Month: December 2018

Malaysian NGOs reveal plan to send flotilla to aid Rohingyas in Myanmar

Bangkok: Plans are underway for a “food flotilla” to sail from Malaysia to Myanmar’s strife-torn western Rakhine state with emergency supplies for Rohingyas.
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The shipment of 200 tonnes of rice, medical aid and other essential supplies appears to counter the long-held protocol of the 10-member Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) that countries should not interfere in each other’s internal affairs.

Escalating violence in Rakhine since October has left scores dead, villages razed and forced more than 34,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh in what human rights groups say could amount to crimes against humanity by Myanmar security forces.

The Myanmar government denies the allegations.

Predominantly Muslim Malaysia has been the most outspoken of Myanmar’s neighbours over the treatment of Rohingyas, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority of more than one million in the Buddhist-majority country.

Almost 200,000 Rohingyas displaced by previous violence live in Malaysia, many of them labourers on building sites.

The flotilla is being organised by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations and a coalition of non-government organisations from the region, the Star/Asia News Network reported.

Zulhanis Zainol, the organisation’s general secretary, indicated the flotilla does not yet have permission from Myanmar’s government, which for months has blocked UN and other agencies delivering emergency supplies to the violence-hit areas.

He said the flotilla could face three scenarios – being allowed to land and hand over supplies, being told to turn back from Myanmar waters or being attacked by Myanmar security forces.

“Access to the area is completely blocked. This resembles Gaza as victims are squeezed between military attacks and closure of the border to a neighbouring country,” Mr Zulhanis was quoted as saying.

“As a result all access is completely blocked and humanitarian agencies are not allowed to enter,” he said.

Organisers of the flotilla say up to 200 people may travel on the ships, including NGO members, doctors, medical teams, politicians, religious leaders and crews.

The scheduled departure date from Malaysia’s Port Klang is January 10, with the ships making a two-week journey.

Myanmar agreed to grant “necessary humanitarian aid” to Rakhine on December 19 after Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in Yangon of Malaysia’s “grave concern” over violence allegedly carried out by Myanmar’s military.

Myanmar has previously vaguely committed to allowing access.

Malaysia’s presentation to the foreign ministers who were called together by Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for “unimpeded humanitarian access to affected areas and an effort by ASEAN to co-ordinate humanitarian assistance to the region”.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has shaken ASEAN’S policy on non-interference, maintained since the group was formed in 1967, accusing Myanmar of “genocide” and launching a personal attack against Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate.

Mr Najib’s critics say he is attempting to shore up his support among mainly Muslim Malays at home to deflect criticism over multibillion-dollar corruption allegations involving the state sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which the prime minister set up and oversaw through an advisory committee.

Myanmar has warned Malaysia to respect the principle of non-interference as tensions have risen between the two nations.

“According to ASEAN principles, a member country does not interfere in other members’ internal affairs. We have always followed and respected this principle,” Zaw Htay, a spokesman for the Myanmar president’s office, was quoted as saying by the Myanmar Times earlier this month.

“We hope the Malaysian government will continue to follow it.”

In September, Ms Suu Kyi invited former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to head a commission to try to find solutions to the violence in Rakhine, where according to the UN Rohingyas have for decades been subjected to a campaign of grinding dehumanisation, including being stripped of their citizenship rights and rendered stateless in 1982.

The Myanmar government and military claim the Rohingyas are in fact illegal Bengali immigrants, but Bangladesh also does not recognise them as its citizens.

The latest violence was sparked by an October 9 attack on Myanmar police border posts, which killed nine officers.


