Govt’s audit to be released next week

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 苏州美睫

Treasurer Joe Hockey will next week release the long-awaited commission of audit that is helping him frame his first budget.


The report makes 86 recommendations for improving the efficiency of the government sector and restoring the health of the budget.

But Mr Hockey told a Sydney audience on Wednesday he will not automatically accept all the recommendations.

“Some can be actioned in the short term, others require further consideration and some will be rejected outright,” he said in a speech hosted by the Spectator Magazine.

The commission finds government spending has almost tripled in the past 40 years.

Over the medium term the commission expects the 15 largest and fastest growing programs are in welfare, health, education and defence, and in most cases growing considerably faster than the economy.

Mr Hockey said the age pension is the largest program “by a fair margin” and already takes up 10 per cent of all commonwealth spending.

Four out of five Australians aged over 65 receive a full or part pension, and when the concessionary health card is taken into account, just 14 per cent receive no government payments.

And despite spending billions of dollars in taxation benefits for superannuation, this situation is unlikely to be much different in 2050.

On top of this, aged care is the eighth largest spending category and the pharmaceutical benefits scheme is 10th.

“The reality is that faster economic growth by itself will not be enough to put the budget back in the black,” Mr Hockey said.

The economy would have to grow at 5.25 per cent annually to get back to surplus in five years, a rate that hasn’t been sustained since the 1960s and is double the government’s current forecasts for the next two years.

Neither will the problem be solved by increasing taxes.

In the absence of personal income tax cuts, Australians will face an increasing burden as inflation gradually pulls them into higher tax brackets.

A fiscal consolidation program will be revealed in the May budget that will establish a clear path back to a surplus of one per cent of GDP by 2024.

“But I want to emphasise that the May budget will not be the end of our efforts, it will only be the start,” Mr Hockey said.

He said the commission of audit would be released next Thursday.

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Grant relieved to finalise Souths move

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Tim Grant has expressed relief that his on-off move to South Sydney next season has finally been rubber stamped.


Grant, who impressed for NSW in the 2012 State of Origin series, was informed by Penrith to find a new club at the start of the year despite having two years remaining on his contract.

The 26-year-old local junior admits it was tough being told by the club he made his NRL debut for in 2007 he was free to leave.

He said meeting with other clubs was also difficult to do.

But after sitting down with Souths coach Michael Maguire he was sold on a move to Redfern and shook hands on a contract with Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson.

Speculation Grant was on his way out the door reached fever pitch when he was dumped to NSW Cup by Panthers coach Ivan Cleary for the round four clash with Parramatta.

The club’s supporters were outraged at the decision to offload another local junior after Luke Lewis and Michael Jennings were shown the door in 2012, to alleviate the salary cap.

Under pressure from their members, the Panthers board then performed a huge backflip and infuriated Grant by telling him he was now staying.

“I was under the impression I was moving on, then commercially it came to the 11th hour, the Panthers did some sums and I wasn’t going anywhere,” Grant said.

“But I am a man of my word and I’d spoken to Shane Richardson and Michael Maguire and shaken hands with them.

“But thankfully we got things sorted and it’s a relief for me to put it all behind me.”

Grant has been a mainstay of the Panthers pack for the last seven years and admits it was big shock being told he was being shown the door.

“I was told at the start of the year I could start looking around because of the salary cap,” Grant said.

“I spoke to a fair few clubs and I wasn’t really keen on leaving to be honest.

“To be honest it was difficult at first, it’s a big club and I’ve had so many good times here. But I feel this was the right move for me and the club.

“Penrith will always be my home. I came here in 2007 as a young kid with a a dream. I know it sounds cheesy but I played first grade here and that’s something I never thought I could do.

“But I have a lot of unfinished business here still and I will be giving my best for as long as I pull on a Penrith jersey.”

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Players to blame for United woes – Kanchelskis

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The former United winger, now living 2,500kms from Manchester, also said he was surprised at the timing of David Moyes’s sacking, just 10 months after replacing Alex Ferguson.


“Not all the players are ready to play for Manchester United, especially in defence and midfield,” the 45-year-old former right winger, who scored 36 goals in 161 appearances for United, told Reuters in an interview.

