Argus, Clare, SA.

Dungog Chronicle, NSW.

Jimboomba Times, QLD.

Goondiwindi Argus, QLD.

The Canberra Times, ACT.

Moruya Examiner, NSW.

Barossa Herald, SA.

The Advertiser, NSW.

Cootamundra Herald, NSW.

Wellington Times, NSW.

The Esperance Express, WA.

Tenterfield Star, NSW.

Border Chronicle, Bordertown, SA.

The Leader, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

The Maitland Mercury, NSW.

The Grenfell Record, NSW.

The Flinders News, SA.

Merredin-Wheatbelt Mercury, WA.

Cowra Guardian, NSW.

The Armidale Express, NSW.

The Avon Valley Advocate, WA.

The Young Witness, NSW.

Western Advocate, Bathurst, NSW.

Bombala Times, NSW.

Great Lakes Advocate, NSW.

The Standard, Warrnambool, NSW.

The Australian Financial Review.

The Sydney Morning Herald, NSW.

The Age, VIC.


Taree out of FFA Cup after shootout

Taree have gone down to Tuncurry-Forster in the FFA Cup after losing an extra time penalty shootout. TAREE have been eliminated from the FFA Cup after going down in an extra time penalty shootout to rivals Tuncurry-Forster.

The shoot-out ensued after the scores were locked at two-all at fulltime in the match at Omaru Park on Saturday.

Jordan Howard and Justin Atkins both scored goals for Taree and headlined a team performance that coach Ben Sedlen rated as “ahead of schedule”.

“We started off a bit shaky, due to it being our first start of the year,” he said.

“But the coaching staff and I were more than happy with the effort.”

Sedlen said the coaching staff largely viewed the game as an opportunity for the team to practice new playing structures and systems ahead of the season.

“It was a trial game in our eyes,” he said.

With roughly eight weeks until the season commences, Sedlen said he was happy with the number of players at training.

Sedlen said he expects more to attend once cricket commitments finish for the year.

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Veteran swimmer in butterfly bronze

Never too old or too young: Aaron Merchant and Chris Flynn.

TAREE Amateur Swimming Club veteran Chris Flynn scored a medal in Gloucester’s annual picnic carnival on Saturday.

Chris swam his “second-worst time ever” to score a bronze medal in the boys 14 years and over 100m butterfly an impressive feat for someone who turns 70 in July.

Chris swum in the 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney, scoring a fourth and fifth place in the 100m and 200m butterfly events.

Chris also tried his luck in the 2013 WMG in the Italian city of Turin.

Auckland hosts the next WMG in 2017 and right now Chris says he plans to compete.

Chris joined Taree ASC at the start of the 2013-14 season and he’s loving it.

“The people in Manning Valley are terrific and these Taree ASC folk are just the icing on the cake I’m a lucky bloke,” he said.

Taree ASC’s youngest competitor at Gloucester, Aaron Merchant, also came away with medals two silvers and one bronze.

Aaron is only eight years of age and was announced last week as the junior boy age champion at Cundletown Public School.

The team of 20 that travelled to Gloucester was very successful, gaining 14 gold, 21 silver, eight bronze and a gold in the 10-13 years freestyle relay, as well as recording 54 PBs.

Taree Amateur Swim Club meets on Wednesdays from 5.45pm at Manning Aquatic Centre.

Taree Amateur Swim Club s team that travelled to Gloucester: (Back row) Mark Dew, Keira B sher, Jade Page, Max McKillop-Davies, Jared Byrne, Jordan Smith, Wendy B sher, Shyanne Gregan, Chris Flynn, Tobias Gregan; (front), Olivia Dew, Haylee Brabant, Marcus Smith, Georgia B sher, Tasmin Gregan, Aaron Merchant, Laurah Powell, Lleyton Haggarty, Bevan Smith.

Their members, aged six to 69 would welcome everyone to come along and join in the fun.

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Swim hopes high

Since its inception in 2010, the Head2Head Ocean Swim at Black Head has enjoyed strong participant numbers. THE Head2Head Ocean Swim at Black Head returns after a one year hiatus, with organisers confident that the absence of the event in 2014 won’t adversely impact participant numbers this year.

“We’re really hopeful that it’ll be as popular as it has been in the past,” said spokesman Peter Ryall.

Since its inception in 2010, the event has enjoyed strong participant numbers, until logistic problems caused it to be cancelled last year.

In 2013, the last time it was held, there were 269 entries from the local area and from across the state.

In the past the races have been held in January, but this year organisers have scheduled it for Sunday, April 19.

The reason for the new date is primarily because it fits in with the organisers, however the switch also has other benefits.