Second Test: China v Pakistan, day 3photos

Second Test: v Pakistan, day 3 David Warner celebrates his century. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
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Matthew Renshaw. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

That’s a century – David Warner celebrates. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

David Warner of is bowled off a no-ball by Wahab Riaz. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Yasir Shah of India celebrates the wicket of Matthew Renshaw. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Crowd catch? Or not. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

David Warner. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Wahab Riaz. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

David Warner stretches. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Dave Warner. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Steve Smith. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Nathan Lyon of bowls during day three of the Second Test match. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Sohail Khan of Pakistan plays a sweep shot that goes past Steve Smith. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Azhar Ali of Pakistan bats during day three of the Second Test. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Azhar Ali of Pakistan bats during day three of the Second Test. Photo : Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Matthew Renshaw of bats during day three of the Second Test. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

David Warner of walks out to bat during day three of the Second Test. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Sohail Khan of Pakistan during day three of the Second Test match . Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Azhar Ali of Pakistan (R) during day three of the Second Test. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Azhar Ali of Pakistan bats during day three of the Second Test. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

TweetFacebookDavid Warner rode his luck to slay his MCG demons with a century, spearheading a bold counter attack by that has left the door ajar for a push at an unlikely victory.

The batting crisis of a month ago seems a world away now after ‘s senior batsmen returned fire at Pakistan, making serious inroads into their imposing first innings total.

The first half of the day belonged to Pakistan, whose defiance with the bat exacted further toll on ‘s quicks, but it’s the home side who head into the fourth day with a more realistic hope of winning.

oth teams, however, will also have to beat the elements with more rain forecast on Thursday in a game already severely interrupted by wet weather.

finished the third day on 2/278, trailing Pakistan by 165, with Usman Khawaja needing a further five runs to join Warner in triple figures. If weather permits the hosts will be ahead as early as lunch if they can maintain their strong scoring rate.


Canberra woman allegedly caught drink driving and speeding on Kings Highway with children in car

A Canberra woman had her licence suspended after she was allegedly caught drink driving and speeding on the Kings Highway with two child passengers, aged eight and 11.
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NSW Police said the 36-year-old woman was allegedly driving 37km/h over the speed limit on the Kings Highway at Currowan, 130 kilometres south-east of Canberra, on December 27.

NSW Police say officers stopped her and arrested her after she returned an alcohol reading of 0.134.

“She was charged with drink driving and had her licence suspended on the spot,” a NSW Police statement said.

“Police will allege that at the time of the offence there were two girls in the car, aged eight and 11.”

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About 10.45pm the same day, a 20-year-old Sydney man was allegedly detected driving at 140km/h on the Hume Highway at Bookham, about 90 kilometres north-west of Canberra.

Police say checks revealed the man was a P1 Provisional driver, with a maximum speed restriction of 90km/h.

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Search fails to find missing teen Tui Gallaher at Maroubra Beach

Tui Gallagher, 14, went missing in rough surf at Maroubra Beach on Tuesday night. Photo: Facebook NSW Search and Rescue alongside Surf lifesavers search for Tui Gallaher. Photo: Kate Geraghty
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NSW Surf Lifeguards and Surf Rescue assist Tui Gallaher’s mother. Photo: Kate Geraghty

NSW Police Inspector Chris Whalley (2nd from left) talks the family of Tui Gallaher. Photo: Kate Geraghty

Police recovered the body of a swimmer who went missing at Bents Basin on Boxing Day. Photo: Nick Moir

One minute Tui Gallaher was standing on the edge of a rockpool at Sydney’s popular Maroubra Beach and the next he was battling against a strong rip sweeping him out to sea.

The 14-year-old now looks to be the eighth person to drown in NSW during a tragic Christmas period across the state’s beaches and waterways.

The teenager and his family had travelled from Guildford in Sydney’s west to Maroubra on Tuesday for a day at the beach.

Tui and his cousin, also 14, were standing on the rocks before they jumped into the surf at the southern end of the beach, where a fast-moving rip traced the rocky outcrop.

It is understood that part of the beach had been closed on Tuesday and authorities confirmed there were no red and yellow flags up when the boys went swimming just before 8.30pm.

The conditions were choppy with swirling currents and a three to four foot swell.

A 26-year-old local was walking past when he noticed Tui and his cousin in trouble in the rough seas.