“I do not understand why Rio Ferdinand and Rafael are still in the side. They are not up to the standard of Manchester United. They need to get rid of a few players across the pitch.

“The number of injuries throughout the season also shows that not all is well with the club’s training regime.”

United curtailed Moyes’s short reign even before the end of a humbling season for the 20-times English champions.

With four matches to go they are seventh and have no chance of finishing in the top four, meaning they will be absent from next season’s Champions League.

United have lost 11 times this season in the league, were knocked out of both domestic cups by Swansea City and Sunderland respectively and were outclassed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

“The team is going through a difficult period and unfortunately David Moyes did not have the same influence that Alex Ferguson had,” Kanchelskis said.

“Sir Alex had such an impact on the players – they were afraid of him. Players need to revere their head coach, but evidently this was not the case under Moyes.

“He knew what he was getting himself into. He tried himself at a great club, where there are different criteria, relationships, demands and pressure. He did not get it right.

“But I think it was necessary to keep Moyes until next season. If they gave him that chance then, with time, I think he would have done all right.

“I didn’t think that they would sack him.”

Kanchelskis, a former team mate of caretaker manager Ryan Giggs in the mid 1990s and a Russian international, said United should turn to Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, even though the German on Tuesday ruled himself out of the job.

“I really like this coach. I think his style would really suit Manchester United,” Kanchelskis said.

Right winger Kanchelskis, one of the fastest players to play in the Premier League, says he still keeps in contact with Giggs and several other former team mates and has fond memories of the club he joined in 1991 from Shakhtar Donetsk.

In his first full season United finished runners-up to Leeds United in the old first division before winning the Premier League’s opening edition the following year – ending United’s 26-year wait to be crowned English champions.

“I remember the first trophy I won the most,” Kanchelskis said. “It was the UEFA Super Cup in 1991 when we beat Red Star Belgrade. After that there were two championship titles, a League Cup and an FA Cup.

“My biggest disappointment was the 1991-2 season. We were leading and should have won the title, but towards the end of the season our form dipped and Leeds finished in first place.

“Ferguson told us ‘we need to work even harder’. We learnt from our mistakes and were champions the following season.”

Kanchelskis, who also played for Everton in England, said he remembers having to phone Alex Ferguson to get tickets for the Champions League final against Chelsea in Moscow.

“I tried to get a few tickets for the game through our football federation. However, they didn’t give me any,” Kanchelskis recalled.

“I rang Ferguson who told me, ‘Andrey, I’m always happy to help – take as many as you need!’ It was thanks to him that I got to watch the game.”

While Kanchelskis played in many Manchester and Merseyside derbies, he said the most passionate environment he ever played was during a spell with Rangers in Scotland from 1998-2002.


“Scotland is a wonderful country and they are deeply passionate about their football,” he said.

“We had some real battles with Celtic. I did not see such emotion in a derby anywhere during my career. Words can’t describe it. It’s a passionate showdown between the supporters – Protestants against Catholics.”

Kanchelskis, who hung up his boots in Russia in 2006 before working as a sporting director with Nosta and also a spell as manager of FC Torpedo-ZIL Moscow, says he would love the chance to get back into the game.

“In December, I extended my Pro-License, which lets me coach at any European club,” he said. “Manchester United? Of course I would agree in a flash if they were to ask me. I would be happy to return to my ‘home’ club.”

Kanchelskis, who played for the Soviet Union, the CIS and Russia during his international career, said Russia had a tough group at the World Cup this year, being paired with Belgium, South Korea and Algeria.

“The whole country expects them to do well, but there are no easy matches at the World Cup,” he said.

“We don’t have an easy group. Everyone has started to take notice of Belgium over the last few years. We played South Korea recently in a friendly match; however they had a number of players missing in that game.

“For me Algeria are a mystery.”

“Our team in the 1990s was a lot stronger than our present team and the ability of the players was a lot higher.”

(Editing by Martyn Herman)

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Thurston ignores Daly Test pressure

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Johnathan Thurston’s Test jersey is under threat but it’s the least of the North Queensland playmaker’s worries.


The Cowboys’ dire early-season form means Thurston has given little thought to Queensland teammate Daly Cherry-Evans’ compelling case for a halves spot in the May 2 Anzac Test against New Zealand.

