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Voters in key Liberal seats back same-sex marriage and free vote, poll shows

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Voters in key Liberal seats back same-sex marriage and free vote, poll shows, 苏州夜生活, by .

Justice Minister Michael Keenan addresses the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 30 May 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen A majority of voters in six seats held by Liberal MPs who are undecided on marriage equality support same-sex marriage and a free vote in Parliament, new polling shows.
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However, Liberal voters in those seats were significantly less inclined to support marriage equality or a parliamentary free vote – concerns MPs will need to weigh ahead of a special party room meeting on Monday.

The ReachTel poll, commissioned by activist group GetUp, examined six seats in Queensland and Western – Hasluck, Moncrieff, Ryan, Stirling, Swan and Tangney – held by Coalition MPs whose position on same-sex marriage is undeclared according to n Marriage Equality.

In five of the six seats, more than 50 per cent of voters wanted same-sex marriage to be legalised. In Stirling, a metropolitan seat in Perth held by Justice Minister Michael Keenan, the figure was 48 per cent, with 42 per cent against change and 10 per cent undecided.

A majority of voters in all six seats backed a free vote on same-sex marriage in the Parliament “as soon as possible” (in the Perth seat of Swan it was 49.9 per cent, with 33 per cent against and 17 per cent unsure).

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s seat of Moncrieff, in south east Queensland, had the strongest support for change, with 60.2 per cent of voters backing same-sex marriage and 59 per cent calling for a free vote by MPs.

ReachTel polled about 700 people in each seat on Wednesday night, as the Turnbull government wrangled over a fresh internal push to legalise same-sex marriage by ditching the failed plebiscite policy in favour of a free vote.

Liberal MPs will decide between those options at a special party room meeting on Monday, convened by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to quell weeks of infighting.

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne, who was caught on tape in June speculating same-sex marriage could be delivered “sooner than everyone thinks”, on Friday said: “I think the overwhelming view of the party room is support the current [plebiscite] policy.”

However, some moderate Liberals are reserving their right to ignore such a resolution and demand debate on a private member’s bill which has been drafted by Liberal senator Dean Smith, to be presented to colleagues ahead of Monday’s meeting.

If a free vote is rejected, it could see Labor and crossbenchers team up with a handful of Liberals to suspend standing orders and bring on a vote on gay marriage, which would have a reasonable chance of passing.

Senator Smith held his ground on Friday, reiterating Liberal MPs were “free to uphold their own conscience on issues”, unlike Labor.

“It’s a distinction that I will use on this particular issue at this particular point in time,” he told Sky News.

The ReachTel poll showed Liberal voters in the six seats were less inclined to support same-sex marriage, and were generally split on a free vote.

In Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt’s seat of Hasluck, 43.2 per cent of Liberal voters wanted a free vote, while 44.7 per cent were opposed.

In the Queensland seat of Ryan, held by Jane Prentice, 52.4 per cent of LNP voters opposed a free vote, but 37.1 per cent were in favour.

And 44.2 per cent of Liberal voters in Mr Keenan’s electorate of Stirling supported a free vote straight away, compared to 35.5 per cent against and 20 per cent undecided.

Voters were not polled about their feelings toward a plebiscite, but were asked: “Do you believe the government should hold a free vote in Parliament for marriage equality as soon as possible?”

GetUp campaign director Sally Rugg said the poll results showed voters “aren’t buying” the plebiscite and that “people are really sick of hearing about this issue”.

“So many people support this reform and understand that it’s a simple positive thing that will bring happiness to thousands of families across ,” she said.

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‘I would pinch myself’: Prime Palm Beach mansion for sale

12.12.2018, Comments Off on ‘I would pinch myself’: Prime Palm Beach mansion for sale, 苏州夜生活, by .

Former squash world champion Rodney Eyles has listed his stunning Palm Beach beachfront mansion at 63 Jefferson Lane for sale.
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“I would pinch myself every single morning that I lived here. I love this house,” Mr Eyles said. “It’s been the best place in the world for our kids to grow up.”

You can walk directly off of the 597-square metre block and onto the sands of Palm Beach and there’s unbeatable ocean views from the home’s living areas too.

“It is truly [heaven] to walk out the back door and be right on the beach,” Mr Eyles said.

After 17 years the Eyles family are giving up the family home; they no longer need it. Recently, the former squash world number two has been working in the US.

