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Films opening this week

Films opening in Australian cinemas this week:


Horror/thriller; rated MA15+; opening February 20

John Jarratt’s psychopathic pig-shooter Mick Taylor is back in this sequel by director Greg Mclean, where the sadistic serial killer once again sets his sights on some unwitting tourists in the outback, with gory results.


Also starring Ryan Corr.


Drama; rated M; opening February 20

Hollywood veteran Bruce Dern stars in his Oscar-nominated role as Woody, an ageing, booze-addled father who believes he’s won a million dollar prize and goes on a road trip with his son (Will Forte) to collect his winnings. Directed by Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways).


Drama; rated M; opening February 20

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan star as Nick and Meg, a British couple who return to Paris for the first time since their honeymoon to try and rekindle their marriage. Directed by Roger Michell of Notting Hill fame and also starring Jeff Goldblum.


Action/drama/thriller; rated MA15+; opening February 20

Based on real events, the latest film from director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) follows the failed US Navy Seal mission Operation Red Wings, where a four-man team set out to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, but were ambushed by enemy forces. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Aussie Eric Bana.


Action/adventure; rating to be classified; opening February 20

Kellan Lutz from Twilight fame stars as Hercules in this origin story of the mythical Greek hero and son of Zeus. Betrayed and exiled by his stepfather, the tyrannical king, because of a forbidden love, the half-god is sold into slavery and must use his powers to restore peace in the kingdom. Directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2).

Morrison confirms arrests over Manus Island ‘incident’

As many as 26 asylum seekers may have sustained injuries after a clash with Papua New Guinea police at the Australian-run asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island, local sources say.


Riot police were called amid escalating tensions between guards and detainees on Sunday at the facility, where 1300 asylum seekers are housed.

Local journalist Nick Solomon says a group of more than 30 asylum seekers broke down the beach-side, back fence to the centre and ran.

After breaching the fence, the group were confronted by riot police.

“They have injuries from fighting with the guards,” Mr Solomon said, adding he had been told by detention centre staff 26 asylum seekers suffered injuries and were being treated on the base.

“They were having, I think, a peaceful protest and one of them lit a fire, then the guards had to find out how they got the matches”

“They broke down the back fence on the beach side, ran around and had a fight with security.”

Mr Solomon said nine asylum seekers were arrested although local MP Ron Knight said earlier on Monday that seven had been arrested.

Australian staff were still inside the centre and the perimeter was being patrolled by police and defence personnel, Mr Solomon added.

Tensions at the centre had been simmering after three asylum seekers were arrested last week following a fight with a guard.

“Those three are now in police cells,” Mr Solomon said.

The CEO of Lorengau hospital, Dr Otto Numan, said his staff were on alert last night after hearing about the fight between asylum seekers and guards.

“We were on stand-by, just in case,” he said.

“But from last night to this morning, there have been no reports out about injuries.”

He confirmed he would only be notified if the injuries couldn’t be treated on the base.

Mr Knight dismissed reports of a breakout at the centre, saying PNG immigration told him this was false.

“That’s BS,” he told AAP.

“There was a fight late yesterday afternoon amongst themselves.”

“They have been arrested and will face court this week.”

Mr Knight said he was waiting for more information from his staff in Manus.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement on Monday “a number” of asylum seekers were arrested after a “disturbance” and the centre was now “calm” and staff were safe.

News of the incident emerged after refugee advocacy groups reported a riot squad was mobilised when asylum seekers breached the centre’s perimeter fence on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Morrison said a number of asylum seekers had received medical treatment and there was minor property damage.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the only way to avoid disturbances at detention centres was to ensure asylum seekers don’t try to come to Australia by boat.

“If you come to Australia illegally by boat this is, I’m afraid, what happens to you. As far as this government is concerned the way is shut,” he told ABC radio.

Boat arrivals are being transferred to Manus or another detention centre on Nauru and have no prospect of being settled in Australia under current government rules.


Boys devastated by sudden bald patches

The sudden development of bald patches can be devastating for boys, says a leading dermatologist.


They are far more likely to become desperately unhappy than girls.

It can lead to a reluctance to go to school and social isolation, says Professor Rodney Sinclair, who has studied the psychological impact of alopecia areata, an auto-immune disease that causes baldness.

In severe cases it has led to suicide, with four Australian boys taking their own life in 2011.

“Adults just don’t get how devastating it can be.”

Disfiguring circular patches can develop almost overnight, says Prof Sinclair, director of dermatology at Epworth Hospital in Melbourne.

He had assumed girls would struggle more than boys.

“But, girls with 40 to 50 per cent hair loss can conceal it completely.

“Even with total hair loss, a wig on a girl is less obvious than for a boy.”

A small patch is noticeable on most boys, however.

“They have to front up to school the next day.

“Even if there is no teasing and nobody says anything, the child is likely to feel embarrassed and worry about what people might be thinking.”

Doctors and parents should be aware that young men and boys with rapid-onset alopecia areata are at particular risk, says Prof Sinclair, who has published a letter about his concerns in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Common issues include poor self image, grief and loss and sleeping disorders.

Two of the four boys who committed suicide were aged 14, one was 16 and one was 17.

They were among 196 Australians who registered with the condition from 2010 to 2012.

One of the great frustrations is that it is unpredictable, says Prof Sinclair.

The hair can fall out and grow back and fall out again.

It usually peaks around six-to-eight years old and again around the age of 16.

In rare cases all the hair on a person’s body falls out permanently.