“That’s the furtherest thing from my mind,” he said in Townsville. “I’m totally focussed on playing for the Cowboys.

“It’s time that we need to stand up and start winning some games because, if not, the season is going to get away from us.”

With North Queensland again failing to fill their billing as an NRL contender, Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens revealed incumbent five-eighth Thurston wasn’t an automatic Test selection.

Sheens admitted Manly halfback Cherry-Evans was pressuring both the Cowboys co-captain and Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk for the Allianz Stadium international.

Thurston was back near his best form in last weekend’s controversial loss to Manly when the Cowboys let a big second-half lead slip at Gosford.

Halves partner Robert Lui has paid the price, dumped from the side and utility Ray Thompson reinstated in the No.7 jersey to play Parramatta in Townsville.

Thurston on Wednesday moved to take the pressure off Thompson, saying he merely needed to focus on doing his own job, and not overplay his hand.

The silver lining for the 13th-placed Cowboys is three straight home matches at a time their attack is starting to gel.

“I was really pleased with the way that we played attacking-wise (against Manly), we just need to be better towards the back-end of the game to close it out but I’m sure we’ll learn from that,” Thurston said.

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Bayern says ties with rivals Dortmund have frozen

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The sides have been locked in an ongoing war of words over a two-million euro (1.


64 million pounds) loan Bayern granted to then cash-strapped Dortmund in 2004, with the Ruhr valley club saying the terms of the agreement were far from charitable.

“(Bayern president) Karl Hopfner represented the facts correctly after Dortmund claimed something that was incorrect,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told sport Bild magazine.

Hopfner had said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke was not telling the truth when he claimed that the Bavarians had demanded an extortionate interest rate on the loan.

“It is what it is at the moment and so we will have a bit of an ice age in our relations,” he said.

“There are good times and bad times between clubs. That was the case in the past with Cologne under (then coach) Christoph Daum and that was also the case with Werder Bremen. We should not just cuddle,” Rummenigge said.

In the last four seasons, Dortmund have emerged as Bayern’s biggest challengers domestically and in Europe, winning the double in 2012 and the league in 2011 before losing to their southern rivals in the Champions League final last season.

They did, however, beat Bayern 3-0 in a Bundesliga match in Munich recently to reclaim some domestic bragging rights.

“Bayern does not need a peace summit and does not need any meeting (with Dortmund),” Rummenigge added.

“By that I mean in the future there will be no eating together prior to Bundesliga matches. Maybe that is more honest behaviour than meeting and reassuring of the respect that does not exist.”

Bayern, who remain on course for a second successive league, cup and intercontinental title treble, face Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final later on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O’Brien)

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Suns aim to bring Giants down to size

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Gold Coast are making no secret of their determination to remind fellow AFL expansion outfit Greater Western Sydney who is the big brother.


The Giants head north for Saturday’s clash between the competition’s new boys with just one win separating them on the ladder.

While the Suns sit in eighth after last weekend’s win over Melbourne gave them a 3-2 record, the Giants have already matched their best number of wins for an AFL campaign with two after just five matches of their third season.

And the Suns are keen to ensure they put the Giants in their box and continue a dominant run of three straight wins over them since the Giants caught their rivals cold in the first meeting of the expansion outfits in Canberra in 2012.

“Being the newer clubs in the competition we would like to stamp our mark on them,” Suns midfielder Jarrod Harbrow said.

“Obviously GWS has proven that, with the Swans in round one, that if they’re on their game they can match it with anyone.

“It’s definitely not a pencilled-in win for sure.

“It’s building a healthy rivalry between us but we’re going to go out and attack them as we would any other team.”

Harbrow believes the Suns have the defence to keep the Giants’ highly-rated tall forwards quiet.

He’s backed Steven May and Rory Thompson to come out on top against GWS stars such as Jonathan Patton and Jeremy Cameron.

“Maysie’s shown that he can play on those type of lads. Rory Thompson can play on most talls and his agility for a big lad is pretty good too,” he said.

“We’ve definitely got the players that can cope with them and go with them.”

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Russia will respond if interests attacked

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Russia will respond if its interests are attacked in Ukraine, as they were in South Ossetia in 2008 which led to war with Georgia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says.


