JUDITH IRELAND: In an afternoon press conference in Sydney, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott drew links between federal Labor and its NSW counterparts, calling the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s findings ‘‘a black day in the history of the Labor Party’’.
Mr Abbott called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to ‘‘come clean’’ about all the dealings his senior ministers had with Mr Macdonald and Mr Obeid.
‘‘We all know how the NSW Labor Party works. We all know that this is a giant network of intrigue and influence. We all know that it operates on the basis of special deals and special favours for special mates,’’ he told reporters.
‘‘Mr Rudd needs to personally grill his ministers, he needs to personally grill [NSW Labor secretary Sam] Dastyari - the would-be senator - and [Matt] Thistlethwaite - the would-be member for Kingsford Smith - and get to bottom of their links with the Obeid-Macdonald machine.’’
In attacking Mr Rudd, Mr Abbott also said his plan to impose harsh criminal penalties for union officials breaking the rules would be a top-order priority for a Coalition government, calling on the Prime Minister to back the plan, even though Labor has not previously supported the legislation.
Obeid exposed as a man willing to trade the trust of office for his personal enrichment. He can no longer claim it's a @smh vendetta #icac — Linton Besser (@lb_online) July 31, 2013
JUDITH IRELAND: Eddie Obeid could now lose his OAM in the wake of the ICAC findings against him.
Mr Obeid was awarded the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia in June 1984 for "services to ethnic welfare".
According to the Constitution of the Order of Australia, the Governor-General can cancel an award "if a court, tribunal or other body exercising judicial or administrative power under ... a law of the Commonwealth, a state or a territory ... has made a finding that is adverse to the holder of the appointment or award."
A person can similarly lose their award if they are convicted of a crime.
The Governor-General can also cancel an award if "in the opinion of the Governor-General, the holder of the appointment or award has behaved or acted in a manner that has brought disrepute on the order."
A spokesman for Governor-General Quentin Bryce could not comment on "individual situations" on Wednesday, but said that the Council for the Order of Australia "investigates all matters brought to its attention".
He said that any decision Ms Bryce would make would be on the advice of the Council.
A notice of termination or cancellation would then be made in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette.
Former NSW Labor premier Nathan Rees says he believes the ICAC's findings will be damaging to Labor during the upcoming federal election.
''I've estimated that it's worth 2 to 3 per cent of the primary vote,'' he said in an interview with Eleanor Hall on ABC Radio.
''Now there's no way in the world that I can empirically demonstrate that, but I make it my business to talk to lots of people in my electorate and around NSW and this issue emerges time and again.
''The infamy of the characters involved has bled into the federal sphere and the federal election campaign.''
Mr Rees said he also believed the findings tainted ''parliamentarians everywhere, whether they're Liberal or Labor or any other stripe.
''The hard work that goes on by hundreds of good parliamentarians on both sides across Australia is smeared when these sorts of acts of maladministration of public office are aired.''
He also said the findings had been very damaging for the Labor Party, ''and it will take some time for us to restore trust in us.
''But this is a small step, it's important that justice be seen to be done.''
Tony Abbott in Sydney, responding to #ICAC: "Today is a black day in the history of the Labor Party" — Judith Ireland (@CanberraCamper) July 31, 2013
We've uploaded the three ICAC reports (they can be slow to download from the ICAC website). You can access them below if you're so inclined.
Operation Jasper (the major report, concerning the coal tender and involving Ian Macdonald, Eddie Obeid and Moses Obeid)
Operation Jarilo (concerning Ian Macdonald, Ron Medich and a prostitute named Tiffanie)
Operation Indus (concerning Moses Obeid and Eric Roozendaal and a cheap Honda)
NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson has just held a press conference to express his ''disgust'' at the actions of Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid, who ''used the name of the Labor Party to advance their own personal interests''.
''I have nothing but disdain for their actions and each of them,'' he said.
Mr Robertson said he accepted all findings that were made by the commission, dismissing Mr Obeid's accusation of "superficiality and bias".
He said the NSW Labor party reforms, spearheaded by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, would ensure ''we never have people like this in our party again.''
