Cowell’s new DJ show to launch online

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 苏州美睫

Simon Cowell’s latest show – a talent search to find top DJs – will launch online.


The British media mogul first began developing a format based around DJs more than two years ago, calling them “the new rock stars”.

Cowell announced he had teamed up with live event and digital entertainment producer SFX for the show, Ultimate DJ.

TV plans for the show are yet to be announced.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge said: “We have been developing this concept for a while but our partnership with SFX has been a real game-changer for this format.

“It made complete sense for us to collaborate with SFX with their access to the best up-and-coming DJs and their great marketing platform to build new DJ talent.”

A press release about the show said: “Launching initially online, the music event competition will feature producer-challenges where DJs will be invited to submit recordings for fan voting via social media.

“From there, the competition will move on to live challenges and performances in SFX event venues”.

Kelly Belledegrun, senior producer at Cowell’s company Syco, said: “This show will represent a visual and musical revolution and we can’t wait to showcase this to the world”.

The announcement comes as Cowell prepares to make his return to the X Factor later this year following a ratings slide for the UK show.

It was announced at the weekend that X Factor musical I Can’t Sing!, which Cowell co-produced, is closing due to poor ticket sales.

Cowell’s ITV shows Red Or Black and Food Glorious Food failed to become ratings hits.

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Honey’s worth the money for hive hustlers

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A Queensland beekeeper’s club has become the latest to be stung by hive hustlers keen to capitalise on increasing honey prices.


Not even the threat of 240,000 bees put off the sticky-handed bandits who reportedly stole 12 hives containing more than 480kg of honey.

That’s probably because the rewards are sweet, with the haul potentially netting almost $2000 as wholesale honey prices reach $4 a kilogram, the highest in years, due to harsh weather conditions wreaking havoc on production.

The alleged theft has devastated the Ipswich & West Moreton Beekeepers’ Association which uses its honey for charitable pursuits, although president Benita Ironside says the crime isn’t uncommon.

“The honey’s worth the money,” she told AAP.

Ms Ironside said the hives, stolen from a private property near Ipswich, west of Brisbane, last week each contained between 40kg and 60kg of honey and some 20,000 to 30,000 bees.

Australian Honey Bee Industry Council executive director Trevor Weatherhead speculated part-time beekeepers with a ute were likely behind the crime.

Mr Weatherhead said the threat of hive theft was a concern for Australian beekeepers already stung by less than ideal production conditions.

Hot weather combined with drought and bushfires were likely to halve Australia’s annual honey production to 14,000 tonnes this year, he said.

“You get these grubs who do this sort of thing,” he said, adding many beekeepers were insured against theft.

“You definitely worry, you don’t want to lose your income.”

One Queensland beekeeper lost a lot more than his income over honey.

In 2007, Sunshine Coast man Tony Knight was fatally shot as he slept by fellow beekeeper Donald Robert Alcock, who wanted to steal his honey.

Alcock is serving a life sentence for the murder.

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API cuts expectation on store expansion

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The owners of the Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy network remain confident of expanding to 500 stores despite reducing expectations of growth.


Pharmacies supplier and health and beauty retailer Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) said on Wednesday that it had reduced its expectations of store rollout by 100 stores as the pharmacy sector underwent a structural change partly due to reforms to the federal government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

“While we have adjusted our internal modelling to reflect a more conservative and historical network growth rate, management still has confidence that reaching approximately 500 stores over the next five years is very achievable as pharmacists transition to a retail brand to compensate them for dispensary margin pressures,” API chief financial officer Graeme Fallet said in a briefing for market analysts on Wednesday.

“Priceline Pharmacy is very well positioned to benefit from that transition.”

API on Wednesday booked a loss of $115 million for the first six months of its fiscal year, after major asset writedowns.

The loss for the six months to February 28 compares to a $12.9 million profit for the same period in the prior fiscal year.

API, which owns the Priceline, Priceline Pharmacy, Soul Pattinson and Pharmacist Advice brands, announced asset writedowns of $131 million earlier in April, mainly related to changes to the value of its loans to pharmacies and a review of the expected growth of its retail network.

