Monthly Archives: July 2019

Leishman sets sights on Scott and Day

Australia’s No.

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3 Marc Leishman has set his sights on joining countrymen Adam Scott and Jason Day among world golf’s elite.

At 65th in the world Leishman has ground to make up on world No.2 Scott and No.11 Day, but the 30-year-old Victorian isn’t content to stay in their shadows.

He has earmarked the next few months as his chance to break inside the world top 50 for the first time and doesn’t intend to settle for that.

It begins with his debut at the WGC-Match Play Championship in Arizona this week where he faces world No.8 Sergio Garcia first up.

“I feel like I am playing well enough to knock on Jason’s (Day) door and give him a run for his money and on my day I know I can compete with both of those guys (Scott and Day),” Leishman said.

“It is certainly an opportune time for me to make a move in the rankings.

“If you can go deep in this tournament you can make a significant jump and then it runs into more tournaments like Bay Hill and the Masters where I’ve played well before.”

A former US PGA Tour rookie of the year and a one-time winner on the tour in 2012, Leishman led last year’s Masters after the opening round before finishing tied fourth behind winner Scott.

He also played clutch golf as a captain’s pick his Presidents Cup debut.

But Leishman’s confidence shouldn’t be mistaken as arrogance.

“I know I still have to play good golf,” he said.

“Nothing is just given to you out here, I know that, and I intend to keep working hard so everything comes together.

“Adam and Jason have played a lot more consistently then me in the last few years and have earned their place and the respect that comes with it.

“Consistency is something I need to improve on but it is definitely a goal of mine to firstly break into the top 50 and then start looking at the top 20 and top 10 after that.

“I have shown I can mix it with the best and play well in big tournaments so it is just a matter of continuing to do that and still play well in the other events.

“I have to consistently keep my finger on the button.”

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Burberry show was crazy: Suki Waterhouse

Model Suki Waterhouse says walking in the Burberry Prorsum show was crazy, exciting and nerve wracking.

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The British model has fast become one of the hottest names in the industry and has had a busy week walking in various runway shows for London Fashion Week.

On Monday, the 22-year-old took to the catwalk for Burberry.

“(It’s) crazy, really exciting and nerve-wracking. I kind of want to do it again now,” Waterhouse gushed to British magazine Grazia backstage.

Waterhouse said it was a dream come true.

“I know it sounds cheesy, but it was always what I wanted to do from the start.”

Walking alongside Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn, Waterhouse and the rest of the models sported monogrammed ponchos for the finale of the show.

Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey showcased a more relaxed bohemian take on the Autumn/Winter 14 trends.

Suki didn’t have time to let nerves set in ahead of the presentation as she only heard she’d be walking at the last minute.

“I didn’t find out until really recently, you don’t always know. So there wasn’t much time to prepare.

“It’s all so calm backstage. I love everyone here. I love Christopher Bailey … I love all the hair and make-up people. Because it’s such a high standard everyone’s very relaxed,” Waterhouse said.

The show drew in an A-lost front row, including the model’s boyfriend Bradley Cooper.

Harry Styles also took in the new trends, as did former bond girl Naomie Harris.

The audience were treated to live music from Paloma Faith to accompany the new collection.

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Bail for man who ‘threatened’ NSW parly

A disgruntled former taxi driver who allegedly threatened to blow up himself and NSW Parliament House has been granted bail.

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Abdula Ganiji, 58, sparked a dramatic two-hour stand-off with riot police last December after parking outside state parliament with two fuel containers in his car.

Ganiji then allegedly called ‘Triple 0’ and said “there’s a bomb in the car and I’m going to blow this house”.

The siege put the government building into lockdown, with NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell holed up inside.

In granting Ganiji bail in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Justice Peter Hidden said that psychological assessments revealed the former cabbie was unlikely to harm others.

The court was told Ganiji had become obsessed with the injustice of losing his job as a taxi driver in Wollongong in 1999.

He has since written repeatedly to state MPs and had held a hunger strike outside parliament for eight days in 2012.

Quoting a psychiatrist’s report, Justice Hidden said Ganiji had “strong thoughts of dying of a hunger strike or dying of burning himself in front of Parliament House”.

He noted that Ganiji’s psychiatrist of more than 10 years believed the former taxi driver had a strong moral code and was “unlikely to ever be able to harm anyone”.

Appearing on video link from Bathurst Prison, Ganiji remained expressionless throughout proceedings.