Ray White Mermaid Beach agent Troy Dowker said apart from the obvious benefit of being able to walk onto the beach, Jefferson Lane was a prime location.

“On a global scale, Palm Beach also has something special as its gated by two estuaries on either end with national parks at Currumbin to the south and Burleigh Heads to the north.”

Mr Eyles said he was a big fan of the opportunities for fun the lifestyle offered. “I love to surf and kayak here,” he said. “There’s great spots from here to Currumbin to go running and cycling.”

Jefferson Lane includes the addresses of a number of high profile and high net worth individuals such as Ryan Stokes, Kelly Slater, and Peter Dutton. Related: Brisbane prestige market luring buyers northRelated: Failed green walls slammed in BrisbaneRelated: Four great examples of contemporary architecture

Mr Dowker said Jefferson Lane was often overshadowed more well known streets like Hedges Avenue. “It’s always been a part of the who’s who but it’s sort of been shadowed by Hedges but now Jefferson is coming into it’s own,” he said. “It attracts a lot of high profile people and they choose Palm Beach over anywhere else on the Gold Coast.

Jefferson Lane’s sale prices were also closing in on Hedges Avenue.

“Hedges has always been the pinnacle. In 2007 is was twice the price [of Jefferson Lane] as a rule of thumb, but now it’s 1.5 times,” he said. “Jefferson is closing the gap.”

The four bedroom house goes to auction on September 2.

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Why Nathan Buckley should coach the Pies again in 2018

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Why Nathan Buckley should coach the Pies again in 2018, 苏州夜生活, by .

Heading into what shaped up only weeks ago as his final month as Collingwood senior coach, the overwhelming evidence is that Nathan Buckley will save his career and will be offered a new contract with the Magpies.
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Call it serendipitous timing, call it one last chance or call it an admission finally from Collingwood’s hierarchy that the club failed to provide adequate support structures around its favourite son who entered the top job six years ago woefully inexperienced for the task ahead.

Whichever way you consider it, Buckley emerges deserving of another crack at the Collingwood coaching job. If that is the way Eddie McGuire decides to go ??? and we predict he will ??? then surely the call should be made in the coming week or two to end the uncertainty that is haunting so many key figures at the club.

While Gary Pert’s departure did not in itself help to secure Buckley’s position it certainly didn’t hurt the coach’s chances. And the fact of Pert’s removal from the landscape has exposed the folly behind the club’s management of its football department and other key staff in recent years.

Much has been made of Buckley’s revolving door of football bosses and the disenchantment with McGuire’s move to install Graeme Allan in place of Neil Balme a year ago, but you have to wonder how tough it must have been for the senior coach when virtually every one of his assistants feared for his future on one-year agreements which was the CEO’s strategy in recent years.

So not only has Buckley not known where the future lies but he has had to deal for some time with a group of often insecure assistants and colleagues. Of Buckley’s five-man match committee only football boss Geoff Walsh and new assistant Brenton Sanderson have any certainty at the club beyond the end of September. Of the club’s eight assistant/development/academy/VFL coaches all bar Sanderson and Brad Gotch come out of contract this year.

As does high performance boss Bill Davoren and ditto list manager Derek Hine, who was given a one-year deal at the end of 2016, and his recruiting team.

All the out-of-contract assistants have been encouraged to seek alternative positions at other clubs because the Magpies cannot guarantee anything until the coach is decided. Several will be moved on but the sooner the club makes a call on Buckley the sooner it can retain those it wants to keep ??? preferably moving to show more faith in them by offering longer than one-year contracts.

Acting CEO Peter Murphy, who has been reviewing the Collingwood administration while Geoff Walsh has been examining the football structure, unearthed low morale and a less than vibrant workplace along with other shortcomings in the business.

The review into the governance of the club and the functioning of the board remains intriguing given McGuire’s despotic style and the unlikelihood he will change now whereas Walsh’s conclusions would seem more predictable given his history of backing coaches and erring on the side of stability. This along with his strong historic relationship with Buckley.

But in the end it will be McGuire’s call and surely his heart is telling him now that Buckley has strong internal support. Selling the decision to supporters, who have stayed away in alarmingly big numbers this season, will prove his toughest task particularly given the Magpies are 13th and look likely to finish in their lowest position since Buckley was appointed six years ago.

