World’s most expensive cities for tourists named

Travellers in Oslo can expect to reach for their wallets with the Norwegian capital ranking as the most expensive for a night out on the town at $561.26, according to a cost comparison of the world’s key cities.
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Sydney, costing $445.64 for a night out, ranked No. 6 among the European-dominated mix of priciest places that included Zurich No. 2, Stockholm No. 3, Paris No. 5, London No. 7 and Copenhagen No. 8.

The TripAdvisor TripIndex Cities is based on the cost of a couple staying one night in a four-star hotel, cocktails, a two-course dinner with a bottle of wine, and return taxi fare of 3.2 kilometres each way.

South-east Asia, meanwhile, claimed three cities in the 10 least expensive destinations with Hanoi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur ranking No. 2, No .6 and No. 7 respectively.

But there were exceptions in both Asia and Europe, with Sofia in Bulgaria the cheapest city overall at $153.21 for a night of revelry.

“The list shows that Asia is the most affordable continent, while Europe is the most expensive, but some European cities – like Sofia, Warsaw and Budapest – are bucking this trend,” says a TripAdvisor spokesman.

“While Singapore was ranked as 10th most expensive last year, it falls four places to be ranked 14th most expensive of these worldwide cities.”

While the cost of a hotel stay was the most expensive of any items of the night, the biggest disparity between cities was the return taxi trip.

Sofia also ranked No. 1 for the cheapest hotel room at $93.05 a night while New York City was the most expensive at $366.46 a night.

Comparing items, for the price of three taxis in Zurich a traveller can stay one night in a four-star hotel in Hanoi.

And one night’s stay for two in a four-star hotel in Zurich was about the same price as three nights in Warsaw.

TripAdvisor’s destination list of key cities from 49 countries is based on those that receive the largest number of international visitor arrivals according to data compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Meanwhile, Geneva has taken over Paris as the most expensive city in the world to order the hotel staple of a Club Sandwich, at an average of $29.74, according to Hotels杭州夜网m. Sydney ranked the ninth most expensive city, slipping one spot from last year.

10 most expensive cities

1.     Oslo, Norway      $561.26

2.     Zurich, Switzerland      $506.45

3.      Stockholm, Sweden      $504.30

4.      New York City, US     $498.58

5.      Paris, France      $494.96

6.     Sydney, Australia     $445.64

7.      London, Britain      $437.40

8.      Copenhagen, Denmark      $429.55

9.      Cancun, Mexico      $426.09

10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic      $420.91

10 cheapest cities

1.      Sofia, Bulgaria       $153.21

2.      Hanoi, Vietnam       $170.12

3.      Warsaw, Poland      $181.73

4.       Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt       $184.74

5.      Budapest, Hungary       $186.46

6.      Bangkok, Thailand      $194.79

7.      Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia      $210.30

8.      Tunis, Tunisia      $211.51

9.      Cape Town, South Africa       $212.49

10.      Riyadh, Saudi Arabia       $212.72

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Blue-tie brigade creates a stir on social media

Blue tie man from way back … Kevin Rudd speaks to the media in March. Photo: Zoe HinchliffePM targets ‘men in blue ties’
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The humble blue neck tie has enjoyed a rare moment in the spotlight, thanks to comments by Julia Gillard that have caused a stir on social media.

The Prime Minister caused controversy on Tuesday when she attempted to put gender at the centre of the election by suggesting women would be marginalised under an Abbott government of men who wear blue ties.

“A prime minister – a man in a blue tie – who goes on holidays to be replaced by a man in a blue tie. A treasurer, who delivers a budget wearing a blue tie, to be supported by a finance minister – another man in a blue tie. Women once again banished from the centre of Australia’s political life,” she told the “Women for Gillard” event in Sydney.

Feminists and politicians on both sides of the political divide were left scratching their heads on Wednesday.

Liberal MP Scott Morrison quickly pointed out that two left-leaning international politicians – US President Barack Obama and former British PM Gordon Brown – were partial to a blue tie.

Pictures of Kevin Rudd, resplendent in a royal blue number while on the hustings in Hurstville, were also doing the rounds on Twitter.

