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Shattered Sprenger ‘just a mess’

Written By kom limapulan on Jumat, 25 Juli 2014 | 23.46

Brooke Peris in action against Wales. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia

WELCOME to our rolling coverage of Day 2 of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Scroll down to find all you need to know from a jam-packed day of action. The latest updates are on top. All times AEST.

2.25am - WA SHOOTER NAILS GOLD MEDAL

WEST Australian Laura Coles has displayed nerves of steel to win a gold medal shoot-off in the women's skeet final at Carnoustie.

Coles, 27, pulled off a huge surprise to take the gold with 14 of 16 shots from Welsh shooter Elena Allen, a 42-year-old former world record holder.

She qualified first after 75 preliminary shots and then went through to a six-person semi-final where she again finished on top. That put her into a 16-shot final, where she won by just a single shot.

She's clearly enjoying her debut Games appearance in the green and gold, as evidencedby her manicure, which she posted a picture of on Facebook.

Brooke Peris gets back to the day job against Wales. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia

1.45am - SELFIE GIRLS GET BACK TO BUSINESS

THAT pic, in case you're the only person on the planet who hasn't seen it. Source: Supplied

DESPITE their newfound global fame thanks to a selfie starring the Queen, Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris had to get back to the hard work of playing for the Hockeyroos today.

Well, if you can call a 9-0 win over Wales hard work.

Taylor revealed that despite now being a bona fide social media celebrity, Peris doesn't even have a Twitter account, with Taylor sending out the picture that has since featured on US news networks and the front page of the UK Times.

"We only took two photos but it happened to be right time and right moment," Peris said after the win, Robert Craddock writes.

"They are really hard to get right. We take a lot of selfies. That one was perfect.''

Taylor said she had no idea when she posted the photo on Twitter at 12.24pm on Thursday it would become a global sensation.

"We didn't think it would take off like this. This is pretty awesome. If I had known it would have taken off like this I probably would have worded it a bit differently. I sat down at lunch and my phone ran out of battery because it was up to 500 retweets in half an hour. I thought "far out' this is going insane. It just went beserk.

"It has been absolutely incredible and overwhelming.

Anna Meares with her latest gold medal. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia

12am - ANNA'S LOVING OUR WORK

ANNA Meares was so good in the time trial on Thursday her former arch-rival Victoria Pendleton was one of the first in line to pay tribute.

As revealed by our intrepid reporter Reece Homfray, Pendleton even went as far as to say she'd "love to be her right now".

Not surprisingly, Meares enjoyed the read and told Reece so on Twitter. And who are we to argue?

READ: PENDLETON IN AWE OF FORMER RIVAL

Australian flag bearer Anna Meares leads the way at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games taking out the women's 500m time-trial gold

Australia's Annette Edmondson competes in the women's 3000m individual pursuit. Source: AFP

11.10pm - EDMONDSON SIBLINGS' GOLD BID ALIVE

AUSSIE siblings Alex and Annette Edmondson are into their respective finals and will ride for gold in the individual pursuit overnight, Reece Homfray writes.

The first brother and sister to ride for Australia at a Commonwealth Games, they were both the second fastest qualifiers in the men's and women's race at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome today.

Annette, 22, will race English world champion Joanna Rowsell for gold in the final of the women's 3km IP while her teammate Amy Cure will go head-to-head with Scotland's Katie Archibald in the race for bronze.

Alex, meanwhile, rode 4mins 20secs in the men's 4km IP which was just behind teammate Jack Bobridge who rode 4mins 19secs to make it an all-Australian final.

Their 20-year-old Australian teammate Miles Scotson also impressed on debut with 4:24 which was enough for sixth fastest.

10.50pm - AUSSIE JUDO TRIO TO BATTLE FOR BRONZE

AUSTRALIA will fight for three bronze medals on day two of the judo.

Highly-regarded Katharina Haecker was pinned by Scotland's Sarah Clark in her women's 63kg semi-final and will face England's Faith Pitman in her bronze bout overnight.

A disappointed Jake Bensted (men's 73kg) fell short by a single penalty call against Danny Williams of England in his semi-final. He will claim bronze if he beats Scotland's Patrick Dawson in his next fight.

Meanwhile, lawyer Catherine Arscott (women's 70kg) will take on Canada's Alix Renaud-Roy for bronze after losing to New Zealand's Moira De Villiers in her semi-final.

England's Jason Kenny (left) crosses the finish line ahead of Australia's Matthew Glaetzer. Source: AFP

10.10pm - RECORD-BREAKER GLAETZER DUMPED FROM SPRINT

HE might have broken a Games record and been hailed by Sir Chris Hoy in his first run, but Matthew Glaetzer is out of the track cycling men's sprint event after Englishman Jason Kenny proved too good for him, Reece Homfray writes.

In the first heat of their quarter-final, Kenny gave Glaetzer the slip when he caught him napping, quickly put 15m on him and was never threatened.

Glaetzer took front spot in the second but Kenny showed his class and got the Aussie on the line with a powerful finish.

It was an amazing turnaround from yesterday's qualifying when Glaetzer was fastest in Commonwealth Games record time and Kenny only just made the top-12 when he was 11th.

Aussie Pete Lewis progressed to the semis with a straight-sets win over New Zealand's Matthew Archibald.

Melanie Schlanger (left) and Cate Campbell are still enjoying themselves in the pool. Source: Getty Images

10pm - GOLDEN GIRLS STILL BANG IN FORM

RELAY golden girls Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell and Melanie Schlanger overcame a restless night of sleep after their world record triumph to ease through to the 50m freestyle semi-finals.

Cate was second fastest in 24.33s, Bronte placed third in 24.52s and Schlanger was fifth in 24.87s as England's Fran Halsall set the pace in 24.31s.

Emily Seebohm and Belinda Hocking set the pace in the women's 100m backstroke heats, qualifying first and second in 59.51s and 59.78s this morning. Australian swim team rookie Madi Wilson qualified for the semi-finals in 1:01.05 in ninth position.

Gold Coast's Thomas Fraser-Holmes has set himself a chance at double gold tonight, cruising into the final of the 400m medley just over an hour after he qualified for the 200m freestyle final. He was fourth fastest in the 400m heats in 4:15.34, as Australian teammate Travis Mahoney qualified second in 4:14.99.

A despondent Christian Sprenger holds his shoulder after the 100m breaststroke heat. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia

8.50pm — SHATTERED STRENGER'S STROKE 'A MESS'

WORLD champion Christian Sprenger fears his chances for a golden Commonwealth Games are all but over admitting his stroke is "just a mess at the moment" because of a torn muscle in his shoulder, Todd Balym writes.

