NRLNewcastle Knights expected to agree to top-up Nathan Ross’ $350,000 a season contract as English clubs circle

The odds of fan favourite Nathan Ross leaving the NewcastleKnights to continue his playing career in England next season appear to be shortening with at least threeSuper League clubs saidto be keen to sign him.

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But there are suggestionsthe Knights maybe forced to significantly top-up his $350,000-a-season deal that still has two years to run if an agreement is to be reached.

Ross re-signed with the Knights on an upgraded deal until the end of 2020 only mid-way throughlast year. But an injury-plagued 2018 has clouded his future at the club with his management told he is free to explore other options elsewhere.

That is a sure sign he is no longer wanted.

The Newcastle Herald has been told Huddersfield, Catalans and Warrington have all expressed interest in picking up Ross.

Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford, who spent a couple of seasons coaching at the Knights, has spoken personally to the flamboyant winger about the possibility of making the move to the Super League.

But Ross, who had successful surgery at the end of the season to re-attach a ruptured pelvic ligament that plagued him for much of the year, has made it clear to his management that he and his family don’t want to be financially disadvantaged if he is forced to leavethe Knights.

Knights recruitment officer Troy Pezet is believed to have met with Ross’ management over the weekend to discuss his future but could not shed any further light on just where the negotiations are at.

“There is nothing new to tell. Negotiations are on-going,” Pezet said.

Washed up?: Unwanted Knights winger Nathan Ross is in the sights of three English Super League clubs. Picture: Marina Neil.

Only last month, Ross, who is back running again and hopingto start pre-season training on November 5 with the rest of the Knights squad, admitted he feels like he is in limbo.

“Once I’m fully fit, I’m confident I can get backto playing some really good footy again,” he said.

“But I’m not 100 per cent sure on where that will be.

“I love the club but if I’m honest, at this point in time, I don’t know what my future holds.

“I certainly don’t want to be moving anywhere else but in the end, it may not be my choice.”

With around $2.2 million still left in their salary cap for next season, the Knights can certainly afford to pay some of the freight for Ross’ departure if he can do a deal elsewhere.

How much will be the key. Andwith winger Ken Sio highly unlikely to be re-signedand the club taking an offer for young centre Cory Denniss off the table, there are those who will question the wisdom of also parting company withthe versatile Ross, particularly if it becomes a costly exercise.

READ MORE: Newcastle KnightsMeanwhile. Knights utility forward Luke Yates is still without a club for next season with his management tryingto securea deal in England, so far without success.

Knights coach Nathan Brown is believed to have played a role in trying to helpYates secure aSuper League contract.

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Palmer gives fugitive nephew new job

Clive Palmer had handed his fugitive nephew a new job as the Europen chief of his Titanic II project, despite two warrants out for his arrest.

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Mr Palmer says Clive Mensink will live in London when he begins his new job as European director of his Titanic II replica cruise ship project.

Mr Mensink is subject to two arrest warrants after he failed to abort his open-ended travels and return to Australia to face questions about the collapse of Mr Palmer’s Queensland Nickel business.

But Mr Palmer still believes in his nephew’s business credentials, saying Mr Mensink was “excited” when the pair met recently in Bulgaria.

He said Mr Mensink did a great job as managing director of Queensland Nickel, which collapsed in 2016 owing creditors millions, and costing 800 Townsville refinery workers their jobs.

“Mr Mensink is the perfect candidate to deliver a world class experience with Titanic II,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mr Mensink’s whereabouts have been fluid since he left Australia after the nickel company folded.

But it’s known he has spent time on various luxury cruise ships, and in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, refusing calls to come home, resulting in the arrest warrants.

On Tuesday, Mr Palmer said his nephew hadn’t returned because liquidators would not cover his travel expenses.

“He has always been available for any actions required by the liquidators. They have always known where he is,” Mr Palmer said on Tuesday.

Mr Palmer has been coy in the past about his nephew’s whereabouts.

At times he said he couldn’t provide a location as they’d been out of touch with each other, despite Palmer companies continuing to pay Mr Mensink about $4000 a week.

On one occasion, in September 2016, Mr Palmer told the Federal Court his nephew was probably on a cruise ship “up towards the Arctic”.

“Well he might be in the Arctic. He could be in the North Sea,” he said at the time.

In February 2017, Mr Mensink filed an affidavit saying he couldn’t return because he didn’t want to let his new girlfriend down, and because of fears he could have a heart attack.

He said the Queensland Nickel collapse had left him depressed, stressed and anxious, and cited advice from the Boston Medical Center in the US that he was unfit to face questions.

