Leto shows support to Ukrainian protesters

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Singer/actor Jared Leto has shown his support for the citizens fighting for political change in Ukraine at his band 30 Seconds To Mars’s concert in Kiev.

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Last month’s violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police in the capital city failed to keep the Closer to the Edge stars away from Kiev, where they were booked for two shows at the Sports Palace.

The band arrived in Kiev on Tuesday and took the stage at the venue on Wednesday night, when Leto offered his support to those fighting for a new nation.

“You guys are in the midst of something really beautiful and it may be difficult, but there’s no price too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself,” the Oscar winner said.

“And I want to let you know, I understand other bands have cancelled their shows, but there was no f**king way, no f**king way 30 Seconds to Mars wasn’t going to be here in this beautiful city, in this great country here tonight.”

Leto then dedicated a song to the “true believers out there”, and even waved the Ukraine flag while leading the audience in a “Glory to Ukraine! chant.

Prior to the concert, Leto was spotted visiting Kiev’s Independence Square to pay his respects to the protesters who died in the violent clashes with local police, which claimed the lives of more than 80 people.

Leto’s visit to the Ukraine comes less than two weeks after he mentioned the country’s freedom fighters in a moving acceptance speech at the Oscars following his win for Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club.

“To all the dreamers around the world watching this tonight in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, I wanna say we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight,” he said in his speech.

30 Seconds to Mars played their second Kiev concert on Thursday, and are heading to Russia for four shows, beginning on Friday.

Cabinet reshuffle follows Buswell’s crash

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Western Australia’s current Energy Minister Mike Nahan is the state’s new treasurer, following Troy Buswell’s resignation after a mental breakdown.

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Premier Colin Barnett’s government was thrown into disarray this week when Mr Buswell resigned his cabinet roles in treasury and transport after revelations of a late-night car crash on February 23.

Mr Buswell was hospitalised for 10 days after a mental breakdown.

Police continue to investigate the car crash along with damage to other vehicles and property elsewhere in Subiaco.

Revealing his cabinet reshuffle, Mr Barnett said Mr Nahan would take over the treasury portfolio before the state budget in May.

First-term MP Dean Nalder has been elevated to the position of finance minister and transport minister.

There had been speculation Mr Barnett would retain the treasury portfolio until the budget but instead he put a huge vote of confidence in Mr Nahan.

“It is a challenging time but in WA we have an action plan”, Mr Nahan said.

Mr Barnett said he would oversee the privatisation of WA assets, as the government tries to claw back the AAA credit rating it lost in 2013.

Mr Nalder, the MP for the southern Perth constituency of Alfred Cove, was only elected to parliament in last year’s state election after defeating incumbent independent Janet Woollard.

A former league and state footballer in WA, playing for South Fremantle, Mr Nalder was raised on a family farm near Wagin and owned and operated his own farming property before working in the banking sector.

The premier paid tribute to Mr Buswell, despite his controversial past and scandalous demise.

“Troy Buswell served the Liberal National government very well and we will miss his intellect and his capacity for hard work,” Mr Barnett said.

“I thank him for his enormous contribution to the state and wish him all the best for the future.”

Mr Barnett said Mr Nahan’s economic background would serve the state well.

“Mike Nahan has … impressed me with his ability to work through complex financial and logistical matters in the energy and finance portfolios over the past year,” Mr Barnett said.

“I believe he will be an outstanding treasurer.”

Mr Nalder’s political pedigree was highlighted. His grandfather Sir Crawford Nalder was a deputy premier and his father, Cambell, represented the National party in the seat of Narrogin.

The state opposition says Mr Nahan becomes the seventh change of treasurer in less than six years.

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan said that number was unprecedented in post-war history for the state.

“Under the Barnett government, Western Australia has been dealt a revolving door of treasurers,” Mr McGowan said.

“Today’s appointment of Mr Nahan means there has now been 14 changes in treasurer in the past 40 years – with half of them occurring under Mr Barnett.”

Victory striker fond of Glory coach

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Melbourne Victory striker Jesse Makarounas hopes Kenny Lowe can turn around Perth Glory’s flailing A-League season – but not this weekend.

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Makarounas grew up in Perth and has intimate knowledge of Glory’s current coaching group.