The 100m breaststroke star has appeared a shadow of his former self at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, labouring to eighth in the 200m final and struggling in the heats of his main 100m event, almost four seconds off his best time.

Sprenger said physios believe he has torn muscles in his shoulder and it has completely thrown his stroke and power in the pool to the point that his chances are effectively dead in the water.

"The stroke is just so foreign," Sprenger said. "I'm diving in and pulling out and there's just no drive, there is no power, no efficiency and it's just a challenge.

"I'm mistiming everything … It's just a mess at the moment."

MORE: SPRENGER STRUGGLING WITH SHOULDER ISSUE

Welsh track star and European 400m champion Rhys Williams is out of the Games after failing a drug test. Source: AP

8.30pm — WELSH CO-CAPTAIN FAILS DRUG TEST

THE co-captain of the Wales track and field team, 400m hurdler Rhys Williams, has been kicked out of the Games for failing a drugs test, Scott Gullan writes.

He is the second Welsh athlete inside a week to be suspended for alleged doping offences with 800m runner Gareth Warbuton also banned.

Williams, the current European champion, failed a drug test at the Glasgow Grand Prix two weeks ago.

The 30-year-old won the bronze medal in Delhi four years ago behind fellow Welshman Dai Greene who he succeeded as European champion in 2012 and had only just been named co-captain of the team alongside hammer thrower Carys Parry.

MORE: WELSH STAR FAILS DRUG TEST

Cameron McEvoy in action during te 200m freestyle heats. Source: Getty Images

8pm — INSPIRED McEVOY HAS FLYING START

CAMERON McEvoy has used the motivation of Australia's world record breaking women's relay team to make a flying start to his Commonwealth Games campaign this morning, Todd Balym writes.

McEvoy cruised to a 1:46.39 victory in the 200m freestyle to be fastest for tonight's final ahead of teammate Thomas Fraser-Holmes (1:47.01), with 400m silver medallist David McKeon seventh in 1:47.99.

McEvoy said the women's success on the opening night had lifted the entire swim team.

"I was with about 10 of us in the dorm room watching that and it was just so sick. We were yelling and a couple of the other sports came over to find out what it was," McEvoy said.

"I thought it was awesome. Really good."

UNDER THE KILT: OI, IS THAT CHRIS HOY?

CRADDOCK: WHY MEARES IS THE HERO'S HERO

FULL COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCHEDULE

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Don’t mention the engine on fire

After much back and forth, the Pentagon scuttled the highly anticipated international debut of Lockheed Martins F-35 fighter jet at the Farnborough Air Show in the U.K, citing safety concerns arising from a recent engine fire. Photo: Getty Images

For top guns only ... a model of the F-35 fighter jet. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

THE first two of 72 Australian F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets have rolled off the Lockheed Martin production line in Fort Worth, Texas.

In a lavish ceremony the two RAAF stealth fighters were greeted by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Australia's ambassador to the US Kim Beazley and RAAF chief Air Marshal Geoff Brown.

EARLIER: F-35 brings the thunder

ANALYSIS: Is the F-35 too big to fail?

Defence Minister David Johnston was about to board a plane to the US in Sydney this week when he was ordered back to Canberra to deal with the MH-17 tragedy.

The so-called 'fifth generation' fighter jets will cost in excess of $12 billion.

The planes are almost invisible to radar but they have been dogged by technical challenges.

The JSF was due to make its global debut at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK this month but the fleet was grounded following an engine fire.

Checking out the hardware ... Australian Minister for Finance Matthias Cormann speaks at the unveiling of the first F-35 fighter jet built for the Royal Australian Air Force in Fort Worth. Picture: Paul Moseley Source: AP

Senator Cormann said he expected Australian industry to substantially benefit from the program.

Local firms have already signed up for $412 million worth of work on the international program.

"The government expects that Australia's commitment to purchase any further aircraft will be reciprocated by a commitment from Lockheed Martin to increase these large opportunities for Australian industry," Senator Cormann said.

The first two planes will fly to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where two RAAF pilots will train alongside US pilots.

The first squadron is due at RAAF Base Williamtown in NSW in 2018.

Canadian fighter pilot Billie Flynn on the importance of the F-35 for Australia.


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Aussie troops to secure MH17 site

A pro-Russian rebel leader in eastern Ukraine says he believes separatists possessed BUK anti-aircraft missiles, thought by Washington to be the type used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

There are reports that armed pro-Russian separatists have chased away investigators from the MH17 crash site. Picture: AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic Source: AFP

A GROUP of Australian soldiers will be sent to the Ukraine to protect the police officers who will be securing the MH17 crash site from looters and the rebels who may have shot it out of the sky.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking from the AFP national headquarters in Canberra, confirmed this afternoon there would be some "ADF deployment".

The mission was a joint one with other countries that lost citizens in the MH17 disaster, which killed 298 people, and would be led by the Netherlands.

Mr Abbott said an understanding was close to being finalised that would allow the Australian police and troops into the Ukraine.

He said the mission was a "humanitarian" one that was ultimately trying to bring innocent people home and repeated that when asked what effect the presence the soldiers would have on the volitaile situation in Ukraine.

It was for others to talk about the internal politics of eastern Europe. "All we want to do is claim our dead and bring them home."

The Prime Minister added: "This will be a police led mission, an international police-led mission — a humanitarian mission that's what it is ... To ensure we bring them back ..."

Asked to confirm the soldiers were going to safeguard the police officers he said he was "conscious" of the need to ensure the safety of Australians at the crash site.

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott with AFP Commissioner Tony Negus. A hundred more AFP officers are flying to Europe to assist with securing the MH17 site. Source: News Corp Australia

Another 100 AFP officers, along with the small number of soldiers, are to leave for Netherlands today, adding to the 90 who are already in London waiting to be allowed into Ukraine or who are assisting with the crash investigation.

The MH17 site has been subject to looting and tampering from the rebels who are widely blamed for shooting down the plane, killing all 298 people on board.

Mr Abbott said three Australian officials travelled to the crash site and found previously undiscovered wreckage

" ... And I regret to say more human remains have been found and we expect that further remains will be found in the days ahead," Mr Abbott said.

He said this made it more important than ever to properly secure the site.

EARLIER

10:40pm

From News Corp's Charles Miranda in Kiev:

Control of the investigation of what brought down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has been formally handed to Dutch authorities in what is being described as a milestone achievement.

