Adelaide shake the Fever in Super Netball

Adelaide Thunderbirds coach Dan Ryan hailed his side’s fearless fightback to mow down West Coast Fever 56-51 in their season-opening Super Netball clash at Priceline Stadium.

长沙夜网

After trailing by seven goals at three-quarter-time and still 46-50 in arrears with 7:59 on the clock, the Thunderbirds dominated late in Sunday’s match, with eight unanswered goals amid a 10-1 overall flurry.

“In the last quarter we just encouraged them to be fearless and go for it,” Ryan said.

“With that lack of hesitation and basic structure in defence things just fell into gear.

“They were very unified and very connected.

“It looked like we were dead and buried, seven goals down in the third term.

“All guts in the end to get across the line.”

With Kate Beveridge proving a handful in the shooting circle early, the visitors had their noses in front following a topsy-turvy, fast-paced first half.

The Fever led 16-14 at quarter-time and 29-27 after a goal-for-goal second stanza. They got the better of Adelaide again in the third period with skipper Nat Medhurst taking control and Courtney Bruce shining in defence.

The home side kept Beveridge largely under wraps after halftime when the hosts substituted Jamaican Malysha Kelly in for Fiona Themann at goal defence.

The injection of debutant Gia Abernethy sparked the Thunderbirds in the middle as the Fever lost their grip on the contest.

West Coast coach Stacey Marinkovich accused her charges of playing too much like individuals in the fourth term, veering away from the team ethos that served them well for the first three quarters.

“You’ve got to be able to keep to your game plan and we probably detoured away from that and put ourselves under more pressure than we needed to be,” she said.

“We started to try and do everything individually and didn’t stay to our structures.

“It’s certainly a valuable lesson.”

Alcohol, drugs and lesbianism: Arab Israeli film faces backlash

The culture clash in “Bar Bahar” starts off when Nur, a veiled and conservative Muslim, moves into a flat with two other Arab Israeli women and sees their drug-taking, party-going lives.

长沙夜网

But for its director, the real shock of the film, which opened last month in Israel, has been the controversy it has whipped up, even death threats on social media.

Maysaloun Hamoud, herself an Arab, always hoped her first feature film would hit hard.

In its two hours, the Galilee-born filmmaker, 35, tackles almost all the taboos of Arab Israeli society: drugs, alcohol, homosexuality.

Salma is rejected by her Christian family for being a lesbian, while Leila leaves her boyfriend when she discovers he is more conservative than he claims.

But above all, there is the story of Nur, a native of the conservative city of Umm al-Fahm – a stronghold of the Islamic Movement, close to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Conservative, and initially shocked by the attitude of her roommates, Nur and the other two become friends and allies.

She ultimately rebels against her family and traditions by leaving her religious fiancé Wissam after he rapes her, a scene shown on screen.

RELATED:Death threats

The film has already been released in the United States, under the title “In Between”, and it won three prizes at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain last year.

US magazine Variety called it a “compelling” drama and The Hollywood Reporter trumpeted it as a “sparkling, taboo-breaking first feature”.

The film company has not released ticket sale numbers but Hamoud said there had been a lot of feedback, mostly positive but some less so.

The response from Umm al-Fahm has been particularly sharp.

The municipality issued a statement condemning a film as being “without the slightest element of truth” and barring it from being screened there. 

They insisted, however, that they were happy to support “meaningful” art, but did not reply to a request for an interview.

Hamoud as well as her actresses have received death threats.

“Those who speak ill of Umm al-Fahm dig their own grave,” said one. “You need a bullet in the head and another in the heart,” a second read, Hamoud told AFP.

“For me as an artist, a director and a screenwriter who is a part of this society, it is my right to tackle any issue I feel is important enough for me to talk about,” Hamoud said in a cafe near where she lives in Jaffa, a predominantly Arab district of Tel Aviv.

“For the audience, if they want to see it they are welcome and I will be very happy. But if you don’t want to, don’t go,” she added.