But then so would selling the decision to replace him with a promising but untried rookie senior coach, however solid his apprenticeship. Particularly after the club has invested so heavily in the 45-year-old and McGuire’s tenure is so strongly linked to Buckley. If the president is so determined to revitalise his leadership then sticking with the coach within a better structure would prove a masterstroke should it work and far less risky than the current alternatives.

There is evidence Collingwood felt at some point during the early part of the season that Alastair Clarkson and Hawthorn might be questioning one another and that the game’s SuperCoach might be available. No one thinks that now. Nor does there seem an appetite to try to lure Brad Scott from North Melbourne, which we thought might have proved a good fit a month ago.

Since the round-16 loss to Essendon, Collingwood have beaten Gold Coast, West Coast and endured a heartbreaking draw with ladder leaders Adelaide. People can scoff all they like about coaches “losing” players and players “playing” for the coach but there is no doubt internally a sense that Buckley has somehow galvanised this team. Despite being horribly let down over the past year by some recruiting-list decisions and a couple of key individuals, namely Daniel Wells, who came to the club out of shape, and Jordan De Goey.

Certainly he has won over significant sections of the football community in the manner he has carried himself this season and if public performance wins him points in a job Ross Lyon joked was one of the game’s hottest hot seats, then throw that onto the pro-Buckley argument.

Recent AFL history shows that untried favourite sons fail when thrown into the job. The experience of the highly public Geelong review demonstrated that the coach should not always shoulder the blame and that strong clubs look deeper than simply sacking the customary fall guy.

It would be wrong to say that Richmond have become a long-term successful football club just yet but the example of last year’s review and subsequent decisions would suggest that the Tigers are on the right track. By identifying key weaknesses to help a coach who has struggled but not failed rather than giving up on him has strengthened Richmond’s culture.

Collingwood looked on track to become a strong club when it won the 2010 premiership. For all sorts of reasons it then fell away and in falling it became apparent that Nathan Buckley was not the messiah.

But Collingwood remain a machine with a daunting upside. Now McGuire and his team have had the strength to call for this major review they will surely realise that Buckley might have made mistakes along the way but his character, work ethic and experience and the right leaders around him could still see him become a very good coach. Preferably with at least a two-year contract.

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Hunter drivers are using mobile phones at an alarming rate

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Hunter drivers are using mobile phones at an alarming rate, 苏州夜生活, by .

IF I wasn’t on my phone I would’ve had both eyes on the road.
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Those words are not from a road safety advertisement.

It was what a Port Waratah coal loader worker told police in 2010 after he killed a cyclist who was riding in the breakdown lane of the Pacific Highway at Lake Macquarie.

The coal loader worker, Jason Rippard, is believed to be the first person in NSW to be charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a person linked to using a mobile phone.

Graham Denton, a 52-year-old father of three from Caves Beach, died on the side of the road at 6.30am on December 9, 2010.

Rippard was on his way to work at Kooragang Island and had been reading a text message on his mobile phone about his pay only seconds before his car veered into the breakdown lane.

For anyone thinking there are no consequences to driving while using a mobile phone, for any reason, it is worth considering what Rippard told police when he looked up from his phone, while travelling at about 90 kilometres per hour, and saw he was “heading straight for two cyclists”.

“All I could do was try and, you know, reef the car to miss the cyclist and unfortunately I’ve hit one of them,” he said.

They are words noone ever wants to have to say.

There is no doubt Rippard did not intend to hit Mr Denton that day, propelling him at least six metres in the air until he landed very heavily on the road.

But Rippardread a text message about his pay, and a man died because of it.

A Newcastle Heraldroadside survey of cars this week showed a disturbing level of mobile phone use, and quite alarming driver behaviour.

A driver using both hands on a phone, eyes down, driving to the speed limit and with no apparent thought about actually steering the car is a crash waiting to happen.

Seven drivers in a 15-minute window were seenduring peak traffic at Jesmond. Another six during an hour were seen on the Pacific Highway at Highfields during an off peak time.

It can be argued that with so many drivers using mobile phones and the risks associated with it, there should be more crashes. That is an argument used by people who haven’t stood on the side of the road, shocked and disbelieving, as someone else dies.

Issue: 38,563.

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Strike Force Ballin: Oxley detectives and homicide squad investigate Walcha farmer’s death

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Strike Force Ballin: Oxley detectives and homicide squad investigate Walcha farmer’s death, 苏州夜生活, by .

