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Commercial drones are for more than just speeding up insurance claims. Photo: SuppliedFollowing final approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Ninox Robotics is one of the companies who will begin commercial operations this month, deploying unmanned aerial systems for customised services to government, NGOs and private sector clients.

With the ability to detect animals, monitor plants or land areas, create detailed maps, improve fire management and search and rescue operations and provide surveillance, commercial drones are for more than just speeding up insurance claims.

Biosecurity Queensland leads the Queensland Government’s efforts to prevent and manage pest and disease threats, and is using UAS to test new capabilities for surveying and monitoring pest populations throughout the state.

LogiCamms, an engineering and consulting services company for minerals, metals, hydrocarbons and infrastructure industries, will rely on UAS for monitoring existing linear assets, as well as mapping remote assets and proposed infrastructure.

Ninox Robotics is also utilising its drones in partnership with Southern Downs Regional Council to monitor pest animal populations in the Southern Downs region of Queensland, along the state’s border with New South Wales.

Craig Magnussen, Pest Management Officer with Southern Downs Regional Council, said the Council is looking to put the technology to use in the pest animal control field, to accurately gauge populations and improve current practices.

“We are excited by the opportunities the technology presents, particularly in detecting animals over vast areas of inaccessible terrain and making traditional broad scale pest animal control methods such as aerial baiting and shooting more efficient,” Mr Magnussen said.

“Having witnessed some of Ninox Robotics’ early trial work, the Council and its partners in this project, Goondiwindi Regional Council and Granite Borders Landcare Committee are very pleased to be a part of the first commercial application of the technology,” he added.

All projects of these will be led by Ninox Robotic’ Chief Pilot Colin Smith — a former Major in the Australian Defence Force.

“Our team has completed a rigorous training process and we are thrilled to start putting this highly-advanced technology to work for businesses and government organisations across the country,” said Smith.

Marcus Ehrlich, Managing Director of Ninox Robotics says the initial three projects will offer a glimpse of the versatility and unique capabilities of the UAS in enabling more informed decisions, pre-emptive issue management and improved response, security and safety.

“The amount of interest we’ve received so far across different industries and levels of government signals that Australian businesses and landholders are eager to see how these drones can make a difference,” added Ehrlich.

Explore the smart design, breakthrough science and awe-inspiring tech shaping your future at .

Inner West Council Administrator Richard Pearson was heckled at his council’s first public meeting. Photo: Christopher Pearce Cartoonist Nicola Minus who spat Richard Pearson, the administrator of the Inner West Council Photo: Channel Seven

Paul Toole says administrators will be in charge of councils until next September. Photo: Daniel Munoz

First meeting shut down amid chaosBaird government under pressure to bring forward electionsProtester escapes conviction

The administrator appointed to run an enlarged Inner West Council says he would have no problem with council elections taking place early next year instead of September.

Local Government Minister Paul Toole has declared administrators are to remain in charge of newly formed councils until September 2017, when elections will take place.

The length of time until elections are to run for new councils has received criticism, including from adjunct professor Graham Sansom from the University of Technology, Sydney, for undermining local democracy.

Mr Toole has said that the Electoral Commission told the government it would be impossible to hold elections for new councils in September 2016.

“The Commission also indicated that it was their preference that elections for new councils be held in September 2017 to allow them to be ready,” Mr Toole said in a statement.

“Further, the time allows administrators to successfully integrate the council organisations in time for the election of councillors to new councils.”

Mr Richard Pearson, whose first public meeting as an administrator was closed by protests, said it would cause him “no great concern” if elections were held in March 2017, not September.

“I think a lot of the work that needed to be done in relation to getting this council up and running can be done over the next seven or eight months, but ultimately that’s not my decision, that’s a decision of government,” Mr Pearson told community radio station, Radio Skid Row.

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission has said it “conducts elections as required by the government within certain logistical and administrative constraints”.

“The boundary review process is ongoing,” the spokesman said. “We will not speculate how long this process might take.”

The government has merged 42 councils into 19 new ones, though eight merger proposals remain pending. The City of Botany Bay said last week it would appeal against a court decision, which has so far prevented its merger with Rockdale City Council.

