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Neighbours creator Reg Watson dies aged 93 | Ents & Arts News

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Reg Watson, the creator of popular Australian soap Neighbours, has died.

His death was announced by the show on Twitter, just a few months before it is due to begin celebrating its 35th anniversary year in 2020.

Executive producer Jason Herbison paid tribute, describing Watson, who was 93, as “a pioneer of drama, prolific in his output and by all accounts a lovely person to work with”.

Herbison said his “legacy lives on in Ramsay Street” – the fictional road on which the long-running drama has been set since it made its debut in 1985.

The show premiered on Channel 7 before moving to the Ten Network due to poor ratings, but it quickly picked up and later found an audience in the UK.

Some of the biggest stars of Australian entertainment launched their careers via Neighbours, including Kylie Minogue and actress Margot Robbie.

Jason Donovan, who played Scott Robinson in the show, tweeted: “Many Australian careers have a lot to thank for this man, a legend… Mr Reg Watson.”

Away from Neighbours, Watson also created Prisoner: Cell Block H, The Young Doctors and Sons And Daughters before his retirement in 1992.

The producer and screenwriter, who grew up in Queensland, was given a Member for the Order of Australia in 2010 for his services to media.



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Hong Kong protesters set fire to university entrance as police move in | World News

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Protesters in Hong Kong have set fire to the entrance of Polytechnic University as police move in.

About 200 anti-government demonstrators remain in or around the university on a day which saw them fire arrows and catapult petrol bombs at police who deployed tear gas and water cannon.

Police officers were initially repelled by the fire but there are now reports that they have stormed the campus as the stand-off stretched into the early hours of Monday.

Police had given protesters an ultimatum to leave, threatening to use live bullets if “rioters” carry out more violence, as the territory suffered some of its worst unrest in six months of demonstrations.

A police media liaison officer was treated in hospital after being hit in the leg with an arrow as the clashes spread across the central Kowloon district.

Protesters use a catapult to fire a brick at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Image:
Protesters at Hong Kong Polytechnic University use a catapult to fire a brick
An anti-government protester uses a bow and arrow
Image:
An anti-government protester uses a bow and arrow during the violence

A number of protesters took up positions on the rooftops of the university, armed with bows and arrows.

While some demonstrators retreated inside the Polytechnic University, others set fires on nearby bridges.

A huge blaze burned along much of a long footbridge that connects a train station to the campus.

The officers deployed tear gas and water cannon on a group wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas.

Police said: “Rioters continue to launch hard objects and petrol bombs with large catapults at police officers.

“Police warn the violent activities in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have escalated to rioting.”



Police vehicle on fire in Hong Kong







Police vehicle hit by petrol bombs

Clashes near Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Image:
There were violent clashes near Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Sky’s Tom Cheshire said the university had been “fortified” by the protesters and was now the only one still occupied by them.

Reporting from the scene, he said: “All day long, police have been getting closer and closer. They’ve sealed off every exit.

“The reason this is different now is that things feel more violent. The protesters have occupied the bridges and set fire to them. Massive explosions. We presume there were gas canisters in the fire.

“So it went a bit more violent in that sense.

“And police gave a deadline to protesters. They said, ‘If you are not out of here by 10pm we’re going to come in and we’re going to get you.’

“And now this whole place is on lockdown. Protesters aren’t allowed out and no-one is allowed in. It feels a bit like the end game. That’s what protesters are telling us.”

On Saturday, dozens of Chinese troops, wearing shorts and T-shirts, picked up paving stones, rocks and other obstacles that had cluttered the street near another university.

The military is allowed to help maintain public order, but only at the request of the Hong Kong government.

The government said it had not asked for the military’s assistance, calling it a voluntary community activity. But their presence on the streets risks stoking tensions further.



People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers joined the clean-up outside Hong Kong Baptist University, the site of clashes earlier in the week.







Chinese soldiers help clean up Hong Kong

The protests were sparked by proposed legislation that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to the mainland.

Demonstrators saw it as an erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy under the one country, two systems formula, introduced in 1997 when Britain returned the territory to China.

The bill has been withdrawn, but the protests have spread into a wider resistance movement against Beijing’s perceived growing control, along with calls for full democracy for the territory.

Beijing denies interfering and has blamed foreign governments for fuelling the unrest.

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‘Forgotten island’ in Venice where residents say they’ve been abandoned amid floods | World News

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All eyes have been on Venice after historic flooding of the city’s most treasured and iconic locations, such as St Mark’s Square.

The city experienced a third exceptionally high tide in less than a week on Sunday, which came after the worst tide in more than half a century just five days earlier.