Under the reforms, anyone found guilty of corruption would be expelled from the party. Any member investigated for conduct bringing the party into disrepute would be suspended.
''I'm angry because we've seen an abuse of public trust to rip off taxpayers,'' Mr Robertson said.
''I'm appalled and disgusted by that.''
Mr Robertson also said he was confident that NSW Labor would come back from this with ''hard work and continued effort''.
Assistant General Secretary Jamie Clements from the NSW Branch of the Labor party has confirmed via Twitter that Moses Obeid, Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald have been banished from the party forever.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will hold a press conference at 1.50pm to make a comment on the ICAC findings.
A reader has just reminded me of what Eddie said about me in parliament.
‘‘McClymont has been mixing with scum for so long that she no longer knows who is good and who is bad, what is real and what is made up. She has become the journalistic equivalent of a gun moll with glittering associations with the not so well-to-do. Despite this being well known, management of The Sydney Morning Herald continue to grant her prime, unscrutinised space. How many more times must my sons and I take action in the courts to redress the damage this journalist has inflicted?’’
ICAC's inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the issue of an invitation to Doyles Creek Pty Ltd to apply for, and allocation of, an exploration licence will be handed down next month.
Pity, as Macca could've scored the Trifecta.
Surely it won't be long before someone turns the whole ICAC saga into a screenplay? Ten's entertainment reporter Angela Bishop may have the jump on it.
Can't wait for the TV series. Underbelly: Labor. #icac— Angela Bishop (@AngelaBishop) July 31, 2013
To summarise, there are eight key players that have been flagged for consideration for criminal charges:
Eddie Obeid, Moses Obeid, Ian Macdonald, Travers Duncan, Richard Poole, John Atkinson, John McGuigan and John Kinghorn.
After he finished giving evidence to ICAC earlier this year, Ian Macdonald said:
"When the evidence is finally fully assessed I will not be found guilty of any wrongdoing whatsoever... I believe this has been a very sensationalist process."
Ian MacDonald Photo: Rob Homer
During the hearings, it was unclear just how much money the Obeids stood to gain if the Mount Penny coal mine went ahead.
As well as the $30 million the Obeids have already received, their interest could be worth between $50 million and $100 million, the report found.
Further to that earlier post, Eddie Obeid was awarded his Order of Australia Medal in 1984 for "services to ethnic welfare".
He was the part-time Ethnic Affairs Commissioner from 1981-85 and Vice-President Ethnic Press Association of Australia from 1981-86.
Will Eddie Obeid lose his Order of Australia Medal and illustrious "OAM" from his title?
Under the Order of Australia Terminations and Cancellations Ordinance, the Governor-General may terminate an appointment or cancel an award "if a court, tribunal or other body exercising judicial or administrative power ... has made a finding that is adverse to the holder of the appointment or award".
The Ordinance also says: "The Governor-General may terminate an appointment, or cancel an award, if, in the opinion of the Governor-General, the holder of the appointment or award has behaved of acted in a manner that has brought disrepute on the Order."
Another good quote from the ICAC hearings...
ICAC heard Amanda Poole's bank account was used by her husband Richard to channel millions of dollars to the Obeids.
It was suggested to Mrs Poole, who does not work, that it must have come as a surprise that her taxable income for 2011-12 was $6 million. Mrs Poole said she knew nothing about her finances.
''I only ever use my credit card because I get frequent flyer points.''
And of course, Moses Obeid allegedly approached a private detective to have our own Kate McClymont followed. His beef was that she had led a campaign against him and his family and they needed to find a way to make her stop.
Here's the back story.
Reporters who were allegedly threatened have described feeling vindicated by the commissioner's findings this morning. ABC 7.30 reporter Louise Milligan says she was told she would be "destroyed" if she did a story on Ian Macdonald aka Sir Lunchalot.
Eddie and Moses Obeid have both vowed to consult their legal representatives with a view to taking further legal action.
They have the right to seek a "judicial review".