Deceased: Matthew Dunbar was found dead on Wednesday near Walcha. Photo: Walcha NewsUPDATE: Death ‘suspicious’A murder investigation is underway after police confirmed a popular Walcha man’s death is being treated as suspicious.
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Oxley police are now treating Mathew Dunbar’s death as a suspicious with homicide police called in.

Police won’t be drawn on the nature of Mr Dunbar’s death but confirmed it is suspicious.

Strike Force Ballin has been set-up by Oxley detectives and the State Crime Command’s homicide squad to investigate how the 42-year-old died after his body was found on his Thunderbolts Way property outside Walcha in the early hours ofWednesday.

Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff BuddEARLIERA CRIME scene remained in place for a third straight day on Friday as specialistpolice continued their probe into the death of a popular farmer.

Mathew Dunbar’s‘Pandora’ sheep farmon the Thunderbolts Way, outside of Walcha, was still cordoned off on Friday afternoon as Oxley detectives continued to investigate following the discovery of his body at 2am on Wednesday.

Detectives spent another day speaking with friends and neighbours of the well-known Walcha local.

Oxley police are remaining tight-lipped on much of the details surrounding the death but specialist resources have been deployed to assist Oxley detectives who are leading the probe.

Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd toldFairfax Mediainvestigations are continuing.

“A crime scene remains in place and that is being processed by police,” he said on Friday.

“A post-mortem on the body of the 42-year-old will take place in the coming days and police will prepare a report for the coroner.”

Northern Daily Leader

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Matildas hit every KPI, it’s time their bosses did the same

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Matildas hit every KPI, it’s time their bosses did the same, 苏州夜生活, by .

When Matildas coach Alen Stajcic boldly stated “We want to win the World Cup” earlier this week, he might have been greeted with a few wry smiles. But after his side beat the US on home soil before cruising past Japan and following that with a 6-1 demolition of Brazil on Friday morning, the doubters have become believers and the question has changed from “really?” to “why can’t we?”
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The Matildas have long been the darlings of n football and this week they showed they could be so much more. Their whitewash of the Tournament of Nations delivered them another trophy, drew plaudits from around the world and strengthened their claim as ‘s most successful national team.

It was as much a display of character as it was of an emerging force in the women’s game. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams was inspirational with her heroics against the US. Midfielders Katrina Gorry, Emily Van Egmond and Elise Kellond-Knight were typically ruthless and classy. A new leader flourished once more in defender Steph Catley while girls around the country will now be playing for their local clubs on Saturday morning trying to emulate four-goal hero Sam Kerr.

Yet again, the Matildas hit every KPI. But if they’re to take the next step forward, they’ll need Football Federation ‘s marketing team to do the same.

The players are no longer just able to match the best in the world, they are clearly among them. It’s not so much opposing teams that threaten that newfound status, but the lack of investment.

Some players are earning a base salary as little as $30,000 a year. The W-League can’t afford to stage a full home-and-away series while the budget for the national team places limitations on games and training camps. After their latest triumph, the question must be asked “where are the sponsors hiding”?

Surely they should have started to trickle in seven years ago, when the Matildas became the first n team to win an Asian title. When they reached the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup, the players were expecting things to change. They were entitled to a share of prize money and they were relishing the prospect of a bonus from a sponsor. That bonus never arrived. And neither did the commercial partners. They were one penalty kick away from a medals match at the 2016 Olympics but remained much further away from the much-needed lucrative sponsorship deals. Now, after claiming another trophy at the expense of the world’s No.1 nation, the Asian and South American champions, it’s now or never for the FFA to field offers.

For all their appeal, the Matildas commercial return remains paltry. Only Westfield – with family ties to the FFA – and the n government (AIS) are listed as stand-alone sponsors of the team. Their appeal should be rewarded with more and their latest triumph should change that, according to sports marketing experts.

“Most companies see themselves as the best and they want to associate themselves with the best and I don’t think the Matildas can do anything more,” said Nicholas Livermore, director of Dynamic Sports Marketing.

The Matildas are successful, athletic, charming, removed from the threat of controversy and seemingly the perfect role models. They’re representative of all corners of the country; The strike force of Kerr and De Vanna represent Perth. Sydney has future stars in Ellie Carpenter and Princess Ibini. Queenslanders Gorry and Tameka Butt run the midfield while the capital holds the fort through goalkeeper Williams. That’s just the start.

