Council appeals against Supercars document release

Written by admin on 2018-12-17 Categories: 苏州夜网

AFTER THE RACE: Residents are chasing council documents on the Supercars event, pictured here on the Sunday of the inaugural 2017 race. Picture: Jonathan CarrollA STATE tribunal has upheld a residents’ group application to have Newcastle City Council hand over four documents about the Supercars race, but the council has appealed against the decision.
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Newcastle East End Residents’ Group won its day last month before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and the council appeal will be held on May 25.

The residents’ group had sought the documents under the General Information (Public Access) Act, and the tribunal’s senior member,Deborah Dinnen, said the council needed to “support” its decision to deny the group access to four documents deemed relevant under the act.

Ms Dinnen accepted there were “some significant issues of public concern” raised in the group’s application, which said there had been “no environmental impact statement or assessment, no social impact statement or assessment” and no “open and transparent community consultation” before the race.

Ms Dinnen said she gave the group’s evidence “significant weight” but she gave “minimal” or no weight to various arguments against release put forward by the council, including that the council or any “third party’s” interests would be prejudiced by the release of the documents.

She accepted that releasing the documents may “prejudice the working relationship” between the council and a state government agency, Destination NSW, but gave this “little weight”.

“I note that the fact that disclosure might cause embarrassment of a loss of confidence in the particular agency or in the government is irrelevant,” Ms Dinnen said.

She ordered two documents released in full, and two with redactions agreed to in a confidential section of the hearing between the council and herself.

Residents’ group secretary Joan Browning said that underneath a “thin veneer of ultra-positive spin and good news media releases, the council had “an entrenched culture of secrecy, cover-ups and obfuscation”.

She said the documents were “crucial to any informed public discussion about the future of this event”.

But council chief executive Jeremy Bath said the council’s “legislative obligation” to disclose information had to be balanced against the need to protect its “business, commercial, professional or financial interests” and those of any “third parties it deals with”, in this case Supercars and Destination NSW.

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Cronk, Keary to only get better: Robinson

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Cooper Cronk gets the best out of his teammates, says Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson.Cooper Cronk’s high-profile halves combination with Luke Keary is far from complete despite the pair’s star showing last weekend, Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has warned.
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In an assessment that will spark fear into rivals, Robinson predicted on Friday that the Roosters’ pairing was nowhere near their ceiling and they’d continue to improve starting with Saturday’s clash with the Warriors.

Cronk also had an involvement in all seven of the Roosters’ tries in last week’s 30-point win over Newcastle, catapulting the club to premiership favourites after he and Keary combined directly three times in the lead up to points.

But Robinson has a simple message for those already abuzz about the star pairing: you ain’t seen nothing yet.

“People are excited about what they saw but that’s not the limit,” he said.

“It’s round three and if people think that’s the ceiling it’s going to be a long season.

“There are some things where I don’t think we have nailed our execution each week.

“We’re getting it more and more each week so that is a positive.”

Cronk’s arrival over the summer from Melbourne signalled one of the biggest pick-ups of the NRL era at any club.

It also heaped unprecedented external pressure on the Tri-colours following the departure of Mitchell Pearce, who warned his State of Origin No.7 rival had to help deliver them a title.

But Robinson has been impressed with the speed the veteran has had an impact on the those around him despite a shorted pre-season due to the World Cup.

“Cooper has understood with the players around him how he can get the best out of those guys,” Robinson said.

“One of his strengths is to help pull the strings of the players around him.

“We’re not finished, we’re not at the top yet but it’s been a progression each week on that.”

Keary is one of those players Cronk is already bringing the best out of, and it’s already put him in the hunt for NSW Origin selection.

After Nathan Cleary went down last weekend, Cronk declared that Keary had the right skill-set and pedigree required to make it in the Origin arena.

But his coach wasn’t so keen to weigh into the conversation.

“I know I’m going to get asked that a lot but you’ve got to ask Freddie all that,” Robinson said.

“Is he a very good footballer? Yes he is a very good footballer. He’s a Blue. Is he going to improve? That’s what we’re pushing him to do.”

STATS THAT MATTER:

* The Warriors have won their last three against the Roosters.

* Latrell Mitchell is yet to score a try against the Warriors, having crossed against all 14 other rival clubs.