API’s underlying profit, which excludes the writedowns, rose 29 per cent to $16.2 million.

API chief executive Stephen Roche said the impairment charges were regrettable, but the underlying result was very strong and strategic initiatives were gaining traction.

API expects its underlying net profit for the full year to be in the range of $28 million to $30 million.

In the first half, API’s network of Priceline health and beauty stores and Priceline Pharmacy stores, which combine health and beauty products with pharmacy services, lifted sales by 11.5 per cent to $395.3 million and lifted gross profit by $6.2 million.

The number of Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy stores grew to 373, from 363.

Online sales in the six-month period reached $2.2 million, nearly a threefold increase on the same period last year.

API said the inclusion of health and beauty products in Priceline Pharmacy stores was helping pharmacists sustain sales and profits, compared to independent pharmacists who were feeling the pressure from reforms to the PBS, and competition from supermarkets and discount operators.

API said its pharmaceuticals distribution business performed well, with sales up two per cent to $1.17 billion.

Shares in API were 2.5 cents higher at 56 cents at 1552 AEST.

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Abbott uses survival instincts

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Tony Abbott knows when the odds are against him.


Without a survival instinct he would not have lasted 20 years in parliament.

So when he faced the likelihood of a key election promise – the paid parental leave scheme – falling foul of senators from Labor, the Greens, the cross benches and The Nationals he had no choice but to modify it.

The coalition went to the September 2013 election promising that a woman earning $150,000 or more (about 1.7 per cent of Australians) would receive the maximum $75,000.

The Liberal Party’s key constituency – small and big business – felt it was too generous in tough economic times.

Labor attacked it as $5.5 billion going to the wives of millionaires at a time when the coalition was cutting payments to the orphans of war veterans.

The Greens offered an olive branch, supporting a scaled-back version but with the proviso that it be fully funded by a rise in corporate tax.

Under the new plan, the maximum payment for new mothers will be dropped from $75,000 to $50,000.

The plan, due to start in July 2015, now has a better chance of passing the Senate and avoids the embarrassment of watching Nationals senators cross the floor.

The government already has shown an ability to negotiate with the Greens, getting their nod to remove the debt ceiling – another modified election promise.

The parental leave scheme change has been hailed in coalition circles as pragmatic and a sign that Abbott – who has sat in on all of the budget razor gang meetings – is a leader who listens.

It also gives the government some political cover a day before the release of the national commission of audit’s report which is understood to be scathing of the policy.

Abbott is prepared to wear the Labor criticism that it is a broken promise, throwing the blame back on the previous government.

“Everyone from the top down is going to be part of fixing Labor’s debt and deficit mess, and, yes, that does include regrettably an adjustment to the paid parental leave scheme,” he says.

The downside is that he could face pressure to overturn other promises.

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Blyth eyes second on Hockeyroos caps list

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Madonna Blyth is poised to become the second-most capped player in Hockeyroos’ history heading into next month’s women’s hockey World Cup.


Queenslander Blyth, 28, was named on Wednesday among a relatively young 18-player Australian squad for the World Cup in The Netherlands.

She is set to pass former skipper Rechelle Hawkes – the only player to win three Olympic gold medals – when she plays her 280th game during the build-up in Europe, leaving her behind only retired Nikki Hudson’s record 303 games.

While captain Blyth has experience to burn, coach Adam Commens’ World Cup squad contains only seven players from the last World Cup in 2010 where Australia finished fifth and just nine from the 2012 Olympics.

Teneal Attard, 29, and Blyth are the only squad members who played at the 2006 World Cup in Madrid where the Hockeyroos won silver.

However the Hockeyroos have been on an upswing since the London Olympics winning gold medals at the Oceania Cup and World League semi-final tournaments, and a silver medal at the World League Finals in Argentina last November.

“We’re a team that has shown it can match it with the top sides in the world,” said Commens.

“There’s a misconception that we’ve been together for a long time but we’ve had significant turnover since the Olympic Games.

“There’s a lot of talent in our squad though, we performed well in 2013 and we’re aiming to reach the semi-finals.