Her face is framed by short black hair and she has tattooed arms, including one with the title of the film in the colours of the Palestinian flag.

Her film, she said, brings to the screen issues usually “hidden” among Arab Israelis, such as lustful, youthful evenings where cannabis smoke billows among dancers.

Bar Bahar, literally meaning “land and sea” in Arabic, translates as “neither here, nor there” in Hebrew.

For its director it aims to be “the voice of a generation” of young Arab Israelis who feel trapped between cultures.

Making up around 18 percent of Israel’s population, the 1.4 million Arab Israelis are descended from Palestinians who remained on their land after Israel was established in 1948.

Many identify as Palestinian but feel torn between identities – saying they experience discrimination and racism living and working in major Israeli cities.

“I’m not exaggerating, every scene is realistic,” Hammoud insisted.

Shaden Kanboura stars as Nour in the film ‘Bar Bahar.’Supplied

‘Contradictions’

Hamoud chose to set the film in Tel Aviv, regarded the most tolerant and liberal city in Israel, to make a point that even there racism against Arabs is prevalent.

She wanted to show the girls’ “otherness” in the city.

“They discover that no matter how far they go from their towns and the traditions they came from, they are shocked that the place where they are (Tel Aviv) doesn’t accept them.”

Hamoud wants to make films that help society “face its contradictions in order to move forward”.

“No one should feel good after the movie, neither Israelis nor Palestinians in this society.”

Trump insists White House running ‘so smoothly’

Donald Trump employed a loud and muscular delivery – one which won over millions of voters on the campaign trail last year – to assure Americans he is fulfilling his promises to shrink government, rebuild the military, and repeal and replace health care reforms enacted by predecessor Barack Obama.

长沙夜网

“This will be change for the ages,” the new president told several thousand supporters in an airport hangar in Melbourne, a sun-bleached city on Florida’s Space Coast.

RELATED:

But Trump was completing his first month in office with his administration under a cloud back in Washington, where lawmakers pledge to further investigate his possible pre-election ties to Russia, his national security advisor was forced to resign in disgrace, and a cabinet nominee withdrew amid controversy.

“The White House is running so smoothly, so smoothly,” Trump stressed, before going on an extended rant about the US media.

“I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news,” Trump said. 

“The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources… they just don’t want to report the truth,” he said.

“They’ve become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system.”

Trump, who relishes campaigning perhaps like no other US politician, arrived to a thunderous cheer when Air Force One, the presidential jet, rolled up to the hangar at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. 

Aside from the fact that the billionaire businessman is now leader of the free world, the feel was extremely similar to that of a Trump campaign event from last year — from the speakers, to the recorded music, to the president’s brash, largely impromptu delivery.

“We’re going to start producing jobs like you’ve never seen before,” Trump said, highlighting how his pro-growth agenda has already led some US firms to commit to domestic investments.

He reiterated his pledge to crack down on terrorism, saying he has asked Defense Secretary James Mattis to draft a “plan to totally destroy ISIS,” the Islamic State extremist group.

“I’ve ordered decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he said, drawing loud cheers.

At one point Trump broke security protocol by inviting a supporter to hop a barrier and join him onstage.

“I wouldn’t say that the Secret Service was thrilled with that,” he said.

 

India recall pacemen Umesh and Shami for Australia ODIs

Yadav and Shami were part of the test squad which blanked Sri Lanka 3-0 but were rested from the subsequent five-match ODI series, which the tourists also swept.

长沙夜网

Fast bowler Shardul Thakur, who played two matches in the series and took a single wicket, was dropped from the 16-man squad for the series against Australia.

The hosts will, however, continue to be without off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm tweaker Ravindra Jadeja for the first three of five matches against Steve Smith’s side.

Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will be India’s spinners as the Virat Kohli-led side continues to build toward the 50-over World Cup in 2019 in England and Wales.