* The Warriors are aiming to go 4-0 for the first time in their history.

*Stats: Fox Sports Stats

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NRLNathan Ross survives the axe … now for the Dragons

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Nathan Ross has survived the axe … for now.
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Knights coach Nathan Brown is ready to give his under-pressurewinger another opportunity against St George Illawarra on Sunday in Wollongong after toying with the idea of dumping him to NSW Cup earlier in the week in favour of the experienced Ken Sio.

Ross says he isaware he wason thin icefollowing the loss to the Sydney Roosters and has vowed to work even harder against the Dragons to re-capture his best form.

“I thought I might have been in a bit of trouble after the Roosters game and I was prepared for it [being dumped],”Ross said.

“If I was dropped, I wouldn’t have been happy about it. But I would have taken it on the chin, gone back to reserve grade and busted my butt to get back up again.

“I had a talk to Browny [coach Nathan Brown] early in the week and Kenny Sio and I were swapping aroundat training a fair bit. That is the good part about our depth now. You need to be consistently good to stay up but you don’t get on a rollercoaster and not expect some ups and downs.

“Hopefully, I can get some goodopportunities against the Dragons and get back to the way I know I can perform.”

Ross admits he is still struggling to come to grips with the team’s new attacking structures and what part he should playin it.

Hispartnership with centre Tautau Moga on the left edge is also taking some time to gel with Moga throwing two no-look passes meant for Ross over the sideline against the Roosters.

There has also been some issues in the air with kicks directed to their edge, something Dragons playmakers Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop will be looking to exploit at WIN Stadium.

“To be honest, I’ve probably found it a bit more difficult thanI thought to find my role in the team,”Rosssaid.

“There are a lot more boys this year demanding the footy than the past few seasons which is a good thing but it means I need to be more selective about when to go looking for a carry.

“I try and set myself high standards so I just need to put my head down, work harder and have confidence in myself.”

The Dragons have had the wood on Newcastlein previous seasons, having won 18 of their past 24 encounters but the Knights did take a game off them last season.

Backrower Mitch Barnett says the Knights’ ability to contain the Dragons pack will be crucial to the outcome.

“Every game is won or lost in the middle and if we can come out on top against their really strong pack, it will go a long way to us getting away with a win,”he said.

“All their forwards seem to be in-form and have started the season really strongly.

“Guys like [Jack] De Belin, [Tyson] Frizell, [Tariq] Sims and [Paul] Vaughan have been really strong for them and led the way and they are obviously three from three and coming off a really big win.

“It’s going to be a big test for sure but we’ll be up for it.”

After a disrupted start to the season, Barnett says he is still looking for his best form.

“I’m probably a bit off the pace to be honest,”he said.

“I didn’t play that second game [against Canberra] basically because of the concussion and coming back from the shoulder op, it has been a bit slow.

“But I’m fit and hopefully I can just keep flying under the radar until I hit form. Hopefully this weekend, I can pick it up.

“I’m confident if I can just do my job, I’ll continue to get better and find the form that I want. I’m not too far away from it.

“It’s a bit frustrating because I have really high expectations of myself but I’m getting there.”

Barnett said the Dragons can’t come soonenough.

“After last week, we are all really keen to get down there and really rip in and take the Dragons forwards head on,”he said.

“We need to start with plenty of intent but also focus on the little areas of our game that let us down against the Roosters.”

Under pressure: Knights winger Nathan Ross says he is hoping to get back to his best against the Dragons with the axe hanging over him. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

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Saints seek answers after AFL shocker

Written by admin on 2019-09-18 Categories: 苏州夜网

Saints’ Paddy McCartin was unable to kick a goal against North Melbourne.St Kilda have held a crisis meeting after their AFL Good Friday shocker, with coach Alan Richardson declaring “there’s losses and then there’s losses”.
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The Saints players were called in on Saturday morning, which was supposed to be their day off.

They lost the contested ball count and could not hit their targets, plus they managed just five goals in the loss.

While the Saints aspire to their first top-eight finish since 2011, the Kangaroos freely acknowledge they are rebuilding.

Richardson said it was important the players have a break but also felt they had to talk further about their poor performance.

“There’s losses and there’s losses. I’m not one to be overly reactive,” he told SEN.