Commissioner Ipp gave the following comments on evidence from Eddie Obeid's other sons:
"The Commission is unable to rely upon the evidence of Paul Obeid, Gerard Obeid and Damian Obeid. Paul Obeid’s evidence is subject to similar criticisms to that of his brother, Moses Obeid. In particular, Paul Obeid’s repeated attempts to recount the story of the threat posed by the Anglo tenement are not believable, and his repetition of that story was designed to mislead the Commission. Gerard Obeid’s evidence was of a slightly different character – he was less strident and he left an impression that he was mainly acting under the direction of his brothers, Moses and Paul. Nevertheless, Gerard Obeid also recounted evidence that, while consistent with that of Moses and Paul Obeid, was not believable. Damian Obeid testified that the Obeid family obtained options to purchase Donola and Coggan Creek because these properties were suitable for “grazing purposes”. The Commission considers that there is no truth in such evidence whatsoever. This evidence, in the Commission’s view, taints all of Damian Obeid’s evidence."
Moses Obeid has released a statement as well now. Like his father, he has gone on the attack.
"I have strived to cooperate with ICAC since the inception of this enquiry [sic] and have been open and candid with ICAC Officers over what have now been many months of invasive investigations and Public Hearings. I deny any unlawful behaviour on my part. The allegations against me are strongly denied as is any suggestion that I have acted corruptly. Despite the immense pressure brought to bare upon my family, I am committed to defending my good name and reputation whenever required to in the future and I will do so with the support and strength of my family."
Accused of " criminal conspiracy" ... Moses Obeid. Photo: Rob Homer
NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson. Photo: Wolter Peeters
Opposition Leader John Robertson has slammed the "appalling abuse of public office by Obeid and Macdonald".
No word from Barry O'Farrell yet.
The question now is, what will happen to Cascade Coal's Mount Penny exploration licence? Greens MP John Kaye has called on Premier Barry O'Farrell to cancel it.
As for Ian Macdonald's report card from Commissioner Ipp? He could do much better, reports Kate McClymont.
"Mr Macdonald was an unsatisfactory witness. In some instances, the Commission has come to the view that Mr Macdonald gave deliberately untrue evidence – it is sufficient here to refer briefly to three examples: his evidence that he believed that the Obeid family property was on the Anglo (Anglo Coal (Bylong) Pty Ltd is referred to in this report as “Anglo”) tenement and not next door to it, his evidence regarding the discovery of Mount Penny in an atlas, and his evidence explaining his reasons for giving Moses Obeid the list of mining companies (the detail of these matters will be dealt with later in the report). In other instances, the Commission came to a view that Mr Macdonald was tailoring his evidence to fit the evidence of other witnesses, and attempting to concoct an innocent explanation to explain away damning facts. In many instances, Mr Macdonald demonstrated an unwillingness to answer direct questions. He attempted to avoid answering direct questions if answering the questions could do him harm. Overall, the Commission came to the view that it could not rely on any of the evidence of Mr Macdonald, save where it involved an admission against interest or where it was corroborated by evidence the Commission regarded as reliable."
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has moved to distance federal Labor from a damning ICAC report that found two former NSW Labor ministers have engaged in corrupt conduct.
Kevin Rudd 'disgusted' at ICAC evidence
The Prime Minister makes his feelings plain about former state Labor MPs Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid after ICAC recommended prosecuting them for corruption.PT0M25S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2qydl 620 349 July 31, 2013
Moses Obeid did not feature much better in the credibility stakes, Kate McClymont reports.
Here's what the report said of him:
"Moses Obeid was an unreliable witness, willing to lie or mislead whenever it suited his purpose. There are numerous instances where he deliberately lied at the public inquiry. The details of these matters are set out throughout this report. They include the evidence that he gave in respect of his contacts with Mr Macdonald, his receipt of the list of mining companies from Mr Macdonald, his contacts with Mr Brook, and his contacts with the investors in Cascade. His account, given in conjunction with his father (Edward Obeid Sr), regarding how he came to know of coal in the area of Cherrydale, was demonstrated to be a fabrication."
