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British PM ordered to repay $21,000 in expenses

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been ordered to pay back more than 12,000 pounds ($21,000) in parliamentary expenses following a review into a claims scandal that rocked British politics, his office said on Monday.Brown will pay back 12,415 pounds for claims he made for gardening, cleaning and maintenance at his second home after new limits were imposed on lawmakers’ parliamentary allowances.However, his office insisted that he had not broken any rules but was instead conforming to new limits which have been retrospectively imposed.Former civil servant Thomas Legg was tasked with reviewing lawmakers’ claims over the past five years after leaked documents showing their lavish spending habits – at taxpayers’ expense – sparked public outrage.He ruled that any claim over 2000 pounds a year for cleaning or 1000 pounds a year for gardening was excessive and should be repaid, and it is under these rules that Brown will pay back several thousands of pounds.”Mr. Brown has always supported this process and will co-operate fully and make the necessary repayment,” the prime minister’s Downing Street office said.”Mr. Brown’s expenses have always been cleared by the House (of Commons) authorities as entirely consistent with the rules.”A statement added that Brown had urged all government ministers to respond “promptly and in full” to any similar requests for repayment, ahead of the establishment of a completely new system of allowances.Legg determined that Brown should repay 10,716 pounds that he claimed in excess of the new rules on cleaning and 302 pounds he claimed on gardening.He also highlighted a bill for painting and decorating for 1396 pounds from April 2006 that was mistakenly submitted twice, Downing Street said, adding: “Mr Brown has apologised for this inadvertent error.”AFP
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First time’s a charm for St Laurence’s side

“Team St Laurence’s” after their historic win in the Russell Richardson Cup: (back) Russell Richardson, Reece Williams (Cronulla Sharks), coaches Ron Gibbs and Martin Nelson and manager Monique Donougue. Team members were Matt Burton, Sam Fraser, Seamus Gibbs, Callum Hosking, Jordi Madden, Kai Maslen, Jed McIntosh, Thomas Nelson, Will Parnaby, Tom Quinn, Will Stellmarcher and Josh Wilesmith.Captain Matt Burton was man of the match when St Laurence’s Dubbo scored an exciting 16-8 win over St Mary’s Orange in the final of the Russell Richardson Cup yesterday at the riverbank ovals.
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Sixteen teams qualified for the Year 3-4 final series of matches with Dubbo’s St Laurence’s involved for the first time.

They dominated their pool matches, winning all three games then eliminated Orange’s Bletchington Public in a semi-final while St Mary’s came through in the top half of the draw with three pool wins and then a semi-final success over St Michael’s Dunedoo.

School principal Pauline Walkom was on hand to see the win by St Laurence’s, a side coached by Martin Nelson.

“This was our first year in this competition and the boys have done very well. We had a couple of footy kids among the 12 boys and everyone had blended together nicely,” Nelson said.

“It’s been a very exciting day for the kids and for them to win first time is a credit to them all.”

Both teams in the final were presented with their trophies by former NRL and Australian Super League back Russell Richardson, a former Dubbo junior who now lives in Newcastle.

In the David Peachey Shield final yesterday for Year 5-6 players, Cowra’s St Raphael’s, coached by Scott Hudson, was the winner by 12-4 over Lithgow’s Cooerwull Public.

Both teams were standouts with three wins in pool games.

St Raphael’s Nick Wilkinson was man of the match and like Matt Burton in the Richardson Cup won an X-Box.

All the kids in the finals were presented with goodies provided by the sponsors.

Dubbo South went down to Cooerwull in one semi-final while Warren was the beaten side to St Raphael’s.

“This has been our 10th year in these competitions and it’s great to know that this year we had 250 teams involved,” Richardson said.

“The success of it all shows on the faces of the kids here today and they’ve had a lot of support from their parents and teachers.”

Peachey reminded the kids that one of the competition’s first players was Daniel Mortimer, who played in the NRL grand final with Parramatta last year and is now one of the marquee players in the league.

“Daniel is a graduate from our carnival and it just goes to show what you can achieve,” Peachey said.

“If you do well in the game that’s good, but if down the track you decide not to play, then that is your decision. We hope you’ve enjoyed the experience here today.

“We have a carnival that is good for the sport and good for the kids.”

Peachey and Richardson also praised the efforts of Country Rugby League and Austral Rugby League development officers who run the carnival, sponsors Toyota and Kombat guernseys and the referees and teachers who helped make it the success that it has been.

Special guests with Peachey and Richardson were David Williams from the Manly Sea Eagles and injured Cronulla Sharks player Reece Williams.

Another feature of the day was naming of a merit team in both divisions.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Big Bang scientist charged with terror ties

French magistrates have charged a nuclear scientist suspected of Al-Qaeda links with “membership of a terrorist group”, judicial officials say.The 32-year-old engineer, who was studying the universe’s birth – the Big Bang – at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), was arrested on Thursday last week by police intelligence.He appeared on Monday in front of an anti-terrorist magistrate in Paris to be placed under formal judicial investigation and was to hear later in the day whether he will remain in custody pending trial.Officials said last week that investigators monitoring the internet had intercepted contacts between him and Al-Qaeda’s North African offshoot.He had expressed a desire to carry out attacks, but had “not got to the stage of carrying out material acts of preparation”.The suspect’s 25-year-old brother, who does not work at CERN, was also arrested last week but has since been released without charge.The European Organisation for Nuclear Research operates one of the world’s leading nuclear research laboratories attached to a 27 kilometre tunnel running under the Franco-Swiss border just outside Geneva.In the tunnel, a particle accelerator attempts to recreate the sub-atomic conditions present at the time of the Big Bang.The lab confirmed on Friday that a physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider had been arrested on “suspicion of links to terrorist organisations.”It added, however, that “he was not a CERN employee and performed his research under a contract with an outside institute. His work did not bring him into contact with anything that could be used for terrorism.”According to CERN’s website, the suspect’s experiment was “set up to explore what happened after the Big Bang that allowed matter to survive and build the universe we inhabit today.”Nevertheless, reports have suggested the arrest of a scientist with alleged Al-Qaeda ties will increase fears that the Islamist militant group is seeking weapons technology or planning to attack nuclear targets.AFP
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