“We’re more than capable of reaching that stage and performing well against the top nations. From there, anything can happen.

“The Dutch are the clear number one and they’re in our pool. We’ll get a good indication from that match of where we’re at but I certainly don’t believe we fear anyone in the other side of the draw.”

Hockeyroos’ World Cup squad: Teneal Attard (Qld), Madonna Blyth (Qld), Edwina Bone (ACT), Jane Claxton (SA), Kirstin Dwyer (Qld), Casey Eastham (NSW), Anna Flanagan (ACT), Emily Hurtz (NSW), Kate Jenner (NSW), Jodie Kenny (Qld), Rachael Lynch (Vic), Karri McMahon (SA), Georgia Nanscawen (Vic), Ashleigh Nelson (WA), Georgie Parker (SA), Emily Smith (NSW), Ashlee Wells (Vic), Kellie White (NSW).

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Iraq PM seeks third term

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Iraqis head to the polls on Wednesday amid the worst bloodshed in years as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seeks re-election in the first national vote since US troops withdrew.


Voters have a long list of grievances, ranging from poor public services to rampant corruption and soaring unemployment, but the month-long campaign has centred on Maliki’s bid for a third term and a dramatic deterioration in security in recent months.

More than 20 million voters will choose between upwards of 9,000 candidates running for 328 seats.

The run-up to the election has seen Baghdad and other major cities swamped in posters and bunting.

Parties have staged rallies and would-be lawmakers have angrily debated on television, though appeals to voters have largely been made on sectarian, ethnic or tribal grounds rather than the issues.

Attacks on polling stations and campaign gatherings in recent days have cast a pall over the vote, and spurred fears that much of the electorate could stay home rather than risk being targeted.

In particular, the two days preceding the election saw more than 80 people killed in a spate of shootings and bombings, mostly concentrated in Baghdad and the restive north and west.

But many Iraqis have said they will head to voting centres regardless.

“I will go to vote… to take part in changing the current situation and the current faces after eight years of economic and security failure from a government in a country whose budget reaches tens of billions of dollars,” said architect Ahmed Adel, 40, referring to the successive four-year terms secured by Maliki.

“We must go to the polls, whatever the circumstances. Whoever does not go is wasting his rights, and the rights of others.”

More than 750 people have been killed this month, with unrest at its worst since Iraq emerged from a brutal sectarian conflict that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007.

Militants have controlled the town of Fallujah west of Baghdad — the site of major battles during the insurgency against US-led forces — since the beginning of the year.

Parts of restive Anbar province, where Fallujah is located, will not be voting.

Maliki’s critics have accused him of consolidating power and marginalising minority Sunnis, and say public services have not sufficiently improved during his eight-year rule.

The 63-year-old, who hails from Iraq’s Shiite majority, contends the violence is fuelled by the civil war in neighbouring Syria and accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of backing insurgents.

He has also complained that his national unity government is made up of groups who snipe at him publicly and block his legislative efforts in parliament.

“All those who are for Iraq’s unity, who reject sectarianism and militias, and who do not deal with foreign agents, are our partners,” Maliki said in a televised speech on Monday evening.

One bright spot during his time in power has been a significant expansion of oil production. Iraq exported as much as 2.8 million barrels of oil per day earlier this year, though voters complain that much of the windfall is lost to graft.

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Woolworths scores a tie with Coles

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Woolworths has put five years of underperformance behind it to score a tie with arch rival Coles in its March quarter sales.


Both supermarket giants delivered same-store growth in food and liquor sales of 3.5 per cent for the three months to March 31.

But the Woolworths’ result, unveiled on Wednesday, disappointed investors who had expected it to finally edge out Coles after five years of dragging behind its rival.

Woolworths’ total sales rose 5.3 per cent to $15.2 billion across its divisions as growth from its supermarkets, liquor stores, petrol stations and home improvement business offset a weak performance from Big W.

Morningstar analyst Tim Montague-Jones said both companies had performed well during the quarter, growing both sales and market share.

“Both Coles and Woolies are doing phenomenally well at the moment,” he said.

“I would say they are both level pegged.”