“But it was important to get back together and make sure that we stick together and identify what happened and probably even more importantly, what we’re going to do about it.

“It was something that we felt we needed to do.”

Richardson added that he and captain Jarryn Geary drove the meeting.

“It was a continuation of the conversation we had post-game,” Richardson said.

While Richardson did not want to go into specifics, he noted they butchered the ball against the Kangaroos.

What’s important is we do something about it,” he said.

“We’ve got seven days from now. We got together as a group again this morning to really look at what it is we’re going to do from here.

“It’s round two. We’re 1-1. It was an opportunity that we lost and we need to do something about it and that will start on the training track.”

The Roos led by 11 points at three-quarter time and sealed the victory with a seven-goals-to-nil final term.

Richardson said post-match one issue stood out.

“The biggest question that we spoke about (after the game) as a group was, ‘How can we get outworked so consistently across four quarters, given that that’s a strength of ours?'” he said.

“Why were we not prepared to roll our sleeves up and really dig in to support a mate?”

In seven days St Kilda host Adelaide, who are coming off an encouraging win in the grand final rematch against Richmond.

Richardson must also work out what to do with his three-pronged attack of Paddy McCartin, Josh Bruce and Tim Membrey.

They kicked no goals against the Roos but Richardson gave them the benefit of the doubt.

“It’s an awkward game to assess from that perspective,” he said of his forward structure.

“Our use was so bad … I’ve not seen us kick the ball as poorly as that.”

McCartin was booked during the match for rough conduct but match reviewer Michael Christian overturned the charge.

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Netball turning into ‘WWE’, NZ star fears

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New Zealand’s Maria Folau wants netball cleaned up, saying its morphing into professional wrestlingStar New Zealand shooter Maria Folau wants netball cleaned up at the Commonwealth Games after likening it to professional wrestling.
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At her first press call on the Gold Coast, Folau claimed some teams were practising wrestling and rival players were using underhanded physical tactics to negate the skills of the best.

The Silver Ferns goaler, who married Wallabies fullback Israel last November, feared where netball may end up if such negative “tricks” were allowed to continue unabated.

“I know a lot of teams practise wrestling and sometimes that’s what it feels like on the court,” she said at the Games village on Saturday. “The game has changed hugely.

“It’s not WWE (professional wrestling) but a lot of the players’ repertoire, their bag of tricks, is increasing.

“That’s where the game is going, but we have to make sure we keep it clean.”

Defending champions and New Zealand are hot favourites to once again face off in the Games final on April 15, continuing a run that started at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.

Folau is one of the most skilful players in the sport and has been frustrated by defenders who have been allowed to push the boundaries physically.

The Silver Ferns vice-captain, who didn’t refer to any team by name, said players should be rewarded for their speed and ingenuity

“It’s about showcasing your skill, getting around the body (of your opponent) and moving your feet, as opposed to going through the body and knocking each other out,” she said.

Ranked second behind the world champion Diamonds, New Zealand face England as their toughest pool opponents, and start their campaign against Uganda on Thursday.

have the tougher pool with Jamaica and South Africa among their opponents but the South Africans have suffered a major blow with prolific goal shooter Lenize Potgieter ruled out with an ankle injury.

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SKorean K-Pop bands fly North for concerts

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South Korean girl band Red Velvet is among other groups heading North to perform.From ageing crooners to bubbly K-Pop starlets, some of South Korea’s biggest pop stars flew to North Korea on Saturday for rare performances that highlight the sudden thaw in inter-Korean ties after years of tensions over the North’s nuclear ambitions.
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The concerts in Pyongyang on Sunday and Tuesday come ahead of a historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a border village on April 27.

The meeting, which will precede a planned summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in May, could prove to be significant in the global diplomatic push to resolve the stand off over the North’s nuclear weapons and missiles program.

The 120-member group that flew to Pyongyang also included government officials, reporters and a taekwondo demonstration team that will perform in Pyongyang on Sunday and Monday.

Another team of 70 South Korean technicians went to Pyongyang on Thursday to set up equipment.

Among the singers on the trip are Cho Yong-pil, perhaps South Korea’s most influential musician of the past 50 years, who staged a solo concert in Pyongyang in 2005 during a previous era of rapprochement between the rivals.

