US popstar Mariah Carey cancels Australia and New Zealand tour dates following 'scheduling conflict'

US hitmaker Mariah Carey has cancelled her Australia and New Zealand 2018 tour dates due to a "scheduling conflict", the singer said in a statement yesterday.

"It is with much regret that I am unable to visit Australia & New Zealand later this year, however I promise to find new dates soon. I've been working away on new music and I cannot wait to share it with you later this year," the 'We Belong Together' star told MJR Presents, the company behind her Australia and New Zealand leg of the tour.

MJR Presents responded to the news in a statement, saying, "We are disappointed that Mariah's shows are cancelled but look forward to hearing her new material soon".

"Full refunds will be given to all ticket holders from their original point of purchase and we apologise for the inconvenience to fans and ticket holders".

The tour dates were set for October this year after it was postponed from February.

New dates have yet to be announced for the affected shows.


Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey Source: Bang Showbiz

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Project Runway NZ Recap: Teams of two and the ego of one

Within the first few seconds of the show, the judges’ choices in the previous episodes move Kerry to wonder what they really want from the designers. By the end of the hour, I’ll be wondering the same.

In a computer recycling facility, Andreas tells the designers that they will need to integrate outdated technology into a fashionable two-piece look. For this first unconventional material challenge, designers will work in teams of two.

The designers ready to take on this week's challenge.
The designers ready to take on this week's challenge. Source: Tom Hollow

Matt who doesn’t like unconventional materials is paired with Beau.

Although Kerry protested her taste in the previous challenge, he seems happy to be teamed up with Judy.

Jess isn’t thrilled to be working with Massey.

Massey and Jess sketch their designs in the computer recycling facility. Source: Tom Hollow

The other teams are Caitlin and Benjamin, Misty and Beth, and Cami and Peni.

After 15 minutes collecting materials around the facility, and with $150, the designers go on the search of fabrics to complement their designs.

In the workroom, Peni checks out and allows Cami to run the show. She’s been top three in the last two runways, so she must know what she’s doing.

Matt senses Beau is not helping him and worries that he will throw him under the bus. He may be right. Beau’s made up his mind about Matt the moment they were paired. He’s not willing to compromise his designs to work along with Matt’s ideas.

The next day when Andreas comes for feedback, he tells Caitlin and Benjamin that passing electric cord as leather may not work. Benjamin disagrees and is confident they’ll make it work.

Cami and Peni try to come up with a unique design.
Cami and Peni try to come up with a unique design. Source: Tom Hollow

When the models come for a fitting, Cami and Peni have nothing for their model to try on. They have created a textile out of green electronic boards joint together by copper wiring, but they haven’t assembled the garment yet. I like the pieces they’ve created, but they look more like accessories than a suitable material for a dress.

On the day of the runway show, Georgia asks Beau how well he and Matt worked together. He sells Matt down the river and says it was challenging.

Georgia – who I must say is doing a fantastic job as the host of the show, introduces the regular judges, Sally-Ann and Benny, plus guest judge Stephen Tilley, an international fashion photographer.

After the anonymous runway show, Massey and Jess’ corporate futuristic look, and Caitlin and Benjamin’s cord passing by leather design put them through next week’s episode.

This week's safe looks, Caitlin and Benjamin's on the left, and Massy and Jess' on the right.
This week's safe looks, Caitlin and Benjamin's on the left, and Massy and Jess' on the right. Source: Tom Hollow

From the winning team, one designer will be this week’s winner, and from the losing team, one will walk.

Misty and Beth are both happy with their collaboration. The combination of 1950s silhouette and Maori patterns celebrating strength and empowerment is a winning look with the judges. Sally-Ann loves the panelling, and guest judge Stephen admires the use of colour. I’m happy to see Misty on the top, I’ve liked her previous designs.