Mr Montague-Jones said Woolworths was recording its strongest growth in the fresh food section, which was coming at the expense of independent butchers and bakers and the like.

“They are very powerful businesses and if you are an independent retailer you don’t have a chance to compete on price.”

But the uplift in sales did not satisfy Woolworths investors.

Its shares dropped 72 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $37.32.

Shares in Coles’ parent company Wesfarmers also continued to fall after the conglomerate failed to meet market expectations on sales growth a day earlier.

Wesfarmers shares closed 30 cents lower at $42.71.

But Woolworths boss Grant O’Brien insisted his company’s result showed the success of it strategy of boosting the performance of its food and liquor division.

“We have spoken consistently about our ambition to improve that business, quarter and quarter, and pleasingly that is evident again in these results,” he told reporters.

Mr O’Brien also said he does not expect consumers to spend less at Woolworths’ businesses following this year’s tough federal budget, which is expected to include spending cuts and tax hikes.

“I don’t see any great surprises and I don’t see any great change in consumer behaviour as a result.”

Big W sales fell 1.1 per cent during the quarter to $926 million, which Woolworths attributed to strong competition, lower prices and efforts to turn around the division.

Sales from the company’s home improvement division were up 29 per cent to $374 million thanks to the continued rollout of Masters stores and strong growth from Home Timber and Hardware.

Woolworths hotels business lifted sales 0.6 per cent to $357 million while sales from the company’s New Zealand supermarkets rose 16 per cent to $1.33 billion after gains in the New Zealand dollar offset weak trading conditions.

AAP ews/bt

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Iraqi PM ‘certain’ of election victory

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Voters have braved the threat of terror attacks to stream to polling centres in Iraq’s first elections since US troops withdrew, with premier Nuri al-Maliki proclaiming “certain” victory as he cast his ballot.


Long queues formed from early morning at tightly-guarded election centres despite a spate of attacks in recent days on polling booths and campaign gatherings.

Iraqis have a long list of grievances, ranging from poor public services to rampant corruption and high unemployment, but the month-long campaign has centred on Maliki’s bid for a third term and a dramatic deterioration in security.

Maliki encouraged voters to turn out in large numbers, and voiced confidence that he would return to power after casting his ballot at a VIP voting centre set up in the Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone.

“Today is a big success, and even better than the last elections, even though there is no foreign soldier on Iraqi soil,” the premier said.

He called for a move away from national unity governments to ones of political majority, and confidently told journalists, “Our victory is certain, but we are waiting to see the size of our victory.”

The run-up to the election, the first since US forces departed in December 2011, has seen Baghdad and other major cities swamped in posters and bunting.

Parties have staged rallies and candidates have angrily debated on television, though appeals to voters have largely been made on sectarian, ethnic or tribal grounds rather than the issues.

A surge of violence in the run-up to the polls, including militant attacks in the past two days which killed 90 people, had spurred fears that much of the electorate could stay home rather than risk being targeted.

But many Iraqis said they were determined to vote, voicing disdain for the current crop of elected officials.

“I hope that there will be a better government,” said Hassan Hashim Abdulbaqi, a 65-year-old elector who cast his ballot in central Baghdad along with his wife.

“In the past we gave our votes to others, but it was for nothing. We came here so that our votes do not go to waste. We are looking for a change towards the better.”

More than 750 people have been killed this month, with unrest at its worst since Iraq emerged from a brutal sectarian conflict that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007.

Militants have controlled the town of Fallujah west of Baghdad – the site of major battles during the insurgency against US-led forces – since the beginning of the year.

Parts of restive Anbar province, where Fallujah is located, will not be voting.

Maliki’s State of Law alliance is tipped to win the most seats in parliament but fall short of a majority.

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Miss Fisher star scares up a new direction

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It’s not when she walks down the street that Gold Logie nominee Essie Davis notices how her much-loved character, Phryne Fisher, has turned her life upside down.


Davis, the star of ABC TV’s global hit Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, says she’s barely recognised in public.

“Occasionally, if I’m in Melbourne at the supermarket, someone might look at me a bit too long and be embarrassed,” she says.