The April timeslot means the event avoids the most congested period of the swimming season.

It also coincides with the last day of school holidays.

As in past years, there will be a 700m and a 1500m swim as well as a 10 or 12km ocean ski race.

The differing race lengths make the event accessible for a variety of age levels and skill groups, said Peter.

“It certainly does cater for everyone,” he said.

The event offers family entry, with the minimum entry age 12 years.

Peter said that event organisers aren’t sure whether they would continue with the April date in the coming years.

“We’ll have to evaluate it after this race and decide then,” he said.

The organising committee hopes the past reasons for the popularity of the event will ensure the 2015 version is just as successful.

“Everyone has seen it as a really good day to come out.

“It’s close enough to Sydney, so we get a lot of swimmers from there, and we get lots of regulars,” he said.

The lack of overbearing commercial involvement and the accompanying relaxed, friendly atmosphere have also played an important part in the traditional high attendance of the race.

Peter said that the most important advertisement for the swim was positive word of mouth from past participants.

“Word has got out there,” he said.

Further details of registration, entry fees and prizes will be available in early March.

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Wingham’s rare outright loss

Matt Essery batting for Wingham.WINGHAM’S first grade cricket team suffered their first outright loss in 14 seasons when going down to Old Bar at Chris Dempsey Oval on Saturday.

Not since round two of the 2000/01 season, when rolled by Harrington at Johnny Martin Oval, has Wingham been beaten outright.

Heading into day two at five down for 79 chasing Old Bar’s 202, Wingham held some hope of victory with Matt Essery, Brad Staff and Mick Stinson still to be dismissed.

But arriving to find the ground only half mown and the wicket under-prepared affected the mental state of the players .

Essery and Ryan Williams took the score to 95 before Essery was caught behind off Paxton Kelly for 13. Staff lasted one over before being bowled by Danial Stone for a duck, Williams was caught and bowled for 21, and Stinson (six) and Allwood (zero) were both caught for the innings to end on 112. Stone claimed three of those wickets to finish with five for 40 from 17 overs.

Wingham were sent back in 90 runs in arrears and the carnage began immediately as David Rees cut a swath through the top order.

Tim Rees bowling for Old Bar.

Bridge, Niven, Staff and Morris all fell to Rees as Wingham slumped to four/three inside eight overs. The first three batters all made ducks with Staff recording only his second ‘pair’ in over 200 first grade games.

Essery and Adam Carney put the brakes on a bit until Essery was out for 16.

Williams took the attack to the Old Bar spinners and blasted three sixes in a good knock of 33, whilst Carney was last man out for 13 from 82 balls.

But Old Bar proved too good under the conditions to roll the visitors for 77 and record outright points.

Rees returned 5/11 off 12 overs to go with his century in a great all-round performance whilst Stone picked up 4/28 from 7.2 to give him nine wickets for the match.

Wingham now has to re-focus for their match against Taree West, who was also beaten outright, at Johnny Martin Oval as the result should determine which of those teams makes the semis.

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Russia shelling Ukraine across the countries’ shared border, according to forensic analysis

A still from the Bellingcat report shows launch positions of rockets fired from Russia at Ukraine forces. Photo: Bellingcat report A still of craters inside the Ukraine from the Bellingcat report, which shows Russia fired shells from its territory. Photo: Bellingcat report

Video analysis from the Bellingcat report, which concludes that there is ‘compelling evidence that artillery attacks on Ukrainian territory and against Ukrainian armed forces originated from the territory of Russia’ in July and August last year. Photo: Bellingcat report

Ukraine truce unravels as battle rages, arms pullback stalls

Satellite images on Google Earth prove that Russia has been shelling Ukraine across the countries’ shared border, according to a new forensic analysis of 1353 artillery craters in Eastern Ukraine.

There is “compelling evidence that artillery attacks on Ukrainian territory and against Ukrainian armed forces originated from the territory of Russia” in July and August last year, concludes the Bellingcat report.

Bellingcat is an international group of volunteers, both experts and amateurs informally led by Briton Eliot Higgins, who co-ordinate their ‘crowdsourced’ work on social media.

Since July last year Ukraine has accused Russia of directly attacking its territory – though the claims were officially denied.

Bellingcat used new satellite imagery from Google showing the Ukraine-Russia border between mid-July to the end of August. They found artillery impact craters and used their distinctive ‘arrow’ shape to determine the trajectory of the original fire.

They then tracked back along that line, and found burn marks (from the rocket launch exhaust) and tyre tracks at likely firing positions – inside Russian territory and aimed at Ukraine.

At one location they found 813 craters indicating six separate attacks from five different directions, all but one of which was “clearly within the territory of Russia,” the report said.

