Monthly Archives: July 2019

  • Corby to begin life outside Kerobokan prison today



    Schapelle Corby knows freedom from a Bali jail is hours away – now what matters most is when the postman arrives.


    As Corby nervously prepares for life on parole, Indonesians are debating whether the Australian “ratu ganja” – drug queen – is getting off lightly.

    The boss of Kerobokan Prison, Farid Junaedi, confirmed on Sunday the documents needed for Corby’s release had been sent from Jakarta.

    If he gets the critical paperwork by Monday morning, the Australian could be free to go that afternoon, after serving nine years for drug smuggling.

    On Sunday, the Jakarta Post newspaper’s headline read: “RI (Republic of Indonesia) losing ground in drug war”.

    It quoted a spokesman from anti-drugs group Granat arguing that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was sending the wrong message by cutting five years off Corby’s 20-year sentence in 2012.

    Without his clemency, Corby would have had to serve two-thirds of her original sentence before being eligible for parole.


    The deputy to the minister who granted Corby’s parole, Denny Indrayana, appeared on television to defend the move.

    He told Indonesia’s TV One that since 2004, only 15 per cent of sentence reductions sought by prisoners on drugs charges had been granted.

    Australians holidaying in Bali were more relaxed in their views of Corby.

    Emily Lewin, a Perth student, said she had read the book Hotel K, about life inside Kerobokan jail, and believed Corby would have had a tough time.

    “After nine years, and because even now she can’t leave the house, I think that’s long enough,” she told news agency AAP.

    Oscar Gentner, a regular visitor to Bali from Albury in NSW, also wished Corby well.

    “She’s probably done her time and deserves to move on,” he said.

    When Corby, 36, emerges from the prison’s steel doors, she will be plunged into a media pack that has grown in size and excitement since last week.

    Corby’s family members are expected to do all they can to protect her from the media, she’s been reportedly suffering from depression for several years and emotional scenes are expected as she realises her freedom after nine years behind bars.


    From Kerobokan, officials say she will have to go to a parole office in Denpasar for fingerprinting.

    The next stop is the corrections office, also in Denpasar, where she will be interviewed further about the conditions of her parole.

    Corby will then be free to go to the Kuta home of her sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha.

    The agreement says she must live there, but authorities say she can move elsewhere in Bali, provided she advises them of her new address.

    It may be necessary, given the number of reporters visiting Wayan’s home daily, and the fact one of Corby’s parole conditions is that she doesn’t create “unease in society”.

    The traditional Balinese compound that’s home to Wayan’s extended family is down a narrow laneway with a steady flow of motorbike traffic.

    Around the corner, on a bustling Kuta street, is Wayan’s small surf shop, Kuta Boardroom, which will sell a range of bikinis Corby intends to design while on parole.

    The former Gold Coast resident was arrested in 2004 for smuggling 4.2 kilograms of cannabis into Bali.


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  • Lego Movie earns $US69M on debut in US


    The Lego Movie clicked with moviegoers, assembling an exceptional $US69.


    1 million ($A77.33 million) on debut at the weekend US box office.

    The better-than-expected result made the Warner Bros. collaboration with the Danish toy company easily the biggest hit of the year so far. A sequel is already in development for the 3-D animated film, digitally drawn to mimic a world composed entirely of Lego bricks.

    The film has drawn raves from critics. Co-directors and co-writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) gave the film a playful tone to capture the whimsy of a child playing in a box of Lego. Characters are largely voiced by comic actors like Chris Pratt and Will Ferrell.

    The film marks the biggest animation hit for Warner Bros., a studio that despite popular live-action franchises has struggled to develop animated hits on par with other studios.

    “I can’t imagine this not turning into a long-term franchise,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.

    “This is such a runaway success that Warner Bros is now a major player in the animated genre.”

    Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., said the film, made with a production budget of $US60 million, resounded because of the popularity of the Lego brand. This is the first feature film for the toy company. Fellow toy-maker Hasbro has seen mixed results since the launch of the Transformers franchise, which was followed by G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra and the notorious flop Battleship.

    George Clooney’s World War II caper The Monuments Men, starring Australian Cate Blanchett, opened in second place with $US22.7 million. Reviews have been weak for the based-on-a-true-story tale about the mission to retrieve artwork stolen by the Nazis.

    The Sony Pictures film was postponed from a Dec. 25 release because, Clooney then said, more time was needed to finish the visual effects. Clooney served as director, co-writer, producer and star on the film.

    The Monuments Men, based on the nonfiction book by Robert Edsel and Brett Witter, was particularly popular with older moviegoers, with 75 per cent of its audience aged 35 and older.

    “It’s right where we hoped to be,” said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. “There’s a lot of love for George and the ensemble cast.”

    Sliding to third was the cop comedy Ride Along, with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. After three straight weeks atop the box office, the Universal film earned $US9.4 million.

    The Weinstein Co.’s bid for a young adult franchise, Vampire Academy, opened poorly with just $US4.1 million. The PG-13 film, based on Richelle Mead’s young adult novels, is about mortal vampires at a boarding school.