“I don’t know if it’s people’s incredible politeness. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not very glamorously dressed most of the time.”

Life has changed in other ways for Davis since Miss Fisher first hit Australian television screens in 2012.

With a string of impressive film and TV credits, the Tasmanian-born actor has always been busy – just not this busy.

Most recently, Davis has been in Paris promoting the French release of the series.

“(Phryne Fisher) has changed my life quite a lot but in ways that I can’t really describe, mostly to do with motherhood, I guess,” Davis tells AAP.

“Sometimes she’s the bane of my existence and sometimes she’s just a great, wonderful place to escape to.

“I can’t really answer that except to say people around the world love her.”

With discussions under way about a third series of the 1920s crime show, there could be no let-up for the 43-year-old.

Davis, who is based in London, has two projects that will hit screens in May, both far removed from the light touch of Miss Fisher.

She’ll return home to Hobart this week for the Australian premiere of new film The Babadook, which is garnering festival awards and rave reviews for first-time feature writer-director Jennifer Kent.

In May, Davis’s portrayal of Caitlin Thomas will air on the BBC in a teledrama made to commemorate the centenary of the birth of troubled Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas.

The Babadook is the spooky story of a mother dealing with the death of her husband, who was killed on the day their son is born.

The boy, now six and played by newcomer Noah Wiseman, is terrified by a storybook monster that may or may not be real.

Davis and Kent were at NIDA together in the 1990s, and it was this that first attracted the actor to the project.

“(Kent) asked me to read it and I read it and went, ‘Holy shit, man, what is this?’,” Davis jokes.

But she also wanted to be part of a project she says is like no other Australian film.

“It feels much more European,” she says.

“It’s got a very beautifully designed pallette, which is quite unusual.

“It’s had phenomenal reviews. I think it will be a classic.”

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance festival in January. The audience reaction ranged from screams to tears, but all in a positive way.

“It’s about sleep deprivation and about repressed grief and being a parent, maybe about mental illness,” Davis says.

“It’s also ‘There’s a monster in the cupboard wanting to get out’.”

* The Babadook has its Australian premiere at Hobart’s State Cinema on May 1. It opens nationally on May 22.

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NZX 50 Index jumps to new high

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The NZX 50 Index has climbed to a record high as a new US partner for Xero attracted investors back to the sold-off stock.


The benchmark index rose 84.385 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 5232.676 points on Wednesday.

Within the index, 38 stocks rose, five fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $279 million.

Xero, the cloud-based accounting software company chasing growth, secured a partnership with H&R Block in the US and slowed cash burn for the first three months of this year luring back investors.

The company was caught in a global tech sell-off, sliding 20 per cent over the past month, as investors questioned the valuations of high-growth companies. The shares rose 5.5 per cent to $31.65.

“Probably slightly better than we were expecting in terms of cash burn, down $2.5 million from the previous quarter, but I think it’s more to do with the strategic partner H&R Block,” said David Price, a Forsyth Barr broker.

“It’s a matter of seeing whether they can convert these alliances into dollars.”

State-controlled energy company Meridian rose 2.5 per cent to $1.23, while fellow government-controlled Mighty River Power climbed 1.5 per cent to $2.325, an eight-and-a-half month high.

Contact Energy advanced 1.4 per cent to $5.69 and Auckland lines company Vector increased two per cent to $2.56.

Outside the benchmark index Genesis Energy rose for the fourth consecutive day up 0.5 per cent to $1.90.

“You’ve seen a lot of electricity generators have a pretty strong rally as of late, and that is a refocus on the yield that they do offer,” said Mr Price.

“People are looking at what the comparative out there is for them and they do look relatively attractive.”

Telecom advanced 1.8 per cent to $2.77, Auckland International Airport climbed 2.1 per cent to $3.97 and Air New Zealand rose 1.2 per cent to $2.10.

OceanaGold soared 11 per cent to $2.93 after reporting a 730 per cent boost in first quarter earnings as its Philippines’ operation came online.

Diligent Board Member Services rose 5.3 per cent to $4.54 after the governance app maker completed its 2013 annual report having restated financials for the last three years due to an accounting error.

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