“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond,” he told state-controlled RT television in an interview on Wednesday.

“If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law.”

Lavrov did not elaborate further on what the response would entail but the reference to Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia strongly hints at the possibility of military action.

In August 2008 Russia sent troops into South Ossetia and then into Tbilisi-controlled Georgian territory after then president Mikheil Saakashvili tried to reestablish control over the breakaway region.

Russia then recognised South Ossetia and another breakaway Georgian region, Abkhazia, as independent in defiance of the West.

“Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” Lavrov told RT, which published excerpts of the interview to be broadcast later Wednesday.

The West has strongly warned Russia against sending troops into eastern Ukraine to aid pro-Moscow separatists. President Vladimir Putin has said he hopes there will be no military action but has not ruled out such a move.

Lavrov also accused the United States of controlling the actions of the pro-West Ukrainian government, saying that Washington was now “running the show” in Kiev.

Lavrov noted that Ukraine had chosen to relaunch military operations against separatists in the east during a visit to Kiev by US Vice President Joe Biden.

“This means we have no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show in the most direct way,” Russia’s top diplomat said.

He reaffirmed Moscow’s belief that the Ukrainian government had failed to carry out any of its obligations under the agreement reached in Geneva last week aimed at de-escalating the crisis.

“Nothing that was agreed in Geneva that the Kiev authorities had to carry out has been implemented by them,” he said.

Relations between Russia and the West have dived to a post-Cold War low after the February ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych which Moscow denounced as an illegal takeover of power.

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Younger veterans to lead Perth Anzac march

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Younger post-Vietnam military veterans will be brought to the front of the Anzac Day march in Perth, one of three firsts for this year’s annual commemorations.


Returned and Services League of Western Australia president Graham Edwards said they would lead the ex-military contingent, only marching behind senior veterans in cars.

With the focus of Anzac Day being World War I for the next four years – given November 2014 marks 100 years since Australian troops departed for the four-year conflict – this year’s march was a good time to shine the spotlight on former servicemen from more recent hostilities, Mr Edwards said.

In another first, the RSLWA has held daily Last Post ceremonies at Kings Park’s State War Memorial this week in a bid to cap ever-swelling crowds on the Anzac Day public holiday. More than 40,000 people are expected to attend on Friday.

Crowds of up to 500 people have been attending the 15-minute sunset services since they started on Sunday, with the final ceremony to be held on Thursday.

Mr Edwards said the sunset ceremonies would return in 2015.

“Anzac Day itself is getting so big, people tell us that they felt like they’ve lost the important connection that’s there,” he told AAP.

“We hope that these (sunset) services will continue to grow and people will become involved in them, because that’s what it’s all about.”

On Thursday at 5.30pm, a service will be held at Blackboy Hill in Greenmount, where West Australian World War I troops trained before marching to Midland, catching a train to Fremantle and setting sail.

The rest of the convoy, from New Zealand and other parts of Australia, left from Albany.

“While there’s a strong focus on Albany as there should be, we can’t lose sight of the fact most West Australians left from Fremantle and they joined the convoy after,” Mr Edwards said.

And on Friday, the dawn service at Kings Park will be broadcast live for the first time.

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Atletico need Costa inspiration at Stamford Bridge

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Costa’s goals have fuelled Atletico’s trophy charge both domestically and in Europe this season, but against Chelsea, who are reportedly interested in signing him, the 25-year-old striker couldn’t find the back of the net in the goalless draw on Tuesday night.


It has been a remarkable season for the Brazilian-born striker who has chosen to represent Spain and, having won his first cap against Italy, is set for a place in their World Cup squad.

Costa has come out of the shadows of Radamel Falcao who left Atletico for Monaco ahead of this season and he has now hit 27 goals as Atletico lead the La Liga title race.

His pace and physical strength have helped him to a further seven in the Champions League but against Gary Cahill and John Terry he failed to create much space.

A strong challenge early on from Terry sparked an angry reaction from Costa, who is well known for his short fuse, but after that the contest rarely looked like it would boil over.

Raul Garcia saw more of the ball in a game where Chelsea successfully blocked the supply to the forwards with Koke in particular on the right unable to make much of an impact.

Atletico had 65 percent of the possession but they couldn’t find a way to goal.