Exactly a week to the hour since MH17 fell from the sky over separatist held land in eastern Ukraine, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans reached a deal with Ukraine to control the site.

But while the signing was a goodwill gesture that builds the legal and operational framework for foreign forensic experts to probe the tragedy, neither he nor Australian counterpart Foreign Minister Julie Bishop could explain how it could be enforced on separatists controlling the area around the crash site.

Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

10:30pm

From News Corp's Paul Toohey in Kiev:

IT is a rare thing that a powerful sense of hope can be viewed as a terrible tragedy.

But such is the feeling that accompanies two Australian parents who have flown tothe Ukraine

fully believing their daughter is still alive.

Fatima Dyczynski, 25, was on the plane that was bought down over the country last

week.

Fatima's parents, Perth-based Jezy Dyczynski and Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski, refuse

to accept their daughter perished when the Malaysia Airlines jet was likely shot

down at 10,000m.

The German-born couple appears to be in a state of profound and shared trauma

that is cruelly denying them the opportunity to begin their grieving.

The parents of Fatima Dyczynski, Dr Jezy Dyczynski and Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski. Source: News Corp Australia

Fatima Dyczynski was on board Flight MH17. Source: News Corp Australia

10:15pm

9:30pm

Australia has offered to repatriate the bodies of Indonesian victims of the MH17 crash, a spokesman for Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says.

Teuku Faizasyah, the president's spokesman on foreign affairs, on Friday evening tweeted the talking points of a warm phone call from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Abbott offered Indonesia the use of an Australian plane to repatriate the remains of 12 Indonesian victims, however Dr Yudhoyono said arrangements had already been made with Garuda Indonesia.

He thanked Australia for its UN security council resolution on MH17, which Indonesia co-sponsored.

"President SBY thanked PM Abbott & expressed appreciation for this generous offer by Australia to help in any way," Mr Faizasyah tweeted.

3.15pm

There are reports the Australian Government will send a small number of soldiers to Ukraine to back up the 50 Australian police officers who will secure the MH17 site.

Yesterday Prime Minister Tony Abbott couldn't say if soldiers would accompany the Australian police on their mission.

Mr Abbott is expected to make the announcement at a media conference this afternoon.

1.45pm

Tony Abbott and Barack Obama have held further talks on securing access for investigators to the MH17 air crash site in eastern Ukraine, AAP reports.

The talks between the Prime Minister and US President came as a multi-nation coalition of police officers began to take shape.

In the telephone call this morning, Mr Obama thanked Mr Abbott for Australia's leadership and willingness to send both investigators and federal police into the Ukraine.

They agreed on the need for a "full, unimpeded and transparent" international investigation and secure access to the site for investigators.

A White House spokesman said the President had said the US would co-ordinate closely with Australia, including in the UN Security Council, as the issue progressed.

The talks came as 50 Australian police officers were in London ahead of being deployed to the Ukraine, where it's planned they will held secure the site.

12.15pm

The first official evidence has emerged MH17 was downed by a missile, the Wall Street Journal reports, with on the ground sightings of "shrapnel-like" holes on parts of the plane.

An official from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the holes almost looked like they were created by a "machine-gun".

12.10pm

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss is opening a major new road in Darwin, but MH17 is still on everyone's minds.

Mr Truss told reporters the Government wanted families of those lost on MH17 they wouldn't be forgotten and the Ukraine Government had promised Australian investigators would be safe.

12.05pm

The US says it has proof that Russia is firing into Ukraine.

"We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, according to CNN.

US officials said earlier that Russian troops had broken into smaller groups and moved closer to the Ukrainian border.

11.45am

Yesterday's Air Algerie crash yesterday brings the death toll from this week's air crashes to 450.

The incident, where the plane went down in western Africa, followed the 298 deaths from the MH17 tragedy last Thursday and the demise of TransAsia Airways flight in Taiwan, which had 48 passengers on board.

10.50am

The parents of Fatima Dyczynski, who is believed to have perished on flight MH17, have touched down in Kiev, Ukraine, believing that their daughter is still alive.

George and Angela Dyczynski, of Perth, have been unable to accept that their only child, a space scientist, died on the flight.

Dr Dyczynski said there was a remote possibility she could have been catapulted into the sky, still strapped to her seat, which may have cushioned the impact of hitting the ground.

"We still think she is alive so today we fly to Donetsk and we find her,'' Dr Dyczynski said earlier at an airport in Amsterdam.

They are now on their way to the Donetsk region in an effort to find their daughter.

George and Angela Dyczynski, the Perth-based parents of Fatima Dyczynski, believed to be a MH17 victim, in Kiev on the way to the flight's Ukrainian crash site. Picture: Ella Pellegrin Source: News Corp Australia

Fatima Dyczynski. Source: Supplied

10.20am

The political fallout from the MH17 crash continues, with the Ukrainian prime minister quitting after his governing coalition collapsed.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk's resignation throws the former Soviet state in limbo, as it continues to deal with pro-Russian separatists in the country's east.

The political crisis means President Petro Poroshenko could call an early election within 30 days.

Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned. Picture: AFP Photo/Prime Minister Press Service/Andrew Kravchenko Source: AFP

10.05am

Australia has joined a five-nation "coalition of the grieving" to send in armed forces to secure the volatile crash site of MH17.

Fairfax reports that the force is expected to be led by the Dutch, with support from other key countries to have lost citizens in the tragedy — Australia, Malaysia, Germany and Britain.

The nature and composition of the force is yet to be revealed.

9.45am

The former head of the Australian Defence Force says a military force is needed to protect investigators at the MH17 crash site.

With three Australian monitors visiting the scene overnight and 50 Australian Federal Police officers on standby to join investigations, Retired Admiral Chris Barrie has told Sky News that experts' security was at risk.

"They are under threat from people who are still fighting each other and I think that's a very unpalatable situation for them, personally," he said.

Admiral Barrie advocated for military forces to be deployed so investigators could get on with their work "unaffected by the security situation".

9.30am

8.30am

A Ukrainian from Torez has apparently posted a picture on social media of mascara she received from the looted crash site of MH17.

The account has since been deleted and it is unclear whether the post is genuine.

8.15am

Australian investigators at the MH17 crash site are among a small team to have found a large new section of the plane and human remains that had previously been unaccounted for.

A substantial new section of the fuselage was discovered overnight with windows and seats intact.