Police bullets used to end the Lindt cafe siege were less likely to “over-penetrate” and hit hostages, an inquest has heard. Photo: Andrew Meares Tactical police stormed the Lindt cafe in the early hours of the morning. Photo: Supplied

Barrister Katrina Dawson and cafe manger Tori Johnson were killed during the siege. Photo: Supplied

Top negotiator worked other jobs during siege​Man Monis shot at six hostages as they fled​Tori Johnson’s triple zero call

The tactical commander during the Sydney siege has told an inquest that ending the Lindt Cafe stand-off through direct action would have been less risky.

The chief inspector and Tactical Operations Unit member who also serves as an Australian special forces soldier has told the inquest into the siege that the emergency action plan, triggered after Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson was killed, should have been the last resort.

The inquest into the December 2014 siege has previously heard details of a discussion between NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Assistant Commissioner Mark Jenkins during which it was decided that deliberate or direct action, in which officers would storm the cafe, was to be the last resort, avoiding forcing an end to the siege.

Details of the telephone conversation between Mr Scipione and Mr Jenkins, at about 10.57pm on the night of the siege, were recorded in a police log.

Mr Jenkins was the most senior commander in charge of the police operation at the time of the telephone conversation.

But in a statement tendered to the inquest on Monday, the tactical commander, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said an emergency action plan should in fact be the “last resort”.

Pressed on Monday by counsel assisting the coroner, Jeremy Gormly, the officer agreed that an emergency action, which comes into force when there is imminent risk of death or serious injury is “inherently more risky” than a deliberate action.

The direct action plan would have been a proactive step to force entry at a time of the police’s own choosing.

“In any action that we take there is an element of risk. However, a deliberate action would be a preferred option and potentially I might judge that when I weigh up my risk as being less risky,” the tactical commander said.

Earlier on Monday, the head of NSW police armoury, Chief Inspector Richard Steinborn, defended the type of bullets police used to end the siege.

Barrister Katrina Dawson died after she was hit by fragments of police bullets.

Chief Inspector Steinborn said the type of ammunition the tactical operations unit used was more likely to fragment than “bonded” bullets.

But he said officers needed to guard against “over-penetration” in which bullets travel through a target’s body and endanger others.

The .223 Winchester rounds used in the unit’s M4 assault rifles are designed to penetrate a human torso between 12 and 18 inches (30 and 45 centimetres), the inquest heard.

This would generally be deep enough to incapacitate the target without leaving their body, Chief Inspector Steinborn said.

While the NSW Police must use approved non-bonded ammunition, the Australian Federal Police have the choice to use two bonded types to penetrate better through barriers.

Chief Inspector Steinborn said these bullets were more likely to remain intact after hitting a hard surface. But he warned that created other dangers in close-quarter combat such as that seen in the siege.

“You would then have a solid projectile travelling, presenting a ricochet risk within the stronghold because there’s nothing to hold it up and expend its energy,” he said.

Testing on bonded rounds since the siege showed they penetrated up to 22.5 inches, more than four inches beyond the acceptable standard, he said.

The inquest continues.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a press conference in Sydney on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares Malcolm Turnbull takes a break during the press conference. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Election 2016: news, analysis and videoMalcolm Turnbull and Tony Jones in Q&A stoush

He can’t say he wasn’t warned. Criss-crossing the country for an eight week election campaign in winter was always going to bring risks.

Now Malcolm Turnbull – sometimes unkindly accused of living in a different world to the ordinary man – has succumbed to that most common of ailments: the flu.

The Prime Minister first showed signs of being crook on Saturday, when reporters noted a distinct croakiness in his voice. He probably should have been rugged up in bed with chicken soup and a wheat bag that night.

Instead, he had to soldier on and host the Prime Minister’s Olympic Dinner in Melbourne for Australian athletes headed off to Rio. Taking a sick day simply isn’t an option when you are running the country and an election is hanging in the balance.

On Sunday Turnbull appeared worse and inquired at his press conference whether anyone had any good flu remedies.

A day later he still had a spluttering cough, looked flat and sounded as hoarse as Janis Joplin. But he insisted to those who asked: “I sound worse than I feel.”