Nice blue tie. MT @mwhitbourn: Kevin Rudd working the mandarin in Hurstville shopping strip. He’s just here to help/ twitter杭州夜网m/MWhitbourn/sta…— James Massola (@jamesmassola) June 12, 2013

Federal Schools Minister Peter Garrett appeared on ABC TV on Wednesday morning to talk about being locked out of a Queensland school. He was sporting a blue tie.

Moments later, Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten held a press conference in Sydney on a world-first insurance tracker.

He, too, was displaying a blue tie, albeit a navy number with a pink stripe.

There were also bizarre scenes at a Sydney craft show where media representatives attempted to ask Tony Abbott’s wife, Margie Abbott, for her thoughts on the blue tie.

Security quickly ushered her away but she was able to confirm that the Opposition Leader did indeed love a blue tie.

How security and minders stopped Tony Abbott’s wife Margie answering Q’s about the PM and blue ties. Odd. #auspoltwitter杭州夜网m/SarahHarrisNew…— Sarah Harris (@SarahHarrisNews) June 12, 2013

Liberal MP Alex Hawke had a novel suggestion for the government: issue all Labor MPs with olive green “Plain Paper Packaging Ties” to show their support for the Prime Minister.

“Blue Tie mate, another bad career move,” he tweeted at Labor MP Ed Husic.

“You really should get the olive green plain paper packaging tie, I’m sure that would see you on the front bench in this regime.”

All male Labor MP’s will be issued the Olive Green ‘Plain Paper Packaging Tie’ to show their support for the PM. #auspol#thedearleader— Alex Hawke MP (@AlexHawkeMP) June 12, 2013

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Big Bash tweaks player rules

Big Bash League teams will no longer have to confirm the bulk of the squads in the middle of winter and will also have the opportunity to trade players following tweaks for the third season of the domestic Twenty20 competition.
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The contentious rule that prevented James Pattinson representing the Melbourne Stars at the tail-end of last season after an unexpectedly fast recovery from injury has also been scrapped.

The prolonged post-season period where teams have not been able to officially recontract players or pursue new players ended on Wednesday with Cricket Australia’s announcement of the framework for this summer’s competition.

For the past two years teams have had to sign at least 14 players by late July, leaving them only four available slots.

This year CA has significantly expanded the signing window, from 12 days last year to just over five weeks. It will remain open until July 19, with signings to be announced in the following week. It has also cut the minimum threshold from 14 players to 10.

Adelaide and Melbourne Renegades are among the teams that, theoretically, do not have to announce any signings until early December – the deadline for squads to be finalised is December 6 – as they already have at least 10 players on multi-year contracts.

The trade window will run for five days in mid-November. Players will be able to traded at any stage of their contract, providing they consent to it, but will have their entitlements guaranteed. That will mean either their new team will take over the entire cost of their contract, or, subject to negotiation, the team they are leaving will subsidise it.

The salary cap has been marginally increased, by $50,000 to $1.05 million. Teams struggling to comply with it will have the option of trading a highly paid player to another team without anything in return.

The change in rules surrounding the eligibility of players withdrawn due to injury will avoid the type of dispute that arose between CA and the Melbourne Stars last season.

The Stars’ argument was that they withdrew Pattinson from their squad at the start of the tournament, and replaced him with South Australia’s Daniel Worrall, based on official CA advice that his rib injury would take between six and eight weeks to heal, only for him to return in half that time. Their requests for a rule change to recall him late in the season, to a squad depleted by national-team selection, were rejected.

Under the new rule players in Pattinson’s position will be able to return to the BBL, provided they receive medical clearance to do so.

“We want fans to be able to watch the best players as much as possible, so the rule regarding tournament-ending injuries has been changed,” CA executive general manager of operations Mike McKenna said.

The minimum playing contract has remained at $20,000, as has the rule limiting teams to two international players at a time.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Junior coach suspended for commenting on alleged racism

The coach of two under 15 footballers who were allegedly racially abused in a game on June 2 has been suspended for three weeks and his club fined $1000.
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The Northern Football League tribunal handed down the penalties on Tuesday night to Reservoir Colts and its under 15s coach Peter Milne, punishing Milne for “conduct unbecoming” for his comments when contacted last week by Fairfax Media about the alleged vilification of his young players. The $1000 fine against Reservoir is suspended.