He swam to Tui’s cousin and pulled him safely to shore.

The passerby then jumped into the waves again in a heroic attempt to reach Tui, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“To take the initiative and to enter the surf to try and rescue someone is a fantastic thing to do and something that is extremely admirable,” Eastern Beaches Local Area Command Inspector Chris Whalley said.

Tui’s mother, family friends and relatives watched on for the next three hours while surf life savers and water police searched in vain to find the schoolboy.

The search was called off at 11.30pm and started again at 7.30am on Wednesday.

Tui’s mother watched from the beach as jet skis, a rescue helicopter and a IRBs joined in the search for her missing son.

At one point she collapsed onto the sand before a friend comforted her and life guards rushed to her aid.

She was assessed by paramedics before she and other family members moved to a nearby club as the search continued.

Just before 4pm, surf life savers fished out a shirt from the ocean and it was whisked back to authorities on the beach. However Tui had still not been found.

His suspected drowning came after seven deaths in similar circumstances between Christmas Day and Tuesday.

Nepalese student Sujan Adhikari, 29, drowned after jumping into Wattamolla Lagoon in the Royal National Park on Christmas Day.

Grandfather Geoffrey Blackadder died trying to save his two nieces from a rip at Wooli Beach, north of Coffs Harbour, the following day.

Also on Boxing Day, Sujan Sharma, 27, drowned in a river in the Kangaroo Valley, south of Sydney, and Mohamed Amine Hamza, 25, died while swimming with mates at Bents Basin, west of Sydney.

Weibin Duan, 56, had been visiting Merry Beach at Kioloa with his family when he was found floating in the surf. The Kensington man died on Boxing Day afternoon.

On Monday a man was pulled unconscious from ocean baths at The Entrance on the Central Coast.

In a related tragedy on Boxing Day, a toddler who was pulled unconscious from a backyard pool on December 20 with her twin brother died in hospital.

The NSW Minister for Emergency Services, David Elliott, told the Herald: “Any death on our beaches and waterways is a tragedy and I encourage everyone to swim in patrolled areas and to pay attention to the directions of life savers.”

He said there was a $4 million boost to Surf Life Saving NSW in the current budget, which was part of an $11 million package for water safety projects aimed at reducing the number of drownings across the state.


Carrie Fisher died: Star Wars audition tape resurfaces as fans pay tribute

Carrie Fisher in her iconic role as Princess Leia. Photo: Twentieth Century FoxFootage of Carrie Fisher auditioning for her iconic role as Princess Leia Organa in 1977’s original Star Wars film has resurfaced as fans pay tribute to the late actress.
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The grainy black-and-white clip shows Fisher, then 19, going toe-to-toe with Harrison Ford playing Han Solo, as the two discuss the Rebellion’s plans to take down the Death Star.

“When R2 has been safely delivered to my forces, you’ll get your reward – you have my guarantee,” she says with a quiet intensity that obviously won over creator George Lucas.

The video ends with the actress staring down the lens and telling producers her name and age.

Fisher, who made her on-screen debut a year earlier in Hal Ashby’s Oscar-nominated Shampoo, had previously spoken of her instant love for Lucas’s wacky film idea.

“I thought it was a fantastic script,” she recalled in 2010.

“It was certainly inventive, and there hadn’t been a science fiction movie for quite some time, but that didn’t mean it was going to get a lot of money.

“I thought I would like it, but I didn’t think I’d have that many people that would agree with me.”

As Variety notes, the hit role wasn’t without its controversies.

In her 2011 memoir Shockaholic, Fisher revealed she was asked to lose 10 pounds (4.5 kgs) to play Princess Leia, a request that was repeated ahead of last year’s The Force Awakens.

“They never want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters,” she told Good Housekeeping. “Nothing changes. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up.”