“We tried different approaches, in the final 12 or 13 minutes with Gabi and Koke in the middle, Sosa and Arda on the wings, but our rivals defended well,” coach Diego Simeone told a news conference.

“The idea was to break up their defensive organisation but we lacked a cutting edge. We will have to see whether this result will be good enough for us.”

Gabi did impose himself on the midfield and his work-rate and incisive passing will be badly missed in the return leg, where he is suspended. Atletico will be quietly confident, however, that they can get the result they need at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday to reach the final in Lisbon.

They are a compact side and with Diego Godin and Joao Miranda at the back, they are capable of resisting a lot of pressure, while with Chelsea having to come out of their shells, Atletico can pounce on the break.

“Each team has their way of playing and we were on top but we couldn’t score,” Miranda told reporters.

“At home they will have to attack more and there is no doubt that we can surprise them.”

His view was echoed by team mate Diego Ribas.

“The 0-0 is not what we were wanting but it isn’t bad either. The tie is still open and the game there (Stamford Bridge) is likely to be different to this one. We need to be clever and take our chances,” said the attacking midfielder.

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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Tassie pair eliminated from MKR

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My Kitchen Rules darlings Bianca Johnston and Thalia Papadakis have graduated from reality show losers to local market mavericks.


Their chicken liver pate, which was a knockout with judges Manu Feildel and Pete Evans, is a sell-out hit at a Sunday market in Hobart.

The pair’s selling success at home has softened the crash-landing of being eliminated from the Seven Network series on Wednesday night.

Johnston and Papadakis officially finished fifth after having the lowest score for the instant restaurant challenge.

With just four teams remaining, the semi-finals start on Sunday with teachers Paul and Blair taking on well-travelled friends Chloe and Kelly.

And twins Helena and Vikki cook-off against SA mum Bree and Jessica with the grand final on Tuesday.

Papadakis says it was tough bowing out on the eve of the semi-finals but appearing on the show has not been a total waste of time.

They can’t keep up with the demand for their pate at the Farm Gate market and they intend developing more flavours and selling some sauces.

“We sell out in an hour and a half each week and then we stand there for the next three hours telling them we’ll be back next week,” Papadakis told AAP.

“We started selling it after the show aired … we spend all day Saturday making pate, sometimes until one in the morning, while our friends are out partying.”

Besides the market stall, the two full-time students also have part-time jobs.

Papadakis, 22, works at men’s store and Johnstone, 21, works for a printing company.

The pair came unstuck on MKR when they had a meltdown in the kitchen during their instant restaurant challenge on Monday.

They struggled with their meals and Johnston dropped one of the desserts while she was making her way down the stairs to serve the contestants and the tears flowed, uncontrollably.

Papadakis said it was tough to watch.

“It was pretty horrific watching yourself back. I was a total mess,” she said.

“I have kind of blocked the whole night out.”

The Tassie besties could have easily have gone rogue after the night of disaster and served up low points to their opposition for the final two instant restaurant challenges to stay alive.

But they didn’t, even offering six points out of ten to Helena and Vikki.

“We weren’t going to, after months of being friends, turn around and give them a low score,” Papadakis said.

“We’d rather be eliminated than do that.

“We wanted to stick to our morals … we came here to cook well, not give other people crap scores.”

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Sydney FC sack coach Farina

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Now Sydney FC have sacked coach Frank Farina, a decision on the future of star skipper Alessandro Del Piero must be soon to follow.


The A-League club announced they were parting ways with Farina after a board meeting on Wednesday.

The move comes four days after the Sky Blues’ rollercoaster campaign ended with a 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory in their knockout finals clash.

Chief executive Tony Pignata said on Tuesday a decision on Del Piero was also imminent, explaining the Italian veteran – who turns 40 in November – was still to decide if he wants to play on.

Whether Del Piero remains at the club or not may impact the kind of coach the club attracts with the likes of former Central Coast coach Graham Arnold, who has consistently opposed the idea of marquee players, strongly linked to the role.

Farina’s future at the club was said to be dependant on Sydney securing a top-four finish.

The Sky Blues ended their season just two points adrift of that goal in fifth, two positions higher than last year.