“The team for the three ODIs against Australia has been selected in line with the rotation policy of the Board and accordingly R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested,” India’s chief selector MSK Prasad said in a statement.

“The team’s performance during the Sri Lanka tour was outstanding and players like Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who performed very well, are being given an extended run and this will in turn supplement our approach, to build a strong reserve strength, as we prepare for forthcoming tours.”

India and Australia will play five ODIs and three T20 matches during their limited-overs series, starting with the first 50-over clash in Chennai on Sept 17.

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Nick Mulvenney)

India recall Umesh, Shami for Aust ODIs

India have recalled fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav for the first three one-day internationals against Australia while they continue to rest their frontline spinners.

长沙夜网

Yadav and Shami were part of the Test squad which blanked Sri Lanka 3-0 but were rested from the subsequent five-match ODI series, which the tourists also swept.

Fast bowler Shardul Thakur, who played two matches in the series and took a single wicket, was dropped from the 16-man squad for the series against Australia.

The hosts will, however, continue to be without off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm tweaker Ravindra Jadeja for the first three of five matches against Steve Smith’s side.

Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will be India’s spinners as the Virat Kohli-led side continues to build toward the 50-over World Cup in 2019 in England and Wales.

“The team for the three ODIs against Australia has been selected in line with the rotation policy of the Board and accordingly R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested,” India’s chief selector MSK Prasad said in a statement.

“The team’s performance during the Sri Lanka tour was outstanding and players like Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who performed very well, are being given an extended run and this will in turn supplement our approach, to build a strong reserve strength, as we prepare for forthcoming tours.”

India and Australia will play five ODIs and three T20 matches during their limited-overs series, starting with the first 50-over clash in Chennai on Sept 17.

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.

IS holds 11,100 blank Syrian passports: report

Investigators have assembled a list of serial numbers of the blank passports and the authorities that issued them, the newspaper reported, citing confidential documents from federal police and the interior ministry.

长沙夜网

The stolen passports are genuine identity papers that have not yet been filled out with an individual’s details, making them a valuable tool for forgers.

In total, German security services are aware of some 18,002 blank Syrian passports stolen from Syrian government sites, including thousands held by groups other than IS.

“Developments in connection with the refugee situation have shown that terrorist organisations are using the opportunity to infiltrate potential attackers or supporters into Europe and Germany undetected,” a spokeswoman for the BKA federal criminal police told Bild am Sonntag.

Related reading

Members of the group behind a series of coordinated bomb and gun attacks in Paris that claimed 130 lives in November 2015 were found to have used fake Syrian passports.

However, “‘Fake or altered passports are mostly used for illegal entry without further motives like carrying out a terrorist attack,” the spokeswoman said.

Some 8,625 passports checked by German migration authorities in 2016 turned out to be fakes according to the documents seen by Bild am Sonntag.

But the files provided no information on how many of the passports were among those that had passed through IS’ hands.

0:00 US-backed militias close in on IS in Syria’s Deir al-Zor city Share US-backed militias close in on IS in Syria’s Deir al-Zor city

Related reading

Cure for osteoarthritis in the pipeline

A decades-old drug could be a potential cure for osteoarthritis, which afflicts millions of Australians and costs the health system over a billion dollars a year.

长沙夜网

Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium – used to treat blood clots and cystitis for 60 years – has successfully been tested on a small number of patients who have advanced osteoarthritis.

It worked so well for a 70-year-old Adelaide woman her pain score went from eight out of 10 to zero in a matter of weeks.

Her case study will be published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal.

The former horse rider had swollen knee joints associated with bone marrow edema lesions, considered to be the root cause of pain in advanced osteoarthritis.

She suffered excruciating pain that couldn’t be relieved by over-the-counter painkillers.

“I was like an invalid; it was very depressing,” she said.

She was treated with PPS injections twice a week for three weeks by her doctor – Professor Jegan Krishnan.

“The pain relief was almost immediate,” she said.

Subsequent MRI scans showed the bone marrow edema lesions had totally disappeared.

