Charlie Dixon bucks Barassi Line, powers Port Adelaide towards AFL flag


Australia’s landscape and culture are broad and diverse.

Cities are separated by rivers, mountains and thousands of kilometres.

Local populations are separated by cultural divisions. A South Australian’s potato fritter would be a potato scallop in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, or a potato cake in Victoria and Tasmania.

But arguably the biggest cultural divide is delineated by the famous Barassi Line.

Coined by the late academic Ian Turner in 1978, the Barassi Line is the imaginary line splitting Australia between those who love rugby league and those who worship Australian football. Turner’s markers were Canberra, Broken Hill, Birdsville, and Maningrida.

A map of Australia with a line starting from Maningrida, passing through Birdsville and Broken Hill and finishing at Canberra.
The Barassi Line splits Australia between rugby league and Australian football fans. The line runs from Canberra to Broken Hill and Birdsville, finishing at Maningrida.(ABC News)

Of course, cultural boundaries cannot be completely captured by neat borders on a map. Outposts exist for both codes on the “wrong” side of the line.

One of the AFL’s leading goalkickers this season hails from a long way on the wrong side: Cairns native Charlie Dixon, whose strong form has lifted Port Adelaide to the top of the ladder.

Where the reef meets the rainforest

Far North Queensland is a unique place.

Cairns is a city without a singular dominant football code. It is one of few places which boast Brownlow medal winners, State of Origin stars and Socceroos captains.

Since the establishment of the Cairns Australian Football League in 1955, it has produced top players such as Che Cockatoo-Collins, Jarrod Harbrow, Courtenay Dempsey and Dixon. Former AFL players feature in the local competition. Ex-Melbourne star Aaron Davey captain-coaches Cairns City.

And the footy there is hard.

Cairns’ major ground, Cazalys Stadium, was built on land that was hand-cleared of mangroves in the 1950s. It has hosted AFL matches and Test cricket, despite Cairns being one of the biggest Australian cities without a major professional cricket or football team.

The absence of a major franchise (other than the National Basketball League’s Cairns Taipans) means that local sport captures local attention. AFL Cairns players and supporters are passionate about their clubs. In 2004, North Cairns started an all-in post-anthem brawl at the grand final. The game was declared a “no result”.

It’s tough and a bit old school. Just like big Charlie.

Dixon’s strength is his strength

Dixon is FNQ through and through: unique, but uncomplicated.

In an age when most players are multidimensional and flexible, his approach is bracingly straightforward. When asked about his attitude to goalkicking for the 2018 book Footballistics, his answer was simple.

“When I was playing for Gold Coast it was just natural, it was fluent. I didn’t just try to poke at it — I kicked the footy — and that’s enough for me now.”

If one phrase is to sum up Dixon’s overall approach to the game, it’s ‘see ball, get ball’.

Each key position forward has their own style. Some, like Tom Hawkins, work hard on the lead and rely on the skill of their teammates to deliver the ball in the right spot at the right time.

Others dominate the contested game – the physical battles that pitch forward against defender.

At the moment, no one is better than Dixon at clunking a big contested mark inside 50.

In the era of team defence, Dixon’s approach is to make the game as individualistic as possible. Few defenders can match him for size, and even when he’s caught out of position, he can usually at least square the contest.

Dixon’s mere presence shifts the gravity of the defence, creating space for his teammates.

The Power is the league’s second-best side for contested one-on-one wins per game this year. These are opportunities that teams love: contests without an extra opposition defender crashing the pack as third man.

Several tall forwards have been paired with Dixon this season — from cult hero Justin Westhoff, to youngsters Mitch Georgiades and Todd Marshall. If the opposition pays too much attention to one, the others can capitalise.

Even if the defence adjusts correctly, the Power’s small forwards such as Robbie Gray and the currently injured Stephen Motlop are dangerous in one-on-one situations.

The Power is also second in forward 50 ground ball gets. Opposition sides are often forced to send multiple defenders into the air to combat Dixon, allowing Port to feast on the crumbs.

Port’s smalls are its main crumbers, but Dixon himself is no slouch when the ball hits the deck.

Port’s rebounding trap

Having a dominant forward is just one part of the puzzle. Getting the ball to him regularly is another challenge altogether.

Over the past two years Port’s defensive set up has undergone a major transformation, becoming more aggressive and mobile.

The Power rarely plays more than two defenders taller than 190cm. Instead, it deploys backmen who cover space and compete in the air. They press high up the ground, trying to trap opposition sides and force repeat forward entries.