The NFL tribunal last week suspended Mohammed Awo for six matches for threatening behaviour after he vowed to put Hurstbridge opponents “in hospital” at the end of their game. Mohammed claimed he was responding to racial abuse, including being called a “black c—” and “black monkey” by opponents and a by Hurstbridge official.

He also claimed a teammate of Sudanese origin was told by a Hurstbridge player, “This isn’t the game for you, it’s not for black people.”

Reservoir lodged an official complaint with the NFL, which is investigating the allegations. Fairfax understands no interviews with any of the players involved have yet taken place.

When contacted by Fairfax last week, Milne described the suspension of Mohammed as “the most disgraceful decision I’ve ever heard of”.

NFL chief executive Jeremy Bourke said on Wednesday the Racial and Religious Vilification policy was explicit in its demand for confidentiality, as are the league’s rules on commenting on tribunal decisions.

“We’re quite strict with our coaches and our clubs about commentary regarding tribunal hearings, and he came out in the paper and made comments about the tribunal process and also the decision,” Bourke said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Neill delighted with night’s work

He might have broken one of the longest scoreless streaks in international football but Lucas Neill was even happier at seeing the Socceroos move to within inches of a place at next year’s World Cup.
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The captain’s late header capped a 4-0 win over Jordan at Etihad Stadium, ending his run of 90 scoreless matches, dating way back to when he made his debut as a teenager in 1996.

The 35-year old was rapt to break through after a string of close shaves but even prouder to see his team rise to the occasion, putting forward their most dominant display since the 2011 Asian Cup 6-0 semi-final romp over Uzbekistan.

“It was in the 90th minute plus one but they all count and it was a fantastic moment to finally get that goal,” he said after the game.

“But to do it on a night where the team put in an outstanding performance was truly fantastic.

“Now what we need to do is just focus on the next game. Mark [Schwarzer] and I said to the players now was the time to concentrate on the job ahead of us. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Three points for the Socceroos against Iraq at ANZ Stadium next Tuesday would book Australia’s place in Brazil after a qualifying campaign that, until the past eight days, could only be described as underwhelming.

“Some of us have a month or so off at the end of this to party or whatever else, so we just have to go to Sydney and get the job done,” Neill said.

“We want another big crowd coming out to support us as well. There was 44,000 tonight, which was a great turnout, and it makes a big different having that support behind you.”

Neill was a rock for the Socceroos in the heart of defence, emphatically proving that the ex-West Ham skipper has plenty to offer at the elite level of international and club football.

He is currently out of contract after his short-term deal with Sydney FC expired and won’t make a decision on his future until after the Iraq match.

Teammate Archie Thompson seemed to give the Socceroos an immediate boost as soon he entered the fray in the 60th minute, helping set up a move that culminated in his great friend Tim Cahill netting Australia’s second goal of the night.

In front of an adoring home crowd at Etihad Stadium, Thompson said he was delighted to provide the spark which helped seal the result.

“In the last game I had an impact – six seconds,” he joked.

“Seriously, I know my role in the team and Holger has said he wants me to be an impact player who can change the game. We felt they looked a bit tired out there, that we needed fresh legs and I was happy to come on and have the impact that I did.

“But I also believe it started from the first whistle, even before the game. The boys were confident and we knew we had to win this game convincingly and we did.”

Thompson echoed Neill’s sentiments about ensuring the focus would quickly turn to next week’s match against Iraq.

“It was one of the great performances but in the rooms after the game we touched on how it all starts now for next week,” he said.

“We’re going to enjoy this one with our family and friends but it’s important we put our heads down and prepare for the Iraq match.”

Thompson said it was especially poignant for him and the team’s many veterans knowing full well that their international careers are over if they don’t make it to Brazil.

“We’re just one step away from being in a World Cup and, for me and the older guys, this opportunity will never come around again,” he said.

“We’re just hoping the Sydney crowd come out in more force than they did for the Oman game – we want everyone there because this is a big match that could put us into a World Cup.”

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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