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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, 成都夜生活, by .

IF I wasn’t on my phone I would’ve had both eyes on the road.

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.

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, 成都夜生活, 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.

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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Italy seizes NGO boat suspected of aiding people smuggling

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Italy seizes NGO boat suspected of aiding people smuggling, 成都夜生活, 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.

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.”

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, 成都夜生活, 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.

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.”

Awareness more important than money ahead of Chris MacKinnon weekend

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Awareness more important than money ahead of Chris MacKinnon weekend, 成都夜生活, by .

Creating awareness for breast cancer sufferers and their families will far outweigh any figure raised during the Chris MacKinnon memorial round on the weekend, according to United president Nicole Wicks.

Pink will once again descend upon the National Hockey Centre in Lyneham as United host the fifth edition of the event, which raises money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The day is named in honour of United club stalwart Chris MacKinnon, who lost her battle with breast cancer four years ago.

Numerous clubs will wear commemorative pink jerseys for games, with both United’s first and second grade men’s and women’s teams playing against Central on Saturday.

An inaugural breakfast on Sunday morning will raise funds while there is also an auction and raffle as the club builds on the $40,000 it has raised in the past three years.

“It’s grown in awareness rapidly and a lot of people are now more understanding of the whole pink phenomenon around hockey,” Wicks said.

“I think to actually put a figure on anything like this is very difficult, it’s dependent on what people can afford and I think a lot of it isn’t just a financial gift it’s also an emotional gift.

“It’s about being there for the support of not just the MacKinnons but any other family in both the hockey and wider Canberra community that’s been through this type of devastating loss.”

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in .

Wicks said the weekend was an opportunity to remember club legend McKinnon and she hoped the awareness it created would grow with each passing year.

“It holds a lot of importance to the club, Chris’ involvement and her input over the years was phenomenal,” Wicks said.

“I think what she put forward and she gave, all the encouragement and support meant a great deal for the whole community.

“I hope that each year, all of these events that we’ve put in place actually do grow and I hope that people never forget, not just Chris but the actual importance of the whole event.

“It’s very important and I think the more we look at it and the more we encourage it the larger it will get and that’s only for the best.”


Women’s Capital League 1: UC v Old Canberrans at 12.15pm, Tuggeranong Vikings v ANU at 1.45pm, United v Central at 3.30pm, St Patricks v Goulburn at 4.45pm. All games at National Hockey Centre, Lyneham on Saturday. North Canberra – bye

Men’s Capital League: Tuggeranong Vikings v Old Canberrans at 4.45pm, United v Central at 5pm, St Patricks v Goulburn at 6.30pm. All games at National Hockey Centre, Lyneham on Saturday.

To donate, visit: https://my.nbcf成都桑拿.au/donate

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, 成都夜生活, 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.)

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.

Which of these Sydney listings is your ideal home?

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Which of these Sydney listings is your ideal home?, 成都夜生活, by .

Whether you’re on the hunt for your next home, or simply appreciate beautiful architecture and interior design, Sydney’s real estate market has plenty of wish-list-worthy properties.

In this week’s showcase, take your pick from four of Domain’s favourites, in Woollahra, Cronulla, Glebe and Palm Beach. Palm Beach

This three-level home has space in spades. Of its four bedrooms, two have water views and ensuites. There’s potential on the lower level to create another bedroom for guests, a private retreat, or maybe even a yoga studio.

You might find it hard to drag your eyes away from the view, which spans Pittwater, Careel Bay, and up to Ku-ring-gai National Park.

LJ Hooker Palm Beach agent Peter Robinson is selling the home, which he’s priced at $2,895,000. Related: Open homes to see this weekend in SydneyRelated: Award-winning Newtown pad a cut above the restRelated: Balancing head and heart when househuntingViews span all the way to Ku-ring-gai National Park. Photo: Supplied

See more photos at Domain hereWoollahra

This home is blessed by a killer location: it has level access to Woollahra village, the expansive greens of Centennial Park to the south, and some of Sydney’s most famous beaches to the east. 36 Holdsworth Street, Woollahra.Photo: Supplied

The property has been a labour of love for its current owner, who designed its stylish finishes and fittings himself.