Just as importantly, they’re flag-bearers of our cultural make-up. The current squad boasts players from Indigenous, Indian, Lebanese, Nigerian, Italian, Croatian, Portuguese, Dutch and anglo-n backgrounds, only furthering the potential of their mass appeal. Put simply, the Matildas are the sum of their parts.

Surely, they tick every box for a potential sponsor. That appeal is only set to become more valuable with their 2018 Asian Cup, 2019 World Cup and the bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup. But there’s something holding them back.

“I won’t comment on the FFA but they need more exposure on free-to-air television,” Livermore said. “I think they’re extremely marketable and attractive but unfortunately free-to-air TV dictates what sponsorship is worth.”

The Matildas have two more games on home soil against Brazil next month, televised on Fox Sports and ABC. The iron remains hot for another month at least. Surely, the FFA must realise the potential of ‘s most successful national team becoming its most marketable.

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Border forces ‘soul searching’ over ‘terror bomb’ package mailed from Turkey

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Border forces ‘soul searching’ over ‘terror bomb’ package mailed from Turkey, 苏州夜生活, by .

Border and security authorities would be “doing a lot of soul searching” following revelations that a bomb kit was allegedly mailed to by the Islamic State and probably couldn’t be sure that more explosive devices had not come into the country, a leading expert has said.
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After the n Federal Police revealed that the bomb at the centre of the alleged Sydney plane terror plot had been sent by air cargo from Turkey, a spokeswoman from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said that the scale of mail and air cargo “presents a unique challenge”.

John Coyne, a former AFP transnational crime specialist now with the n Strategic Policy Institute, said that it was impossible to check all items of cargo and mail coming into . Authorities would not know whether other such devices had been sent to .

“A question now will be what other devices were sent through, how many, who to?” Dr Coyne said. “That will be a worrying issue in many people’s minds in domestic and international security. Is this the first time this has happened? How many times has it happened? There is no way of telling.”

He said the explosives used in the Manchester attack on an Ariana Grande concert could just have easily been sent by mail.

“My experience is, let me assure you, there’ll be a lot of soul-searching around targeting at borders. Can we use big-data analytics, explosive detection, can we make it more affordable? What are the cost and time implications? There will be a range of questions government will be going through.”

AFP deputy commissioner Mike Phelan said agencies had put in place “extra measures” since discovering the disassembled “improvised explosive device” – the favoured weapon of jihadists – had been sent from Turkey.

Dr Coyne said had “depth” to its national security apparatus so that even if items slipped into the country, agencies could pick up on plots to use them.

The department spokeswoman said more than 500,000 pieces of mail and air cargo arrived in every day.

The department had “ongoing operations around detection of articles of this type and those operations continue and will be enhanced where needed”, she said.

She did not address questions about whether permanent changes had been made or whether other packages might have been sent by terrorists.

She said the n Border Force works in international mail centres and air cargo depots to screen and examine high-risk items based on intelligence and using technology such as X-rays, sniffer dogs and trace detection equipment.

“We work with our partners internationally and domestically to identify, detect and combat threats. We risk assess and clear more than 40 million individual air cargo consignments and inspect over 60 million international mail items each year,” she said.

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Souths send Dragons into freefall as Dugan adds injury to insult

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Souths send Dragons into freefall as Dugan adds injury to insult, 苏州夜生活, by .

St George Illawarra’s tenuous grip on the NRL top eight weakened even further on Friday as South Sydney stormed home with two tries in the last six minutes to steal a memorable 26-24 win at the SCG.
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And in a double blow for the free-falling Dragons, n World Cup hopeful Josh Dugan failed to see out the game with what appears to be a potentially season-ending syndesmosis injury to his left ankle.

Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds nailed a sideline conversion with less than four minutes left in front of just 12,312 fans at a cavernous SCG, after John Sutton and then Bryson Goodwin scored late tries to steal a fourth-straight win against their fierce rivals.

There was drama littered throughout the thrilling contest, none more so than late in the first half when Sam Burgess was sin-binned after tackling Tyson Frizell without the ball when the back rower looked certain to score.

Jacob Host threw a pass back in to a flying Frizell who was denied an opportunity to catch the football with Burgess having grabbed the player too early.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor, facing a $10,000 fine for criticising the referees in last weekend’s loss to the bottom-placed Knights, refused to be drawn on the incident other than to say Frizell probably would’ve scored if he’d caught it. McGregor was more disappointed with how his side managed to throw away an 11th win of the year.