He has been charged with offences including threatening sabotage, possessing an explosive device to damage property, and threatening to destroy or damage property.

Ganiji has been placed under strict bail conditions, including not going to Sydney’s CBD without adult accompaniment.

He is also not able to approach any member of parliament but he is still allowed to write to them.

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Prof raises alarm over cancer ‘cure’ hype

One of Australia’s most respected medical specialists has raised the alarm about hyped-up promises of genetic cures for cancer and other diseases.

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The hype has the potential to do more harm than good, says Dr Robyn Ward, Director of Cancer Services at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the University of NSW.

People with serious illnesses are reading and being told on TV that their their genetic information is going to revolutionise their care.

However, the last time cancer treatment was truly transformed was in the late 1990s with the leukaemia drug Glivec.

But treatments like Glivec and Herceptin for breast cancer did not arrive as sudden breakthroughs.

Developments that improve the prospects of cancer patients typically involve small steps and rigorous research over many years.

A decade of promises about personalised cancer medicine has not come to fruition, says Prof Ward in an editorial in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

“With Glivec, people thought that because you had that one transformational change to one rare disease, the same model would apply to the majority of other cancers,” she told AAP.

“But that has not proved to be the case.

“Sometimes there are commercial interests behind the hype.”

A particular concern is the touting of over-priced new treatments to patients before rigorous trials expected for all new medications are completed.

So far there had been real but small benefits for some patients, Prof Ward said.

“But it’s not about a cure. It’s about prolonging life, and mostly only by months.”

The over-hyping of treatments put a lot of pressure on doctors and could cause dismay for patients and families.

“People come along with the expectation that you have a magic bullet in your back pocket.

“We can end up replacing proven treatments with something that is shiny and new when the old thing would have done a much better job.”

Another concern was misleading information about the value of sequencing a person’s DNA.

“There is important research going on, but it will take time before the information from gene sequencing is useful to patients.”

She said this concern was backed by the US Food and Drug Administration, which had ordered the personalised genetics company 23andMe to stop marketing a $US99 ($A110) DNA test to the public.

Doctors wanted progress, she said.

“But we want to be confident we are advising patients on the basis of good evidence.”

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Half-year profit triples for Ebos

Ebos Group says its first-half profit has more than tripled after acquiring Australian drug wholesaler and distributor Symbion.

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Profit was $NZ49.9 million ($A46.36 million) in the six months to December 31, up from about $NZ15 million a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sales jumped to $NZ3 billion from $NZ755 million.

Ebos had forecast a profit of $NZ48.7m on sales of $NZ3.17b at its annual meeting in October.

Last year’s $NZ1.1b purchase of Symbion was a game-changer for Ebos, more than tripling annual revenue in a deal that gave Symbion’s owner, Zuellig Group, a cornerstone 40 per cent stake in the New Zealand business and adding to the Hong Kong-based group’s 30 stake in chemist chain PharmacyBrands.

The company has grown to include medical products distribution, pet products and now pharmaceuticals with 19 acquisitions in 12 years.

Ebos Chairman Rick Christie will retire at the company’s annual meeting in October after 10 years in the role and will be replaced by the company’s chief executive Mark Waller. In turn, Mr Waller will be replaced by Symbian CEO Patrick Davies.

Ebos chief financial officer Dennis Doherty, who held off retiring pending the Symbion purchase, will be replaced by Symbion’s CFO John Cullity.

Ebos will pay a first-half dividend of 20.5 NZ cents a share.

The company operates as two main divisions, healthcare and animal care. In the first half, revenue from healthcare soared to $NZ2.8b from $NZ673m a year earlier, reflecting revenue from Symbion, while profit climbed to $NZ52.2m from $NZ12.8m.

Animal care, made up of the Procter & Gamble pet care, Eukanuba and IAMS pet food, and the Vitapet grocery brands acquired with the 2011 acquisition of Masterpet Group for $NZ105m plus debt, lifted sales to $NZ177m from $NZ81m and profit rose to $NZ9.5m from $NZ6.4m.

The company said it assessed “a number of acquisition opportunities” in the first half though none had met its shareholder returns criteria.

With the addition of Symbion, Ebos got $NZA2.09b of its revenue across the Tasman, while New Zealand sales accounted for $NZ649.6m.

Profit from Australia was $NZA41.7m and from New Zealand was $NZ14.8m.

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