Bellingcat also used geolocation techniques on amateur YouTube video of rocket volleys, to show they were being fired from Russia at Ukraine positions. These positions matched those calculated from the crater analysis.

The analysis matches contemporary reports in Ukraine media.

In a report on Ukrainian Hromadske TV in August last year, a young Ukraine soldier named ‘Mykyta’ said he had sheltered in a trench near the Russian border for hours as Russian artillery rained down on him.

“When these Grads [rockets] are firing and you are in your trench, all you can do is hope that you will survive, and pray. Personally, I sometimes recited a prayer something like 30 times,” he said in the interview. “The Russians showered us with artillery shells, using Grad systems that were stationed on their territory.

“There was a time when artillery shells flew at us from four different directions. The toughest day was when the shelling lasted for 5 or 6 hours, with intervals between rounds of artillery fire lasting only 30-40 seconds, maybe some up to 1 minute, but not longer.

“Before this shelling would start, a Russian scout plane flew over our heads, correcting the Russian artillery, giving directions, where exactly to fire.”

Russia has repeatedly denied any military involvement in Ukraine, describing the fighting in the country’s Donbas region as a civil war.

An independent military forensics expert told The Guardian that crater analysis like this from satellite photography was scientifically unproven, but the images of firing positions on the Russian side of the border were “compelling”.

In August 2014 Oana Lungescu, a spokeswoman for NATO, told the New York Times “Russian artillery support — both cross-border and from within Ukraine — is being employed against the Ukrainian armed forces.”

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Convicted Malaysian cop Sirul Azhar Umar breaks silence about death of model Altantuya Shaariibuu

Sirul Azhar Umar. Photo: Interpol

Sirul Azhar Umar. Photo: Interpol

Sirul Azhar Umar. Photo: Interpol

Convicted cop would not be sent back to face death penalty

A Malaysian police commander sentenced to hang in Kuala Lumpur has broken his silence from Sydney’s Villawood detention centre, saying he was ordered to kill a Mongolian socialite at the centre of high-level corruption allegations in Malaysia.

Sirul Azhar Umar said he was acting under orders when he twice shot glamorous 28-year-old translator Altantuya Shaariibuu in the head as she begged for the life of her unborn child and then wrapped her body with military explosives and blew her up.

“I was under orders. The important people with motive are still free,” Sirul, a former bodyguard of Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak, told the Malaysiakini news portal by telephone.

“It is not like I do not love the police (force) or the country, but I acted under orders,” he said.

Sirul told Malaysiakini he has been negotiating a tell-all interview with Australian television stations where he is considering revealing why he and police colleague Azilah Hadri killed Ms Shaariibuu in a jungle patch on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

“I haven’t decided (on whether) to do the interview,” he said.

Allegations have simmered for eight years that Ms Shaariibuu was murdered to keep her quiet about purported kick-backs to high-level Malaysian officials over the US$2 billion purchase of two French and Spanish-built Scorpene submarines when Mr Najib was defence minister.

Ms Shaariibuu, described as sophisticated jet-setting party girl, worked as a translator in the later stages of negotiations.

Mr Najib strongly denies ever meeting Ms Shaariibuu or having any link to her and his government denies any wrongdoing in the submarine purchases, which are the subject of an investigation by magistrates in France.

A motive for the murder of Ms Shaariibuu was never revealed during the trial of Sirul and Azilah who were sentenced to hang after Malaysia’s highest court on January 13 upheld a previous conviction that had been dismissed by another court on a legal technicality.

Sirul told a judge during his trial he was “the black sheep who has been sacrificed to protect unnamed people.”

Azilah is on death row in a Kuala Lumpur prison awaiting execution but Sirul had travelled to Queensland months before the January hearing where he was detained on immigration charges on January 20.

Australia has made clear it will not agree to a Malaysian request to extradite Sirul unless the government in Kuala Lumpur gives an undertaking he will not be executed, leaving him facing prolonged detention in Villawood.

Malaysian authorities have said they will take legal action to try to overturn Australia’s decision.

Approval would be required from Australia’s immigration department for Sirul, a 43-year-old divorced father of two, to give a television interview in Villawood that could be politically explosive in Malaysia.

He told Malaysiakini he was doing fine in the detention centre and is allowed access to a mobile telephone as well as the internet.

Sirul also claimed he had never met Abdul Razak Baginda, a former friend and adviser to Mr Najib, who was initially charged with abetting the murder but released before any evidence was led against him.

Ms Shaariibuu was a former lover of Mr Baginda and admitted in a letter found after her murder she allegedly wanted US$500,000 to remain silent about her knowledge of the submarine deal.

Mr Baginda is believed to be living in Britain.

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