The timing could hardly have been worse for the PM: his sickness has coincided with a standalone appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program, a gruelling experience at the best of times.

One can only hope the prime ministerial medico has some appropriately innovative remedies to get him through these last two, crucial weeks of the campaign. 

BEST OF THE BEST: LeBron James and his Cleveland teammates after clinching their NBA championships. Picture: Getty ImagesMatthew Dellavedova didn’t play a second in the NBA title game, but as he stood in the victorious Cleveland Cavaliers’ locker room saturated by champagne he did not care at all.

The point guard from the small Victorian city of Maryborough knew he would always be known as an NBA champion.

Dropped from his regular point guard back-up role for the decider, Dellavedova pointed to the Cavaliers’ team ethic as a big factor after their historic 93-89 away victory in game seven of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

Just like the Cavaliers, who became the first team in NBA history to come back from a 1-3 series deficit in the finals to take the franchise’s first title, Dellavedova’s basketball career has been against the odds.

“To come all the way from Australia, then college at St Mary’s and to go undrafted before joining the Cavaliers, it has been an amazing journey,” Dellavedova said.

“Then now be to NBA champions, it’s just a dream come true.”

It was another Australian-born Cavaliers’ point guard, Kyrie Irving, who hit the game winner.

Playing in front of a lion’s den of 19,596 fans inside the Warriors’ Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, Irving stepped up and sank a three-pointer to unlock an 89-89 stalemate with 53 seconds left.

“I was just hoping it goes in,” said Irving.

Before the shot both teams had failed to score for almost three tense minutes.

Inspirational Cavaliersleader LeBron James sealed the game with two free throws after he was fouled heavily by Warriors power forward Draymond Green with 10.6 seconds left.

The Warriors, despite boasting two of the NBA’s best shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, did not score in the final four minutes.

The Warriors had just 13 points in the final quarter.

The Cavaliers also appeared to freeze until Irving’s three-pointer.

They scored just 18 points in the last quarter.

Irving finished with 26 points while James had 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds and was the unanimous selection for NBA finals MVP.

James also finally achieved his ultimate goal of not only delivering Cleveland its first NBA title, but the city its first major sporting championship in 52 years.

James, drafted by the Cavaliers in 2003, fled to the Miami Heat in 2010 and won two titles there, but in 2014 returned to Cleveland, a city just 50km away from Akron, where he was born and raised.

“Just knowing what our city has been through, northeast Ohio has been through, as far as our sports and everything for the last 50-plus years,” James said.

“… For us to be able to end this, end this drought, our fans deserve it.”

Dellavedova had been Irving’s back-up during the regular season and until game six of the finals, but Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue opted to use veteran Mo Williams.

Australia’s other representative in the finals, Warriors’ centre Andrew Bogut, also did not play in the finale after suffering a season-ending knee injury in game five.

Green was the Warriors’ best with 32 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

Curry had a disappointing 17 points on 6-19 shooting, including just 4-14 three-pointers while Thompson had 14 points on 6-17, and 2-10 on three-pointers.

It was a disappointing end to the Warriors’ year after claiming an NBA record 73 regular season wins that trumped Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls’ 1995-96 72-win season.

Dellavedova, who was joined in the Cavaliers’ locker room by his parents Mark and Leanne, girlfriend Anna Schroeder and other family members and friends, said he would take a few days off before heading to Australia to join his Boomers teammates ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Plenty more champagne will be shared, and spilt, before then, he said.

“It tastes sweet, very sweet,” said Dellavedova, who, along with his Cavaliers team-mates wore ski goggles to protect their eyes from the champagne spray.

The man known as Delly said it tasted so sweet he wasn’t planning on having a shower.

“I might leave it on for a couple of days,” he laughed.