Girl band Red Velvet, currently one of the most popular acts in the highly-competitive K-Pop scene are also among the performers.

“We’re the ‘maknae’ (youngest of the group), so we will make sure to deliver our bright energy to the North,” 24-year-old band member Seulgi cheerfully shouted at the airport.

K-Pop groups have performed before in North Korea.

The now-disbanded Sechs Kies and Fin.K.L sang and danced in Pyongyang in 1999, as did boy band Shinhwa in 2003. Some of the artists later said the reaction from the audience was awkward and quiet.

Despite constant questioning from reporters, South Korean officials aren’t offering a clear explanation on why PSY, the singer of “Gangnam Style,” was left out of the concert lineup.

South Korea’s culture ministry spokesman Hwang Seong-un said without specifying that the YouTube rapper had been initially considered for the Pyongyang events before being excluded.

He said he couldn’t confirm a media report that North Korean officials had rejected PSY.

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Warner defends tearful apology on Twitter

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Former cricket team vice-captain David Warner says there is a lot at stake for his family.David Warner has defended his emotional apology over his part in cricket’s ball-tampering scandal after he refused to answer questions about the role he, or others, played in the affair.
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The former n team vice-captain took to social media following his tearful press conference to explain how he needed to follow Cricket protocols.

“I know there are unanswered questions and lots of them. I completely understand. In time i will do my best to answer them all. But there is a formal CA process to follow,” Warner tweeted nearly two hours after a press conference that was widely criticised by cricket fans on Twitter.

The 31-year-old said there was a proper time and place for elaborating on the saga and he was “taking advice”.

“I should have mentioned that in my press conference I’m sorry for not making it clearer. With so much at stake for my family and cricket I have to follow this process properly. I think that’s fair,” he said.

The news conference at the SCG came two days after axed captain Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft fronted cameras over the trio’s attempts to change the condition of the ball with sandpaper during the third Test in Cape Town.

Warner apologised specifically for the part he played in the incident at least 15 times throughout his statement and answers, while refusing to go into further details.

He was repeatedly asked whether other players were involved and whether he had any knowledge, or experience, with previous ball tampering – but his response was consistent.

“As I said before, I’m here to accept my responsibility for the part that I played in day three in Newlands, Cape Town,” he said.

Warner and Smith were banned for 12 months while young batsman Bancroft received nine months after an investigation identified Warner as the instigator of the cheating plan.

They have until Wednesday to challenge the sanctions handed down by Cricket .

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Trump freezes Syria funds, signals exit

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President Donald Trump says he wants US troops out of Syria and has frozen funds of $US200 million.US President Donald Trump has frozen more than $US200 million in funds for recovery efforts in Syria as his administration reassesses Washington’s role in the long-drawn conflict there, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing officials.
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Trump called for the freeze on Friday after reading a news report noting that Washington had recently committed an additional $US200 million to support early recovery efforts in Syria, the Journal reported.

The decision is in line with Trump’s declaration on Thursday when he said that America would exit Syria, according to officials, the Journal reported.

An additional aid of $US200 million was pledged by departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February in Kuwait at a meeting of the global coalition against Islamic State.

Trump is spending Easter weekend at his Palm Beach, Florida, estate. During a speech in Richfield, Ohio on Thursday, he revealed his desire to withdraw US forces from Syria and turn over security to regional countries.

He said that based on allied victories against Islamic State militants, “We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon”.

“Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out,” Trump said. “We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”

The administration officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said on Friday Trump’s comment during the speech reflected internal deliberations with advisers in which he has wondered aloud why US forces should remain with the militants on their heels.

Trump has made clear that “once ISIS and its remnants are destroyed that the United States would be looking toward having countries in the region playing a larger role in ensuring security and leaving it at that”, one official said.

Such a policy is nowhere near complete, however, the official added.

The second official said Trump’s national security advisers have told him US forces should stay in small numbers for at least a couple of years to make sure gains against the militants are held and ensure Syria does not essentially become a permanent Iranian base.

Top national security aides discussed Syria in a White House meeting recently but have yet to settle on a strategy for US forces in Syria to recommend to Trump going forward, the official said.

“So far he has not given an order to just get out,” the official said.

About 2000 US troops are deployed in Syria.