Lowe, who took the reins of Glory following the mid-season sacking of Alistair Edwards, coached Makarounas for three years at the WA National Training Centre.

Glory assistants Gareth Naven and Andrew Ord also coached the 19-year-old in his juniors.

Makarounas started his A-League career at Glory, but was starved of opportunities and made the switch to Victory early last year.

The speedy striker will return to his former stomping ground of nib Stadium on Saturday night as the third-placed Victory aim to enhance their chances of landing second spot.

Lowe is keen to win the full-time coaching role at Glory, but his chances appear slim following the team’s eight-game winless run, which has left the club rooted to the bottom of the table.

Makarounas wants to see Lowe’s luck change after this weekend.

“Kenny’s a great coach. He’s a great mentor. I learnt a lot from him,” Makarounas said.

“I’m really happy he’s got an opportunity to coach at the highest level.

“It’s been hard for him coming in at this stage of the season, but he’s a great coach and I’m sure he can turn it around.”

Glory skipper Jacob Burns also predicted Lowe would become a successful coach if given the gig full-time.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the respect he’s got of the group here,” Burns said.

“What you see is what you get with Kenny. He’s quite a funny lad, and he’s got tremendous football brain.”

With just five rounds to go, the race is on for second spot.

Although Brisbane (44) have top spot sewn up, Western Sydney (34), Victory (33), Sydney (31), Adelaide (30), Central Coast (30) and Newcastle (29) are jostling for positions.

Victory will enter Saturday’s clash a tad weary following their 2-2 draw with Jeonbuk Motors in Wednesday night’s Asian Champions League clash in Melbourne.

But Glory are also vulnerable.

Cardinal George Pell appears before abuse inquiry

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This week Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell faced intense cross examination about the Ellis defence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

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(Transcript from World News Radio)

 

Former altar boy and sex abuse victim John Ellis tried to sue the Catholic Church trustees and Cardinal Pell.

 

But in 2007, the New South Wales Court of Appeal ruled the Church’s assets are held in property trusts and are protected from lawsuits against clergy sex abusers.

 

Cardinal Pell told the Commission he had some reservations about the defence used in the Ellis case.

 

“I initially was uncertain about the propriety of that defence, I’m not a lawyer, it was pointed out to me, I think successfully, that the role of the trustees was quite limited to the ownership of property, if for example, there was negligence in building, if for example there was asbestos that the trustees could be sued on that account but as they had not been involved in the appointment and supervision of priests, they could not be sued. They did not have liability on that count.”

 

Cardinal Pell told the Commission he didn’t believe the Church acted fairly towards Mr Ellis from a Christian point of view.

 

Lawyer Doctor Andrew Morrison represented John Ellis in 2007.

 

He told Greg Dyett, Cardinal Pell’s appearance at the Royal Commission hasn’t altered his views about the church’s approach to clergy abuse claims.

 

(Click on audio tab to listen to this item)

 

 

Nation’s treasurers to talk infrastructure

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Infrastructure and the long-running saga over GST on foreign online goods will be on the agenda when the nation’s treasurers meet on Friday.

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Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey will host the gathering of his state and territory counterparts in Canberra, the outcome of which will help him form his first budget on May 13.

Infrastructure has formed the main platform of the federal government’s first term, in what Prime Minster Tony Abbott has described as unclogging the arteries of the economy.

Mr Hockey has already had conversations with his state counterparts about incentive measures to encourage them to sell state assets and recycle that capital into productivity-enhancing infrastructure investments.

Retailers will be hoping the treasurers resolve the issue of the GST threshold which allows foreign goods valued below $1000 to be exempt of the impost, a ruling that has been in place for more than a decade and introduced before online shopping existed.

Groups like the Australian National Retailers Association want the threshold lowered to $20 to bring it in line with other countries like Canada.

The treasurers appeared to be close to resolving the issue when they last met in November.

However, a report into tax administration released on Thursday by the federal house tax committee again highlighted the issues that have delayed any change.

Foreign suppliers of goods are not required to register for GST and a majority of low value imports also cost less than $100.

“Given these circumstances, the cost of collecting GST on these goods would be greater than the revenue realised,” the report said, quoting Taxation Commissioner Chris Jordan.