Hundreds of students left in limbo after Australasian College Broadway goes into administration

Maureen Houssein-Mustafa, who owns Australasian College Broadway. Photo: Ryan Stuart Under administration: The Australasian College. Photo: Lidia Nikonova
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A Sydney beauty college run by a prominent political donor and Order of medal recipient has gone into administration, leaving hundreds of students in the dark and up to 80 staff rocked by dismissal letters on the day before Christmas Eve.

The Australasian College Broadway, which earned more than $10.4 million in taxpayer funded loans last year, went into administration on Friday, according to documents lodged with the n Securities and Investments Commission.

The college’s more than 800 students have yet to be told it is unlikely they will be able to resume their studies at the Ultimo institution after the summer break.

The 22-year-old college is run and owned by Maureen Houssein-Mustafa, a prominent donor to both the Liberal and National parties, who came 29th on the BRW rich list in 2014 after earning more than $40 million.

Fairfax Media sought comment from Ms Houssein-Mustafa on Wednesday, and was told to contact the administrator.

In 2014 she told the Financial Review it was “never about the money”.

“I had a vision; we started small and I worked very hard and my vision was all about quality training,” she said.

In 2011, she received the Medal of the Order of for services to vocational education and training. She had previously co-hosted a $1500 a head fund-raiser for former Liberal leader John Brogden and donated thousands of dollars to the National Party.

In 2014, a NSW police investigation was launched into allegations hundreds of “phantom students” were enrolled in courses they never completed.

A NSW Police spokesperson said the investigation was ongoing. Ms Houssein-Mustafa has previously strongly denied the allegations.

In a letter to employees on December 23, administrator Robert Moodie of insolvency firm Rodgers Reidy confirmed that all staff would be let go before Christmas Eve.

“The company has ceased trading upon our appointment and as a result your employment has been terminated,” the letter said.

Mr Moodie told Fairfax Media the investigation into the college was in its infancy and that the move into administration was caused by a “lack of cash flow”.

With a student cohort of more than 800, only 73 students graduated from the college last year, according to Federal Department of Education data.

“At this stage it is highly unlikely the college will be trading in 2017,” said Mr Moodie.

A spokesman for the n Skills Quality Authority said the regulator has had a number of interactions with the college in recent years and that a further targeted audit was “well advanced” when the company entered administration.

He said ASQA had rejected an application from this provider to renew its registration in 2012, but this was overturned by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The college’s collapse comes just three days before sweeping reforms to vocational education funding come into force across .

The scandal-plagued VET FEE Help scheme, which blew out 10-fold from $325 million in 2012 to more than $3 billion in public debt this year, will be replaced by the VET Student Loans scheme from January 1, with tougher regulations on providers who have to re-apply for accreditation.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the new VET Student Loans program will ensure providers go through a rigorous application process.

“There will be extensive monitoring and evaluation to ensure they are delivering education that students and employers value and that taxpayers are willing to continue supporting,” he said.

Mr Moodie acknowledged “the changes obviously put pressure on the college”, but he was not in a position to comment on the impact they had on the move into administration.

He said the firm will look at the sale of shares in another company owned by Ms Houssein-Mustafa, MHM Higher Education, one of country’s only private higher education providers accredited to run HECS-funded degrees in health and wellness, to enable a return to creditors.

It is understood the higher education standards authority, TESQA, has been closely monitoring dual VET FEE-HELP and HECS providers.

Students concerned about the future of their course have been advised to contact the n Council for Private Education and training.

Do you know more? Email [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au


Newcastle and Hunter racing to launch Hall of Fame

THE Newcastle and Hunter racing Hall of Fame will be launched at a media luncheon at the Broadmeadow meeting on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
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CHAMPION: Luskin Star after winning the 1977 Golden Slipper.

While Newcastle has a sporting Hall of Fame, into which racing identities have been inducted, the region has never had a racing equivalent. There will be four categories for inductees: horses, trainers, jockeys and associates.