A Current Affair reporter Caroline Marcus talks about her visit with host Tracy Grimshaw. Photo: Nine Nauru Justice Minister David Adeang. Photo: Nine

A screenshot of mould inside a tent for male asylum seekers. Photo: Nine

A woman inside one of the better accommodation options on the island. Photo: Nine

Election 2016: news, analysis and videoAnalysis: Hopelessness of life on Nauru painfully clearMalcolm Turnbull accuses Tony Jones of being ‘a very good spokesman’ for Labor

Nauru has “much lower” rates of sexual assaults, murder and rape than Australia and many refugee assault claims are false or exaggerated, the island nation’s Justice Minister David Adeang has claimed in a tabloid television exclusive.

In an episode of Channel Nine’s A Current Affair on Monday night, which had been promoted as one that would “stun Australia”, Mr Adeang said refugees were “certainly living better” than Nauruans.

They lived in new houses, did not have to pay for rent or electricity and “there is not much to complain about”, he told reporter Caroline Marcus.

Refugee advocates had earlier questioned how the program’s reporter and crew were granted access to Nauru, where foreign media are rarely allowed, and warned they would have been shown a sanitised version of the island and its contentious Australian-funded detention camp.

Marcus told host Tracey Grimshaw that the Australian government played no role in the program gaining access to Nauru, and that Immigration MInister Peter Dutton’s office had called Nauruan authorities “asking a lot of questions” when learning of the visit.

“The Australian government had no idea we were planning this visit, or had embarked on the visit. In fact it was a few hours into our first day on Nauru . . . when Peter Dutton’s office actually called the Nauruan government’s office to find out what a media crew was doing on the island, [asking] ‘Who were they?’,” Marcus said.

“We certainly gave no undertakings [about favourable coverage] whatsoever, we went in there from the start saying . . . we had to have access to all the detention centres and be able to see everything.”

Refugees told the program of their despair at being kept at Nauru for years, and many claimed the policies of the Australian government meant they no longer wished to live in this country.

“Three years ago, I liked [Australia]. But now, never,” said one man, adding: “My kids don’t like [to live in Australia].”

Refugees and asylum seekers, particularly women, have frequently reported being the victim of harassment, assaults, rapes and other crimes – both inside the detention centre and outside in the community.

One young woman declined to share her experience of assault on camera, but told ACA of reluctantly getting married on the island just to feel “safe”.

A young man told of being sworn at and robbed, saying he did not like leaving his home after 7pm “because I am not feeling secure”. Others complained that Nauru police failed to follow up their complaints.

However, Mr Adeang said such claims were inflated or untrue.

“Rates of murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, rape, all those statistics, are much lower than you in Australia, I am sorry to say,” he said.

“[Refugees] have an accident, and they claim that a couple of boys beat them up. That hurts us. They have relationships, somebody gets pregnant, and they claim it was born out of sexual assault and rapes.”

He claimed such allegations were “political” and an attempt to cast aspersions of the Australian government’s offshore detention policies.

The program depicted new refugee housing containing air-conditioning, microwaves and televisions. It also showed single male asylum seekers still housed inside the detention centre in cramped conditions and mouldy tents.

Young girls complained of being harassed at local Nauruan schools.

“It’s bad. They throw our lunch; they spit in our lunch; they fight us; pull our hair,” said one.

Another reported being told: “Go back to your country; you don’t belong here.”

There are fears that refugee and asylum seeker children are missing out on an education because many refuse to attend Nauruan schools.

However, Nauru President Baron Waqa said: “There is always excuses”.

“If it’s good for the Nauruans, I think its good for our refugee friends and asylum seekers. We try our best to make it very comfortable for them but it’s their own choice … not to send their kids to school,” he said.

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A 16-year-old boy who was hit by a car in Lambton on Saturday has died in hospital. POLICE have pleaded with pedestrians and motorists to take care after a tragic three days on Hunter roads.

On Monday night, policeconfirmed that a 16-year-old boy who was struck by a car while crossing theroad in Lambton had died in John Hunter Hospital.

The teenager suffered critical head injuries when he was hit at the intersection of Griffith Road and Acacia Avenue in the early hours of Saturday morning.

He becamethe third death on Hunter roads in as many days.

A 25-year-old Merewether man was also killed on Sunday night after his car hit a tree on the Bucketts Waynear Stroud.

Those two tragediescameas the community was still in shock following the death of three-year-old Fletcher Hergenhan, who was hit by a truck at Arcadia Vale on Friday.

