Monthly Archives: July 2019

Shorten comes to Credlin’s defence

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten believes politicians, not staffers, should carry the blame for the Abbott government’s errors.

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Conservative commentators and News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch have called for Peta Credlin to quit or be sacked as Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff after a series of government policy stumbles.

Campaigning in Queensland for Saturday’s state election, Mr Shorten said targeting Ms Credlin over mistakes, such as awarding Prince Philip a knighthood, was wrong.

“Peta Credlin is not the person who should be carrying the blame for the mistakes of the Abbott government,” Mr Shorten said.

“This is not some episode of The West Wing where you attribute everything to the staffers.

“This is a question of accountability. This is Tony Abbott’s mistake.”

He said the government’s problem was not about personalities, but its policies.

Health Minister Sussan Ley also came to Ms Credlin’s defence, saying she was a “terrific asset” for the Liberal party and the PM’s office.

Speaking to reporters at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Ms Ley talked up the government’s chances of recovering.

“Sometimes you can be down match point and still recover,” she said.

“Sometimes you can make a silly drop shot in the middle of the game and you can win that game and go on and win the match.”

Conservative commentator Andrew Bolt said on Thursday the knighthood decision could end Mr Abbott’s leadership.

“This is just such a very, very, very stupid decision. So damaging that it could be fatal,” he told Macquarie Radio.

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie, who the government is courting to pass changes to Medicare and universities, said Mr Abbott was “completely out of touch with the Australian people”.

“Tony Abbott just can’t put a foot right,” she said.

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Dons supplements saga closer to resolution

The Essendon supplements saga has moved a step closer to a resolution with a timetable set down for the conclusion of the AFL’s Anti-Doping Tribunal.

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The Tribunal hearing of the cases against 34 past and present Essendon players issued with infraction notices, that began in December, will hear closing oral submissions from all parties on February 16 before adjourning “on or about” February 18 to consider its decision.

Legal representatives for the AFL, ASADA and the players agreed to the timetable for the conclusion of proceedings, in a statement released by the league.

The Tribunal adjourned until February 16 on Thursday, but as part of the road map to a resolution, ASADA will file written closing submissions by February 5, the players will file their written closing submissions by February 12 and the AFL will do the same by February 13.

While the Tribunal will adjourn to consider whether the players breached the AFL’s Anti-Doping Code on February 18, there is no timeframe for the completion of those deliberations.

The current and former Essendon players issued with infraction notices are provisionally suspended from playing until the case is resolved.

The NAB Challenge series kicks off on February 26, but the Bombers aren’t set to play their first game, against St Kilda in Morwell, until Saturday, March 7.

If any of the past or present players are found to have breached the code a further hearing to determine sanctions will then be scheduled.

In related news, Essendon coach James Hird will find out on Friday whether his appeal against the legality of the ASADA investigation to the full bench of the Federal Court has been successful.

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Court for Qld mum accused of killing eight

A north Queensland community where eight children were found dead is beginning to heal more than a month after one of the country’s worst tragedies.

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The Cairns suburb of Manoora was rocked less than a week before Christmas when four boys and four girls, aged two to 14 years, had been found dead at a home in their neighbourhood.

Another wave of grief struck when Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, mother of seven of the children and aunt to the eighth, was charged with their murders the following day.

Her case is due to be mentioned in the Cairns Magistrates Court on Friday.

Community advocate Yodie Batzke says residents have found strength in each other and rallied around the families affected.

“We’re seeing a greater awareness of a sense of community,” she told AAP.

Ms Batzke said she was also seeing crucial changes going on within the community, historically known for high crime rates, unemployment and violence.

“The community wants to change the negative brand and stigma that has been attached for many, many years,” she said.

“There is a different direction, there is a sense of ‘How can we come together to make Manoora a different suburb?'”

Counselling and support services are being offered in Manoora and the Torres Strait Islands, where the grieving families are from.

Fishing trips, morning tea gatherings and respite for stressed parents have also been organised in Cairns.

The children were farewelled at a service at the Cairns Convention Centre by thousands of mourners on January 10.

Thaiday was initially treated at the Cairns Base Hospital for stab wounds before being transferred to Brisbane on Christmas Eve.

Her lawyer indicated in late December the case may be heard in a mental health court.

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Ribery out as Bayern take on challengers Wolfsburg

But even without the pair, coach Pep Guardiola can choose from a growing squad with Holger Badstuber, Mehdi Benatia and David Alaba, among other, returning to full fitness after their injuries.

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The Bavarians are unbeaten in the league this season and have conceded just four goals in 17 games so far to carve out an 11-point lead over Wolfsburg.

Guardiola is eager for his team to shoot out of the blocks with a win that would take them 14 points clear as they chase a third straight Bundesliga title, a second under the Spaniard.

“I think it is good to take on the second-placed team straightaway as it forces us to step on the gas,” Guardiola said.

“I repeat that for us the Bundesliga is the most important aim of the season. Only then it is a successful one. Wolfsburg have played an outstanding season so far so it will be tough.”

But Bayern remain the odds-on favourites with Wolfsburg still coming to terms with the death of their player Junior Malanda.

The Belgium youth international was killed when the car he was a passenger in went off the motorway and flipped over several times on Jan. 10 as the team prepared to leave for a training camp in South Africa.

“We will be well prepared,” said sports director Klaus Allofs with the team offering continuous psychological support to the players, who also travelled the Brussels for the funeral last week.

At the other end of the table, former champions Borussia Dortmund are hoping they can finally start turning around their dismal domestic season and move out of the 17th spot, level on points with last placed Freiburg.

With winger Marco Reus back from injury, Dortmund will need all hands on deck against third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, six points off Wolfsburg and eager to stay within striking distance of second place.

“We are not naive and optimistic and we know full well the pressure will not ease any time soon,” said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp, who led them to the Bundesliga title as recently as 2011 and 2012.

“But we look at our prospects and know that we can do this.

“To end the year in 17th place felt like a holiday on a bed of nails.”

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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ICC changes mind on World Cup super over

The International Cricket Council has made a late adjustment to playing conditions for the upcoming World Cup, lessening the likelihood of joint winners.

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If the March 29 final of the one-day tournament ends in a tie, the two sides will play a super over to decide who lifts the trophy.

The ICC had previously declared the unlikely scenario would result in both sides being declared co-champions.

There is still an incredibly unlikely chance of that happening, if the final and reserve day are both washed out.

In the case of other knock-out matches being tied, the team ranked higher in the pool stage will progress.

It was this rule that helped Australia win the World Cup in 1999, when their semi-final against South Africa at Edgbaston ended with scores level following Allan Donald’s dramatic run-out.

In a boost for England captain Eoin Morgan and South Africa skipper AB de Villiers, the ICC board also agreed on Wednesday that prior over-rate offences would not count against captains at the World Cup.

Ordinarily, as was the case with George Bailey earlier this month, a captain would suffer a one-game ban if responsible for slow over-rates twice in the space of 12 months.

But the ICC decided on Wednesday that every skipper will have their slow-over strikes wiped for major tournaments.

De Villiers was fined for his side’s slow over-rate against Australia in November, while Morgan was punished for the same offence in a one-day loss to Sri Lanka in December.

Meanwhile, administrators also confirmed they will attempt to crack down on sledging.

“The ICC Board reiterated its support for the umpires clamping down on poor player behaviour, particularly leading into and during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015,” the ICC said in a statement.

The World Cup starts on February 14, when New Zealand hosts Sri Lanka in Christchurch and Australia meet England at the MCG.

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