Ben Collier of the Agency is asking $3 million for the property which will go to auction on August 12. The terrace has undeniable street presence. Photo: Supplied

See more photos at Domain hereGlebe

The residents at 64 Toxteth Road will leave behind a history of happy memories when they sell the property after four decades of ownership. 64 Toxteth Road, Glebe.Photo: Supplied

Belle Property Glebe’s Mark Tooth says the shingle-style cottage is filled with 19th-century charm.

As keen design buffs may recognise, it takes cues from the work of notable American architect John Horbury Hunt.

The vendor’s are hoping to snag a sale price of $3.6 million to $3.7 million. The home’s major design inspiration came from American architect John Horbury Hunt. Photo: Supplied

See more photos at Domain hereCronulla

This apartment may have been renovated extensively in recent years, but there’s no going past the outlook over Cronulla beach when choosing its star feature. 4/2 McDonald Street, Cronulla.Photo: Supplied

“It feels like you’re surrounded by water,” says agent Matthew Callaghan of Highland Property Agents Cronulla, who expects to sell for between $2,250,000 and $2,475,000 at the August 12 auction.

To have a morning coffee or breakfast with a view, residents can just hop downstairs to the aptly named Next Door cafe. The home has recently been renovated for contemporary comfort. Photo: Supplied

See more photos at Domain here

Download the Domain app to search for properties for sale in Sydney near you

Time to pull our heads out of the water bucket

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Time to pull our heads out of the water bucket, 成都夜生活, by .

How old am I? I am so old, soooooo old, I remember when n swimmers only had to dip a toe in chlorinated water and they started growing gold medals on their chest! I remember when all it took for Kieren Perkins to beat American swimmers was to frown at them in the change-rooms, whereupon they’d burst into tears. And, yes, I can even remember when the World Swimming Championships were a big deal, with Ray Warren calling every race – “Hackett! Hackett! Hackett is world champion, I’ll tell a men he is!” – and they kept the n National Anthem on fast forward as they had to get through it so many times. They are, of course, days long gone, and after these latest World Championships in Budapest – where our mob secured just a single gold medal, n swimming has not been at such a low ebb since the 1976 Montreal Olympics when Stephen Holland managed to get a bronze medal only.

It is part of swimming folklore that when, shortly afterwards, the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, got the exhausted and bitterly disappointed Queenslander on the phone to congratulate him for getting at least that, Holland uttered just two words. The first of them rhymed with “buck”, and the second one was “off” – so annoyed was he with the lack of government support for his endeavours, all while he was up against swimmers from the college system of America, and the professionally prepared, and drugged, swimmers of the Eastern Bloc. It was that outburst which was the genesis of the whole AIS system.

But this time? There appears nowhere to go. The swimming program is well-funded and our swimmers cannot complain of lack of support. The simple reality is that not only has the rest of the world caught up, some of them have lapped us. And the real problem, as n swimming tries to find its way back? We gotta face it: in itself, the sport is not the most compelling of spectacles. It’s been fabulous over the years watching the likes of Perkins, Hackett, Thorpe and O’Neill motor down competitors over the final lap – but watching their heirs come second, third and seventh just doesn’t quite do it for us. I wish I cared more. Maybe it’s that, having seen the mental anguish so many of our champion swimmers go through in later life – having spent “six hours a day every day, with my head in a bucket of water,” as Perkins put it to me – I’m less fussed if the sport does recede a little.

Catching hell

Interesting yarn. In the sixth game of the World Series back in 2003, the Chicago Cubs are leading the best-of-seven series 3-2 and in this game at their home Wrigley’s Field are ahead 3-0 at the bottom of the eighth innings. History is at their fingertips, when slugger Luis Castillo of the Florida Marlins hits a foul ball which soars towards the fence. The Cubs outfielder Mois??s Alou moves back … and back … and back and finally jumps high with his glove outstretched behind him. If he catches it, the Marlins will be just about hooked, cooked, and done for. Sitting in the front row at the time, Steve Bartman, a Cubs fan, watches stunned as the ball head his way. Is it going to hit him? He reacts instinctively. With no time to think, he puts his hand out just as ever did when his father threw him the ball in their backyard in the ‘burbs just above Alou’s outstretched glove, interfering with what would have been a catch and an out.

Long wait: Cubs fans celebrate the 2016 World Series win. Photo: AP

Castillo is still alive, and the Marlins are back in the game! The Marlins go on to score eight runs in that innings, win the match, and then the series. Bartman is suddenly starring in his own long-running horror movie, abused by fans at the field and all the way home, and in the newspapers and on the tv and radio thereafter. He gets death threats. It is so bad, he has to go into hiding, and doesn’t say a word in public, until this week…

The Cubs reached out to him and, having finally won the World Series last season, on Monday gave him a World Series ring, identical to the one the players receive.