No charges have been laid over any of theincidents.

Police saidsafety on the roadrequired all users to “be on the same page”.

The Northern Region Traffic Tactician, Acting Inspector Steve Rudd, said police were concerned that the road safety message was not being heard.

“We need to keep reminding people that the road is there for everybody to share,” he said.

“And when you use the road you need to be fully aware of your responsibilities.

“You need to drive to the conditions, you need to be aware of your speed and you need to be free of distractions.

“The message is the same as it’s always been.”

Acting Inspector Rudd said road safety went both ways –and that pedestrians needed to respect vehicles just as much as motorists should show respect to those outside the car.

“At the end of the day, if a pedestrian comes into contact with a car, the pedestrian is going to come off second-best,” he said.

TheNewcastle Heraldreported on Monday that the death of three-year-old Fletcher Hergenhan hadsent shockwaves through the Lake Macquariecommunity, which has mourned the loss of four pedestrian lives this year alone.

Police are pushing a “be seen to be seen” safety message for pedestrians, which includes the use of high-visibility clothing at night and crossing in designated areas.

According to the latest data, there have been 170 fatalities on NSW roads to May this year.

It compares with 136 last year.

JAZMIN Brown is bound for greatness. Her achievements up to last week, which were many, were matched only by her ever-greater ambition to make her mark in the world.

Jazmin was one of 12 IPROWD cadets who graduated from Tamworth TAFE on Thursday, June 16, with ambitions to join the NSW police force.

With credentials in hand and the buzz of graduation celebrations humming around the campus, she said donning the police blues was always her career goal.

“I got into IPROWD because I wanted to make a difference in the community of Moree,” Jazmin said on Thursday.

“I have always wanted to be a police officer since I was little.”

Since joining IPROWD–Indigenous Police Recruiting Our Way–Jazmin’s ambitions have only grown.

“My long-term goal, (you’re) looking at the new NSW commissioner,” she laughed.

“That’s going to be me in a couple of years. You have to have goals, and I want to make my mark in the world.

“I definitely want to tackle becoming a police officer. I did want to go to university. I got accepted to university to do a bachelor of criminology, but being a police officer is definitely something I want to do. I want to go into the detective side of it and also do my bachelor someday.”

The young soon-to-be police cadet said her family, her mum and younger siblings, are the reason she is determined to succeed.

“I was raised by a single mum, and she had me fairly young. She gave her life up for me when she was 17 years old, and I have two younger siblings,” she said.

TAFE Western Peter Gibbs said the program was about helping the indigenous community take advantage of opportunities.

“What IPROWD really means for our people is that it is Aboriginal people and police working together,” he said on Thursday.

“And this is an opportunity for our young people to become police officers. It is also about opening up their eyes to opportunities in the future.

“There are so many opportunities for our people in the country right now, and we want them to see it. Once they can see these opportunities and take them with both hands, we will see the future change of our communities. They need real role models and IPROWD students are certainly that.”

The IPROWD program was established in 2008 but launched as a pilot after the death of Mr Gibbs’ sister in 1997. Since then, the program has seen 80 graduates join the state’s police ranks and more than 250 have joined other agencies, and more than 50 have gone on to further studies.

“No matter where you come from–if you come from Mungindi of Tingha–this opportunity is for you as well,” Mr Gibbs said.

Jazmin is bound for Dubbo, and Charles Sturt University, to complete the next stage of her training before joining the ranks of NSW police.

And, though she has stacked her ambitions high, she said her next challenge is to conquer the beep test.

“I have passed in all my physical testing, except for the beep test, which I will try to conquer in my time off,” she laughed.

“But no, there is a weight on my shoulder, but I know that it (sets) a right way for my brother and sister and that means more to me than anything else.”

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A beacon clock proposed for Wynyard foreshore wasdescribed as the “sacrificial lamb” of the foreshore master plan and removed from the design atMonday night’s Waratah-Wynyard Council meeting.

Council received 206 submissions on the clock, of which the majority were against the construction, a white tower structure with a shelter inbuilt atthe rear intended to link the town and wharf precinct.