Those goods that currently attract the GST are reliant on Customs contacting the purchaser to arrange GST payments, and these goods are held by Australia Post until duty, taxes and charges are paid in full.

Extending this model for low value goods would have “significant compliance and warehousing costs”, it said.

On the GST more broadly, Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien will tell Mr Hockey the current system of carving up the revenue is unfair and that his state is being “dudded”.

“This is fundamentally an unfair system,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“Victoria is a large state, a growing state, we need our fair share of GST, that’s not happening at the moment.”

ANA orders 40 Boeing, 30 Airbus planes

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All Nippon Airways (ANA) says it will buy 70 new planes worth $US16.

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4 billion ($A17.83 billion), with almost half from Airbus, in a move that marks a victory for the European aircraft maker as it tries to prise open the lucrative Japanese market.

The airline will buy 40 planes from Boeing, its major supplier that has had a virtual stranglehold in Japan for decades, and 30 from Airbus to increase its fleet ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a statement on Thursday said.

The order includes 14 of Boeing’s troubled Dreamliner as well as 20 units of the 777-9X, and six 777-300ERs.

It will also buy seven Airbus A320neo and 23 Airbus A321neo.

The aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2027 and will increase the size of the ANA fleet to 250 aircraft.

The new Boeing aircraft will serve mainly international routes while the Airbus aircraft will operate both overseas and domestic trips, ANA said.

“ANA Group’s introduction of these new aircraft will help it respond to the needs of the increasing number of passengers expected to arrive in Japan in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will support the Japanese government’s plans to boost the annual total of foreign visitors to Japan to 20 million,” the firm said.

The orders, collectively the biggest in ANA’s history, came as the airline aims to expand its international presence.

“The aircraft we have selected will enable us to modernise and expand our fleet further as we seek to become one of the world’s leading airline groups,” said Shinichiro Ito, president and chief executive of ANA Holdings.

“These new aircraft will give us maximum flexibility and improved fuel efficiency, and will allow us to meet the growth in demand, both internationally and in our domestic Japanese market,” he said in a statement.

Indigenous kids missing two years of class

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Some children at one of Queensland’s largest indigenous schools will have skipped two years of classes by the end of year 10.

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Across the school’s three campuses – prep, primary and secondary – in Yarrabah, near Cairns, attendance averages 70 per cent, compared to the state average of 90 per cent.

Now, as part of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s push to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous, the entire community is coming together to encourage more children to go to school.

“This is about the right of children to attend school every day,” principal Simon Cotton told AAP.

“Over their school life, at 70 per cent attendance, a student will miss, by year 10, two full years of schooling.

“That’s quite horrendous isn’t it?”

A program to reduce truancy was rolled out at Yarrabah on Thursday.

The scheme involves rewarding attendance with tickets to sports games, providing students with breakfast once a week and creating a uniform library.

Parents whose children skip more than four days of school will also be spoken to about the benefits of education and students’ attendance will be monitored.

Mr Cotton, who has led the school’s 575 pupils for five years, has an ambitious plan to boost the attendance rate to 95 per cent.

“We’ve already seen some positive stories come out with prep attendance averaging 83 per cent this year,” he said.

Children are missing school because they travel away from Yarrabah for long periods to attend funerals or visit family.

Sickness is also a main reason for lack of attendance.

Mr Cotton says many children suffer from inner ear infections and whooping cough due to overcrowding in the community where 4500 people squeeze into just 300 homes.

Up to 90 per cent of children at any one time have difficulty hearing and teachers must wear microphones while teaching.

“There are no excuses but there are complexities,” he said.

“This is Australia and our kids really do deserve the best shot.”

Wildcats not fooled by Hawks’ shocker

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Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson says his team won’t get fooled into complacency heading into their best-of-three NBL semi-final series against Wollongong, starting at Perth Arena on Friday.

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Wollongong were off the boil in Sunday’s emphatic 86-65 loss to the Wildcats, and will start as rank underdogs in front of a hostile Perth crowd on Friday night.

Gleeson said Sunday’s performance by Wollongong was irrelevant, claiming Hawks coach Gordie McLeod changed up his tactics with the semi-final series in mind.

“Gordie is a very good coach and he can play possum a little bit and put in different structures,” Gleeson said.