Mr Palmer did not say when Mr Mensink would start work at the London offices of his Blue Star Line.

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Australians on the Western Front: Guns finally fall silent

ANTICIPATION: Miss Myra Harvey (centre) waits in at the Anzac Buffet in Sydney’s Hyde Park to welcome home the soldier she would soon marry. Picture: AWM H11576 In the early hours of November 4, 1918, Corporal Albert Davey was lying under drizzling rain in a shallow trench in northern France, convinced that he was soon to die.

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Davey, a miner from Ballarat, was in a group of Australians waiting to construct a bridge for British tanks to cross the Sambre-Oise Canal.

He had pressured his commanding officer Captain Oliver Woodward the previous day to take care of his belongings and send them to his wife Margaret if he was killed in the battle ahead.

Before dawn broke, Davey was hit by a German bomb, becoming one of the last three Australians to die on a First World War battlefield along with fellow sappers Arthur Johnson and Charles Barrett, both from WA.

On the same day, two ‘aces’ of the Australian Flying Corps were among pilots shot down by German aircraft while escorting British bombers over Belgium.

Adelaide-born Captain Thomas ‘Rich’ Baker, credited with 12 combat victories, was killed along with Lieutenant Jack Palliser, of Ulverstone (Tas), whobrought down five German aircraft in the preceding seven days.

When the guns fell silent at 11am on November 11, 1918, Australia had been at war for four years and three months; they had been fighting battles on the Western Front for almost 850 days.

A generation of young men was shattered. No community and few Australian families remained untouched by the war.

From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 Australians enlisted for King and Country and 330,000 served overseas. The cost of victory included more than 60,000 dead, 152,000 wounded or gassed and 4000 taken prisoner.

Another 60,000 soldiers died of war-related causes in the decade to follow.

Photographs show triumphant scenes of euphoric Australians gathered in capital cities to celebrate the Armistice.

But for soldiers such as the much-decorated Captain Oliver Woodward of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, the feeling was more sobering.

The mining engineer wrote of November 11: “The outward manifestation of joy which could be expected on such a memorable occasion was absent.

“We were as men who had completed a task which was abhorrent to us. The occasion called for thanksgiving. It was … too great for words.”

For Geelong-born nurse Elsie Tranter, November 11 was another heartbreaking day caring for deliriously ill soldiers in an army hospital.

Sister Tranter wrote in her diary that “France went almost mad with joy … singing and dancing in the streets … everyone kissing everyone they met.”

But inside the hospital, a fair-haired soldier nicknamed ‘Sunny Jim’ was dying. “This poor little lad finished his battle towards evening. He was barely 18 years old and we were all so fond of him.”

According to historian Peter Burness, writing in Wartime, about 20 Australians died of illness and wounds in hospitals on the day the war ended.

INSPECTION: Australia’s official war correspondent Charles Bean (left) escorting Prime Minister Billy Hughes at Mont St Quentin on September 15, 1918. Picture: AWM E03292

For soldiers such as Bendigo carpenter Lieutenant George Ingram, who’d lost family members and so many battalion comrades, the end of hostilities must have been bittersweet.

Ingram was the last of 64 Australiansawarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War, for leading attacks at Montbrehain on October 5, 1918. His brothers Ronald and Alex were both killed on the Western Front in 1917.

Australian Corps Commander Sir John Monash said the Australian troops had advanced almost 60kms, captured almost 30,000 prisoners and liberated 116 villages and towns in the last months of the war. They also suffered almost 35,000 casualties.

The toll of war had left battalions at a quarter of their original size or less. Troop numbers were further reduced when Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes insisted that surviving veterans from 1914 immediately return to Australia on leave in September 1918.

Australian war correspondent Charles Bean drove from Lille to Fromelles on Armistice Day findingthe battlefield “simply full of our dead … the skulls and bones and torn uniforms were lying about everywhere.”

The Australians had suffered dreadful casualties in the trench warfare of Fromelles, Pozières, Mouquet Farm and Bullecourt. After success at Messines, the four-month campaign at Passchendaele in 1917 cost another 38,000 casualties.

Finally, after Germany’s Spring Offensive in 1918, the Australians enjoyed victories at Villers-Bretonneux, Hamel, Amiens, Mont St Quentin and through the Hindenberg Line.

Australia’s volunteer army had faced the power of modern artillery and machine-guns; they’d tasted the horrors of poison gas; they’d endured the inside of German prison camps. In 1918 they were hit by the deadly Spanish Flu.

The dead were buried in scores of cemeteries from Flanders to the Somme.