There are still concerns that the crash site has not been adequately secured, with farmers driving combine harvesters in areas that could contain crucial evidence or even human remains.

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said the fuselage was an "extraordinary finding" and that parts of the wreckage that the team inspected yesterday had "almost machinegun types of holes".

Read more here.

8am

It appears that the tough work Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been undertaking to gain justice for the Australian victims of MH17 might be taking a toll.

She appeared visibly upset overnight when she visited an impromptu memorial on the steps of the Dutch embassy in the Ukraine capital of Kiev.

She became emotional when she bent down to read one note among the sea of flowers.

"It's so unspeakably sad. The more I become involved in this matter and try and get resolution for the families back home I understand the pain and anguish there is across the world," she told reporters.

"Seeing these flowers and tributes and toys reminds us that there were 80 children aboard that flight and that confirms my resolve to get a resolution and closure for all of the families and relatives involved in this atrocity. And that is what it was — it was a crime."

Read more here.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop walks past flowers laid in memory of the victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in front of the Netherlands' embassy in Kiev. Picture: AFP Photo/Sergei Supinsky Source: AFP

7.50am

Australian investigators have visited the crash site of MH17 for the first time.

Three Australian officials, two diplomats and a forensic specialist, believed to have been from the AFP, have joined Dutch investigators in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to get to the bottom of the disaster and retrieve remaining bodies.

"The Australians are getting a sense of the security for the area, they're mapping it, they're getting a sense of where the crash sites are," Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said, adding that two or three more Australians were expected to join the inspection team today.

A man cycles past a piece of the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Petropavlivka, Ukraine. Picture: Rob Stothard/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

7.15am

There has been another air tragedy, with an Air Algerie plane crashing with 116 people on board.

The wreckage has been found in Mali 50km north of the Burkina Faso border, AAP reports.

It's not yet known whether there are any survivors.

Flight AH5017 took off from Ouagadougou and was bound for Algiers.

There was 50 French people, 24 from Burkina Faso, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, six Spanish, five Canadians, four Germans and two Luxembourg nationals on board, according to the airline.

The head of the emergency investigation into the flight said witnesses saw the plane falling in northern Mali yesterday.

Pilots had asked to change the route about 21 minutes after takeoff from Burkina Faso due to heavy rain. It was due to land about 2.10pm AEST but was missing for hours before its disappearance was made public.

Read more here.

Air Algerie airline's office in Paris. Picture: AFP Photo/Stephane de Sakutin Source: AFP

7am

In a move that recalls a Cold War level of paranoia, Russian President Vladimir Putin has employed a full-time food taster to ensure that his meals aren't poisoned.

As the West continues to condemn Russia over its alleged role and response to the MH17 disaster, it has come to light that Mr Putin's meals are all prepared and tasted, not by a chef but by a member of his security staff to avoid any foul play, The Independent reports.

What's eating you, Putin? Source: AP

6.35am

Officials say the MH17 site remains unstable, with reports of gunmen chasing investigators away and "lunatics" hampering efforts to inspect the wreckage.

Ukraine Emergency Situations Service head Serhiy Bochkovsky said pro-Russian separatists at the site had taken away their base camp tents, Reuters reports.

"We were allowed only our equipment and machinery and we were chased away at gunpoint," he said.

The head of the Dutch police mission also had difficulties when attempting to recover more bodies from the site.

"But the process is not over, there are still remains in your country and it's very hard to get there because there are some, and I would say it's not politically correct, but there are still some lunatics there," Jan Tuinder said. "It's very hard for us to get to the remains."

However, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said there had been no incidents.

A member of a local militia stands guard as vehicles transporting observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and International Committee of the Red Cross visit the main crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Picture: Rob Stothard/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

6.30am

Stay up to date with the latest developments in the MH17 disaster with our live blog, which will be updated throughout the morning.


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‘You might not be here tomorrow’

Jason Pearce and his best friend Jaclyn, who died of a heart attack brought on by her diabetes. Source: Supplied

MORE than 280 Aussies are diagnosed with diabetes every day.

There are approximately 1.7 million Australians living with diabetes, and most of those have Type 2 diabetes. It's the world's fastest growing chronic disease.

Jason Pearce wants to change this.

Five years ago, the 31-year-old Melbourne baker was overweight, unfit and at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

But it was the death of his best friend at just 22, that forced Jason to do something.

"Jaclyn was my best friend," Mr Pearce told news.com.au. "I got a phone call saying she was going to hospital and it turned out she had a heart attack caused by her diabetes. Her sugar level was so high her body couldn't deal with it.

"She went into a coma and she was put on life support. Her parents had to make the terrible decision to turn the machines off."

At the time, Jason weighed 135kg.

Before: Jason at 135kg. After: Jason now. Source: Supplied

"I was quite overweight. I was prone to diabetes myself and I figured if I wanted to be around for a lot longer I needed to do something.

"So I made it my mission to get healthy, lose some weight and raise money."

Jasons started training six days a week, raised money doing several 5km runs and donated the funds towards diabetes research and awareness programs.

He's now lost 35kg, completed two 10km runs, and is participating in the Run Melbourne half marathon on Sunday to raise money for Diabetes Australia Victoria.

Jason says he feels fitter, stronger and healthier since making the change. He still exercises six days a week doing a combination of strength, weights and cardio training.

"Losing weight and working in a bakery was quite hard," he said. "I started at 10pm at night and finished at 8am. It was not very social. Trying to go to the gym after work at 8am is really hard.

"I feel a lot stronger since joining the gym. I'm sleeping better, I just feel so much better than I did."

Jason (right) and a friend after a race. Source: Supplied

Jason says we don't take our health seriously and need to take better care of ourselves.

"Don't think you're invincible, because you're not. You can just be here one day and gone the next. People don't realise that it just happens."

He says if you're at risk of diabetes, see a doctor and adjust your lifestyle accordingly.

"If you have diabetes or you're susceptible to it, look after your sugar levels and control them.

"I know so many people who have diabetes and they just joke about it. It's too serious to joke about.

"When my friend passed away she left behind a little boy. She passed away three weeks before his third birthday. I'm sure everyone wants to see their children grow up.

"I figured if I could raise a little bit of money each year to help with research and raising awareness then people wouldn't have to feel like I did on the day that I lost my friend."

To donate visit My Everyday Hero.


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Shattered Sprenger ‘just a mess’

All the highlights from day one of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

A despondent Christian Sprenger after the 100m breastroke. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia

WELCOME to our rolling coverage of Day 2 of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Scroll down to find all you need to know from a jam-packed day of action. The latest updates are on top. All times AEST.