“He did that on Sunday and kept a fair bit up his sleeve.”

The Hawks stayed in Perth for the week instead of flying back home, and McLeod conceded his players were flat during Wednesday’s training session.

But Gleeson wasn’t reading anything into that either.

“That’s all smoke and mirrors,” Gleeson said.

“They’ve had two days off, so they’ve probably been down the beach soaking it up, and come back on the basketball court … flat.

“But that’s Wednesday. We play Friday night.

“His team’s going to be up.”

Wollongong’s other trip to Perth this season ended in a horror show – an 87-47 loss in November.

The Wildcats boast a host of match-winners, with American duo James Ennis and Jermaine Beal, forward Shawn Redhage, centre Matt Knight and guard Damian Martin all stars of the competition.

Wollongong will rely heavily on star import Rotnei Clarke, who averaged 20.2 points per game during the regular season, and three-point specialist Oscar Forman.

Game two of the series will be played in Wollongong on Sunday, with a deciding third game to be played in Perth on Tuesday if needed.

Interstellar Nolan’s nod to blockbusters

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It’s tough to get writer-director Christopher Nolan to divulge details about the plot of his upcoming sci-fi movie Interstellar.

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“We’re right in the thick of the first cut of the film,” he said on stage during a question and answer session at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. “So I can’t really say much about it right now.”

However, he did say that the tone of the time travel focused project, of which scientist Kip Thorne is a producer, is very different than any of his previous films.

“For me it’s about harking back to films I saw when I was a child,” he said. “I grew up in an era that was the golden age of the blockbuster, where something being a family film could be very broad and universal. I feel like that is something I want to see again. Something that looks at where we are as people and where we might go.”

Co-written with his brother and frequent collaborator Jonathan Nolan – the two have worked on The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and The Prestige – their latest collaboration Interstellar is about “interstellar travel,” Nolan offered.

But just how the story will unfold when it hits theatres in November is still a mystery.

In the trailer, snippets of archival aviation footage is shown as Matthew McConaughey talks about “the ability to overcome the impossible” via voiceover. We also see a shot of the Oscar winner driving down a dusty road with tears in his eyes and a little girl holding a man’s hand while watching the launch of what looks like a rocket.

McConaughey, along with Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, stars in the film.

Nolan said he “needed someone who was very much an everyman” to play the male lead.

McConaughey, he added, was an ideal choice. “He is experiencing extraordinary events in the film and we are seeing them through his eyes. I didn’t know how much potential Matthew had until ‘Mud.’ It showed me a side of his capabilities that I never knew was there. It’s a transformative performance.”

Although he did not reveal any of the locations where the film was shot, Nolan said the film was “shot like a documentary.” He said he tried to stay away from creating scenes with CGI. “We put the people in the real environments,” he added.

Shot mostly in IMAX, Nolan said post production work on the film would be very detailed. “The technical aspects of how things are presented is going to be more involved than any other film I’ve ever made,” he said.

But that won’t involve 3-D.

“3-D is not necessarily the best thing for a shared experience,” he said.

He added that he had “ambitious plans of how we will maximise the potential of sound systems in theatres.” But he assured movie houses won’t need any extra tools to screen his film, which is scored by Hans Zimmer. “We will use existing equipment,” he added.

Nolan said the universal appeal of his new movie was inspired by the films he was moved by as a kid, like Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which left him feeling transported by its magnitude. “I had this extraordinary time being taken away to another world,” he recalled.

He hopes to echo that experience with Interstellar.

“It tries to be an experience that you carry with you,” he said.

* Interstellar is released in Australia on November 6.

Storm rally around Jordan McLean

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Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith says teammates are doing their best to support shaken youngster Jordan McLean following the serious spinal injury to Newcastle back-rower Alex McKinnon.

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McLean flew to Perth with his teammates on Thursday after being granted permission by the NRL judiciary to play in Saturday night’s NRL clash against Canterbury in Perth.

The 22-year-old will face a hearing next Wednesday on a dangerous throw charge stemming from the three-man tackle on McKinnon on Monday night.

McKinnon, also 22, underwent surgery for a neck fracture and was placed in an induced coma on Tuesday.

He remains in a critical but stable condition in a Melbourne hospital.