Commissioner Ipp on Eddie Obeid's credibility:
"Edward Obeid Sr was an unimpressive witness. The Commission would be hesitant in accepting his evidence on any contentious issue. He gave evidence on some important issues which, for reasons explained below, the Commission regarded as deliberately untrue. The Commission regarded his repeated attempts to distance himself from the Obeid family businesses as deliberately false, and merely an attempt to construct a defensive position between him and some of the issues that lie at the heart of this inquiry. He was an aggressive witness and seemed to be more concerned with imposing his will on the proceedings than with simply telling the truth. From time to time, this aggression manifested itself in a determination to make speeches arguing his case, irrespective of the question. It was plain that, if he felt that an honest answer could damage his position, he simply evaded providing an answer."
ICAC finds that Ian Macdonald's excuse for why he was in the Four Seasons hotel room with prostitute Tiffanie - that he had "neck tiredness" and was expecting a remedial massage - was "inherently incredible".
Eddie Obeid's statement continues:
‘‘I reject the assertions by the Commissioner that I acted in any way that could amount to corrupt conduct. It will be necessary for me to consult my legal representatives before any detailed response is to be published, but I wish to make it clear that I reserve my right to seek judicial review in respect of the adverse findings.’’
The "Tiffanie" report says Tuscany owner Frank Moio said former Mining Minister Ian Macdonald attended his restaurants "on a weekly basis".
Frank Moio leaves an ICAC hearing in December 2011. Photo: Edwina Pickles
The statement from Eddie Obeid, distributed by law firm Breene & Breene solicitors, says:
"I regret to have to say that it was as I anticipated - given the animosity of both counsel assisting and the Commissioner during the hearing phases."
He has accused ICAC of showing "superficiality and bias".
Eddie Obeid has released a statement saying that he rejects the findings and will consult his legal team.
Eddie Obeid responds to the ICAC findings pic.twitter.com/gc18rsOxxd— Sean Nicholls (@SeanNic) July 31, 2013
There have been plenty of great quotes to remember from ICAC:
"His nickname was that he was 'Obeid's left testicle'." -NSW Labor MP Luke Foley on Ian Macdonald.
"I was given a higher title... Sir Lunchalot." - Ian Macdonald responding to his barrister when asked if he had been upset at being called Mr Lunchalot.
Travers Duncan Photo: Mick Tsikas
Some of the "Magnificent Seven" from Cascade Coal have also fared badly in the report.
Not only has Comissioner Ipp recommended Travers Duncan, Richard Poole, John Atkinson and John McGuigan be referred to the DPP for criminal charges over possible breaches of the Corporations Act, he also suggested that they attempted to misleads the ASX.
"There was evidence before the Commission of attempts by some directors of White Energy to evade a request from ASX for information concerning the calculation of Cascade’s capitalised mining costs. There was other evidence that a false announcement was made to ASX concerning the reason for terminating the proposed arrangement between White Energy and Cascade."
However ... Although Paul Obeid and his business partners, the brothers Rocco and Rosario Triulcio, did not get slapped with corruption findings, they have been referred to the state's prosecutor for giving false evidence to the anti-corruption commission.
So too has Moses Obeid, who the ICAC said had given four counts of false testimony.
Paul Obeid Photo: Tamara Dean
Some other members of the Obeid clan have had better luck.
ICAC has found there was insufficient evidence that the other Obeids interviewed about the Honda car deal - Eddie Obeid's father Eddie Snr and Paul Obeid - had acted corruptly. The same goes for their property developer friends and business partners, brothers Rocco and Rosario Triulcio.
On the big one - Operation JASPER and the corrupt Cascade Coal licenses - Kate McClymont reports that the Obeid's millions might be at risk with Commissioner Ipp recommending NSW Crime Commission possibly applying to the Supreme Court of NSW for an assets forfeiture order.
He goes on to say that "the Supreme Court of NSW may make such an order where it finds that a person has engaged in serious crime-related activity, even if the person has not been charged or convicted of any criminal offence".
On the "Tiffanie" affair, ICAC has referred Ian Macdonald and Ron Medich to the DPP for corruption charges which carry a seven year jail term.
Ron Medich Photo: Jon Reid
The question of what Eric Roozendaal knew or was told about the purchase turns to a large degree on what he was told by Moses Obeid.
The ICAC has found that "Moses Obeid was not a truthful witness, and his evidence could not be relied upon for any purpose, including deciding what he may or may not have told Mr Roozendaal".
