Losing run to end

PACE. Andrew Neil and his Cohuna United teammates will look to end a lengthy losing streak against Wandella tomorrow.
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LAST season’s Northern District Cricket Association A Grade grand finalists will look to snap a three-match losing streak tomorrow.

Wandella travels to take on Cohuna United in round four’s match of the day – which doubles as a rematch between last season’s preliminary finalists.

The Bombers have lost both matches the side have played so far this season, with the club’s last win coming in the 2015/16 preliminary final against tomorrow’s hosts.

United has produced a mixed start to the season, defeating Barham/Koondrook in the opening round before going down to Leitchville/Gunbower 13 days ago.

Despite the poor start to the season, Wandella goes into the match as favorites, who last lost to United in January 2013.

“We are pretty keen with this match. Wandella has a number of good players missing and are also a pretty young side,” United joint A Grade captain, Blake Griffiths said.

“We will be getting a number of players back from injury due to the football season in the next few weeks.

“The competition is pretty even this year, and it looks as though anyone can beat anyone on their day.”

Daniel Cooke, Griffiths and Logan Spittal will be key players for the hosts, with Greg Dickson, Michael Runciman and Matt Webb just a critical for the Bombers.

Tomorrow’s other A Grade match will be just as entertaining, with competition leaders, Leitchville/Gunbower looking to rebound following last weekend’s loss to Barham/Koondrook.

The composite side will host Nondies at Gunbower, with the Cohuna-based team growing in confidence following last weekend’s win against Wandella.

Last weekend’s loss was the second time since the 2014/15 grand final the composite side has lost, with the only defeat in 2015/16 coming at the hands of Nondies.

The hosts will look to Michell McEwen with the ball and Jack Elliott with the bat to record a third win this season, with the likes of Jack Donat, Will Thrum and Harrison Keely all capable of controlling proceedings.

Tight race continues

TOMORROW’S Northern District Cricket Association B Grade matches highlight how tight the 2016/17 season is turning out to be, with four teams holding a 2-1 record after three matches.

The match of the round will be at Koondrook, where Barham/Koondrook will host Wandella.

Both teams share a 2-1 record, but 1.48 points separate the hosts and last season’s grand finalists.

The border side held on to defeat Kerang Fairley Town last weekend, whilst the Bombers were no match for Cohuna United.

Across at Cohuna, reigning premiers, Nondies will look for a second win of the season with a victory against Cohuna United.

The hosts will look to move back into the top four with a win, whilst United can jump to second on the ladder with a victory and if Wandella wins at Koondrook.

In the final match of the round, competition leaders, Leitchville/Gunbower will host the winless Kerang Fairley Town at Leitchville.

The composite side put in an all-round performance last weekend to defeat Nondies by 24 runs, with the Kerang-based team falling 19 runs short of defeating Barham/Koondrook.

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MPs receive a lesson on teen matters

PAYING bills, handlingtaxationand washing clothes areskills Wodonga high school students need help with, politicians have been told.
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A group of year 10 to 12 students met the Victorian Opposition’s Steph Ryan and Bill Tilley on Thursday afternoon to air their concerns.

Ms Ryan, Nationals MP for Euroa,is responsible forYoung Victorians and training, skills andapprenticeshipsin the shadow team.

She was seeking feedback as part of policy development.

“We had a really great discussion and a broad-ranging discussion,” Ms Ryan said.

Student feedback: Steph Ryan and member for Benambra Bill Tilley with Wodonga high students who told her of their concerns.

“They were really honest with some of theexperiences they’ve had and challenges that confront them.

“One of the things that really came as a bit of a surprise is how much they would like to see more life skills taught in the middle years of school.

“They were talking about things that people perhaps used to take for granted like how do you do your tax, how do you make a rental agreement, how do you pay your utilities.”

Washing and ironing were also flagged as concerns.

Ms Ryan said it was important to consider the value of practical skills, but noted there was a balance as schools can’t be mothers and fathers.

“If you get contractual things wrong they have consequences, if you don’t iron your shirt you might look like a dag, but it wouldn’t get you into strife,” she said.

“I don’t think we need to teach housework in schools but things like tax are increasingly complicated.”

Wodonga Senior Secondary College year 11 vice captain Portia Stowers said managing finances in planning for university was a concern.

She said she was aiming to study an arts degree at Melbourne or Monash university and get a taste of city life but she had to weigh that against the cost.

Year 10 school counsellor Jye McBurnie said a life skills program during years 7 to 9 would be helpful.

“We don’t hope to live at home for the rest of our lives, it’s good to know how to pay bills and know what a mortgage is,” Jye said.

“The majority of students at the school are wanting to know those life skills.”