The glamorous look for a mature goth girl that Kerry and Judy have created is a success among the judges. The use of telephone cord as sleeves in the jacket designed by Kerry prompts Benny to label it ‘Vodafone goth’ and fashion forward.

I believe it’s a great look and without a doubt the best design on the runway this week.

This week's looks at the top. Kerry and Judy's on the left, and Misty and Beth's on the right.
This week's looks at the top. Kerry and Judy's on the left, and Misty and Beth's on the right. Source: Tom Hollow

The judges are impressed by the skirt in Matt and Beau’s ensemble. Beau swiftly takes credit for it and tells them it is VHS tape stapled to organza with computer keys covering each staple. But that’s about the only thing they like about the design.

Benny questions the sexiness of the over-sized minimal look top created by Matt. Sally-Ann is the only one who commends him for sticking to what he likes, shame there’s no more cohesion in the look. Sure, but let’s not forget that early on the show Beau announced he wasn’t willing to compromise his vision. So, who’s at fault for the lack of cohesion?

Although Cami loves the movement and colours of their design, both Peni and her agree they could have spent more time putting it together. I can’t see the two distinct pieces that they were expected to create. I only see a dress.

The looks that got with the lower scores. Cami and Peni's, and Matt and Beau's.
The looks that got with the lower scores. Cami and Peni's, and Matt and Beau's. Source: Tom Hollow

Peni tries to defend this arts and craft mess as something a young artist would wear to a music awards show. Why? Because young people have no taste?

Although their design needs work, Georgia knows women who would wear pieces like this on the carpet. Stephen says it’d make a great editorial piece, and Sally-Ann also sees it at a music awards show. Benny is the only one who calls it what it is, a "visual nasty rash".

The winning team is Kerry and Judy, Kerry is named this week’s winner. The losing team is Matt and Beau.

Matt walks. I’m scratching my head on this one. I thought this was a team challenge, and Beau’s remarkable sexy skirt should have been enough to carry them both through.

Like Kerry at the start of this episode, I’m left wondering what the judges really like.

It's the end of the road for Matt.
It's the end of the road for Matt. Source: Tom Hollow

* Project Runway is on TVNZ 2 at 7.30pm on Mondays and on TVNZ OnDemand

Matt and Beau gather their unconventional materials.
Matt and Beau gather their unconventional materials. Source: Tom Hollow

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Pauline Hanson unsuccessful in moving motion in Australia's parliament saying 'it's OK to be white'

Australian politician Pauline Hanson has declared "anti-white" racism is on the rise, unsuccessfully moving a motion in federal parliament saying "it's OK to be white".

The One Nation leader said anyone who watched the news or social media could see increased attacks on western civilisation and the prevalence of anti-white racism.

"It is indeed OK to be white. Such a simple sentence should go without saying but I suspect many members in this place would struggle to say it," she told parliament.

"People have a right to be proud of their cultural background whether they are black, white or brindle."

The motion was defeated 31-28 despite the support of government senators.

Crossbench senator Derryn Hinch savaged Senator Hanson, saying she was locked in a race to the bottom of the sewer with Katter's Australian Party member Fraser Anning.

"It could have been written on a piece of toilet paper," Senator Hinch said of the motion.

"This sort of racism is not only wrong, it could be dangerous."

Greens leader Richard Di Natale also had a crack at former One Nation senator Anning and Senator Hanson.

"The reality is this 'it's OK to be white' slogan has got a long history in the white supremacist movement where both these clowns get most of their material from," Senator Di Natale said.

Pauline Hanson.
Pauline Hanson. Source: Twitter Pauline Hanson


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'I'm not a baby' - Donald Trump bristles as he's reminded of Kim Jong Un's 'cruel kingdom'

Donald Trump, who recently said he and Kim Jong Un "fell in love" has bristled in a US TV interview when told the North Korean leader presides over "a cruel kingdom of repression".

Mr Trump told supporters earlier this month at a political rally he and Kim "fell in love".