“We hope,” the Cubs said, “this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter … While no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organisation.”

Bartman responded with equal graciousness, saying: “I humbly receive the ring not only as a symbol of one of the most historic achievements in sports, but as an important reminder for how we should treat each other in today’s society.”

The spirit of rugby lives

Early in the second half last Saturday, as the Kiama U13s were leading the Shamrocks 40-0, the fine Kiama coach decided it would be a better game to pull one of his players from the field. At 55-0, both coaches decided a new solution. The game was stopped, and some of the Shamrocks and Kiama boys swapped jerseys. Suddenly the game comes alive! Instead of a thrashing, it is a game. The boys grin, and chase, and tackle their own team-members like mad things, as the ball surges back and forth up the field and the spectators roar with appreciation.

“It was so memorable,” my spy says, “that a group photo was requested from parents from both sides. Thank you Shamrocks U13s and Kiama U13s for reminding us what playing with the spirit of rugby is truly about. It was a joy to watch.”

And that, friends, is rugby.

Shake of the head

I know, on concussion, I am a broken bloody record, am I right? But I am not the only one stunned that only a fortnight after Billy Slater was poleaxed against the Raiders, suffering brain trauma so bad he was unconscious for three minutes, with no memory of his last two weeks, he is still playing this weekend! Watching closely from Boston is Chris Nowinski, PhD, the Co-Founder & CEO of Concussion Legacy Foundation – driving force of the “Boston Brain Bank”, if you will, and the leading concussion activist in America. An outspoken critic of the way American sports rush their players back after being knocked out, and an expert in the consequences because it is his organisation which analyses the brains of deceased players – and documents the appalling high incidence of real brain damage – he is concerned to see the same pattern in .

Real risks: Sydney Seau, the daughter of former NFL player Junior Seau, poses with a bust of her father, whose brain was riddled with CTE. Photo: AP

He wrote me a long letter this week, expressing his concerns.

“Loss of consciousness for three minutes,” he wrote, “and lasting retrograde amnesia are concerning as each is extremely rare in a sports setting. If there is ever a case to be cautious with, it is this one.”

But no. Out you go, Billy, and let’s just hope you don’t take another hit like the last one, before your brain has had a chance to heal.

This is madness.

Medical madness. Moral madness. Legal madness.

The pay war winner

Glad they got the cricketer’s pay dispute sorted. The bloke who emerged with flying colours was David Warner, and TFF will be with him on the panel of Sports Sunday with Paul Gallen and Liz Ellis at 10am. Warner’s strength is he does not use weasel words, and tells it like it is – which in that pay dispute was most useful! What they said

Craig Foster on Les Murray: “The world lost a football colossus this morning, Les Murray AM. He fought well into extra time but whistle has blown. His legacy is lasting.”

Legend: Les Murray passed away this week. Photo: James Alcock

Swimmer Kyle Chalmers looking ahead: “It would be amazing to win the 4x200m on home soil next year [at the Commonwealth Games] and I think we are a good shot at that.” Oh, alright, I’ll be the dickhead and say it – it’s a living. “Home soil,” Kyle?

Like the n cricketers wearing their baggy greens at Wimbledon, Sergio Garcia now has a new favourite part of his wardrobe: “I will definitely be bringing the green jacket with me to the Gold Coast.”

Daniel Ricciardo unhappy with team-mate Max Verstappen after he took him out of the Hungarian Grand Prix: “F—ing sore loser. It was amateur to say the least. There was no room to pass . . . I don’t think he likes it when a team-mate gets in front.”

Speaking to NBC after the Hungarian Grand Prix, Nico Hulkenberg said of his clash with rival driver Kevin Magnussen: “I congratulated him for being the most unsporting driver of the whole grid once again. When it comes to racing, he’s just nasty . . . What he did there, opening up the steering, making me run wide, it’s just being an asshole basically. We had really nice words, he said (‘suck my balls’), that was his return, so it’s quite interesting with him.”What is it with all this racing aggro, all of a sudden?