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Busy time for tree climber

The Mount Isa court house. AN 18-YEAR-OLD man who escaped capture from police was found in a tree after claiming he would “skin some C” with a machete.
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However, no machete was found on Ian Barry when he was arrested in Sue Sei Avenue at 3am, October 15.

Barry represented himself when pleadingguilty to six charges in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court on Monday,including three counts of obstructing or assaulting a police officer, and three counts of public nuisance.

The crimes all happened in three occasions across the early hours of the morning but began at 2.30am in George Street when police saw him riding a bicycle with no helmet on.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Vaughan Cooper said Barry showed signs of intoxication when police told him to wheel the bike home.

While walking away from officers Barry swore and then said; “you think you are so tough with your guns. Wait till I see you at the PCYC, you won’t be so tough then.”

Then he threw the bicycle on the road and ran when police tried to arresthim.

Barry escaped by running through backyards but was found half an hour later in the tree after a witness phoned police.

He was arrested, taken to the watch house but already in trouble four hours later once released from custody.

Barry was seen in front of the police station with clenched fists yelling at a taxi. A constable grabbed Barry’s arm and he swung his hand, and that’s when he was handcuffed.

Barry told the magistrate he was pulling away from the constable, not trying to attack the police.

“Did they tell you the part about punching me in the back of the head and standing on my face?” Barry said.

Magistrate Stephen Guttridge said that complaints against police conduct had to go to the “relevant authorities”. His role was in sentencing charges made against Barry.

He ordered that Barry be placed on nine months probation and that no criminal conviction be recorded.

Barry has no previous adult criminal history.

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ATO fumes after cyber criminals attack myGov portal during last days of Tax Time 2016

The ATO was forced to offer a one-day extension to taxpayers to get their 2015-2016 returns lodged after the attack.The Australian Taxation Office is fuming after cyber-criminals ruined the finale of Tax Time 2016 with an attack on the government’s web portal myGov.
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The troubled myGov portal, which handles traffic to most federal government customer service sites, had to be taken offline on Monday as it came under the same sort of attack as the one that took down the census in August.

Monday’s incident occurred as thousands of taxpayers were trying to access the Tax Office website and lodge their annual tax returns before the cut-off deadline.

The ATO says there was nothing wrong with its sites and officials there are understood to be furious with the performance of their counterparts at the giant Department of Human Services, which runs myGov.

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In the wake of the attack, the ATO was forced to offer a one-day extension to taxpayers to get their 2015-16 returns lodged, but did not come clean with users about what exactly happened.

Human Services is trying to keep details about the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack quiet and refused to answer questions from Fairfax about the incident.

It is understood that  myGov was hit with a very large DDoS attack starting about 3pm on Monday as thousands of taxpayers, as well as the usual traffic to Centrelink, Medicare and other official sites, were trying to log on.

DHS was forced to take myGov offline for about an hour after the attacks began, blocking access to a number of government websites including the Tax Office on one of its most important days of the year.

A distributed DoS attack overwhelms a system with a large volume of web traffic, much of it coming from computers and devices that have been hijacked by cyber criminals without the owners’ knowledge.

DHS will not say if it has referred Monday’s attack for investigation or what it believes might have motivated it, but Independent cyber-security expert Troy Hunt says DDoS attacks can have the most trivial motivation.

“Very often, there is no practical logical sensible reason why they aim to take down a particular party with a DDoS,” Mr Hunt said.

“Usually when there are reasons, they are often extremely childish: we keep seeing at Christmas time people taking down [gaming sites] PlayStation or Xbox Live because they just want to screw with kids.

“It’s not like they’re making a medium-term monetary gain through this, like some of the cases where companies have been held to ransom.”

The Tax Office made it clear it was not interested in talking publicly about Monday’s incident.

“The Department of Human Services administers myGov,” a Tax Office spokesman said.

“Any inquiries about the performance of myGov should be directed to DHS.”

The statement the ATO posted on its site after the take-down did not even hint at what was going on behind the scenes.

“Some taxpayers were experiencing slowness in logging on earlier today,” it said.

“Everything appears to be working now so we are encouraging people to try again.

“People don’t need to worry: penalties won’t apply for anyone who lodges their tax return tomorrow.”

A Human Services spokesman was giving little away when questioned by Fairfax.

“The department does not at any time comment on cyber security,” he said. “The department’s services, which include myGov, were affected by a short disruption on 31 October 2016, after which services were restored. We apologise to any customers who were inconvenienced.”

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Big corporates and top law firms promise to give more work to female barristers

Sue Gilchrist, Herbert Smith Freehills regional managing partner, Australia & Asia. Photo: Supplied Fiona McLeod, SC, president-elect, Law Council of Australia. Photo: Supplied
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Women represent less than 10 per cent of Senior Counsel members of the bar. Photo: Jessica Shapiro

Big corporates Telstra, Woolworths, Westpac and 11 top-tier law firms have signed an agreement to hire more female barristers to improve gender equity in the profession.