One of Dixon’s former Suns teammates, Trent McKenzie, is currently Port’s leading intercept defender. The 188cm Tom Jonas often curtails forwards more than 10cm taller than him. Port has found a balance that can both repel opposition forays and turn them into meaningful attacks of their own.

While some sides generate more intercepts than the Power, few have tallied more spoils.

This tendency to spoil does put pressure on its defenders to mop up ground balls. They’ve generally managed to do that, but due to their high positioning, they can be susceptible to quick, long attacks. This was evident in Port’s loss to St Kilda.

As the season progresses, teams with multiple tall targets may also stretch the Power’s undersized defence. As most footy fans know, a final can be a vastly different proposition to a regular home-and-away fixture.

The year of the Power?

It’s often difficult to work out how teams will interact in the finals. Which teams have kept an ace up their sleeve? Which ones have been worked out?

Shorter quarters and fewer rounds this season raise even more questions than usual.

So much is unknown about this year’s finals series. Where will the grand final be played? Will there be home ground advantage? Will there be a compressed schedule?

Port has some real advantages right now. It’s the AFL’s form side and boasts its most unstoppable forward.

So long as those things stay true, it has every chance of lifting the premiership cup in October.



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ASX set for gains; jobs data on tap


2. US coronavirus aid stalemate: Investors were seemingly not perturbed by the continuing stalemate in Washington over coronavirus aid.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House and top Democrats in Congress may not reach a deal on coronavirus aid. Both US parties traded jabs on who was to blame for blocking relief to tens of millions of jobless Americans.

3. Jobs data on tap: Labour force figures for July will give another snapshot of the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus on the Australian economy.

On Wednesday, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed the worst wage growth on record. Through the June quarter, the national wage price index increased by 0.2 per cent, taking the annual rate down to 1.8 per cent. Both results were the worst for the index which the bureau started publishing in 1997.

4. ASX set to rise: The Australian sharemarket is poised to open higher thanks to a strong Wall Street lead, with futures shortly before 7am pointing to a jump of 42 points, or 0.7 per cent, at the open.

On Wednesday, the ASX slid 0.1 per cent lower, with miners dragging.

5. Earnings season: A big day is ahead, with AGL, AMP, Breville Group, Charter Hall Retail, Evolution Group, Goodman Group, QBE insurance, Telstra, treasury Wine and Woodside Petroleum due to report. CBA’s result highlighted yesterday’s busy calendar, with the giant handing out a higher-than-expected 98c dividend.

6. UK’s worst-ever recession: Britain’s economy shrank by a record 20.4 per cent in the second quarter when the coronavirus lockdown was tightest, the most severe contraction reported by any major economy so far, with a wave of job losses set to hit later in 2020.

“Today’s figures confirm that hard times are here,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said. “Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.”

7. Gold swings back: Gold stabilised after a series of wild swings that saw the metal hit a record on Friday before suffering its worst day in seven years yesterday. It was down again sharply early before rebounding to close 0.3 per cent higher.

8. Market watch:

ASX futures up 45 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6133 at 6.11am AEST

  • AUD at 71.62 US cents at 6.16am AEST
  • On Wall St: Dow +1.1% S&P 500 +1.4% Nasdaq +2.1%
  • Spot gold +0.2% to $US1916.35 an ounce
  • Brent crude +1.8% to $US45.32 a barrel
  • US oil +2.3% to $US42.57 a barrel
  • Iron ore +0.3% to $US121.51 a tonne
  • 10-year yield: US 0.66% Australia 0.91% Germany -0.45%

This column was produced in commercial partnership between The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and IG



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Canberra school boys caught driving dangerously on endangered grasslands identified as possible sacred site


Four teenagers caught drifting and doing circlework on a possible sacred Aboriginal site near the Australian War Memorial in Canberra have been fined and had their cars impounded.

The boys, three from Daramalan College and another from Dickson College, were caught by police on Friday as they attempted to leave the site.

Locals said they had called police at least a dozen times in the past year warning that P-platers were using the grasslands near the for dangerous driving, damaging an endangered habitat and risking their own safety.

The land is under assessment by the federal Environment Department for its significance as a sacred Ngambri site.

On Friday, a resident told the ABC that he saw several boys were once again at the site, drinking and swapping cars as they took turns skidding across the wet grass.

He said he became concerned when a car scraped a tree.

A blue sedan skids along wet grass and pavement, as several cockatoos take flight
One witness reported a Subaru lost control while drifting and hit a tree.(Supplied)

“It came out off Quick Street … it spun around on there and went onto the footpath,” he said.