“Tonight’s loss is as disappointing as last week’s,” McGregor said. “We lost the game tonight. When you’re up by 10 with 10 to go you don’t lose games.

“There was a couple of defensive misses during the game. We haven’t played a real solid 80 minutes for a while now.

“What’s disappointing is we scored a try and the next set they went 80 metres to score off that set. It shouldn’t happen in any time of the game but it was a really important period with five or six minutes to go. We’ve got to be more resilient than that.”

The Dragons remain in eighth spot for the moment, but Penrith will leapfrog them into the finals standings should they down the Wests Tigers as expected on Sunday.

That would mean McGregor’s side no longer has their fate in their hands, with games against Gold Coast, Brisbane, Penrith and Canterbury still to come.

And the injury news could get worse for the Dragons after Russell Packer was ruled out late with a knee injury, and Frizell clearly still carrying painful niggles suffered throughout the Origin period.

He was only introduced from the bench midway through the first half and managed just 38 minutes for the night, and crucially was off the field when the Rabbitohs mounted their late fightback.

“Tys is still carrying a few leftover injuries from around that Origin period,” McGregor said.

“He really changed the momentum of the game when he came onto the field, he straightened us up and he got a couple of late offloads which caused a little bit of fracture to the D line.

“He needed a spell there, he came back on again, and he got a little injury towards the end of the game, that’s why he was replaced.”

Souths suffered their own late injury blow when winger Robert Jennings was ruled out late on Friday night with a knee problem.

That prompted Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire to draft in 18-year-old Campbell Graham, who had been studying for his trial HSC exams.

“About 11.30 I called him I said mate I’m calling you into first grade,” Maguire said.

“He nearly fell through the phone he was that excited. Campbell’s been around our senior players quite a bit and I just felt he was going to be the right man to do the job.

“For a young man to come in like that, it was outstanding. He’s a great level-headed kid and he’s probably back to the study books tomorrow and he’s got his [trial] HSC exams next week.”

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Italy seizes NGO boat suspected of aiding people smuggling

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Italy seizes NGO boat suspected of aiding people smuggling, 苏州夜生活, by .

London: Tensions are rising in the southern Mediterranean’s migrant crisis, after Italian coastguards seized a German aid group’s boat suspected of aiding illegal immigration.
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But refugee advocates have in return accused Italy of being complicit in human rights abuses, by sending navy vessels into Libyan waters to turn back migrant boats.

Refugee advocates deny accusations that non-government organisations have formed a “taxi service” for migrants fleeing Libya, saying instead they are providing a vital search-and-rescue service that is saving thousands of lives.

Italian coastguards confiscated the boat, named Iuventa and operated by activist collective Jugend Rettet??????, on the island of Lampedusa after receiving evidence that its crew were in communication with people smugglers.

“The evidence is serious,” Ambrogio Cartosio, chief prosecutor in the western Sicilian city of Trapani, said.

“We have evidence of encounters between traffickers, who escorted illegal immigrants to the Iuventa, and members of the boat’s crew.”

He said nobody had been charged but his investigation was continuing. He also said it would be a “fantasy” to say there was a coordinated plan between the NGOs and the Libyan traffickers.

Jugend Rettet did not respond to a request for an interview from Fairfax Media.

On Twitter on Thursday they said their crew were interviewed by officials “as part of the standard procedure” and they had received no information about an investigation.

“Our legal teams are working hard to examine the legal basis of the confiscation of the ship,” they said.

They watched their ship’s forced departure from Lampedusa “with heavy hearts” because the ship was “dearly needed”, they said.

Last month, Italy, with the backing of the European Union, imposed a code of conduct for NGOs in the Mediterranean.

Jugend Rettet said they had been negotiating with Rome over the code, but on Tuesday had decided not to sign it until it was rewritten.

“Our top priority is to save people in distress but this is not prioritised [in] this code of conduct [which] would legally put us in an uncertain position,” they said in a statement on Facebook.

In May, Cartosio told a parliamentary committee in Rome that he had become suspicious of NGOs after noticing some rescue crews seemed to know in advance where to find migrant boats, and were making rescues without informing the Italian coastguard.

Carmelo Zuccaro the chief prosecutor of the Sicilian port of Catania, has claimed he had evidence of phone calls between people smugglers and aid groups, but in May admitted he was expressing only a “hypothesis” and had no proof that could be used in court.