The law firms which include Allens, Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, Minter Ellison and Clayton Utz have made a commitment to boost the number of briefs given to female barristers.

The aim of the Law Council of Australia’s national equity policy is to ensure female barristers are briefed on at least 30 per cent of all matters and receive at least 30 per cent of the value of all briefs by 2020.

NSW Bar Association figures for 2015 show women represent less than 10 per cent of Senior Counsel members of the bar and less than a quarter of Junior Counsel. That is despite women accounting for more than half of graduates from NSW law schools and outperforming male students academically.

Law Council of Australia president-elect Fiona McLeod SC said the policy aims to support the progression and retention of women barristers, address the pay gap and the under representation of women in superior courts.

“The preparedness of the legal profession and the Australian business community to adopt the policy signals a significant cultural shift in our support for equality,” she said.

“The Law Council is grateful indeed for the leadership of the profession and these businesses in recognising the importance of diversity measures by signing up to this commitment.”

Ms McLeod said it was difficult juggling her own childcare commitments and having an uncertain income flow at the bar.

“Because you are briefed case to case, you have no ability to plan,” she said. “Having more financial security would have made that a lot easier.” This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


First Australian extract from Elena Ferrante’s new book Frantumaglia

Illustration by Dionne GainWhile Elena Ferrante’s fiction has created an international phenomenon dubbed “Ferrante Fever”, the author has always hidden behind a pseudonym. Privacy allows the “creative space” essential to her intimate writing about the emotional lives of Italian women, she insists, and the fiction should speak for itself.
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She responded with silence to a recent expose by an Italian journalist who claims to have used financial records to identify a translator of German literature as the author of the seven intense novels, including the best-selling quartet that begins with My Brilliant Friend.

However, in a new collection of her letters and email interviews over 25 years, Frantumaglia (meaning “fragments” in English), Ferrante provides insights into her intellectual influences, her writing process and aspects of her personal life that inspire her fiction. Many of the letters are to Sandra Ozzola and Sandro Ferri, her publishers at Edizioni E/O in Rome and Europa Editions in New York, supposedly the only people who have known Ferrante’s real identity since the beginning.

In the introduction they write – perhaps naively – that they collected these pieces to “satisfy the curiosity” of her growing audience and so they “should clarify, we hope conclusively, the writers’ motives for remaining outside the media circus and its demands…”.

When Ferrante wrote the following letter to Ozzola, she had published one short novel, L’amore molesto, in 1992 (translated as Troubling Love in 2006) and was unknown outside Italy. As she explains in other pieces, she writes a lot but chooses to publish only when the words find the right form. “If it doesn’t happen, I retreat. I have drawers full of failed attempts.”

Susan Wyndham, literary editor.

Dear Sandra,

I owe you an explanation. The manuscript I promised to give you to read will not reach you. I see that you’ve already tried to find a title (I like Working Women; I rule out Women Workers), but I’ve changed my mind, the story doesn’t seem ready to be read yet.

In the past week I myself couldn’t read even a line without feeling disgusted. I need time to return to it calmly and understand what to do with it. But as soon as I’ve made a decision I’ll let you know. Now, don’t think it’s your fault, you were right to insist. In all these years every time you’ve pressed me to let you read something I’ve begun to write with greater motivation; I was glad that at least one person – you – was waiting for my new book.

In this case maybe it was a mistake to summarise the contents of the book. I must have perceived your editorial disappointment; or I became worried because of the length of the manuscript – you’ve always said that, except for thrillers stuffed with adventures, books that are too long put readers to flight.

But, even if that were the case, my decision not to keep my promise has other motives. I wrote this story because it has to do with me. I was inside it for a long time. I kept shortening the distance between the protagonist and me, I occupied all her cavities, and there is nothing about her, today, that I wouldn’t do. So I’m exhausted, and now that the story is finished I have to catch my breath. How? I don’t know, maybe by starting to write another book. Or reading as many as possible on the subject of this story, and so remaining nearby, on the sidelines, and testing it the way you test a cake to see if it’s baked, poking it with a toothpick, pricking the text to see if it’s done.

I think of writing now as a long, tiring, pleasant seduction. The stories that you tell, the words that you use and refine, the characters you try to give life to are merely tools with which you circle around the elusive, unnamed, shapeless thing that belongs to you alone, and which nevertheless is a sort of key to all the doors, the real reason that you spend so much of your life sitting at a table tapping away, filling pages. The question in every story is the same: is this the right story to seize what lies silent in my depths, that living thing which, if captured, spreads through all the pages and gives them life? The answer is uncertain, even when you get to the end.