SCHEDULE: WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT

A despondent Christian Sprenger holds his shoulder after the 100m breaststroke heat. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia

8.50pm - SHATTERED STRENGER'S STROKE 'A MESS'

WORLD champion Christian Sprenger fears his chances for a golden Commonwealth Games are all but over admitting his stroke is "just a mess at the moment" because of a torn muscle in his shoulder, Todd Balym writes.

The 100m breaststroke star has appeared a shadow of his former self at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, labouring to eighth in the 200m final and struggling in the heats of his main 100m event, almost four seconds off his best time.

Sprenger's heat time of 1:02.30 qualified him for tonight's semi-final in 11th position.

Sprenger said physios believe he has torn muscles in his shoulder and it has completely thrown his stroke and power in the pool to the point that his chances are effectively dead in the water.

"The stroke is just so foreign," Sprenger said. "I'm diving in and pulling out and there's just no drive, there is no power, no efficiency and it's just a challenge.

"I get to the 50m mark and I'm already in pain and it's just not right. The physios are talking about (torn muscle) … that is what they're thinking it is because it's just hurting so much in the water.

"Breaststroke is very hit and miss, if it's on it's just an absolute dream. I'm mistiming everything … It's just a mess at the moment."

8.30pm - WELSH CO-CAPTAIN FAILS DRUG TEST

THE co-captain of the Wales track and field team, 400m hurdler Rhys Williams, has been kicked out of the Games for failing a drugs test, Scott Gullan writes.

He is the second Welsh athlete inside a week to be suspended for alleged doping offences with 800m runner Gareth Warbuton also banned.

Williams, the current European champion, failed a drug test at the Glasgow Grand Prix two weeks ago.

The 30-year-old won the bronze medal in Delhi four years ago behind fellow Welshman Dai Greene who he succeeded as European champion in 2012 and had only just been named co-captain of the team alongside hammer thrower Carys Parry.

MORE: WELSH STAR FAILS DRUG TEST

8pm — INSPIRED McEVOY HAS FLYING START

CAMERON McEvoy has used the motivation of Australia's world record breaking women's relay team to make a flying start to his Commonwealth Games campaign this morning, Todd Balym writes.

McEvoy cruised to a 1:46.39 victory in the 200m freestyle to be fastest for tonight's final ahead of teammate Thomas Fraser-Holmes (1:47.01), with 400m silver medallist David McKeon seventh in 1:47.99.

McEvoy said the women's success on the opening night had lifted the entire swim team.

"I was with about 10 of us in the dorm room watching that and it was just so sick. We were yelling and a couple of the other sports came over to find out what it was," McEvoy said.

"I thought it was awesome. Really good."

UNDER THE KILT: OI, IS THAT CHRIS HOY?

CRADDOCK: WHY MEARES IS THE HERO'S HERO

FULL COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCHEDULE

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Face to face with the Russian rebels

'I wish it wasn't like this but it is, it has to be' ... Vice Commandant Oxana Grinyova. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

Footage has caused outrage which purportedly show a Russian rebel rifling through the wreckage of MH17 and stealing a gold ring.

WITH a Makarov pistol in a holster on her left and a jagged edged knife on her right, Oxana Grinyova is more Che Guevara than suburban soccer mum.

But standing dressed in battle fatigues beside her two sons the 43-year-old says it wasn't always this way.

"I wish it wasn't like this but it is, it has to be," shrugs Vice Commandant Grinyova from the separatist militia group's SVOT Squad in their city stronghold of Donetsk.

"My life changed in one day for sure. Am I afraid now of dying? Probably just the stupid is not afraid but someone has to do this."

As government forces close in on the city stronghold, the local ragtag militia with Russian-issue weapons is ready to fight.

Camouflaged ... the battalion consists of around 80 people. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

Surprisingly they are not the embittered revolutionaries one could imagine say in Chechnya or Syria, rather they are idealists led by extremists who can see no way forward. And now too they are potentially mass murderers with the blood of 298 innocents on their hands.

The engaging softly spoken commander with the warm smile and (bottled) flame red hair looks out of place talking guns, bombs and war, surrounded by edgy-looking young men whose index fingers shift nervously over the trigger guards of their Kalashnikovs in a permanent state of readiness.

But that is probably because a few months ago she was a manager of a large international hotel and restaurant commanding an army of cooks, clerks and cleaners and not directing 70 to 100 men and women of the self-styled Pro-Russian Donetsk People's Republic looking to secede from Ukraine through bloody revolt and become an independent state tied to Russia.

Tough guy ... Ihor, separatist with the pro Russia militia. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

Those nearby are equally out of place — until a few months ago they worked in shops and factories, or were accountants, farmers, shopkeepers, housewives or students.

Until a week ago, there would be few outside of Ukraine who would have ever heard of or cared about such a ragtag army or their industrial city 40km from the border of Russia, founded by a Welshman 140 years ago as a steel and coal producing regional capital.

Then Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 dropped out of the sky in the disputed Donetsk territory killing all 298 passengers and crew on board, including 40 Australian residents.

Suddenly, the world is taking an interest.

Just who shot the aircraft down is being investigated but it is likely to have been fired by the Pro-Russian separatists mistaking it for a military aircraft from the Ukrainian air force.

Comrades in arms ... the militants come from the Sloviansk area. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

Talk of the downed aircraft sits uncomfortably among the militia spoken to by News Corp Australia inside their base. They either don't know who shot it down or declare with absolute authority it was a Ukraine fighter jet tailing the aircraft and slaughtering it to bring the West into the war. But Cmdr Grinyova and her force agree it was a terrible tragedy. No-one wants to see civilians killed — not least of all because before April 1 the militia were largely ordinary civilians themselves.

Either way, that is of little consequence to the families and loved ones of the 298 killed during the little known armed struggle in Ukraine's east and who are now just searching for answers among the fields of sunflowers where the wreckage of the doomed jet fell.

The multinational force of air crash investigators are struggling to gain access to the site despite both sides declaring a 20km exclusion zone around it.

No soccer mum ... Oxana Grinyova with her son Stanislav. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

No one is prepared to guarantee their safety, not the rebels nor the Ukrainian military who during the week were firing rockets at the rebels but inadvertently killing civilians with wayward missiles dropping into the suburbs of the city.

Cmd Grinyova's sons Stanislav and Vladislav are also both in the army now, the 25 and 19 year olds joking that the family now always know where each other are at any given point in time in the day.