A fleet of around a dozen boats crewed by humanitarian groups are working on the Mediterranean to perform rescues.

Around 85,000 migrants arrived in Italy by boat in the first six months of 2017, 21 per cent more than in the same period in 2016.

More than 2200 people have died attempting the crossing this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Last year, rescues in the Mediterranean were closer to Italy, but now they were happening much closer to the border between Libyan and international waters, prompting accusations the NGOs are encouraging people smugglers.

Smugglers were “including the presence of NGO boats in their business model”, a European official familiar with the situation told Fairfax Media last month.

Izza Leghtas, a senior advocate for Refugees International, said search and rescue should not be made into a political issue.

NGOs performed more than a third of the rescues in the area in the first part of 2017, Leghtas said.

“They are filling a huge gap??? if they weren’t doing that work then we would be talking probably about thousands more people drowning.”

“They are proactive, they go to the areas where they know people are at risk in international waters,” she said, while official boats were more focused on border control. “We are talking about life and death situations and that needs to be the priority.”

Part of the problem was the pressure Italy was coming under because other European countries, including Italy’s closest neighbours, had not stepped up to take a share of the migrants and refugees arriving from Africa.

The Italians had been traumatised by the number of deaths at sea and felt they had been left alone to handle it, Leghtas said.

She rejected the claim that NGOs were encouraging migrants to take to the sea.

“The conditions in Libya are so horrific, it’s a question of a push factor not a pull factor,” she said. “People get out of Libya because it’s unbearable, because people are killed and tortured and sexually abused.

“To focus on the rescue operations and ignore the fact they are fleeing for their lives [is wrong]??? people are going to go regardless [of the NGO boats].”

She said her group was deeply concerned by the Italian government’s plan to send its vessels into Libyan territorial waters to help the Libyan coastguard intercept migrant and refugee boats.

“It is no secret that migrants and refugees who are intercepted and returned by the Libyan coast guard face horrific abuses in Libya’s migrant detention centers,” said Leghtas. “By engaging in these operations, the Italian government would be knowingly complicit in these abuses.”

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The age of non-violence in sport: we are going about it all wrong

12.12.2018, Comments Off on The age of non-violence in sport: we are going about it all wrong, 苏州夜生活, by .

As a sense of destiny begins to collect around the Parramatta Eels as the “it” team of the NRL, next season if not this, I watched highlights of their 1981-to-1983 premierships. Partly this was a nostalgic exercise in confirming that Brett Kenny was the most fluid, naturally gifted player to have graced the game, and that Eric Grothe was its greatest winger. (Answer to both: emphatically yes.)
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The eye-opening discovery was incidental but more topical. What an unrelentingly violent game rugby league used to be. Most of it went unremarked; therefore, what a violent world it was we lived in.

What stands out in that old footage is that nearly every tackle contained a punch, thrown mostly but not always by the tackler. Eye-gouges, head-high shots, squirrel grips and plain straight rights: the game resembled a poetry festival – an organised street brawl punctuated by moments of artistic genius. All at a time when they said league had gone soft compared with previous days.

How we perceive and talk about violence has undergone a profound shift, perhaps the most significant change between those times and these. This week, violent play and its perception has been a headline issue in three codes. In league, Canberra’s Sia Soliola was suspended for five weeks for a late tackle that connected accidentally with Billy Slater’s head. In union, All Black Sonny Bill Williams will remain suspended until the Bledisloe Cup for an accidental contact with a British Lions player more than a month ago. And in the AFL, Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield has lost his chance to win the Brownlow Medal because of a rough tackle that accidentally caused Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer’s head to hit the ground. Each punishment was excessive, demonstrating how confused the codes have become on the issue of violent play. In their justified campaigns against concussion, it’s as if the codes have collectively suffered a bad head knock. They’re not thinking straight.

In football, there is violence and there is violence. Rugby league’s era of ultra-violence was brought to an end by an escalation of sickening incidents. In 1982, Wests’ Bob Cooper ran 40 metres to join a punch-up and clocked three Illawarra Steelers. Society was changing: it was less inclined to forgive male violence. On suspending Cooper for 15 months, judiciary chairman Jim Comans said, “Acts such as these must be obliterated from the game, and I’ll begin by obliterating you.” Comans set about changing the game. In 1983, the Blues’ Les Boyd launched his elbow at Queensland’s Darryl Brohman’s jaw in an Origin match, and received a 12-month ban. In 1987, St George’s Steve Linnane was rubbed out for 20 weeks for blatantly eye-gouging Greg “Brandy” Alexander. (Future league television personalities received their critical reviews well in advance.) And in the early 2000s, Manly’s John Hopoate’s excesses, including his infamous “date rape” encounters with three Cowboys, signalled the death throes of the age of violence and the beginnings of one man’s career in private security.