What happened in the lines, between the lines? Often, after struggles and joys, on the pages there is nothing—events, dialogues, dramatic turns, only that – and you’re frightened by your very desperation. To me it happens like this: I always struggle at first, it’s hard to get started, no opening seems really convincing; then the story gets going, the bits already written gain power and suddenly find a way of fitting together; then writing becomes a pleasure, the hours are a time of intense enjoyment, the characters never leave you, they have a space-time of their own in which they are alive and increasingly vivid, they are inside and outside you, they exist solidly in the streets, in the houses, in the places where the story must unfold; the endless possibilities of the plot select themselves and the choices seem inevitable, definitive. You begin every day by re-reading to get energised, and re-reading is pleasant, it means perfecting, enhancing, touching up the past to make it fit with the story’s future. Then this happy period comes to an end. The story is finished. You have to reread not the work of the day before but the entire narrative. You’re afraid. You test it here and there, nothing is written as you had imagined it.

The beginning is insignificant, the development seems crude, the linguistic forms inadequate. It’s the moment when you need help, to find a way to draw the ground the book rests on and understand what substance it is truly made of. Now I’m just at that anguished point. So, if you can, help me.

What do you know about novels that tell a story of women’s work obsessively observed by an idle, malicious, sometimes fierce gaze? Are there any? I’m interested in anything that focuses on the female body at work. If you have any title in mind – it doesn’t matter if it’s a good book or junk – write to me. I doubt that work ennobles man and I am absolutely certain that it does not ennoble woman. So the novel is centred on the hardships of working, on the horror implicit in the necessity of earning a living, an expression in itself abominable.

But don’t worry: I assure you that, although I’ve used all the jobs I am thoroughly familiar with because I’ve done them myself, and also those I’m familiar with thanks to people I know well and trust, I haven’t written an investigation into women’s labour: the story has great tension, all kinds of things happen. But I don’t know what to say about the result. Now that the book seems to me finished I have to find reasons to calm myself. Eventually, in all serenity, I will tell you if the novel can be read or not, if it can be published or should be added to my writing exercises. In the latter case I would be truly sorry to have disappointed you again. On the other hand, I believe that, for those who love to write, time spent writing is never wasted. And then isn’t it from book to book that we approach the book that we really want to write? Until next time,


NOTE Letter of May 18, 1998. The publisher never received the novel under discussion.

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Australia v South Africa Test Cricket: Cracking WACA pitch gets thumbs up

Full rewards: Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of Stephen Cook during day one of the First Test. Photo: Paul Kane As it happened: First Test, day one
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The famous WACA wicket is showing signs of cracking but has received a glowing endorsement from both sides after last year’s lifeless production.

The first day of the Test summer yielded 10 wickets and nearly 350 runs, in stark contrast to the clash with New Zealand last season. In fact, more wickets fell in the first hour on Thursday than the corresponding day 12 months ago.

Curator Matt Page and his team have been working hard to restore the WACA deck to its glory days – and he could be quietly satisfied with what he has unveiled.

There was plenty of bounce and carry, and the early indication is the cracks that had become synonymous with yesteryear may be returning.

There was ball from Dale Steyn to Shaun Marsh that took off from a small plate on a good length, clipping the opener on the shoulder.

The mercury is set to climb into the high 30s on Saturday, which will bake and fast track the deterioration of the pitch.

“Shaun Marsh had one jump up. If the weather is as hot as it’s meant to be throughout the week, could see a few cracks by the end,” Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc said.

The pitch offered assistance to the quicks prepared to pitch the ball up but with a fast outfield there were also runs on offer for batsmen once set.

David Warner made a whirlwind 73 off 62 balls late in the day against a disappointing Proteas attack.

“It’s a lot nicer to bowl on than Sri Lanka, that’s for sure,” Starc said.

“That’s all you’re after, an even contest between bat and ball. There was something in it throughout the day. If you put the ball in the right area and made the batsman play you felt like your catchers were always in the game.

“There’ll be enough in it throughout the whole Test match if you put the ball in the right area often enough.

“At the same time if batsmen get in and want to take on the game like Davey did tonight there’s plenty of runs out there as well.”

The Australians were aided by an unusually below par performance from Steyn, who bowled too short.

“We saw on the TV at some point that 88 per cent of their balls were too short,” Starc said.

“It’s something we were talking about – hitting those stumps and bowling that bit fuller and not getting too carried away with that bounce. They were shorter than we were and that’s resulted in us being 0/100.”

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Australia v South Africa cricket 2016: Proteas urged to banish Warner disappointment

Shaun Marsh catches Temba Bavuma on day one of the first Test at the WACA. Photo: Cricket Australia/Getty Images South Africa’s Vernon Philander ponders his appeal of the wicket of Australia’s David Warner at the WACA on Thursday. Photo: ROB GRIFFITH
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Perth: South Africa has been urged to banish the disappointment of botching David Warner’s prized scalp and to focus on making amends on Friday, as the Proteas seek to surge back into the first Test.