Four officials at the State and Defense Departments and the CIA said on Friday they were surprised by Trump’s Syria remarks, which one senior intelligence official said “appeared to be completely off the cuff”.

They added, speaking on the condition of anonymity, that Trump’s comments also appear to be part of a pattern that includes questioning the US commitment to Article 5 of the NATO Charter and suggesting the Pentagon will pay for a border wall with Mexico, positions that many or most national security officials opposed.

Trump last year went through a similar wrenching debate over whether to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, ultimately agreeing to keep them there but only after repeatedly raising questions of why they should stay.

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Ballarat youth learn tools to tackle mental health

Written by admin on 2019-08-18 Categories: 苏州夜网

TEAM WORK: Youth Council members Amy Zuell, Letesha Stephens, Brienna Kamp and Brodae Kamp with rapper Mitchell Burgess discussing plans. Picture: Siobhan CalafioreFunworkshops, inspiring guest speakers and live music arepart of a program designed by youth for youthputting the spotlight on mental health and wellbeing.
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City of BallaratYouth Council’s Change Your Story event hopes to equipyoung people with the tools to help themselves put their wellbeing first through self-care and creative methods.

Youth Council member Letesha Stephens said guest speakers Ben Pettingill and Mike Rolls would offer a refreshing take onovercoming adversity and challenges.

Mr Pettingill lost 98 per cent of his eyesight at 16 froma rare genetic syndrome, while Mr Rolls lost his legs when he survived Meningococcal septicaemiaat 18.

There will also be live music, creative arts, theHealthy Hub Wellness Centre’s workshop onnutrition and a free lunch provided.

Ballarat rap artist Mitchell Burgess, known asEMBE, will lead a songwriting and hip hop workshop through Project Origin, where he will discuss lyrics, beats and help participants gain the confidence toshare their stories.

“When I started writing stuff down it was a chance to vent andit has helped me so much creating music,” Burgess said. “For me to share that and try to get other people to use thatsame medium is really important, it’s creative but you also get to speak about something you might not feel like you could have spoken about before.”

Meanwhile, organisations such as Ballarat Community Health and Headspace Ballarat are involved in the Chill Out Zone, which includes beanbags, giant gamesand the StoryPod –a space to record a messageandhelp form a mental health video.

Youth Council member Brienna Kamp hoped the event would help young people feel more connected.

“Mental health is a big problem around youth community because our brains are still developing and we don’t have as much experience in the world,” she said.

“A lot of the time we feel a little bit alone and are hard on ourselves… we face bullying, puberty and all of this hard stuff soit’s really helpful to know there are people out there who understand.”

The eventtakes place at Morshead Park on April 20and is aimed at people aged 12-25 with school groups encouraged to attend. To book your place visithttps://www.eventbrite苏州夜总会招聘.au/e/change-your-story-tickets-43541454663.

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Go back in time and relive the Stawell Gift in photos

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Stawell Gift – then and now | photo gallery 1968: In cold wintry conditions Jean Louis Ravelomanantsoa produced a memorable run by winning the Stawell Gift from scratch.
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1961: Peter Donovan won the Stawell handicap over 880 yards and the following year set a new world record for the 600 yards. Photo: Stawell Gift

1981: Scotsman George McNeil won the 1981 Stawell Gift and celebrated by singing O Flower of Scotland to the crowd. Picture: Stawell Gift

1996: Cathy Freeman stormed home to win the Women’s 400m at the 1996 Stawell Gift.

1977: Warren Edmonson was the second fastest run recorded clocking 12 seconds from 1.25 metres. Photo: Stawell Gift

1958: After his first Stawell Gift victory John McCracken went on to win seven races at Stawell. Picture: Stawell Gift

2014: Ballarat schoolgirl Grace O’Dwyer became the first to win the Stawell Women’s Gift with prizemoney on parity to the title race. Picture: Pat Scala

2013: Jamaican sprint superstar Asafa Powell became the biggest international athlete to race at Stawell. Powell pulled out from the semi-finals with a hamstring.Picture: Lachlan Bence

2011: Mitchell Williams (in white) pulls a hamstring metres out from the finishing line but holds on to win the Gift, dedicating the effort to his cancer-striken mother. Picture: Joe Armao

2010: Champion pole-vaulter Steve Hooker was run out in heats but reinstated to semis when deemed disadvantaged due to track mis-measurement. He later pulled out with groin soreness. Picture: Lachlan Bence

2013: Olympian Tamsyn Manou (nee Lewis) reaches the semi-finals in her final Stawell Gift carnival. Manou bid farewell after 17 appearances at Central Park.