“I’m no longer on the list for a knee reconstruction; not even thinking about it anymore,” the woman said.

“I walk nearly 10 km every morning.”

Another 24 patients with BMEL and advanced osteoarthritis also showed marked improvement in pain scores and joint function after PPS treatment.

Paradigm Biopharma CEO Paul Rennie said the results are significant as they show the potential to ease pressure in the public hospital and health care system for treating osteoarthritic patients.

“As some of these patients were taken off a public hospital waiting list for total knee replacement, it saved them from this invasive and painful procedure,” he said.

It also saves the health care system the cost of the operation and replacement joint, he said.

Government piles pressure on AGL over coal

The Turnbull government is piling pressure on AGL over its planned closure of the Liddell power station, saying its operation relies heavily on coal whatever marketing strategy it tries to put forward.

长沙夜网

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will meet the energy company’s boss on Monday to persuade it to keep open its Liddell power station beyond 2022 – or sell it – after the market operator said it needs to stay open for the stability of the electricity system.

“The reality is AGL relies heavily on coal … AGL get about 85 per cent of their power generation from coal,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News on Sunday.

He noted its Bayswater coal-fired power station – which neighbours Liddell – was not scheduled to close until 2035 and Loy Yang would be in business until the 2040s.

Related reading

Liddell is the oldest power station still running in Australia, and in 2022 it will be 50 years old, which widely regarded as its expected life span.

AGL’s marketing campaign says “starting in 2022 and ending by 2050, we are getting out of coal” and the campaign talks up the billions it’s spending on new generation of other forms.

It has been parodied by environmental groups who want the company to act faster.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said it seemed “those who are trying to shut Liddell” had a vested interest in talking down its viability.

“The way AGL has been talking it sounds like it’s worthless and maybe they are going to be selling it for nothing,” he told ABC TV.

“It doesn’t surprise me that a big energy company wants to see a big source of supply go out of the market … That drives prices up and that benefits energy companies.”

Mr Frydenberg said if the government failed to convince AGL to sell Liddell or extend its life, “we’ll continue to press the public case, both with the energy companies and in the parliament”.

Related reading

The Nationals have made it party policy to phase out subsidies for renewable energy, with Queensland senator and former resources minister Matthew Canavan saying when it came to jobs, renewables were “just a short term sugar hit”.

“We’ve taken all the subsidies away from our farming sector and now the biggest protection racket going around is in our renewable energy sector,” Senator Canavan told the party’s federal conference.

The Nationals at their federal conference on Sunday voted against setting a clean energy target.

Deputy Premier Barnaby Joyce said the vote was not binding on MPs, while Queensland MP George Christensen has threatened to cross the floor.

“You’re guided by these resolutions, you’re not completely instructed by them,” Mr Joyce said.

Labor says it is “sheer hypocrisy” from the Nationals when its MPs are happy to launch renewable projects in their own electorates.

“The fossils in the Nationals, driven by baseless ideology and political opportunism, would rather tear down the one piece of bipartisan energy policy that is providing new generation into the system than support renewable energy,” opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler said.

Merkel and the refugees: How German leader emerged from a political abyss

Germans should be proud of the warm welcome they gave hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, many of them fleeing war and persecution in the Middle East, she told an audience of over 1,000 gathered in the fishing village of Steinhude.

长沙夜网

Then she shifted gears: “What happened in 2015 cannot, should not and must not happen again.”

It is a phrase she has used repeatedly in market squares across Germany as she campaigns for a fourth term in a federal election on Sept. 24 that she is widely expected to win.

Two years since she opened Germany’s borders to asylum seekers to avert what she says was a looming humanitarian disaster, and saw her popularity slide as a result, Merkel has climbed her way out of the deepest hole of her political career.

0:00 Melkel talks German immigration during TV debate Share Melkel talks German immigration during TV debate

There are many factors behind her comeback. But few are as important as her skill at spinning a narrative about the refugee crisis that many Germans can support, whether they cheered or condemned her actions of 2015.