The tourists made a rugged start to the series, being dismissed for an under-par 242 after winning the toss, and then watching as Warner and fellow opener Shaun Marsh guided the hosts to 0-105 by stumps on a WACA deck offering pace and bounce.

Warner was superb, thumping 10 boundaries and a six in his half-century, and he finished the day unbeaten on 73 – and on track for his fourth ton in Perth. But the context of the match could have changed dramatically had paceman Vernon Philander not over-stepped the bowling crease when Warner was on 17.

His appeal for lbw had been rejected by umpire Aleem Dar, prompting a decision review. But that was a waste as replays showed Dar should have called a no-ball. Replays also showed the delivery would have hit the inside of leg stump, meaning Dar’s decision would have been reversed had the delivery been legal.

Temba Bavuma, who earlier in the day had joined Quinton de Kock in leading a batting fightback with a robust half-century, said the Proteas could not dwell on the Warner incident.

“If you are saying that he was out, it’s, obviously, quite disappointing. There is not much we can do about that now,” he said.

“I think tomorrow (Friday) there will be opportunities to get him out. That’s what we are going to focus towards. What’s happened, has happened.”

The Proteas’ day turned sour on the fourth ball of the morning when Mitchell Starc had Stephen Cook squared up and delivering a thick edge to a diving Mitch Marsh at gully. It continued a poor start to the tour for Cook, who had struggled for runs in the warm-up matches.

Josh Hazlewood then followed the lead when he had the dangerous Hashim Amla pushing forward and edging to Steve Smith at second slip. Amla has a fine record in Perth – his last knock was a match-winning 196 – but on this day there was no joy. The tourists would slip to 4-32 and their day did not improve.

“What has happened today has happened – we can’t do anything to change it. Our performance in the first session tomorrow will give us the opportunity to pull back things,” Bavuma said.

“It’s quite obvious Australia has the upper-hand at the moment but the game is definitely far from over. From a batting point of view, second innings, that will give us an opportunity to knuckle down. The wicket still seems quite true so I think there is an opportunity there for the batters to give and with the bowling too, to bring it back.”

Bavuma, the first black African batsman to be picked in a South African Test squad, lamented the lack of big partnerships. He and skipper Faf du Plessis had shared in a 49-run stand before du Plessis was guilty of an ugly slash outside off stump.

“I just tried to bat. I just tried to take things as slowly as possible. Faf was there. Me trying to build a partnership with him was the most important thing at that moment. We tried to get a partnership going – unfortunately, we let it slip,” he said.

The tourists were also guilty of pitching too short on a wicket where the Australians had great success making the batsmen come forward.

“When I was batting, I didn’t see any substantial breaking down of the wicket or any cracks like that. Looking at the way they (Australia) batted, the wicket still looks true,” Bavuma said.

“I think the ball started to skid on to the bat which is quite a good sign. I expect with the hot conditions the wicket will probably break up but, in saying that, I think it will still be a good batting wicket.”

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David Pocock at No.6, Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre for Wallabies v Wales

Cardiff: Michael Cheika has opted for David Pocock’s seniority over the like-for-like qualities Scott Fardy possesses with the suspended Dean Mumm as the Wallabies once again tweak their back-row ahead of a showdown against Wales.
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Meanwhile, Tevita Kuridrani will fill the void of Samu Kerevi at outside centre, with Israel Folau’s imminent move to the midfield on ice for the time being.

Mumm’s one-week suspension for elbowing New Zealand’s Brodie Retallick meant the Wallabies needed to find a new blindside breakaway to partner Michael Hooper and No.8 Lopeti Timani.

Cheika floated the idea of moving Fardy to No.6 and Pocock to the back of the scrum – the combination Australia used for the majority of last year’s World Cup – but Cheika will instead instil his faith in Pocock, who lines up in his first starting XV since the Argentina game in Perth.

Blindside is a foreign position for Pocock, who normally wears No.7 or No.8 on his back, but Cheika said he and vice-captain Hooper would chop and change throughout the match that kicks off Australia’s spring tour campaign on Saturday (Sunday AEDT).

“I’m just seeing Pocock back from injury, very motivated and away from home also, that little bit of seniority in the side [is valuable],” Cheika said. “He’s been a captain of Australia before. Those two boys [are] playing in a little bit of a slightly different role but they can share a bit of the openside work if they want to and do things a bit differently. I just think that’s the right call. Pocock has got qualities that we want to use in this game.”

The loss of Mumm will hamper the Wallabies’ lineout options, with Pocock not renowned for his jumping.