Laurie Daley on Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson getting pissed as newts, a few days before Origin III: “Did they do anything legally wrong? No they didn’t. Did we know they were going down to have a few beers? No we didn’t. Yes we knew they were going down to Lennox Head to meet up with a mate. Obviously we’ve done something wrong . . .”

Usain Bolt, who turns 31 later this month, gave an emphatic answer when asked how he would feel on Saturday night after his final, final 100m final:”Unbeatable. Usain Bolt has retired unbeatable over that event. For me that will be the biggest headline. Unbeatable and unstoppable.”

Unbeatable: Usain Bolt. Photo: AP

Patrick Dangerfield on being suspended after his tackle caused the “tackl-ee” to miss the rest of the game: “I respect the AFL for what they’re trying to do in trying to protect the head. Concussion is certainly something that we take very seriously as an industry and as a club.”

Stephen Mayne, a spokesman for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, on the average yearly pay of AFL players to $370,000: “This is partly funded by state-sponsored abuse in poor areas by dangerous and addictive [pokie] machines. This is going to be an issue at the upcoming annual general meetings of all these clubs, and the directors there had better be ready to explain themselves. Let the NRL be the pokies-dominated code . . . we are not the NRL, we are better than that.”

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick on former team-mate turned media pundit Kane Cornes: “Seriously I would love to see Kane, I would love to see Kane. Don’t get me wrong that’s his job, he’s there to write s–t comments.” Listen, Damo, it’s a living.

AFL CEO Gil McLachlan on the resignation of two employees, for having affairs with other staff. “I think our industry has a ??history of being forgiving and they are talented executives who made a mistake. They took full accountability. I think that when people take ??accountability for their errors, I think ns give people a second chance.” I think most ns think that if no sexual harassment was involved, and they weren’t doing anything rude in work time, it is none of your damn business, and certainly none of our damn business. Team of the week

The Matildas. Finally defeated the USA! And took apart Japan and Brazil for good measure.

Emily Seebohm. Won the one gold medal for at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest.

Karrie Webb. Wound back the clock with a 3rd place finish at the Scottish Open.

Nathan Walker. This year this young star is destined to be the first n to play ice hockey in the Big Show in the NHL.

Lions – Crusaders. Meet in the Super Rugby Final. Did not meet a Kiwi opponent before the semi-finals. Is it me, or that completely ludicrous? Does it not show that the format of this tournament is totally out of kilter?

The Olympics. Speaking of having passed high noon, with only two cities bidding for the 2024 games they gave them to Paris first up, and 2028 to LA as a consolation prize. 2032 is anyone’s guess, but the way things are heading, if Dubbo put up its hand, they might be a chance!

Jack Doohan. The 14-year-old son of n motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, has secured the biggest win of his European karting career. Won the Swedish leg of the European Championship in the OK-Junior class.

Peter Lonard. Aussie golfer finished 3rd at the Senior British Open

RIP. Les Murray. The beloved football commentator who, with Johnny Warren and Frank Lowy was one of the three most significant people in the country in putting their code on the map in Oz, passed away early this week. Well done, oh good and noble servant of the game.

Twitter: @Peter_Fitz

Leaked Turnbull admission to Trump leaves refugees in despair

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Leaked Turnbull admission to Trump leaves refugees in despair, 成都夜生活, by .

Editorial: Turnbull put politics before welfare of refugeesComment: Leak reveals PM to be tough, skilled and indifferent to human sufferingThe full transcript of the Trump-Turnbull call

Refugees and advocates are in despair over Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s admission, revealed in a leaked transcript, that Donald Trump could take as few as 100 or even zero refugees from Manus Island and Nauru under the US refugee deal.

They have also accused Mr Turnbull of lying when he insisted ‘s acceptance of refugees from Central America was unrelated to the US deal and did not constitute a “people swap”, claims that have been undermined by the leaked document.

During his explosive phone call with President Trump in January, a transcript of which was obtained by The Washington Post, Mr Turnbull won over the reluctant President by assuring him the US was not bound to accept a single refugee.

“The agreement … does not require you to take 2000 people. It does not require you to take any,” he told Mr Trump. “The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1250 to 2000. Every individual is subject to your vetting.

“You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process.”

Those words have angered refugee advocates and alarmed refugees themselves, who were peacefully demonstrating on Friday afternoon under the close watch of police.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the remarks showed “it has never been a substantial deal” and was “an appalling scam perpetrated on the refugees and the n people”.