“Merkel is not running on a policy of open borders and that fits perfectly with the mood in the country,” said Robin Alexander, author of a best-selling book on the German government’s handling of the refugee crisis.

“Many people like the image of Germany as a model of humanitarian virtue. At the same time they know the country could not continue to welcome refugees like it did. It is this set of feelings that Merkel is appealing to.”

By the end of 2015, 890,000 asylum seekers had entered Germany, many without proper identity checks, overwhelming local communities.

Related reading

Merkel’s actions divided Europe and led to a surge in anti-immigrant sentiment. The hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party seems sure to enter parliament for the first time.

A year after her decision, and following a series of small-scale attacks in Germany by Islamist militants, her popularity ratings had plunged 30 points to 45 percent and she faced questions about whether she would run for chancellor again.

Yet today, 63 percent of Germans say she is doing a good job and, according to a Bertelsmann Foundation survey this week, 59 percent believe the country is on the right track.

“It has been a long, difficult road back,” said one of her top aides. “But we have gotten to a point where the refugee issue is no longer a negative for Merkel in the election campaign.”

Related reading

A decision by Macedonia in early 2016 to shut its border with Greece stemmed the flow of refugees, easing pressure on Germany. And the country has not suffered a large-scale Islamist attack, an event which might have triggered a voter backlash.

But Merkel’s knack for understanding how Germans tick has also been crucial.

At many of her public appearances, she is confronted by anti-immigration protesters who try to drown out her speeches with whistles and chants of “Merkel must go!”.

In Steinhude, a woman held up a sign showing Merkel’s diamond-shaped hand pose over a German flag with a blood-spattered bullet hole in the middle. “I offer you terror, death and chaos”, the sign read.

But the dozen or so protesters were dwarfed by supporters who applauded her message.

“I‘m not sure if there was another way to handle the refugee crisis. Those refugees had to go somewhere,” said Willi Kordes, 70, who runs a sewage treatment firm in nearby Vlotho. “I don’t trust anyone to do it better.”

Working in her favour in the election is the fact that many of Germany’s other established parties, including the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), led by her main challenger Martin Schulz, backed her open-door policy.

The AfD, running a racially-tinged campaign that has put off some voters, has come off its 2016 highs in the polls. The one mainstream party that has offered a hardline alternative, the Christian Social Union (CSU), is the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU). A vote for the CSU is akin to a vote for Merkel.

Related readingDirty work

A crucial factor behind Merkel’s rebound has been the decline in asylum seekers entering Germany. About 280,000 arrived in 2016, with another drop likely this year.

Merkel takes credit for this, pointing to a deal she brokered between the European Union and Turkey, under which Ankara has cut the number of migrants crossing into Europe via its territory.

But critics say the closing of Balkan borders — which Merkel publicly opposed — was the real driver.

Some see parallels with her behavior in the euro zone financial crisis, when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s pledge to do “whatever it takes” to keep the currency bloc together, allowing her to stick to a hard line towards euro states such as Greece without fear of consequences.

In the refugee crisis, it has been countries like Macedonia, Turkey and Hungary – which shut down routes the refugees used – that have done Merkel’s “dirty work”, allowing her to maintain the image of a caring leader who helped people fleeing war.

The approach has helped Merkel extend her control over the political centre. Some right-wing voters may have fled for the AfD but polls suggest young, urban voters who traditionally lean left could fill the gap.

Germany’s economy has been strong enough to absorb the influx of refugees without big cracks emerging in society. In reaction to its Nazi past, Germany has emerged as a more open, tolerant country than many assumed when the crisis hit.

A survey published this month ranking the top fears of the Germans put terrorism at the top. But a separate poll for the Bild newspaper showed they do not see curbing immigration as a priority.

“Germans are astonishingly global, liberal and open to the world,” said Menno Smid, head of the Infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences, which released a survey last month showing broad acceptance of refugees in Germany. “We are the winners from globalisation. The economic factors that led to Trump simply don’t exist.”