The nature of on-field violence has since changed profoundly, as has the thinking on it. The codes seek to identify and punish it more and more, but understand it less and less.

Violent intent has diminished in football, to be replaced by the violence of physics: the bodies are bigger and move faster, the collisions are harder, but the skull has not evolved to grow harder or the brain more resistant. So the danger in playing these games has increased even while intentional violence has almost disappeared. Our knowledge of the long-term effects of concussion has advanced markedly, and the codes now market themselves to parents considering whether to let their children play. All of these factors are new. But the language of addressing ‘violent’ or ‘rough’ play remains stuck in the pre-1980s terms of deterrence and punishment.

Here’s the question. Which is worse, a fist on the end of the arm of an 80-kilogram player, thrown intentionally at the head? Or the shoulder of a 110-kilogram player, launched at the chest but accidentally hitting the head? If we are considering intention, obviously the former is worse. But they might have the same effect: a concussion. So the codes react to a legal act, which had unintended consequences, as if it is violent thuggery. Accidents are punished and publicised as if they are as horrendous as a Cooper/Linnane/Boyd/Hopoate assault.

When they should be thinking about deterrence, image-conscious codes have become obsessed with effect. Soliola should have been sent off for an act where he carelessly targeted an opposition playmaker. As Slater missed the rest of that match, so should Soliola. That would be a useful protection for playmakers. But a five-week suspension? Soliola only aimed to tackle Slater in the way that effective tackles are taught: upwards into the ball-carrying area of the body, using the shoulder and arm. The plastic edge of Slater’s boot slipped on the turf, causing him to fall, and Soliola’s tackle concussed him. Similar happened with Williams, when the opponent’s slip turned a legitimate tackle into a shoulder charge. With Dangerfield, a solid tackle with a good technique became an offence when Kreuzer’s head hit the turf. In none of these incidents was the intent violent, in the 1980s sense of the word. Yet the punishments have been disproportionate, and have no deterrent effect.

After Dangerfield’s suspension, will AFL tackles be taught and executed differently? Not a bit. His only crime was Kreuzer’s misfortune. So there is no deterrence. Likewise with the Soliola and Williams suspensions. Neither will cause any change in the way footballers are taught to tackle, because 99 per cent of such tackles are legal, effective and rewarded. The one per cent where the tackled player has slipped will not change that.

If they are not deterring footballers (and how can you deter an accident?), the highly-publicised suspensions are doing something else. They are more in the marketing business. They are trying to con parents into thinking these games are safe and will cause no damage to their children’s brains. The message is not we will deter violence or make the game safer. The message is that if an accident happens, we will find someone to blame.

Consider this. If you try to run someone over in your car and miss, you still go to jail for attempted murder. But in football, if you try to knock someone’s head off with a coathanger tackle and miss, nothing happens to you. Not even a penalty. Whereas if you try to do the right thing – drive under 40 km/h as it were – and happen to hurt someone because they slipped while crossing the road, then you go to jail, because for every victim, the authorities need a villain.

Something is not right there. The huge football suspensions of the 1980s deterred players from violence and changed the game’s culture. The suspensions of today’s accidental violators will not decrease the violence inherent in these games; all they will do is prompt players to take up religion or just hope they’re not unlucky.

The heaviest suspensions should be reserved for acts of violent intent. Dangerfield, or any other Brownlow Medal aspirant, should not be ruled out of contention for good play that had an accidental side-effect. Months-long suspensions for accidents serve no purpose other than to advertise an incoherent and hypocritical message. These sports encourage, reward and pride themselves on raising ever larger, ever faster human projectiles who throw themselves into harder and harder collisions. And yet when the inevitable accident occurs in those collisions and something looks bad, a scapegoat must be found.

Heavy suspensions for accidents make no sense. You cannot accidentally sprint across the field to deck three people. You cannot accidentally break a person’s jaw after running at them with your elbow. You cannot gouge your fingers repeatedly into an opponent’s eye or anus by accident. Serious suspensions should be reserved for real violence. Anything else is just advertising.

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