Iranian refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is on Manus Island, described the arrangement as “a fake deal … to waste time”. “I’m sure that there is not any option to send people to America,” he said.

He said refugees were in despair as authorities begin to shut down the regional processing centre, which is due to close by October 31. “The situation is critical,” he said.

No refugees have been accepted by the US, however, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection told the Senate in May that dozens of refugees were now in the final stages of the application process.

Mr Turnbull on Friday noted the arrangement “has always been subject to American vetting procedures”. “It’s always better when these conversations remain confidential”, he said, but would not comment further on the “supposed transcript”.

During the phone call, Mr Turnbull linked the deal to ‘s acceptance of a group of Central American refugees living in Costa Rica. This agreement pre-dated the US deal and the government has denied the two arrangements amount to a “people swap”.

But Mr Turnbull promised President Trump that would “hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country [people] that you need to move on from”. He went further, offering to “take anyone that you want us to take” as long as they did not arrive by boat.

The deal “requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States”, Mr Turnbull said, without detailing the “things”.

Government sources insisted the two arrangements were negotiated separately and at different times. They said Mr Turnbull only raised the Central America matter to help convince President Trump to honour the deal.

But Labor and the Greens seized on the transcript as proof of a “people swap”, with shadow immigration minister Shayne Neumann calling on the government to “come clean”.

Greens immigration spokesman Nick McKim said Mr Turnbull had been caught telling “a very clear lie”.

“His confession to Trump that it is a people swap shows his duplicity and lays bare the contempt he has for the n people and the truth,” Senator McKim told Fairfax Media.

Government sources expressed confidence that the deal for the US to take screened refugees from Manus and Nauru would not be affected by the latest ructions caused by the leak of the transcript.

Sources also said that the relationship between Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump had been good during their subsequent meetings.

With David Wroe

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‘When I get that drunk my morals leave’: Anxious texts after alleged rape

12.12.2018, Comments Off on ‘When I get that drunk my morals leave’: Anxious texts after alleged rape, 成都夜生活, by .

The site of the alleged assault on the grounds of St Johns College. Photo Supplied. Story Harriet AlexanderJean Claude Perrottet exchanged a flurry of text messages with his mates in the days after the 2015 St Johns College formal to find out what the friend who had invited him to the event knew about his encounter with another woman.

He asked his friends whether they had spoken to his hostess and what she had said about him, explaining that he could not remember much of the night.

“I can’t get that drunk. When I get that drunk my morals leave,” he said in one message.

One of his friends said the only thing he heard was that Mr Perrottet had vanished. “So what happened?” he asked.

Mr Perrottet replied: “I just kissed someone.”

Mr Perrottet has pleaded not guilty in the NSW District Court to three counts of sexual assault over the events that transpired while he was separated from his friend that night.

The 20-year-old younger brother of NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet had been invited to the formal by a female student of the college, a platonic friend who their mutual friends wanted to become his girlfriend, although neither was romantically interested in the other.

He told one friend he had consumed too much alcohol because he did not know many people at the party, and the court heard that he met the woman who was to become his accuser on the dance floor.

She became the second woman he was to kiss that night while his hostess was socialising elsewhere.

Afterwards he led her by the hand to a tree canopy, where she says a number of sex acts occurred without her consent.

But Mr Perrottet says that the first two acts were consensual and that the third – sexual intercourse – did not take place.

He told police when he was arrested a few days later that there was “no way” sex had taken place because it was against his religion.

He told the court: “I believe you should wait until marriage.”

Police later overheard him telling his brother on the phone that it was “just second base” and “it was all consensual”.

Under cross-examination on Friday, Mr Perrottet conceded that the Catholic value of chastity should also have ruled out the sexual activity that he admitted had occurred.

He told his brother another sex act “may” have occurred rather than did occur to avoid his approbation, rather than because he had lost his memory, he told the court.

“The reason is because when he’d come home he’d get really angry at me and get me in trouble,” Mr Perrottet said.

He also denied that his text messages were based on anxiety that sexual assault allegations may have been levelled against him.

“I was freaking out because I was with [the complainant] all night and it was rude to do that when [my friend] was the one who asked me to the ball,” Mr Perrottet said.

Kissing a girl isn’t all that bad is it? “I don’t think it’s great to be just randomly kissing girls … if I didn’t know them, or talk to them first or ask them out for coffee.”

The trial continues.