“Yeah, you’re going to have different jumping combinations,” Cheika said. “I still think our lineout’s improved. We’ve been working hard on the options. I think Lopeti’s been working hard on his jump as well… he’s jumped for Melbourne [Rebels]. They [Wales] have got some tall timber so we’ll have to be on the money to get that [ball] but we’ll back that.”

Cheika is expecting Wales to be savage at the breakdown but believes the Wallabies have the right personnel to get their grand slam dream off to the perfect start.

“Obviously Hooper and Pocock have got very good work rates in defence, then Timani can put a bit of sting in there as well,” Cheika said. “Our boys can hit too. We’re looking to have a really high work rate in this game.”

Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu is in line to make his Test debut off the bench with Cheika opting for the New South Welshman over James Hanson. Meanwhile his NSW front-row partner Tom Robertson has been left off the pine for the first time since he made his Test debut against the Pumas. James Slipper returns alongside Latu and Allan Alaalatoa in the front-row with Rob Simmons and Scott Fardy the other spare forwards.

Nick Phipps retains the halfback spot given Will Genia was not released from his French club Stade Francais and is joined by Bernard Foley at five-eighth, inside-centre Reece Hodge as well as wingers Henry Speight and Dane Haylett-Petty.

In the lead up to the Wales game, Cheika spoke about the prospect of moving Folau to the centres and while he says that was an option, the Wallabies boss resisted the urge to bring him to outside centre which in turn would mean Haylett-Petty could shift to fullback – the position he feels most comfortable at.

“I think Dane’s also playing really well on the wing,” Cheika said. “I know he’s a fullback by trade but he’s made the most of his opportunities there and I don’t think shuffling everyone around right now is necessary. I thought we played not too bad in the last game.”

Cheika will announce an extended bench later in the week before officially naming his matchday 23 after the captain’s run on Friday (Saturday AEDT) in Cardiff.

Wallabies starting XV to face Wales at Cardiff

1. Scott Sio (25 Tests)

2. Stephen Moore (c) (112 Tests)

3. Sekope Kepu (73 Tests)

4. Rory Arnold (6 Tests)

5. Adam Coleman (7 Tests)

6. David Pocock (61 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (61 Tests)

8. Lopeti Timani (3 Tests)

9. Nick Phipps (48 Tests)

10. Bernard Foley (37 Tests)

11. Henry Speight (6 Tests)

12. Reece Hodge (6 Tests)

13. Tevita Kuridrani (40 Tests)

14. Dane Haylett-Petty (10 Tests)

15. Israel Folau (48 Tests)


16. Tolu Latu*

17. James Slipper (82 Tests)

18. Allan Alaalatoa (5 Tests)

19. Rob Simmons (66 Tests)

20. Scott Fardy (37 Tests)

21. Nick Frisby (3 Tests)

22. Quade Cooper (64 Tests)

23. Sefa Naivalu (2 Tests)

*denotes uncapped player

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New coal plants ‘detrimental’ to closing global emissions gap, UN says

Air pollution in China: UNEP says cleaning up carbon emissions will have benefits beyond curbing climate change. Photo: Kevin FrayerBuilding new coal-fired power plants would be “detrimental” to efforts to curb carbon emissions that currently place the world on a path to warm 2.9-3.4 degrees this century, a United Nations scientist says.
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Jacqueline McGlade, chief scientist for the UN Environment Program, said new coal plants would be “entirely contradictory” to the need to close a wide gap between national promises made at last year’s Paris climate summit and the carbon emissions trajectory.

“Anything that leads to an increase in greenhouse gases we see as detrimental,” Professor McGlade said. “From an environmental perspective it’s just a no go [for new coal].”

The comments come as the Paris climate agreement – signed by almost 200 nations pledging to keep global warming to less than 2 degrees – comes into force on Friday.

They also come a day after the owners of Hazelwood, Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power plant, said it would close next March. The Victoria-based plant emits about 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, or about 3 per cent of Australia’s total.

According to the UNEP, national commitments indicate annual emissions by 2030 will be 54-56 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent, or about 12-14 GT more than needed to keep below the 2-degree warming limit.

The so-called emissions gap is even wider – at 15-17 GT a year – if the lower limit agreed in the Paris accord of 1.5 degrees is to be achieved.

Nations will be pressed to lift their ambitions at the follow-up climate meeting to Paris, which starts on Monday in Marrakesh, Morocco.

“If we don’t start taking additional action now, beginning with the upcoming climate meeting in Marrakesh, we will grieve over the avoidable human tragedy,” said Erik Solheim, head of UNEP. “The growing numbers of climate refugees hit by hunger, poverty, illness and conflict will be a constant reminder of our failure to deliver.”