2011: Outspoken Olympian John Steffenson was run out as backmarker in Stawell Gift heats. Picture: Adam Trafford

Sarah Blizzard, Ararat, with her dad Neil, after winning her heat in the Stawell Strickland Family Women’s Gift

Luke Versace, black, wins the 2014 Stawell Gift.

Victorian Grace O’Dwyer, blue, took out the 120 metre Post Strickland Family Women’s Gift. This is the first year the women’s Gift has the same prize pool as the men’s. 2015 Woolworths Stawell Gift

Andrew Robinson wins the 2013 Stawell Gift. Robinson is the first Tasmanian to win the gift in 73-years (1941), with his coach Ray Quarrell

Stawell Women’s Gift winner Talia Martin on the shoulders of training partners and past Stawell Gift winners Holly Dobbyn and Grace O’Dwyer.

The moment O’Dwyer knew she won. Victorian Grace O’Dwyer, blue, took out the 120 metre Post Strickland Family Women’s Gift. This is the first year the women’s Gift has the same prize pool as the men’s. 2015 Woolworths Stawell Gift

Queenslander Murray Goodwin, white, took out the 120 metre Woolworths Stawell Gift. Goodwin is only the sixth Queenslander in the history of the Gift to win the event. 2015 Woolworths Stawell Gift

Kate Jones, pink, wins semi final 1 of the 2016 Womens Stawell Gift.

Holly Dobbyn wins the 2014 Womens Stawell Gift, celebrating with team mates.

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Wayne Bennett backs NRL referees’ stance

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Wayne Bennett says agrees with an NRL referees crackdown on players consistently breaking the rules.Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has urged the NRL not to blink as it tries to erase the bad habits that have crept into the game over the last three years.
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Referees were under the gun on Friday night when 33 penalties were blown in Cronulla’s stop-start defeat of Melbourne that saw both Luke Lewis and Cameron Smith sin-binned.

But Bennett has backed the clamp down and says if his players break the rules against Gold Coast on Sunday they deserve to cop the consequences.

“It’s for the officials to decide and they’ve made a decision they’re going to clean up the play the ball and 10-metre area and I’m a fan of it because it’s going to give us a better game,” Bennett said.

“All we are trying to do is give the game back to the fans, that’s the way I see it.

“We’re in this state at the moment because the last three or four years there have been a lot of things let go.

“If the game blinks, well the coaches will be back in control but if the game stays strong, well we’re going to have to make sure our players are adhering to the rules.”

Bennett doesn’t expect a repeat of what transpired on Friday night against the Titans at Suncorp Stadium.

But he says it’s on him and his fellow coaches to tidy their teams up.

“The coaches in the end will get it under control; we got it out of control we’ll get it under control,” he said.

“If that’s the way the game goes, I don’t think it will be, and we’re breaking the rules then I understand the consequences.

“That’s all they’re doing, just enforcing the rules, they haven’t made any new ones.”

The Titans were embarrassed 54-8 by St George Illawarra last weekend and were trounced 54-0 by the Broncos in their last meeting.

Gold Coast current rank last in points, tries and line-breaks conceded, while also missing a league-high 40.3 tackles and 13.3 offloads per game.

Brisbane’s outside centres, particularly former Titan James Roberts, will rightfully be licking their lips despite Bennett expecting stiffer resistance this weekend.

“They’ll be trying to get some respect back,” Bennett said.

“We had that happen to us a couple of weeks ago (against the Dragons in the opening round) and I’m pretty confident of the mood they’ll turn up in.

“It won’t be hard for them to be motivated, they’re always a danger and trying to redeem some credibility after what happened last week.”

STATS THAT MATTER

– Brisbane has its best record of any current team against the Titans, winning 18 of 23 matches against them (78.3 per cent), including the last eight and 15 of the last 17.

– The Broncos are being awarded the fewest penalties (6.3) this season.

– Gold Coast has lost their past five away games and failed to score more than 16 points in any of them.