Farina had been at the helm since taking over from Ian Crook during the first half of last season.

He was club’s seventh full-time coach in what has been a revolving door since the inaugural 2005-06 A-League season.

“Frank joined us as coach in a difficult period last season and has always given his absolute dedication and commitment to the club,” club chairman Scott Barlow said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Frank has shown great integrity and resolve in what has been often challenging circumstances this year.

“I would like to pay tribute to Frank for his professionalism and wish him well for the future.”

Arnold has been seen in demand since recently parting ways with Japanese club Vegalta Sendai, seen as a contender for the Sydney FC coaching role and also being heavily courted by the Newcastle Jets.

The championship-winning mentor has also rejected an approach from Perth Glory, who on Tuesday appointed Kenny Lowe as their head coach.

Arnold has already been a target for Sydney FC in the past but the coach knocked them back in 2012 in favour of staying on at the Mariners.

Should Arnold end up at the Sky Blues, he’ll have the opportunity to rebuild the side with no less than 10 players off contract for next season.

Pignata would not be drawn on who Sydney were looking at as Farina’s replacement, with reports they may extend their search abroad.

“We have only just made the announcement about Frank,” Pignata told AAP on Wednesday.

“So at the moment we haven’t even thought about who we’re targeting or anything like that.

“There’s going to be a lot of speculation out there, but we’ll just let them speculate, but we’re not making any comment on it right now.”

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Anger at memorial for Korea ferry victims

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Thousands of mourners have paid tearful respects at a temporary memorial to the hundreds of student victims of South Korea’s ferry disaster, as the grim search for bodies entered a second week.


The confirmed death toll stood at 150, but 152 were still unaccounted for, their bodies believed trapped in the inverted, submerged ship that sank a week ago in circumstances that have yet to be fully explained.

As the relatives of the missing began their daily vigil at the harbour on Jindo island, where bodies recovered from the disaster site are brought, others converged on a temporary memorial to the victims in Ansan, 320km to the north.

Ansan has become a focal point of national mourning. The city is home to the Danwon High School which had 352 students and a dozen teachers on the Sewol when it capsized.

Nearly 280 students are among the dead and missing.

The memorial, set up in an indoor sports stadium, was opened Wednesday and comprised a giant altar in the form of a terraced bank of flowers – white, yellow and green chrysanthemums – among which rested the framed pictures and names of students whose funerals have already taken place.

Above the floral wall a large banner carried the message: “We pray for the souls of the departed.”

Mourners, clutching single white chrysanthemums handed out by volunteers, wept, bowed and prayed as they stood before the altar before placing their flowers below the students’ pictures.

There was anger as well as grief. One woman railed tearfully against the authorities for not saving more people, while one large floral tribute carried a sash with the simple message: “I hate the Republic of Korea.”

Among the mourners were many schoolchildren in uniform, some of whom broke down and had to be helped out of the stadium.

In Jindo harbour, the latest bodies recovered from the ferry were taken to a small tented village set up to manage the process of identifying the bodies.

“I’m here to help you recognise the dead,” a forensic official told a group of relatives called to the site because ID documents or distinguishing features indicated their family member might be among those brought ashore.

“We have cleaned the bodies, but did not take their clothes and socks off so that you can recognise them more easily,” the official said, before leading them into a separate, closed-off section.

Each positive identification was marked by a piercing cry of anguished recognition and an outpouring of grief from the family members – most of them middle-aged parents.

The Sewol’s captain, Lee Joon-Seok, and six crew members are under arrest with two other crew taken into police custody on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, prosecutors raided a host of businesses affiliated with the ferry operator, the Chonghaejin Marine Company.

The raid was part of a probe into “overall corruption in management”, Kim Hoe-Jong, a prosecutor on the case, told AFP.

More than 70 executives and other people connected with Chonghaejin and its affiliates have been issued 30-day travel bans while they are investigated on possible charges ranging from criminal negligence to embezzlement.

Captain Lee and his surviving crew members have been pilloried in the media for abandoning the ship while hundreds remained trapped inside.

President Park Geun-Hye has described their actions as being “tantamount to murder”.

There has been particular criticism of Lee’s decision to delay the evacuation order until the vessel was listing so sharply that escape had become almost impossible.

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