The ICAC has accepted an argument made by Eric Roozendaal's lawyer that his actions displayed a lack of "judgment or insight".
The former Roads Minister had admitted he had obtained an almost new car at a substantial discount and that "he was allowed to take the car away... without having signed any documents or paid any money because Moses Obeid was a friend of [the car dealer] and had made such arrangements".
The report notes that it was difficult for the Commission to uncover the full truth about Mr Roozendaal’s involvement in, and knowledge of, the transactions that led to the purchase of the Honda CR-V on his behalf.
This is because Mr Roozendaal allowed Moses Obeid to play a major role in organising the purchase of the car, and dealt almost exclusively with Moses Obeid in respect of the purchase.
Eric Roozendaal. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Not surprisingly, the Twittersphere is loving the first taste of ICAC's findings of corrupt conduct.
Eddie Obeid just ICACed his pants #ICAC— Dan Ilic (@danilic) July 31, 2013
The findings are so substantial that boxes had to be wheeled into state Parliament on trolleys this morning, reports the Financial Review's Michaela Whitbourn.
More from Linton Besser on Operation INDUS (regarding Eric Roozendaal and the cheap Honda):
The ICAC has declared that Moses Obeid acted corruptly by providing a $10,800 discount for Eric Roozendaal, the former NSW treasurer and Labor party boss, on a Honda CRV.
The ICAC said this was an "inducement for Mr Roozendaal to show favour to Obeid business interests in the exercise of his official functions".
But the Commission said there was "insufficient evidence" to show Mr Roozendaal knew of the complex arrangements that led to him benefiting from this discount.
The ICAC's website has crashed yet again.
Good news #ICAC website up and running again. Bad news -still waiting for the reports.— Kate McClymont (@Kate_McClymont) July 31, 2013
#ICAC site has crashed again!— Kate McClymont (@Kate_McClymont) July 31, 2013
Just to confirm: former NSW Mining Minister Ian Macdonald, former minister Eddie Obeid and his son Moses Obeid have engaged in corrupt conduct, ICAC has found.
However, former Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal did not engage in corrupt conduct, the commission has found.
The NSW Legislative Council says the reports will be made public on ICAC's website shortly. Some entertaining lunch-time reading for you all.
"I felt very reluctant to be kissed by him" ... "Tiffanie", a 38-year-old escort, gave evidence at the ICAC corruption inquiry. Photo: Wolter Peeters
During an investigation in 2011, the commission heard that Mr Macdonald arranged a lunch meeting at the Tuscany restaurant in Leichhardt between Mr Medich and Country Energy executives Craig Murray and Bill Frewen on July 15, 2009.
Mr Medich and his associate, former boxer Lucky Gattellari, used the meeting to complain about the lack of success their firm, Rivercorp, was having securing government contracts.
After lunch, Mr Macdonald was taken by Mr Gattellari’s driver, Senad Kaminic, to the five-star Four Seasons hotel in the Rocks where he was handed a room key.
Waiting in the hotel room was a Chinese prostitute, "Tiffanie", who told the commission she understood sex was expected from her.
More from Sean Nicholls on Operation JARILO and Ian Macdonald's hotel rendezvous with Tiffanie:
ICAC will ask the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider whether criminal charges should be brought against Mr Macdonald for ‘‘an offence of corruptly receiving a benefit’’ from Mr Medich and Mr Gattellari and ‘‘misconduct in public office’’.
The commission will also seek advice from the DPP about whether to prosecute Medich for ‘‘corruptly giving a benefit to Mr Macdonald as a reward.’’
Each offence carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.
On Operation INDUS (Eric Roozendaal and the cheap car), former Roads Minister Roozendaal has been found not to be corrupt. Moses Obeid was deemed corrupt for procuring a cheap Honda for the Roozendaal family in return for favours.
On Operation JARILO, Sean Nicholls reports that former Mining Minister Ian Macdonald has been found to have engaged in corrupt conduct for accepting the services of a prostitute, Tiffanie, in return for arranging meetings between the businessman Ron Medich and executives from state-run power companies.