“Children and parents need advice on treatment and on how to camouflage their bald patches. They might also need psychological support.”

We believe early intervention with cortisone could cause regrowth and prevent future loss.

“A parent should see a doctor immediately if their child develops an unexplained bald patch,” he says.

“Being different is difficult for boys. It is the reason for the high rate of mental health issues among gay boys,” says beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell.

“What’s important is that parents talk about it and that people have access to the support they need.”

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25)

PREVIEW-Soccer-South American coaches add spice to Champions League

Three of the eight teams in action this week are coached by South Americans, AC Milan’s Clarence Seedorf was born and ended his playing career on the continent and Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola said he was inspired by what he learned during a visit to Argentina.


Two of them meet in the week’s top clash as Manchester City, coached by urbane Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, host Gerardo Martino’s Barcelona on Tuesday.

“I have always been interested in Pellegrini’s career both in Europe and before, when he was coaching in South America,” said Argentine Martino, a surprise appointment by Barcelona before the start of the season

“He is one of the best coaches in the world. I feel very satisfied to be facing him in this tie.”

Atletico Madrid, revitalised by former Argentina captain Diego Simeone, travel to AC Milan on Wednesday where they seem certain to give Seedorf a baptism of fire as he makes his coaching debut in a competition in which he was immensely successful as a player.

Guardiola’s Bayern Munich visit Arsenal the same evening as the two sides meet at the same stage for the second season in a row.

Overall, the round of 16 has a familiar ring to it after a predictable group stage where the only major surprise was the elimination of Serie A champions Juventus.

Ten of the 16 teams reached the same stage last year and Manchester City are the only knockout phase debutants.

Predictably, the English Premier League and Bundesliga dominate with four teams apiece, while Spain’s La Liga has three.

Bayer Leverkusen, second in the Bundesliga, host big-spending Paris St Germain in the other of this week’s ties on Tuesday.

The remaining four first legs will all be played the following week with Olympiakos-Manchester United and Zenit St Petersburg-Borussia Dortmund on February 25 and Galatasaray-Chelsea and Schalke 04-Real Madrid on February 26.


South American players have long been hugely influential in European football but, until recently, coaches have struggled to adapt in the modern era even when they their records suggested they had all the right credentials.

Carlos Alberto Parreira lasted only a few months at Spanish club Valencia after leading Brazil to World Cup victory in 1994 while the hugely successful Boca Juniors and Velez Sarsfield coach Carlos Bianchi fared just as badly, with short spells at AS Roma and later Atletico Madrid.

Argentina’s Ramon Diaz and Colombia’s Francisco Maturana were others who failed to make it on the other side of the Atlantic.

The new generation has proved far more adaptable, although there is little connection between Pellegrini, Martino and Simeone who took very different routes to Europe.

Pellegrini, a qualified engineer and former Chile defender, coached five clubs in his homeland then worked in Ecuador and Argentina before carving out his reputation in a five-year spell at Spain’s Villarreal, leading them to the Champions League semi-finals in 2006.

Martino, whose only major title as a coach was Argentina’s Final championship with Newell’s Old Boys last season, took an even more unlikely route, coaching modest clubs in Argentine and then Paraguay’s Cerro Porteno and Libertad before making a positive impression during five years as coach of the Paraguay national team.

Martino is widely regarded as a disciple of former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa , who also inspired Guardiola when he visited Argentina before his hugely successful spell in charge of Barcelona.

Simeone, often describing as playing with a knife between his teeth, is a former Atletico Madrid player strongly identified with the club which he has revitalised since coming back as coach at the end of 2011.

Seedorf, his opposite number on Wednesday, was born in the former Dutch colony of Suriname and ended his career in Brazil with Botafogo, where he commanded enormous respect.

“The Brazilian league is very different and it gave me a lot to be able to face this new adventure,” Seedorf, who won the Champions League four times as a player, told Milan’s website (上海性息.acmilan上海桑拿,).

“My experience with Botafogo helped me to prepare for this new job,” added Seedorf, who took over in January with the club in disarray..

“The match against Atletico will be a great chance to take a big step forward. We’ll play our game since Milan always have something extra in the Champions League.”

(Editing by Rex Gowar)

Fuel load checks possible under WA laws

Semi-rural landowners, councils and state government entities could be forced to reduce vegetation on their land under possible changes to Western Australia’s bushfire laws.


Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson is leading a review of WA’s emergency services legislation and says people who own fuel load must be held accountable.

Under existing laws, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) cannot make local councils or state government landholders, such as Main Roads and the Water Corporation, reduce vegetation and ignitable material.

Councils can request landowners to reduce fuel loads, although many claim it is difficult to enforce.

But in an overhaul of the legislation, landowners could face spot checks of their fuel load and government entities could also be forced to reduce their levels, The West Australian newspaper reports.

The Atwell-Banjup fire earlier this month was intensified by fuel loads thought to be 20 years old in reserves managed by the City of Cockburn, which does not conduct prescribed burns, the newspaper said.

Mr Gregson said efforts had been made in recent years to improve how firefighters respond to bushfires, and reducing fuel loads was the next step to make sure WA was bushfire ready.

“We try to educate people that if you own the fuel, you own the risk, and the consequences of any fire of course are magnified and are a direct correlation to the fuel,” he told Fairfax radio on Monday.

Mr Gregson said he was “mortified” by the risks in some areas.

The state government will determine if DFES or councils will be responsible for reducing vegetation.

Mr Gregson said DFES would release its emergency services legislation review concept paper for public comment next month.