It’s believed the Storm want McLean with them and playing this weekend to help him cope with a very stressful time.

“We’ve just been trying to support him (McLean),” Smith said at Perth airport.

“Obviously everyone’s thoughts are with Alex.

“But there’s a guy that feels extremely sorry for what has happened.

“His name has been thrown into the tackle and the incident that happened.

“It was just an unfortunate, freakish incident which happened to Alex.

“And as I said on the night, we don’t want to see any injury happen to any of our peers in our game, particularly to the neck region.

“(McLean) is just doing his best to get his mind on the job this week.

“He’s only a young guy. You’ve got to remember that.”

McLean had been stood down pending his hearing, which was deferred this week out of respect for McKinnon.

But judiciary chairman Paul Conlon granted Melbourne’s request on Thursday that he be allowed to play on Saturday.

He said the NRL had no option but to stand down Jordan until his charge was heard, but any player stood down would usually have his case heard before his next game.

“In this case, the NRL and Melbourne Storm had agreed to defer the hearing out of respect for Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon, who was injured in the tackle,” Conlon said.

NRL chief executive Dave Smith defended the decision to stand McLean down, but respected Conlon’s ruling.

“We took the decision to delay the judiciary on purpose,” he said.

“Once you do that, the rules say you have to stand Jordan down. But he now has the right to play.

“The judiciary will meet next Wednesday. It will go through due process.

“But this isn’t the time to be talking about that. It’s a time to give Alex and his family all the support we can.”

Newcastle announced on Thursday they will retire the No.16 jersey for the remainder of the season as a tribute to McKinnon, and the Knights’ first-grade team shirts will carry McKinnon’s name and debut club number (#232) on the chest.

In what’s sure to be a hugely emotional occasion at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, players from McKinnon’s junior club Aberdeen will form a guard of honour when the team runs out to face Cronulla.

Fifita has a point to prove for the Sharks

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Cronulla’s Belmore-bound enforcer Andrew Fifita has revealed his desperation to “prove a point” and help revive the Sharks’ NRL season.

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Fifita makes his return from a two-match suspension for a shoulder charge against Newcastle on Sunday and is adamant he can help the winless Sharks make the top four – and possibly win the premiership – before linking with Canterbury on a four-year deal worth more than $3.5 million.

Speaking for the first time since officially signing with the Bulldogs, the Test prop said the timing of his suspension 36 hours after telling teammates he was leaving Cronulla was gut-wrenching.

“It’s killing me. It’s been two long weeks, really long weeks,” Fifita told AAP on Thursday.

“I thought I’d be back the next week after telling the boys and announcing where I’m going to be in 2015.

“All the boys have put it behind us, but I’ve been copping it left, right and centre (elsewhere).

“I’m just going to go out there on Sunday and do my job on the field.

“I’ve got a point to prove and I’m going to try to use that as motivation to get that go-forward for my players and earn the respect from the fans and the players around me.”

With a young family, Fifita said he had no choice but to link with the Bulldogs on a deal that will make the 24-year-old one of the highest earners in rugby league.

“I’ve got to do what’s best for my family. That’s the best offer, so I had to take it,” he said.

“It’s just an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

For now, though, Fifita is committed to helping the Sharks end their infamous 47-year title drought.

“I want to make history,” he said.

“We’re zero and three but it’s only early in the season and I’ve seen teams come back from losing maybe their first six games.

“I think we will turn it around. We’re getting some quality players back in the next few weeks and that’s going to boost our game up.

“It’s kind of a bonus for us that we’re getting our players back nice and fresh in about round five, round six.

“When everyone else is starting to feel tired and sore towards the back end of the season, we’ll still have that freshness.”

Apart from Fifita returning against the Knights, the Sharks still have Test back-rowers Paul Gallen (ankle), Luke Lewis (shoulder), Anthony Tupu (knee), fullback Nathan Gardner (shoulder), winger Beau Ryan (neck) and halfback Jeff Robson (cheekbone) to come back in the coming weeks.

Alleged gunman behind bars for shooting

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A western Sydney resident has discovered his neighbour sprawled on the grass with a hole in his chest after hearing gunshots ring out near his home.

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The Merrylands man is in a critical condition on Thursday, while one man has been charged and three others are still on the loose.