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IOC president meets NKorean leader Kim

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An IOC delegation led by President Thomas Bach (c), have discussed NKorea joining future Olympics.International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has met Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang and says the North Korean leader is committed to having his country participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Beijing Winter Games in 2022.
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Bach has told the Associated Press the two had a 30-minute formal meeting followed by 45 minutes of casual discussions while watching a football match on Friday afternoon at Pyongyang’s May Day Stadium.

He called the talks productive and said Kim expressed his appreciation for the IOC’s role in helping North Korea compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea last month.

“We had a very fruitful meeting where it became clear that the supreme leader has a clear vision of the role that sport can play in a society with regard to education, with regard to health,” Bach said.

He added that Kim told him the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang games and marching together with South Korean athletes were an “important contribution to a peaceful dialogue”.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency published a report on the meeting on Saturday, saying that Bach expressed his “heartfelt thanks” to Kim over the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang Games that made the event “symbolic of peace”.

In response, Kim told Bach he was “very thankful” that the IOC took special measures to allow for North Korean athletes to compete in South Korea and called for further cooperation with the IOC in developing winter sports and other sports activities in North Korea, the agency said.

Bach arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday to discuss development of sports in North Korea and the preparation of its athletes to qualify and participate in upcoming Olympics.

He is the first foreign official to meet Kim since the North Korean leader returned earlier this week from a summit in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Bach, who also met with North Korea’s sports minister, said he received a commitment from the county’s National Olympic Committee to participate in Tokyo in 2020 and Beijing in 2022, along with competing in the respective youth Olympic Games.

Both the North and South hailed the Pyeongchang Games as a significant step toward easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula that reached dangerously high levels last year as the North stepped up its missile tests and detonated its largest nuclear device to date.

Since the Olympics, the North has pushed forward with a flurry of diplomatic moves.

After his summit with South Korea President Moon Jae-in, Kim is to meet President Donald Trump by May, though the date and location of that summit have not been announced.

Hopes have been raised that the North Korean leader may be willing to discuss his nuclear weapons program and other measures to reduce the threat of war, possibly in exchange for security guarantees and an easing of the international sanctions that have severely pinched the already struggling North Korean economy.

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UN Chief calls for Gaza violence probe

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wants an independent investigation into the violence in Gaza.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an independent investigation into deadly clashes in Gaza between Palestinians and Israeli troops.
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Security Council members have urged restraint on both sides, however, they have not decided on any action or joint message after an emergency meeting on Friday.

Kuwait convened the talks hours after the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 cross-border war between Israel and Hamas.

Some 15 people were killed and more than 750 wounded by Israeli fire as thousands of Palestinian protesters marched to Gaza’s border with Israel, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

The Israeli military said that thousands of Palestinians threw stones and rolled burning tyres toward troops, that Palestinian gunmen fired toward soldiers in one incident and that militants were trying to conduct attacks under the cover of protests.

Mr Guterres wants “an independent and transparent investigation” into the violence, spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said he was disappointed the Security Council did not unite to condemn what he called a “heinous massacre” of peaceful demonstrators, or to support his call to provide protection for Palestinian civilians.

“We expect the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility” and “defuse this volatile situation, which clearly constitutes a threat to international peace and security,” Mr Mansour said.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said “the international community must not be deceived” by what he termed “a well-organised and violent terror-gathering” under the banner of a peaceful march.

“The Palestinians sunk to a new deceitful low so that they could use the UN to spread lies about Israel” while its representatives were not there because of the Passover holiday, Mr Danon said in a statement.

Some Security Council members suggested an investigation and emphasised that Israel should ensure force is only used proportionally.

Some also made a point of noting Israel’s security concerns and calling on demonstrators to avoid violence.

They all expressed alarm at the flare-up of conflict in a volatile region.

“The situation is extremely worrisome,” said Swedish deputy Ambassador Carl Skau.

The US, which often complains about what it sees as anti-Israel bias at the UN, urged all involved in the conflict to lower tensions.

Russia and China, meanwhile, emphasised a need to step up diplomatic efforts toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a whole.

Israel and Hamas have fought three cross-border wars in recent years.

The protests come as Gaza is in the 10th year of a border closure.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after Hamas seized Gaza from forces loyal to the militants’ rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in 2007.

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