"He wrote me beautiful letters. And they’re great letters. We fell in love," he said.

Veteran CBS 60 Minutes journalist Leslie Stahl read Mr Trump what she described as Mr Kim's "resume".

"He presides over a cruel kingdom of repression. Gulags, starvation, reports that he had his half-brother assassinated, slave labour, executions - this is a guy you love?" she asked.

Mr Trump responded: "I know all these things. I mean, I’m not a baby. I know these things."

He said his "love" comment was a a figure of speech.

"Look. Look. I like, I get along with him, OK?" he said.

"Let it be whatever it is. I get along with him really well. I have a good energy with him, I have a good chemistry with him. Look at the horrible threats that were made. No more threats. No more threats."

Mr Trump said that the day before he came into power, we were going to war with North Korea. I think it was going to end up in war".

"Now you don’t hear that. You don’t hear any talk of it. And he [Kim Jong Un] doesn't want to go to war, and we don't want to go to war, and he understands denuclearisation and he's agreed to it," he added.

"I do trust him. I trust him. That doesn’t mean I can’t be proven wrong." the President said.

Reminded of North Korea's gulags and public executions the US president told 60 Minutes "I know all these things". Source: Twitter/ 60 Minutes CBS


Men accused of Christmas Day terror attack intended 'violent jihad,' Melbourne court told

It's obvious that three men accused of plotting a Christmas Day Melbourne terror attack wanted to "wage violent jihad" against non-believers, a jury at the Supreme Court of Victoria has been told.

Their plans were well and truly on foot by late October 2016 and in the following two months they bought bomb-making materials and machetes and scouted CBD locations, crown prosecutor Nick Papas QC says.

After weeks of evidence, the Crown is summing up its case against Hamza Abbas, 23, his cousin Abdullah Chaarani, 27, and Ahmed Mohamed, 25, who all deny knowledge and involvement in planning an attack on Federation Square two years ago.

Hamza's 24-year-old brother Ibrahim Abbas has already pleaded guilty to preparing for the attack and gave evidence he was a leader trying to recruit others for his cause.

But Mr Papas urged jurors today to reject that suggestion and find Ibrahim was not a leader, but a co-conspirator in a plan to "wage violent jihad against those they believed to be disbelievers".

He replayed CCTV of the foursome meeting at Federation Square days before their alleged attack was to take place.

An extremist video found on Chaarani's phone showed pictures of Federation Square, St Paul's Cathedral and the Yarra River and called for watchers to "come to martyrdom".

"The Crown says they're talking about this as a great place to cause lots of mayhem and injuries, lots of innocent people to be killed, the more the better," Mr Papas said of the CCTV.

Ibrahim described the gathering as a spontaneous drive to the city to get ice cream, during which he suggested the location might be good for an attack.

But Mr Papas said that contention was "ridiculous", and even Mohamed's wife had sent him a text that afternoon saying "I don't appreciate how secretive you're being".

Mohamed and Chaarani are accused of working on plans from October 2016, when it's alleged Mohamed saved a link to the Al Qaeda magazine article "How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom" and that he and Chaarani searched for information on sparkler explosives.

Mohamed and Ibrahim also purchased materials including light globes, pipes and Ramset cartridges, the prosecution argues.

It's alleged Hamza became involved from December, but did so with full knowledge of the sourcing of materials and other preparations.

He joined Mohamed, Chaarani and Ibrahim on the final of three trips to Clonbinane, when it's claimed they tested a bomb in a state forest.

When that failed it's alleged they moved to a new bomb-making method involving hydrogen peroxide, which Hamza and Mohamed were seen purchasing on CCTV.

"The Crown says (they thought) 'one way of setting off a bomb has failed, let's try the other way'," Mr Papas said.

The Crown closing continues.

Federation Square, before skyscrapers in the Melbourne CBD, and St Paul's Cathedral to the left. Source: istock.com