Stanislav was studying to be a tour operator and Vladislav had only just finished school.

"Before all these events I loved my country a lot and was even proud of the Ukraine flag," Stanislav said.

"But when they made heroes out of those fascists in Kiev I became ashamed to be Ukrainian. They want to cut us off from our (Russian) culture and I don't agree with this."

Smoking cigarettes and waiting ... the separatists are waiting for the Ukrainian troops. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

The "fascists" were ironically men just like him in Kiev in February who overthrew the Kremlin-backed presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. There were extremists directing the ordinary Kiev residents into armed conflict — just as there are now in Donestk ordinary people being directed to revolution by extremists.

Vlad was a teacher before he decided to fight for independence. He says it's about controlling the land and their own destiny.

"The EU is guilty over all of this, they created this situation," he says, referring to decisions made during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

He said he went to bed a Russian and woke to be told he was now Ukrainian. He said he speaks Russian, dreams in Russian and for centuries his people considered themselves Russian but Ukraine wanted to erase the past.

Platoon leader Denis Shapovsky, 31, (formerly a mechanical engineer) likes to show photos of his "baby girl" the 11-year-old Daria. Three months ago he sent her away with her mother to be safe after he decided to join the fight.

'This is my home' ... psychologist Irina joined the battalion last week. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

"You need to ask the Ukrainians — who are you fighting? The women and children they bomb in their houses, the people whose electricity and water they turn off and try to starve. These Ukrainians fight with their NATO weapons and they accuse us of being Russian — well I've only been there once in my life. This is not Russia's fault. I do hope this cause ends and we can get back to a normal life."

At the moment they wait, smoke cigarettes, play cards and wait. They know the Ukrainian troops are coming, the shelling is getting closer, but they say they are prepared.

Irina, 27, had just completed a degree in psychology. There is no work so last week she decided to wear military green garb.

When asked is she is ready to fight and die, the pretty new recruit smiles coyly.

"Of course, this is my home," she said.


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‘I was too fat to fly, so I lost 70kg’

Personal trainer James Duigan shares one of the key secrets to losing weight and getting a good night's sleep.

Donna and her husband Neil, when Donna weighed 142kg. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied

A MOTHER-OF-TWO lost almost 70kg in weight after she discovered she was too large to wear an airliner seat belt.

Donna McKenna, 32, was jetting off to Gran Canaria for a summer break when, to her horror, she found she could not stretch the regular-sized safety belt across her lap as the plane prepared to take off.

Mrs McKenna, of Portsmouth, was forced to endure the humiliation of being fitted for a brightly-coloured extra-large belt extension by a flight attendant.

Stung by the experience, Mrs McKenna began dieting, bringing her weight down from the 142kg she was at her heaviest to the 73kg she is today.

Last week she returned from a holiday in Turkey where she was able to wear her bikini with pride in the wake of her amazing transformation.

Donna on the beach in a bikini, having lost a whopping 70kg. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied

Donna at her heaviest at 142kg. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied

Mrs McKenna, a children's nursery receptionist, said: "The seatbelt extension was bright orange and the attendants were having to make a fuss of me. I felt as if all eyes were on me — it was a horrible feeling.

"Once we got to the Canary Islands, the holiday was miserable, too. I was barely brave enough to venture outside of the hotel room and I certainly didn't want to go anywhere near the swimming pool."

Mrs McKenna saw her weight increase as she settled into a comfortable life with her childhood sweetheart Neil, 31, a supermarket manager, whom she met when she was a teenager.

She said: "Life was very easy-going. We didn't shy away from having treats — I was particularly drawn to crisps and chocolate. By the time we married in 2006, I was 107kg."

Donna and Neil on their wedding day in 2006. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied

Following the birth of the couple's son Ryan in 2008, she found it even more difficult to control her weight gain and before long her health was beginning to suffer.

She said: "I started to struggle with mobility. Ryan was always very active and it was difficult keeping up with him. It became Neil's job to take him to the park.

"It was a shame to go to the park and not be able to go on the swings with him, like any other mum. I began to feel quite sad and guilty about that.

"When I felt bad I would go home and comfort eat, which made me get larger, so it became a vicious circle."

Donna with her son Ryan before she lost weight. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied

In the summer of 2010, when she was four months pregnant with her daughter Isabelle, now 3, Mrs McKenna was at her largest size, weighing 142kg and wearing size 30 (US 26) clothing.

It was then that the family decided to have a holiday to the Canary Islands, which involved a short flight.

Mrs McKenna said: "I tried to get comfortable in the plane seat but I struggled to fit into it.

"I might have been four months pregnant, but I knew I should have been able to fit into the chair anyway.

"In that moment I knew I had to do something.

"I waited for a while — until Isabelle was six weeks old — before I started to diet properly. But from then on, I'd committed to making a change."

Donna is grateful she made the decision to lose weight. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied

Mrs McKenna joined her local branch of Slimming World and within the first week she had lost 2kg. Over the course of a year she lost nearly 45kg.

She said: "I was so nervous before the first class. If it wasn't for the fact that my mum Christine was with me for moral support, I don't think I would have got through the door.

"After all that worry, they were a really nice group and they made me feel welcome. I got loads of support from them.

"Changing my diet so dramatically took quite a lot of getting my head around, but once you figure out what you're doing and start to see the results, it's easy. Success really spurs you on for the following week."

Donna showing off her transformation with a pair of her old trousers. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied

Before beginning her weight loss journey, Mrs McKenna typically ate nothing for breakfast, followed by a cheese pizza with chips and a packet of crisps for lunch, with a microwave-ready meal of spaghetti carbonara for an evening meal. Throughout the day she would snack on crisps and Galaxy chocolate.

Today, she typically enjoys scrambled egg or a serving of Bran Flakes for breakfast, followed by chicken or ham salad for lunch, with lean chicken and steamed vegetables for an evening meal. When she snacks, she enjoys bananas and apples.

Now, at 73kg and wearing size 14 (US 10) clothing, she is at the lowest weight she has ever been in adulthood.

Donna now wears size 14 clothing instead of size 30. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied

She said: "Neil's extremely proud and full of praise. He's hugely encouraging.

"It's easier to keep up with Ryan and Isabelle. Ryan loves running around with me — he remembers me as I was before and loves seeing his mum so healthy and with such energy."

Last week, Mrs McKenna returned from a triumphant family holiday to Turkey, where she was able to enjoy the beach side with full body confidence.