The Turnbull government is yet to ratify the Paris agreement but may do so before the Marrakesh meeting ends on November 18.

“Domestic action [in Australia] hasn’t kept pace with unprecedented global momentum in clean energy and emissions reduction,” John Connor, chief executive of The Climate Institute, said.

Australia’s 2030 target of cutting 2005-level emissions by 26-28 per cent falls short of the Paris objective and is also not backed up by policies needed to reach that target, he said: “These weaknesses leave Australia exposed.”

According to the UNEP, Australia’s per capita emissions will fall significantly by 2030 on current goals, but will still leave the country the third-worst polluter among the G20 nations behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia. (See chart below.)

The UNEP report estimates that, based on commitments made in Paris last December, the world will deplete its carbon budget by 2030 if it is to have a two-thirds chance of keeping warming to below 2 degrees of pre-industrial era levels.

Follow Peter Hannam on Twitter and Facebook.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


The many women in the life of Man Haron Monis

Man Haron Monis used his spiritual healing and clairvoyant business as a means of entering sexual relationships. Photo: Fairfax Media Amirah Droudis was one of the many women Man Haron Monis had intimate relationships with.
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A police video still from when Monis is told while in hospital that his ex-wife is dead.

Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis met the mother of his two children – as well as the woman who would brutally murder her – through his spiritual healing and clairvoyant business.

Monis’ lover Amirah Droudis, 37, was on Thursday found guilty of the murder of Monis’ ex-wife, who was stabbed, doused in petrol and set on fire in an apartment building stairwell in 2013.

In handing down his verdict in the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Peter Johnson said Monis had a history of affairs and relationships with different women.

“The evidence indicates that Monis had associations with a range of females over the years, sometimes simultaneously,” Justice Johnson said.

“It may be inferred that Monis used his spiritual healing and clairvoyant business as a means of entering sexual relationships with a range of women.”

Monis met the mother of his two children, whose murder he would mastermind, after she responded to an advertisement in a community newspaper promoting his “spiritual healing services” in 2003. They married in a religious ceremony.

He was also engaged to another woman, known only as female M and “Sister Fatimah” , who he met through his clairvoyance work. This woman died of natural causes in 2012.

Monis first came into contact with Droudis, who had a child of her own from a previous relationship, after her mother made an appointment to see Monis.

The lengthy relationships Monis had with these three women were, the court heard, at times overlapping.

But there were other women in his life too – Female P, Female C, Female B, Female S and an unidentified Chinese woman.

Monis, who adopted the persona of “Sheikh Haron”, prepared scripts for multiple women to read, while wearing black niqabs, in extremist videos he filmed for a website he ran and YouTube.

At the time he was shot dead by police during the Sydney siege in 2014, he was on bail for more than 40 sexual assault charges involving seven alleged victims linked to his “spiritual healing” business and as an accessory to the murder of his former wife.

During Droudis’ murder trial, flattering cards and letters from female admirers that Monis had hoarded over the years were presented as evidence of his inflated sense of self.

The court heard that even in the months before his ex-wife was murdered at his bidding, Monis made attempts to try to reconcile his relationship with her but was rejected.

Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, argued during the trial that Monis had the “grandiose delusions of a narcissist” and his love for Droudis was based on what he could get from her and what she could do for him.

“This is the sort of man that Man Haron Monis was. He was quite clearly the kind of man who was perfectly prepared to put this woman at risk of her life, at risk of being caught and at risk of paying the penalty for this murder,” Mr Tedeschi said.

Droudis’ defence team attempted to use Monis’ womanising as an argument that it was a very real prospect he could have enticed another, unknown woman to murder his ex-wife.

But Justice Johnson ultimately found there was no documentary or electronic evidence pointing to an unidentified female in Monis’ life as at April 2013, let alone a person who would be prepared to carry out a murder for him.

Droudis was at the “closest and most intense level of her relationship” with Monis at the time of the murder, Justice Johnson found. Droudis will face a sentencing hearing this month.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


Another Ruffels making her mark at the Federal Amateur Open

Just two years after trading in her tennis racquet for a golf club, 16-year-old Gabriela Ruffels is already representing Australia and playing at international events.
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But this is nothing new for the young prodigy who was the No.2 seed in Australia on the court and played overseas regularly.

Nor is it new for her family with her former Royal Canberra member brother Ryan a professional regular on the US PGA Tour.

Gabriela tees off in the Federal Amateur Open on Friday having come ninth in the Australian Amateur earlier in the year and playing the US Junior Amateur and Junior World Championship.

And she is loving every minute after giving up her position at the National Academy for tennis in Melbourne.

“I wasn’t really enjoying tennis anymore, it was getting a bit too intense for me,” Ruffels said. “I wasn’t  enjoying the competition and I found golf a much more social outlet.”