The selection panel includes Greg Radley (Sky Racing), Gary Harley (Newcastle Herald), Brian Judd (Newcastle Jockey Club director and former Racing NSW administrator) and Ray Thomas (News Limited). The inaugural Hall of Fame dinner, in which the first eight inductees will announced, is to be held on Wednesday night, March 15, at Broadmeadow race course.

Future inductees will take place every second year.

The public will be asked to nominate people or horses for consideration. Official nomination forms will be available from the NJC.

Nominations close on January 31, 2017.

In recent years, Robert Thompson, Luskin Star and Choisir have been inducted into the n Racing Hall of Fame, becoming the first representatives from this region.

Former Newcastle Herald racing journalist Sam North will assist the selection panel with research spanning many decades.

The Hall of Fame announcement will be followed two days later by the opening of the NJC’s new $11.2 million track redevelopment, which will host the first Group 3 race on the course proper on Friday, March 17, as part of Newcastle Newmarket Race Day. NJC CEO Matt Benson was confident the redevelopment would prove “the best racetrack in is in Newcastle”.


V8 star repowers second-hand rideMark Rothfield

VW DIESELS FITTED: V8 race car legend Russell Ingall’s reborn Riviera M400.SO what’s a nice Holden, Ford, Nissan, BMW guy doing putting VW diesels in his boat? You have to ask Russell Ingall, the V8 race car legend otherwise known as the Enforcer.
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Having bought a dilapidated Riviera M400 for a song earlier this year, Ingall began the search for replacement engines as part of a major refurbishment project.

These aren’t just any old diesels – they’re a marinised version of the free-spirited 4.2-litre TDI 370hp engines that Audi uses in its Q7 among others. Of course, the German marque also owns Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Bentley nowadays.

Ingall bought them through Mercury Marine, with whom he has a family relationship stretching back to his father’s powerboat racing days in the 1960s.

In fact, the race ace is no stranger to water despite spending more time in car cabins than boat cockpits and doubling, currently, as both competitor and commentator (for Fox). His bio is littered with a plethora of skiboats, Maritimo cruisers, Sea Rays and Rivieras – including a previous M400.

With an empty dock at the bottom of his Gold Coast garden, he began searching for large centre-cockpit design of the Boston Whaler ilk. The prices soon made his eyes water, which turned his attention back to the popular pre-GFC 40-footer built by Riv.

Its low-slung cabin would fit beneath road bridges and its legs could be lifted to navigate the Gold Coast Broadwater’s sinister shallows. The cockpit, while shy of a centre-cockpit, was easily spacious enough for lazy lunches afloat.

He found an M400 in Sydney.“I made a ridiculous offer for the boat and I got it,” Ingall says.

While the project was expected to take a couple of months it took twice as long, partly because Ingall is a perfectionist. First job was removing the old Mercruiser petrol engines.New bearers were made for the VW diesels and they slotted in with little fuss – even the petrol tanks could be used for diesel. The engineroom was spruced up and the topsides given a lick of metallic silver paint.It looks as good as gold in the photos and Ingall is rapt, having spent around half the cost of a new boat.

Bolted to the new diesels are a pair of Mercury Bravo 3 drives with dual props. The technology also brings the joy of Mercury’s Joystick Piloting system, putting berthing at your fingertips, and new electronic gauges.

“The diesel engines are incredibly impressive, which I knew they would be from driving my wife’s Q7,” he says.“They’ve taken the best of modern European car technology – rather than a truck-based platform – and adapted it for the marine environment, so you have engines which have a far better power-to-weight ratio and are seriously durable.”

The reborn M400 has a top speed of 34 knots at 4150rpm, with both engines combined using around 160 litres of fuel an hour … way below what the petrol powerplants used. Cruising at 25 knots and 3200rpm, the fuel consumption drops to 100 litres per hour. That’s pretty well on par with the current breed of 40 footers.

“For me, it confirms you don’t have to spend big money on a new boat,” Ingall said.