She said: "I was able to get into a bikini. It was so nice to be able to do that. It felt amazing to think that no-one was looking at me.

"As I was boarding the plane at the start of the holiday, I had a flashback to the time when I couldn't stretch the seat belt across me. This time, as I pulled the seatbelt across, I had to pull it tighter as it was left too big from the previous passenger.

"My legs weren't squashed against the arm and I finally felt comfortable where I was. I couldn't help smiling."

Donna is now comfortable in a bikini on the beach. Photo: Austral Scope Source: Supplied


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Troops may be sent to MH17 site

More than 200 Aust police and defence personnel will join a multi-nation force to secure the MH17 site.

Further wreckage ... Investigators found the largest intact piece of the fuselage in a wooded area more than a kilometre away from the main crash site. Picture: Twitter Source: Twitter

DUTCH authorities expect the last of the bodies that were removed from the MH17 crash site this week to be transferred to the Netherlands on the weekend.

The final flight is expected to depart from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv for Eindhoven on Sunday.

"Today (Saturday) again 74 coffins went to the Netherlands," Dutch forensic team spokeswoman Esther Naber told AAP.

"The work is finished today, definitely, but there is one or two more flights tomorrow."

The Dutch believe at least 200 bodies were on the refrigerated train out of Torez.

There's no doubt, however, that some remains are still at the crash site, with experts making new discoveries on Thursday and Friday.

The deceased are being transferred from Ukraine's's second-biggest city to Eindhoven on a Dutch C130 Hercules and an Australian C17 transporter.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday visited Kharkiv to see how the work was progressing and to thank those involved.

Journey home ... A container carrying bodies recovered from the MH17 crash site is loaded on a Royal Netherlands Air Force aircraft at the airport of the north-eastern Ukraine city of Kharkiv. Picture: Sergey Bobok Source: AFP

She was accompanied by her Dutch counterpart, Frans Timmermans, before both flew on to the Netherlands.

Patricia Zorko, head of the National Police Unit that includes the Dutch national forensic team, said about 200 experts, including 80 from overseas, were working in Hilversum, in the Netherlands, at a military barracks to identify the dead.

Around the world, 1000 people are involved in the process, which also includes gathering information from next of kin.

EARLIER

A decision to send armed military to the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash site would be made over the weekend in consultation with Australia and the United States, the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has said.

But in order to prevent any provocation, the Dutch have confirmed their initial deployment of 40 unarmed police, have been sent to the Ukraine wearing civilian clothes to help 23 Dutch investigators search for further bodies and personal possessions.

In a parliamentary debate Mr Rutte said he had to temper his initial response "to send in the troops'' and stressed caution in negotiating with the rebels leaders to peacefully extract the remaining bodies and personal possessions.

He said the international independent investigation into the cause of the crash was secondary to recovery of the missing bodies. There are about 100 of the 298 passengers and crew on board the downed flight MH17 that are believed to be unaccounted for.

Decision soon ... Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stressed caution in negotiating with the rebels leaders. Picture: Bart Maat Source: AFP

"I also think sometimes to send in the marines,'' said Rutte.

"But we have to be very careful so that we can continue to build coalitions to achieve our goal.''

Rutte said there was no hope for a complete ceasefire but noted that the rebels had ceased attacks at the present time to enable repatriation of the bodies.

He said he would have continuing discussions with his coalition partners, which include Australia, over the next few days about any military response to help secure the site for an investigation into the cause of the crash.

The 40 Dutch police have gone to the Ukraine crash site to assist and protect the 23 Dutch investigators that are making their way to Torez from Kharkiv.

10.45pm

A group of Australian soldiers will be sent to the Ukraine to protect the police officers who will be securing the MH17 crash site from looters and the rebels who may have shot it out of the sky.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking from the AFP national headquarters in Canberra, confirmed this afternoon there would be some "ADF deployment".

Rebel interference ... The MH17 site has been subject to looting and tampering from the rebels. Picture: Bulent Kilic Source: AFP

The mission was a joint one with other countries that lost citizens in the MH17 disaster, which killed 298 people, and would be led by the Netherlands.

Mr Abbott said an understanding was close to being finalised that would allow the Australian police and troops into the Ukraine.

He said the mission was a "humanitarian" one that was ultimately trying to bring innocent people home and repeated that when asked what effect the presence the soldiers would have on the volitaile situation in Ukraine.

It was for others to talk about the internal politics of eastern Europe. "All we want to do is claim our dead and bring them home."

The Prime Minister added: "This will be a police led mission, an international police-led mission — a humanitarian mission that's what it is ... To ensure we bring them back ..."

Asked to confirm the soldiers were going to safeguard the police officers he said he was "conscious" of the need to ensure the safety of Australians at the crash site.

Call for action ... Tony Abbott stressed the importance of properly securing the crash site. Picture: Gary Ramage Source: News Corp Australia

Another 100 AFP officers, along with the small number of soldiers, are to leave for Netherlands today, adding to the 90 who are already in London waiting to be allowed into Ukraine or who are assisting with the crash investigation.

The MH17 site has been subject to looting and tampering from the rebels who are widely blamed for shooting down the plane, killing all 298 people on board.

Mr Abbott said three Australian officials travelled to the crash site and found previously undiscovered wreckage.

" ... And I regret to say more human remains have been found and we expect that further remains will be found in the days ahead," Mr Abbott said.

He said this made it more important than ever to properly secure the site.

10:40pm

From News Corp's Charles Miranda in Kiev:

Control of the investigation of what brought down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has been formally handed to Dutch authorities in what is being described as a milestone achievement.

Exactly a week to the hour since MH17 fell from the sky over separatist held land in eastern Ukraine, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans reached a deal with Ukraine to control the site.

Paying respects ... Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife place a wreath to the victims of MH17 at Schipohl airport, Amsterdam. Source: News Corp Australia

But while the signing was a goodwill gesture that builds the legal and operational framework for foreign forensic experts to probe the tragedy, neither he nor Australian counterpart Foreign Minister Julie Bishop could explain how it could be enforced on separatists controlling the area around the crash site.

10.15pm

9:30pm

Australia has offered to repatriate the bodies of Indonesian victims of the MH17 crash, a spokesman for Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says.

Teuku Faizasyah, the president's spokesman on foreign affairs, on Friday evening tweeted the talking points of a warm phone call from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Abbott offered Indonesia the use of an Australian plane to repatriate the remains of 12 Indonesian victims, however Dr Yudhoyono said arrangements had already been made with Garuda Indonesia.