Police charged Yousiff Chami, 27, after raiding a home in Lansdowne Street in Merrylands, metres from where the double shooting took place.

Details of the shooting aftermath emerged with a witness saying he found his neighbour, understood to be Graeme Hunt, on the grass outside his home on Wednesday night.

“I lifted up his shirt and I saw a hole in his chest,” the witness, who asked not to be named, told AAP.

“His shirt was ripped and there was a patch of blood.”

The man said Mr Hunt, a 62-year-old truck driver who has lived in the area for 30 years, thought he had been tasered.

Police believe Mr Hunt was an innocent bystander who came out of his home after hearing a commotion and stumbled upon an armed robbery playing out on the street.

A 19-year-old was also shot during the armed robbery.

The teen had driven to Lansdowne Street with his two mates to buy a mobile phone when he was ambushed.

A man jumped into the teen’s car, allegedly demanding cash and property.

The 19-year-old was shot multiple times in the chest, arm and stomach and is in Westmead Hospital in a stable condition.

The teen and his friends drove to a nearby service station to raise the alarm.

Chami appeared in Parramatta Local Court on Thursday afternoon on firearm and robbery charges.

He was remanded in custody and the case was adjourned to May 22.

Police Detective Superintendent Scott Whyte said every effort would be made to catch the three other alleged attackers.

“We will be throwing every resource we possibly can to get these three outstanding – for want of a better term – grubs,” he said.

Paltrow’s break-up message is ‘smart’

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Like any world unto itself, Hollywood has its own lexicon.

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But Gwyneth Paltrow’s use of the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe her break-up with Chris Martin this week had even Hollywood veterans scratching their heads and reaching – metaphorically at least – for a dictionary.

There was, of course, criticism, too, but there was also some praise for the break-up message and the way it was delivered (the couple posted about it on Paltrow’s lifestyle website Goop).

But before we get to that, let’s start with the basics: What does “conscious uncoupling” actually mean?

“I’ve never heard it, but it sounds like a phrase used by marriage therapists in Malibu,” quips Janice Min, editor of The Hollywood Reporter.

Pretty close, actually.

The term was coined by a Los Angeles therapist and author, Katherine Woodward Thomas, who has created a five-step “Conscious Uncoupling” process to “release the trauma of a break-up, reclaim your power and reinvent your life”.

Speaking over the phone, Thomas explains that her goal was “to create a map for a couple to consciously complete a relationship – to have an honourable ending”.

She says the assumption that people will have only one partner – and that anything else is a failure – comes from a time long ago when lifespans were much shorter.

“I’m a fan of marriage, but I recognise that most people in their lives will have two to three longtime relationships – which means one to two break-ups,” she says. “And so we need to learn how to do this better.”

Thomas says she doesn’t know Paltrow, but applauds the way she and Coldplay frontman Martin announced their break-up. “They’re modelling this for the world,” she says.

Not surprisingly, though, the reference evoked some criticism in Hollywood and across the pond in Britain, where the couple is also based.

“What deluded tosh,” headlined a column in The Guardian, using slang for rubbish, or nonsense.

Tosh perhaps, but the phrase actually made it to the House of Lords, Britain’s upper chamber of Parliament, where a Labour Party lawmaker referred to a political disagreement over university fees on Wednesday as “yet another example of the coalition’s conscious uncoupling”.

Min, however, notes how expertly it was managed from a public relations standpoint, with the break-up message published online late on a Tuesday, after the celebrity weeklies had all closed their issues.

“It was very smart,” says Min, who is also the former editor of US Weekly.

“By next week, there will be other news, and they probably won’t be on the cover at all.”

And the fact the couple made the statement on Paltrow’s website gave them control over the message.

Min says it was also touching.

“It really felt sincere,” she says. “And it gave us more information than you normally get in these situations – revealing they’d been separated for a while.

“There was a sincerity here that you rarely see.”

Longtime Hollywood public relations expert Howard Bragman agrees, applauding the couple for their honesty and civility.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of Hollywood divorces, and I have to say, this is refreshing,” says Bragman, who is vice-chairman of Reputation广西桑拿,.

“You can roll your eyes at the purportedly New Age language, but the broader message is, ‘We’re gonna do this together’.

“I give them a lot of credit.”