FIRST FINDINGS ARE IN: ICAC has found that Ian Macdonald, Eddie Obeid and Moses Obeid engaged in corrupt conduct and should be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The findings are so substantial that boxes had to be wheeled into state parliament on trolleys this morning, reports the Financial Review's Michaela Whitbourn.
Kate McClymont reports that ICAC's website has already crashed just minutes after the three reports went up online.
Oh dear, #ICAC's website has crashed already!— Kate McClymont (@Kate_McClymont) July 31, 2013
And we're off. The ABC's state political reporter says the reports have officially been tabled.
Home Affairs Minister and western Sydney MP Jason Clare also didn't mince his words on Sky News this morning.
"Throw the book at them, prosecute to the full extent of the law," he said.
He said the Labor party needs to reform itself to make sure ICAC investigations like this one never happen again.
Questions loom over what kind of ramifications the findings will have for the Labor party, whose reputation has been severely dented by the explosive corruption allegations.
Already this morning, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said he's been "disgusted by what has been revealed in the ICAC hearings," Channel 10 reporter Georgi Glover has Tweeted.
What might we expect from the three reports this morning?
Kate McClymont reported yesterday that the three key figures - Ian Macdonald, Eddie Obeid and Moses Obeid - are likely to have criminal charges recommended against them for conspiracy to defraud.
Moses Obeid leaves the Latteria coffee shop in Darlinghurst through a back entrance. Photo: Anne Davies
The Herald's team has already spotted Moses Obeid this morning escaping the Latteria coffee shop in Darlinghurst through a back entrance into a waiting Range Rover.
There have been some key moments over several months of hearings:
Ian Macdonald was forced on one occasion to deny he was a "crook".
Mr Obeid retorted on another that he had "spent more money than (counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson had) made in a lifetime".
And the proceedings proved so sensational that members of the public began queuing outside the seventh-floor ICAC hearing room, deck chairs in hand. "Try and control yourselves at the back; at least refrain from clapping,'' Commissioner David Ipp warned the boisterous public gallery in one instance.
Ian Macdonald Photo: Rob Homer
SMH front page, November 13
The inquiry first hit the front pages in November with counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson saying in his opening address that the allegations, if proven, would constitute "corruption on a scale probably unexceeded since the days of the Rum Corps".
That quote will go down as one of the best, no matter what the outcome this morning.
Here's is a good backgrounder from Kate McClymont looking back at the sensational inquiry into government corruption.
ICAC report looms
Senior reporter Kate McClymont looks back at the inquiry into alleged NSW government corruption by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.PT5M23S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2qpjp 620 349 July 26, 2013
How will it work this morning? Three reports will be tabled in state parliament and posted online on ICAC's website. There will be no official proceedings and none of the key players involved in the inquiries are required to be anywhere.
Linton Besser will be going through the report into Operation INDUS.
This investigation looked at allegations that former Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal received a $10,400 discount on a Honda from Eddie Obeid's family in return for favours.
Roozendaal's wife wrote off the family Honda and the search for a replacement, of course, led to Eddie Obeid, who passed the matter to his son Moses who was able to find a $44,800 Honda which would cost the Roozendaals just $34,000.
Sean Nicholls will be going through the findings from Operation JARILO.
This inquiry looked into allegations that businessman Ron Medich (who, incidentally, has been charged with the murder of Cremorne businessman Michael McGurk) offered former NSW Mining Minister Ian Macdonald inducements - including the services of a prostitute called Tiffanie - to arrange meetings with state energy executives.
After a lunch at Tuscany's with Mr Medich and Craig Murray, the head of state power company Mr Macdonald met with Tiffanie in a Sydney hotel room but says he fell asleep after little more than a "neck massage".
There are three separate reports to be tabled in state parliament at 10.30am and we have three reporters on the case.
Kate McClymont will be sifting through the big one: Operation JASPER.
This deals with allegations former NSW Mining Minister Ian Macdonald rigged a 2008 coal tender process to benefit former NSW minister Eddie Obeid and his family to the tune of around $30-$70 million dollars.
The Obeids and his acquaintances bought property in the Bylong Valley near Mudgee just before Mr Macdonald agreed to open a mining area in the Valley for coal exploration, which greatly increased the value of the Obeid holdings.