But all this focus on protecting famous landmarks has left the people living on the island of Pellestrina, one of the worst-affected islands in the Venetian lagoon, feeling forgotten and abandoned.

Here, many of the island’s 5,000 residents say the city of Venice has taken precendence over them.

Vincenzo Vianello said everything in his house is flooded
Image:
Vincenzo Vianello says everything in his house is flooded

Vincenzo Vianello, 90, has spent all his life on Pellestrina. On Tuesday, he said he felt he was reliving the nightmare of a record-breaking flood in 1966 that entirely submerged the island.

“We lost the fridge and kitchen that time and the same has happened again this time, everything in the house was flooded, we had to throw everything again,” he said.

Marco Scarpa broke his foot while trying to salvage his belongings
Image:
Marco Scarpa broke his foot while trying to salvage his belongings

Mario Scarpa, another Pellestrina resident, broke his foot while trying to save his kitchen and appliances when the high tide broke into the house.

“It was really scary because it all happened in the middle of the night,” he said.

“Suddenly a big wave burst into the house and all the electricity went off. I couldn’t see anything and in a few minutes I found myself on the floor.”

Jacopo Scarpa says the island's resident feel 'completely left behind'
Image:
Jacopo Scarpa says the island’s residents feel ‘completely left behind’

Mario’s son, Jacopo Scarpa, is angry. Pointing at the broken water pumps that should keep the island safe, he said: “They need to stop taking the mickey out of us, we are fed up.

“The water pumps are not working and the maintenance is not good. We feel completely left behind as we always end up cleaning and managing everything by ourselves.”

Pellestrina may be a small strip of land, but the voices of its residents are getting louder.

They say their needs remain in second place behind the city of Venice and its famous architecture, and they are asking whether protecting the city’s history should take priority over their future.

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Hong Kong: Protesters catapult petrol bombs at police in stand-off at university | World News

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Protesters in Hong Kong have fired arrows and used catapults to hurl petrol bombs at police who deployed tear gas and water cannon.

Officers have threatened to use live bullets if “rioters” carry out more violence, as the territory suffered some of its worst unrest in six months of demonstrations.

A police media liaison officer was treated in hospital after being hit in the leg with an arrow as the clashes spread across the central Kowloon district.

Protesters use a catapult to fire a brick at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Image:
Protesters at Hong Kong Polytechnic University use a catapult to fire a brick
An anti-government protester uses a bow and arrow
Image:
An anti-government protester uses a bow and arrow during the violence

Some anti-government demonstrators retreated inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University while others set fires on nearby bridges.

A huge blaze burned along much of a long footbridge that connects a train station to the campus.

A number of protesters took up positions on the rooftops of the university, armed with bows and arrows.

Riot police moved in after issuing an ultimatum for about 200 people to leave area.

The officers deployed tear gas and water cannon on a group wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas and there is now a stand-off at the university.

Police said: “Rioters continue to launch hard objects and petrol bombs with large catapults at police officers.

“Police warn the violent activities in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have escalated to rioting.”

Clashes near Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Image:
There were violent clashes near Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Sky’s Tom Cheshire said the university had been “fortified” by the protesters and was now the only one still occupied by them.

Reporting from the scene, he said: “All day long, police have been getting closer and closer. They’ve sealed off every exit.

“The reason this is different now is that things feel more violent. The protesters have occupied the bridges and set fire to them. Massive explosions. We presume there were gas canisters in the fire.

“So it went a bit more violent in that sense.

“And police gave a deadline to protesters. They said, ‘If you are not out of here by 10pm we’re going to come in and we’re going to get you.’

“And now this whole place is on lockdown. Protesters aren’t allowed out and no-one is allowed in. It feels a bit like the end game. That’s what protesters are telling us.”

On Saturday, dozens of Chinese troops, wearing shorts and T-shirts, picked up paving stones, rocks and other obstacles that had cluttered the street near another university.

The military is allowed to help maintain public order, but only at the request of the Hong Kong government.

The government said it had not asked for the military’s assistance, calling it a voluntary community activity. But their presence on the streets risks stoking tensions further.



People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers joined the clean-up outside Hong Kong Baptist University, the site of clashes earlier in the week.







Chinese soldiers help clean up Hong Kong

The protests were sparked by proposed legislation that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to the mainland.

Demonstrators saw it as an erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy under the one country, two systems formula, introduced in 1997 when Britain returned the territory to China.

The bill has been withdrawn, but the protests have spread into a wider resistance movement against Beijing’s perceived growing control, along with calls for full democracy for the territory.

Beijing denies interfering and has blamed foreign governments for fuelling the unrest.

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