“With 206 representations the clock seems to be the sacrificial lamb,” Cr Darren Fairbrother said.

Council’s report said a “number” of the 300 plus submissions were positive about the foreshore rebirth “with the vast majority of these being minus the clock.”

The report said theproposal to install a clockat the entrance of Richard Gutteridge Gardens on the corner of Goldie and Hogg Streets was resisted by most people who provided feedback.

A large number of submissions suggested the landmark would be better placed at Civic Square, a view also held by Deputy MayorMary Duniam.

Cr Duniam said earlier this year that an April community forum on the plan had been largely “anti-clock”.

Council also received 16 submissions suggesting funding would be betterput into the eastern foreshore or other areasand that the plantswere a “waste of money”.

Other changes to the foreshore plan include redesigning the playground in Gutteridge Gardens for all abilities and aright turn lane from Goldie Street into the Yacht Club precinct.

Council will also further investigateCamp Creek flowrates and the creek behavior under flood conditions.

A steering committee will be establishedto assist the council infinalising the foreshore precinct design.

The clock proposed as part of the Wynyard foreshore master plan.

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Letters to the Editor

True Champion Champion: Kate Young says Neale Daniher’s efforts to fight the seemingly unstoppable motor neurone disease are truly admirable. Picture: Getty Images

Many people in our community have opened their wallets to beat the seemingly unbeatable. Thanks to one unassuming modest, terminally ill man.

Footy great Neale Daniher’s efforts in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to put the freeze on motor neurone disease has brought people together in unity regardless of their football allegiance.

Truly a champion.

Kate Young, Stanley

Attack unwarrantedFor many years it has been the practice of forest industry opponents to personally attack and demonise individuals in positions of responsibility and the organisations they are part of, with the express intent of diminishing anything they say or do in the public mind.

That is a common tactic of the green movement in general.

The latest manifestation of this nasty tactic is the personal attack, both covert and overt, on Dr Peter Volker who is the new CEO of the Forest Practices Authority. In particular I refer to the letter to the Editor “Forest Independence” by Mr Lawatsch on June 6.

Why the personal attack? Simply because Dr Volker worked for me in my capacity as a Liberal Member of Parliament.

I asked Dr Volker to join my office as an advisor because of his impeccable qualifications in forestry. With four degrees including a doctorate and five years as the National President of the Institute of Foresters Australia, Dr Volker obviously enjoyed the confidence of forest scientists nationally.

Having had the opportunity to observe his work at an international level, I know that confidence extended even further.

I was therefore delighted to have someone with such skills and knowledge as my advisor to ensure that I was in a position to enunciate high quality science based policy on behalf of the Coalition government, rather than the hocus pocus approach of industry opponents.

The attacks on Dr Volker now can only be described as structured and organised bullying. This is sadly typical of the nasty politics of the anti-forestry brigade.

Senator Richard Colbeck

Super warningOur PM states “Only 6% are adversely affected by recent budget changes to superannuation” – clearly an untruth.

Those under 60 and aspiring to reduce working hours whilst accessing a Transition to Retirement income stream take note – a proposed 15% tax is to be applied to your income stream fund earnings postJuly 12017. When added to the 15% already applied to your income stream this tax effective strategy, designed to increase your chance at an independent retirement, becomes a marginal proposition for those with lower incomes.This will impact heavily on those ‘average wage earners’ that are preparing for a self funded retired future viaTransition to Retirement.

The opposition, in contrast, promote a 15% tax only on income stream fund returns above $75,000 pa, my goodness how the political landscape is changing.

Ian Fawkner, Spreyton

Senate questionsSenator Lambie, Senator for Tasmania and NOT Senator for Australia.Can you name one single achievement that you haveenacted for the benefit of Tasmania?

It is a pity that you are unable to include the approval of the Port of Burnie (your home town) to be upgraded to meet requirements needed for it be a regular exit of Tasmanian products, expertise etc. to the world.

You have promoted the re-introduction of National Service as an aid to offer positive results for many of our young citizens. Can you offer how this can be rolled out?I note you have low esteem for the armed services, as in Kitchen Cabinet last week (26/05).

I eagerly await your reply.

David Moore, Somerset

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