Veteran Paul Gow was a guest speaker at the pre-tournament luncheon in the capital and he said the shift in sports certainly agrees with the young Ruffels.

“I had a look at her golf swing on the range this morning and it doesn’t look like there’s anything that’s going to go wrong with it, so if she holds a few putts this week then she’s one of the chances for the women,” Gow said.

Gow is working predominantly as an expert commentator and he is excited to see the talented youngsters fight it out for the championship he won 30 years ago.

“There’s a number of players to watch but young Louis Dobbelaar who won the New Zealand Amateur last week at the age of 15 is a Queenslander playing this week, he’s really good,” Gow said.

“Travis Smyth is a good young player so they would be my two stand-outs for this week, but you can’t leave out Austin Bautista who won last year.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


Australia vs South Africa 2016: Test cricket arises from the death bed

Shaun Marsh catches Temba Bavuma on day one of the first Test at the WACA. Photo: Cricket Australia/Getty ImagesAs it happened: Day one, first Test
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As Test cricket died in Perth on Thursday, two young teams tussled for the initiative as if their lives depended on it.

They came to Test cricket’s funeral dressed in white. Mitchell Starc commemorated Test cricket’s inevitable slow demise by taking a wicket within four balls. Mitchell Marsh provided the assist, intercepting the ball above fifth slip even though he had been fielding at gully, a position that had been patrolled with similar efficiency by his father in the 1980s. Test cricket had been dying back then, too.

As Test cricket died, thousands of West Australians took advantage of a crisp sunny day to add colour and noise to the old WACA Ground. The pitch was fast and true. The outfield played fast and loose with the facts, giving batsmen fours when they thought they had hit ones and twos. Perhaps these spasms of accelerated time were rigor mortis; the WACA, apparently, is in its death throes as well.

As Test cricket died, Australia’s bowling and fielding showed athleticism, precision and the fruits of intense study. Under the tuition of new bowling coach David Saker, Starc and Josh Hazlewood put together a withering opening hour that raised the ghosts of this cricketing graveyard: the Lillee-Thomson, Marshall-Holding and Ambrose-Walsh new-ball assaults on this turf. The catching close to the wicket – Marsh’s of Stephen Cook, Steve Smith’s at second slip to remove Hashim Amla, Adam Voges’ at first slip to dismiss Faf du Plessis, and Shaun Marsh’s diving right-hander at bat-pad to account for Temba Bavuma – revived the imagery of Australian Test cricket at its best. Back in 1974-75 on this ground, after the cordon of Marsh-Chappell-Chappell-Edwards-Walters plucked the hopes of yet another Englishman with their poachers’ hands, Doug Walters looked to the next batsman and quipped, ‘Oh no, not this p—k holding us up for five more minutes’. Back then, they were impatient for Test cricket to move faster too.

As Test cricket died, Channel Nine rebirthed its funerary services. Fresh pallbearers in suits came out in pairs, and lo, cricket was rediscovered.  Now cricket experts displayed their cricket expertise. Shane Warne said it’s getting boring, yet he was never bored. And on the east coast, after-work audiences massed in healthy numbers to enjoy the best form of day-night cricket there ever was, a Test match on West Australian time.

As Test cricket died, the South Africans refused to allow the momentum of a catastrophic first hour to sweep them away. Like an action movie mountaineer slipping down an icy cliff, they swung their picks at the face to arrest their fall. Dean Elgar and JP Duminy dug in, but lost their grip. Then du Plessis and Bavuma got a handhold for an hour or two, and kept the scoreboard moving whenever they had the chance to counter-attack. Their wickets fell, but their total kept creeping up. Australia seemed in control, but suddenly the total was 100, 120, 150, and who knew what a good score was until the second team batted?

While Test cricket was dying, careers were being built on moments, sequences and sessions. Starc worked up impressive pace and wasted little of it. Hazlewood, after being the pick of the bowlers with the new ball, showed his versatility by bending it back-to-front as it got old. This kind of bowling never gets old. Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon applied pressure without forcing the issue. Smith windmilled his arms and worked the field in such a frenzy that no spectator, let alone a teammate, could take their eye off him. But this was not necessarily Australia’s day. It was cricket’s. Du Plessis, Bavuma and the sparkling young wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock were not content to withstand and absorb the attack, and the South Africans’ bristling counter-punch had something quietly heroic about it, as if they recognised a responsibility to play for more than merely their own survival. As so often when this dying game is played at this dying venue, the cricket fairly rattled along, almost too hard to keep up with. Throughout this reviving, resuscitating day, the game kept moving rapidly, but in which direction? Both: Australia’s, South Africa’s, Australia’s, South Africa’s again. A breathless game, Test cricket, even as it breathes its last.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.