He thanked Australia for its UN security council resolution on MH17, which Indonesia co-sponsored.

"President SBY thanked PM Abbott & expressed appreciation for this generous offer by Australia to help in any way," Mr Faizasyah tweeted.


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What’s Cam done with his Logie?

TV Host Scott Cam joins Karl and Lisa on the TODAY Show to talk about his big Gold Logie win. Courtesy Channel Nine

HE'S not 100 per cent certain, but Scott Cam is fairly confident he's the first Gold Logie winner to turn Australian television's highest award into a bottle opener.

"I'm pretty sure it might be the first one," he said. "It was my idea, my concept, so whoever is going to copy it from now on — make note, I did come up with the concept."

Noted.

And just like a makeover on The Block , it took him hardly any time.

"It literally took me a half-hour.

"I've just drilled a little hole in the back underneath, which is a bit bigger than a stubby lid, and I've just got a flat bottle opener — you know those ones the kids have, the barmen, and they swing it around on their finger and they open the bottle for you? — anyway I've just grinded that off, the end of that, and just put a trimmer, so it was flush, routed out a little bit of a section the same shape as that, and then screwed it into the bottom, so it still sits flush on the table, so it wouldn't know it was there til you lift it up."

SCOTT CAM: Slam critics who call him a blokey millionaire

WHY OH WHY: Scott Cam to wear pink vest for a month

Keeping his promise ... The Block host Scott Cam with his Gold Logie turned bottle opener. Picture: Virgina Young Source: News Corp Australia

The TV veteran — and actual carpenter — said his motivation was practical. Mostly.

"I like to multipurpose things, I don't like to have things sitting around, I like to be able to use them, instead of them just being ornaments."

Plus: "When you've got friends over, you can't actually say come and have a look at my Gold Logie. That's a bit pretentious. But if someone's got a stubby, then I'll go hang on, let me just go get my gold stubby opener …

"If I've got a barbecue on, people need bottle openers. The new fancy beers, like the Asahis and the Peronis, they're not twist tops, Europeans haven't got it, so I'll get rid of all the bottle openers in the house and the only one that'll be there is the Gold Logie. And I'll go hang on, let me just go and get the only bottle opener I have."

More useful ... Block host Scott Cam with his Gold Logie turned bottle opener. Picture: Virgina Young Source: News Corp Australia

With the next season of The Block starting on Nine tomorrow night (Sunday), it seemed timely to check with Cam whether any of these new contestants had the sorts of renovating skills required to repurpose a Gold Logie from an inert figurine into a handy household gadget.

"No!" He sounds horrified. "No. I would not trust that job with anyone bar myself. That's like getting the carpenter to do the heart transplant. No one would be in my workshop touching that Logie. I had one of my children with a spotlight on me, wiping the brow, patting me down when I was sweating."

THE BLOCK SKY HIGH

His main dilemma now is: does he give his Silver Logie the same treatment?

"I don't know whether to turn it into a can opener. I think I might just leave that as is in that team. The Gold will be the tool and the Silver will be the spectator."

New contestants in the next series of The Block Glasshouse with host Scott Cam. Source: Supplied


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Flight ‘pulverised on impact’

French Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian delivers a press conference with an image showing French soldiers standing by the wreckage of the Air Algerie flight AH5017. Picture: Stephane de Sakutin Source: AFP

THE first images of the Air Algerie crash site in Mali have emerged, showing a stark terrain littered with bits of a plane that appears to have been pulverised on impact.

The video, aired on France 2 television, was filmed by soldiers from Burkina Faso from where flight AH5017 took off early Thursday morning before disappearing from radar screens.

The grainy footage shows bits of the fuselage scattered over a large, sandy-looking terrain of dry shrubs, which is blackened in some areas.

WATCH THE FOOTAGE HERE

Such was the violence of the apparent impact, that the debris seen on the video was barely recognisable as parts of an aircraft. A soldier is seen taking photos of the remains of the wreck.

The Air Algerie flight, which was operated by Spanish charter company Swiftair, had 116 people on board.

French President Francois Hollande confirmed there were no survivors, as France deployed troops to guard the wreckage.

A black box from the plane that had been carrying 116 people, including 51 French citizens, was recovered by soldiers, Hollande said on Friday after a crisis meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris. "All my thoughts are turned towards the victims and their families. We are on their side," broadcaster BFMTV quoted Hollande as saying.

A French army spokesman in Mali said about 100 troops in 30 vehicles were involved in securing the desert crash site in Gossi, near the Burkina Faso border.

A man at the site of the plane crash in Mali. Source: AP

The site of the plane crash in Mali. Source: AP

One of the many pieces of debris. Source: Supplied

Footage shows a soldier inspecting the crash site. Source: Supplied

A Lebanese woman shows a picture on her mobile phone of Shaima Daher, 8, who was along with her mother and two brothers aboard the plane. Picture: Mahmoud Zayyat Source: AFP

It took off from Burkina Faso's capital of Ouagadougou and was bound for Algiers, where many of the 51 French nationals on board were due to transit on to France.

About 50 minutes after takeoff, air traffic controllers lost contact with flight AH5017 after pilots requested their route be diverted due to storms.

"The pieces of the plane are concentrated in a limited space, but it is too early to draw conclusions. There are hypotheses, especially climate-related, but we do not dismiss any of them," Hollande said.

It has been suggested the plane could have been shot down by rebels seeking the independence of northern Mali, but French experts said a plane would normally be out of reach of rockets 50 minutes after takeoff.

The brother of Mohamed Akhdar, who was aboard the plane, holds a picture of his 23-year-old brother in the village of Zrairiyeh in south Lebanon. Picture: Mahmoud Zayyat Source: AFP

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said "the hypothesis of difficult weather is the likeliest" reason for the crash of the plane.

The French government said the wreck of the plane had been found with the help of a French drone. The Malian government said shepherds first spotted charred bodies and debris and informed the authorities.

France deployed two Mirage 2000 fighter jets and a drone to search for the wreckage on Thursday, Lieutenant Colonel Michel Sabatier told DPA. Those aircraft were later joined by helicopter crews.

The airline said 24 Burkina Faso citizens, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans and two Luxembourg nationals were also on board.

The six-person crew were Spanish.

The wreckage of the plane was found late on Thursday in Mali near the border with Burkina Faso.

Distraught Lebanese relatives wait for news of Air Algerie flight AH5017 that crashed after disappearing over northern Mali. Jillian Kitchener reports.


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