EDITORIAL: Summer drownings and the safety message

A QUICK dip in the summer sun.
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It’s a great Aussie tradition, whether it’s a body surf at the beach, a rope swing from a tree into an inland river or a lazy float across a backyard swimming pool.

But there’s an all-too-dangerous side to our love affair with water, as shownby the number of people who have lost their lives unnecessarily this Christmas by drowning.

At least seven people have drowned this weekand it will be an unusual festive season if the toll does not increase.

At the time of writing, more people had drowned in NSWwaters than had died on our roads during the holiday season, leading police and Royal Life Saving to issue their familiar summer warnings.

In the words ofNSW Police marine search and rescue co-ordinator, Sergeant Paul Farquharson this week: “If you can’t swim, don’t go in: it’s as simple as that.”

Despite the warnings, Royal Life Saving’s most recent compilation of drowning statistics saysan average of 282 people a year have drowned each year in over the past 10 years. This report, and others before it, reveal a distinct pattern of n drownings as far as age is concerned. The dangerfor children is thehighest before they turn five. Between fiveand 17, drowning rates are low, but they rise rapidly from 18 onwards.The peak drowning ages are 25 to44. The numbers then taper off to the point where the totals for people aged 75 and over are about the same as for children aged four and under.

Dividing the figures by gender shows that males typically account for 80 per cent or more of n drowning deaths. In the past decade, the most likely place to drown has proved to be rivers, creeks or streams, accounting for about 27 per cent of fatalities,followed by beaches (16 per cent), deep oceans or harbours (15 per cent),swimming pools (14 per cent), lakes, dams and lagoons (9 per cent), bathtubs and spas (7 per cent) and falling from rocks (6 per cent).

Despite the dangers, ’s romancewith the water need not be a doomed one. Simple steps can save lives. Pools must be fenced. Children need tolearn to swim, and to swim strongly. Adults, as much as it might annoy them, need toobey the signs, and swim between the flags. And just as is the case on the road, swimming and substance abuse donot mix. If the messages seem obvious, or repetitive, it’s because they are important. As important as life itself.

ISSUE: 38,426


This is how Carrie Fisher wanted the world to know she had died

Princess Leia in her famous gold bikini. The only underwear George Lucas allowed in space, according to Carrie Fisher. Photo: SuppliedThe best obituaries are written by the subject, according to the late Carrie Fisher.
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So may the record be corrected: Fisher, 60, didn’t die of a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles, she “drowned in moonlight, strangled by her bra”.

This alternative in memoriam was originally penned by the actor and writer in her 2008 memoir, Wishful Drinking, where she described an exchange with Star Wars creator George Lucas about the now iconic Princess Leia costume.

“George comes up to me the first day of filming and he takes one look at the dress and says, ‘You can’t wear a bra under that dress.’ So I say, ‘Okay, I’ll bite. Why?’ And he says, ‘Because… there’s no underwear in space.’ I promise you this is true, and he says it with such conviction too! Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn’t see any bras or panties or briefs anywhere.”

The director later allowed gold bikinis in outer space and explained to the star his reasoning behind his ‘no-bras-in-other-galaxies’ rule, which she also describes in the book:

“What happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right? But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn’t – so you get strangled by your own bra.”

Fisher later adapted the exchange for her one-woman stand-up show and recounted how she would like her “fantastic obit” to read.

“Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit – so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

Her books were her greatest outlet for her musings and tales from the front line of Hollywood. She published five paperbacks in total and was a New York Times bestselling author.

In her latest and last memoir, The Princess Diarist, Fisher revealed the detail of her “intense” affair with Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1976.

While on the publicity trail for the new book recently, she shared her thoughts on death with Rolling Stone.

“Do you fear death?” interviewer Andy Greene asked.

“No. I fear dying,” Fisher answered. “Anything with pain associated with it, I don’t like. I’ve been there for a couple of people when they were dying; it didn’t look like fun. But if I was gonna do it, I’d want someone like me around. And I will be there!”

The actress added, “I’m not going to enjoy dying, but there’s not much prep for that.”