Same-sex marriage by end of year: Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull has joined past and present NSW premiers in supporting the “yes” vote in the upcoming same-sex marriage survey.

长沙夜网

The prime minister told NSW Liberals and Nationals for the Yes campaign launch in Sydney he’ll be voting yes and same-sex marriage could be legalised by the end of the year.

If the majority of Australians also vote yes, a private member’s bill will be presented which will “sail through the parliament”, Mr Turnbull said on Sunday.

“Fundamentally this is a question of fairness,” he said.

He is “utterly unpersuaded” by the idea that his 38-year-long marriage to wife Lucy is undermined by gay couples.

“The threat to marriage is not gay couples, it is a lack of loving commitment,” he said.

“Whether it is found in the form of neglect, indifference, cruelty or adultery.

“If the threat to marriage today is lack of commitment then surely other couples making and maintaining a commitment sets a good rather than a bad example.”

Mr Turnbull noted other countries where same-sex marriage has been legalised.

“In any one of those nations has the sky fallen in, has life as we know it ground to a halt, has traditional marriage been undermined and the answer is plainly no,” he said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said alongside former NSW premiers Nick Greiner and Barry O’Farrell and previous party leaders Kerry Chikarovski, Peter Debnam and John Brogden at the event.

Mr O’Farrell said love is a pursuit that’s far more important than politics.

“As a supporter of marriage I want marriage to be on offer to every loving couple in this country,” he said.

“In answer to Tina Turner’s question, for me this issue has got everything to do about love.”

Tony Abbott’s sister, Councillor Christine Forster, reflected on a traditional wedding she attended on Saturday where the priest spoke at length about marriage binding two people together.

“In all of that sermon he did not say one thing to that congregation that said this cannot be between two men or two women,” she said at the launch.

“It is just about two people.

“That’s what this whole discussion is about.”

Ms Forster spoke of her decision to marry fiancee Virginia at the British Consulate at Circular Quay in February 2018.

She was hopeful same-sex marriage would be legalised by the end of the year, meaning the pair can instead be married under Australian law.

“That is what we want to do and that is what so many other Australians want to do.”

Anderson reclaims top Test bowler status

James Anderson has leapt to the top spot in the International Cricket Council Test bowling rankings after a scintillating display in the nine-wicket win over West Indies at Lord’s.

长沙夜网

Anderson delivered a swing bowling masterclass as he recorded career-best figures of 7-42 in the second innings — which included his 500th Test scalp — to steer England towards victory in the series decider.

The 35-year-old’s nine-wicket match haul resulted in him leapfroggoing India left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja to reclaim the number one spot he last held in August last year.

He is now the oldest bowler to go to the rankings summit since Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan in July 2009, capping a memorable summer for the Lancastrian, who has taken 39 wickets in seven Tests at an astonishing average of 14.1.

Australia captain Steve Smith has retained his place at the top of the batting ranks despite an average of just 29.75 in the drawn two-match series in Bangladesh.

Shakib Al Hasan continues to top the allrounder rankings after taking 12 wickets against Australia in two Tests and adding 115 runs in four innings.

India is the No.1 team in the Test standings ahead of South Africa and England. Australia is fifth behind New Zealand.

TEST BATTING RANKINGS

1. Steve Smith 936

2. Joe Root 889

3. Kane Williamson 880

4. Cheteshwar Pujara 876

5. David Warner 807

TEST BOWLING RANKINGS

1. James Anderson 896

2. Ravindra Jadeja 884

3. Ravichandran Ashwin 852

4. Rangana Herath 809

5. Josh Hazlewood 794

TEST ALLROUNDER RANKINGS

1. Shakib Al Hasan 455

2. Ravindra Jadeja 429

3. Ravichandran Ashwin 421

4. Ben Stokes 395

5. Moeen Ali 378

Cowboys end Sharks’ NRL title defence

Cronulla’s premiership defence is over after a dramatic 15-14 extra-time defeat by North Queensland in Sunday’s elimination NRL final.