The remains of an Unknown Soldier who died on the Western Frontwere exhumed and interred in the Australian War Memorial on November 11, 1993. His tomb reads’He is all of them and he is one of us. ‘

The Road to Remembrance is published by Fairfax Media in partnership with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

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Dubbo looks stunning as businesses prepare for visit from Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Dubbo looks stunning as businesses prepare for visit from Prince Harry and Meghan Royal ready: Owners of Harry’s for Menswear Peter and Wendy Sutton are among many businesses to celebrate the upcoming royal visit. Photo: Belinda Soole

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12345678910111213 – Across the city businesses have decked-out their shopfronts with lifelike cut-outs, bunting, crowns, jewels and signs to show their excitement for Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit to Dubbo on Wednesday.

DubboRegional Council encouraged local business owners to show their royal excitement by announcingtwo prizes of $1000 for the best window display.

Harry’s for Menswear ownerPeter Sutton said choosing his grandfather’s name for his business had been relevant with Prince Harry’s profilethis year.

Read more royal stories here.

“He seems to berelaxed andcontemporary. He’s doing the name fairly proudly,” Mr Sutton said.

Harry’s for Menswear first celebrated their namesake when they put out a banner of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May.

“Everyone was talking about iton social media, there was a lot of press about it,” he said.

“Low and behold an incident happened where a car went through our window and the media were on our doorstep and there was Harry and Meghan sitting in our window covering this drive throughit got some attention.”

Mr Sutton said they went all-out for the upcoming visit keeping up with their reputation for window displays.

“We like to get behind these special events, so when Harry and Meghan got married I thought we better put something up,” Mr Sutton said.

“When the announcement was made Iwas pretty chuffed, that’s a pretty good thing for Dubbo it was a case of‘alright lets get out all the flags and the posters and putour best foot forward’,” he said.

“It does bring a smile to customer’s faces, also those that are a little bit anti-royalshave a little bit of a snigger butthey have a smile on their face too.”

Story continues after post.

Read also:Ten thousands smiles: mayor forecasts huge turnout to royal picnic

Another business celebrating the upcoming visit is Bob Berry Real Estate.

Bob Berry Real Estate director Jane Donald said they wanted to fosterenjoymentfor the visit.

“We think it’s nearly a once in a lifetime opportunity for Dubbo,” Ms Donald said.

Shesaid thevisit would bring more than just excitement to the region.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity for positive exposure for Dubbo, andthe flow-on effects of people seeing Dubbo in a positive light could mean economic benefits to the city,” Ms Donald said.

“It’s not whether you are a monarchist or a republican, it’s about the exposure to the city that we’re getting.

“Wewanted to have a bit of fun, it’s good to enjoy these situations, we’re giving staff time off to go to the picnic.”

See below map of some businesses with royaldecorations and products:

Daily Liberal

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A-League: Petratos confident Jets can soar higher

FOCUSED: Dimi Petratos believes the Jets have more depth in their attack this season. Picture: Jonathan CarrollNewcastle star Dimi Petratos is convinced the Jets can soar a little bit higher and win the A-League this season, despite missing two key strike weapons for the early part of the new campaign.

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The Jets were the feel-good story of the 2017/18 season, going all the way to the grand final after finishing bottom the year before.

They prospered despite long term injuries to playmaker Ronald Vargas and striker Roy O’Donovan, and the late-season departure of Andrew Nabbout.

While Newcastle won’t enjoy the same element of surprise as they did at the start of last season, Petratos pointed out they still had success later in the campaign when they were more of a known quantity.

“I’m very confident,” he said.”I think we’ll do our best to replicate last season and go that one step further and try and win it.I believe we can.I think (coach) Ernie (Merrick) has recruited really well with the new players and kept the majority of the team.”

Newcastle head into their season opener away to Wellington Phoenix on Sunday without O’Donovan and promising young forward Joseph Champness.

Irishman O’Donovan still has eight matches of a suspension to serve for catching Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas in the face with a boot in thegrand-final loss.

Champness, who enjoyed a breakout season, is expected to miss at least the first two months after suffering fractured foot at training back in August.

Newcastle do have depth in their attacking arsenal having signed Brazilian Jair, Mitch Austin and Kaine Sheppard.Versatile veteran Jason Hoffman has also enjoyed success in a forward role in the pre-season.

Petratos felt they had the flexibility to compensate for the missing attackers.

“It will be difficult but we’ve got certain players that can play in different positions, so I think that’s a little bonus for us,” Petratos said.

He made his Socceroos debut earlier in the year and was chosen in the World Cup squad, though he didn’t get any game time in Russia.

“It was a great experience for me and I can take a lot from that I think to become a better player,” he said.

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