    Before opening in North America next weekend, Sony’s RoboCop took in $US20.2 million overseas.

    Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

    1. The Lego Movie, $US69.1 million ($US18.1 million international).

    2. The Monuments Men, $US22.7 million.

    3. Ride Along, $US9.4 million.

    4. Frozen, $US6.9 million ($US24 million international).

    5. That Awkward Moment, $US5.5 million ($US1.1 million international).

    6. Lone Survivor, $US5.3 million ($US1 million international).

    7. Vampire Academy, $US4.1 million.

    8. The Nut Job, $US3.8 million.

    9. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, $US3.6 million ($US5.3 million international).

    10. Labor Day, $US3.2 million.

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  • Coetzee gets maiden win in Joburg


    South Africa’s George Coetzee claimed his first European Tour title, winning the $US1.


    77m Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Sunday by three shots.

    Coetzee, who started the final round fours shots off the lead, closed with a 66 for a 19-under winning total.

    Three shots back and in a share for second place were Justin Walters of South Africa (73), Tyrrell Hatton of England (66) and South Korean Jeong Jin (71).

    Coetzee, who had finished in the top 10 on the European tour on 24 previous occasions, said he was “lost for words”.

    “I’ve been waiting a while and I started doubting, so I am very happy,” he said.

    “I get to share this with my family and friends and my caddy.

    “It was my mum’s birthday yesterday and I wanted to win it for her because I forgot to get her a present.”

    The win also qualifies Coetzee for the British Open at Hoylake in July.

    He birdied all three par fives on the front nine, including a ten-footer at the fourth, going out in 33.

    The 27-year-old took the lead for the first time at the tenth.

    His victory was confirmed by a slice of luck at the 15th.

    Coetzee’s drive was heading towards a stream when it hit a tree and ricocheted back onto the fairway. He then birdied the hole.

    Three pars at the final three holes left him waiting on compatriot Walters, who needed an eagle on the 18th, but he ended up posting a bogey.

    Coetzee, who received a winner’s cheque of 206,050 euros ($A315,000), is the sixth South African to triumph in the eighth staging of the Joburg Open.

    The top three players automatically earned qualification for the British Open, with the unlucky Hatton missing out to Jeong and Walters, because of his lower world ranking.

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  • Bank of England rates policy to be axed


    The Bank of England’s flagship forward guidance policy linking interest rate decisions to unemployment is widely expected to be ditched – in its current form – this week, after just six months.


    The guidance pledges that policy makers will not even consider a hike in rates from their current low of 0.5% until joblessness has fallen to 7%, but this now looks likely to be achieved much more quickly than previously thought.

    Bank governor Mark Carney told business leaders in Davos last month that the policy needed to “evolve” with changing circumstances – signalling that this would begin at its quarterly inflation report on Wednesday.

    The aim of guidance is to assure households and businesses that the cost of borrowing will remain low for some time, giving them the confidence needed to help the recovery take hold.

    Economists expect that it will now be tweaked to take into account a broader range of factors, in a way designed to bolster that message.

    When the policy was announced in its current form in August, the bank did not expect the unemployment threshold be achieved until 2016 but since then it has dropped much more quickly than forecast.

    Latest figures showed the jobless rate had fallen to 7.1 per cent, within a whisker of the target.

    It has brought forward expectations of an interest rate hike, with some predicting they will rise as early as this year.

    But policy makers have stressed they are in no hurry to increase the cost of borrowing. Any pressure to do so will have been eased by the fact that inflation has now fallen to the bank’s target of two per cent.

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  • Packer ‘thought Corby was guilty’


    Kerry Packer didn’t believe Schapelle Corby was innocent even though his TV network became a “cheerleader” for the convicted drug smuggler’s innocence, according to a media report.


    Uniting Church pastor Tim Costello has told Fairfax media he had asked the dying mogul in 2005 if he thought Corby was guilty.

    “And Kerry said `yes, I think she is’,” Costello says in the report on Monday.

    “I remember saying, `But Nine is the cheerleader for her innocence. And Kerry told me that this was how current affairs TV works – the audience was totally convinced of her innocence and so the network goes with what the public feels passionate about.”

    Nine aired its much awaited telemovie Schapelle on Sunday night, a day earlier than originally scheduled, after she was granted parole on Friday.

    If prison bosses receive the necessary paperwork by Monday morning, the Australian could leave in the afternoon.

    The drama about the arrest, trial and conviction of Corby, stars Krew Boylan as the former beauty school student who was sentenced to 20 years’ jail after marijuana was found in her boogie board bag in Bali in 2004.

    On Friday Nine announced it would carry “rolling coverage” on the parole hearing and latest developments in Indonesia “as events surrounding the impending release of Schapelle Corby continue to build momentum”.

    This has fuelled speculation the network has secured exclusive interviews with the Corby family, but a Nine spokesperson would not confirm that.

    Schapelle, which also stars Colin Friels and Denise Roberts, is based partly on Eamonn Duff’s book Sins of the Father. It was made by FremantleMedia for the Nine Network.

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