长沙夜网

A year after Cronulla ended the Cowboys’ own title defence in a preliminary final, the visiting side returned the favour at the same Allianz Stadium venue.

With the scores locked at 14-all in the 85th minute, Cowboys star Michael Morgan potted a 15-metre field goal for their first lead of the match.

The Sharks pressed for the second period of extra time but Paul Green’s men continued to show the resolve that has defined their latter half of the year.

The Cowboys now advance to face Parramatta in next Saturday’s semi-final at ANZ Stadium, while Cronulla are the latest to fall victim to back-to-back title shots.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan took the rare step of reading out a list of his grievances with the referees after the match.

“I thought we were brave. I thought both teams played some tough footy,” he said.

“We were a bit clunky when we got in there, we turned the ball over once or twice when we got in good field position.

“I thought it was a good game, just disappointed in how the result came about.”

But twice the Sharks bombed eight-point leads, and the Cowboys again showed the courage that has defined their season in spite of key injuries.

Cronulla, who have the worst handling efficiency of the year, didn’t help themselves with a typically porous 63 per cent completion rate.

Without co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, the visitors refused to roll over when the Sharks threatened to run away in front of the 16,115 crowd.

They took an 8-2 lead at halftime on Chad Townsend’s early try, however, went into the sheds down a man after Maloney’s sin-binning.

The Sharks five-eighth was ruled to have taken out a chasing Ethan Lowe moments before the break.

Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt reduced the deficit early in the second half, but the Sharks restored their lead when Jack Bird latched onto a Townsend grubber.

Down 14-6 with 17 minutes to go, Jason Taumalolo carried four defenders over in the 63rd minute before Lowe nailed a clutch penalty four minutes from fulltime.

“We were never supposed to win that game,” Cowboys coach Paul Green said.

“Even during the game we created some opportunities that we didn’t quite ice.

“There’s plenty of improvement left in us too, which is good.

“Typical of the year we’ve had — plenty of guts, plenty of character.”

UK doesn’t need Brexit to curb EU immigration, says former PM Blair

Concerns over the impact of high levels of immigration on public services and housing were cited as a factor by many who voted to leave the EU in last year’s referendum.

长沙夜网

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government has said free movement of EU citizens coming to Britain must end.

Many Brexit supporters blame Blair’s government, which allowed citizens of former communist states to settle immediately in Britain despite a long transition period implemented by other EU countries, for a big influx of EU migrants from 2004.

“There is no diversion possible from Brexit without addressing the grievances that gave rise to it. Paradoxically, we have to respect the referendum vote to change it,” Blair, who has said Brexit can and should be stopped, wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper.

“We can curtail the things that people feel are damaging about European immigration, both by domestic policy change and by agreeing change within Europe to the freedom of movement principle,” added Blair, who led a Labour government for a decade from 1997.

Related reading

Asked about Blair’s proposals, defence minister Michael Fallon said the government had to get on with delivering Brexit.

“The country has taken its decision, we are leaving the European Union now and that means freedom of movement has to end … there have got to be restrictions on those coming here,” he told BBC Television.

A leaked government document last week said Britain was considering measures to restrict immigration for all but the highest-skilled EU workers, plans some companies called alarming.

A paper published on Sunday by Blair’s Institute for Global Change said the government could take steps including registering EU migrants when they arrive to keep track of whether they meet EU rules about finding work.

Related reading

EU migrants could also be forced to show evidence of a job offer before being allowed to enter Britain, and those without permission to reside could be banned from renting, opening a bank account or accessing welfare benefits, it said.

The paper also proposes seeking an ’emergency brake’ to implement temporary controls on migration when services are stretched — a strengthened version of a deal offered to former Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the referendum.

0:00 Queen Elizabeth on Brexit Share Queen Elizabeth on Brexit