Police officers caught the cars as they were leaving, and fined four of the boys for driving on a nature strip, not displaying P-plates, failing to stop at a stop sign, and improper control of a vehicle.

“Police interviewed all the occupants of the vehicles, and after receiving assistance from the occupants, four of the drivers were issued with Traffic Infringement Notices,” a spokesman for ACT Policing said.

“Further investigations into similar activity identified another driver who has been responsible for similar behaviour in the same area between November 2019 to August 2020.”

Two boys in school uniforms run towards a car drifting on grassland.
The high school boys were seen running between cars as they drifted, reportedly taking turns to drive.(Supplied)

Police said none of the identified drivers returned positive alcohol breath tests.

The resident, who had made multiple complaints to police in the past 12 months — including the previous Friday when a separate car was seen drifting — said government inaction had led to more teenagers abusing the site.

“When one of them, the white four-wheel drive, starts to show it off, the others say ‘well okay, that’s where you can do this kind of thing’, because the ACT Government does nothing, basically.”

A red sedan drives along grasslands.
A red Audi was reported a week before the four teenagers were caught at the site, seen driving dangerously on the grasslands.(Supplied)

ACT Policing said it was investigating other reports into similar behaviour at the site.

“The area is identified as an area of significance to the traditional owners,” the spokesman said.

“Police are urging members of the public with any information regarding dangerous driving of vehicles in this area to contact Crime Stoppers.”

‘Deep-seated frustration’ at destruction of claimed Aboriginal site

The site has been identified by the ACT Government as an important habitat for several endangered flora and fauna, but the grasslands have been significantly damaged by vandalism.

Earlier this year, the ABC reported that claims the land was also a sacred Ngambri site, used for men’s business, had been ignored.

Ngambri man Shane Mortimer, who raised the claim to the site’s Aboriginal significance, said he felt the land had been disregarded.

“It’s a deep-seated frustration, it’s an intergenerational frustration. The land really does need to be cared for,” Mr Mortimer said.

A man wearing stands in a clearing surrounded by rocky outcrops, with Parliament House visible in the distance.
Ngambri man Shane Mortimer said the grasslands had been ‘obliterated’ by P-platers vandalising the site.(ABC News: Jake Evans)

Daramalan College said it could not comment on issues concerning individual students.

However Mr Mortimer said the school had agreed to organise for its Year 12 students to visit the site and learn about its significance.

“We really have to look now for that opportunity out of adversity,” Mr Mortimer said.

The ACT Education Directorate told the ABC that because the incident was outside of school hours and off school grounds, it had not been involved.

Minister agrees to investigate installing bollards

Residents said they had been calling for the ACT Government to do more to protect the site for some time.

A white ute drives along dust and paths.
The same white ute recently photographed at the site has been spotted drifting there before, including here in 2019.(Supplied)

In June, ACT Greens leader and Justice Minister Shane Rattenbury wrote to the City Services Minister Chris Steel asking for them to be installed urgently.

“Last week, I became aware that there has been regular illegal driving on a piece of ACT land adjacent to the CSIRO site in Campbell,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The area is natural temperate grassland with significant geological features onsite. It is an important ecosystem incorporating significant Aboriginal heritage [and] susceptible species such as the Canberra spider orchid, sunray daisy, golden sun moth and button wrinklewort.

“I write to request that you consider asking City Services to erect a series of bollards on Quick St in Ainslie, where vehicles are gaining access to this site in order to protect the significant ecology and cultural significance as a matter of urgency.”

A spokesman for the ACT Government said it would undertake an assessment of vehicle access through the section, and work with the owners of the adjacent land, now Doma Group, on options to limit access for vehicles.

Mr Rattenbury said it was disappointing to hear the site had been damaged again since he first raised the issue.

“This area should be protected, and the solution here isn’t complicated. Bollards along the border of the site could have prevented this unnecessary damage from taking place,” he said.



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‘No fracking’ a Territory Alliance promise hard to keep


By ERWIN CHLANDA

“No fracking in the NT” is a brave promise by the Territory Alliance but one that may be hard to keep if it wins government at next week’s election.

There is a clue in the second sentence of the party’s policy position paper: “Under Territory Alliance there will be no more fracking in the Northern Territory.”

Not any fracking or no more?

This comes next: “Existing exploration licences will not be renewed, and no more production permits will be issued.”

It seems clear this could only happen with legislative changes that would expose the horrendously indebted Territory to massive compensation claims from the oil and gas industry.

Says the Department of Primary Industry and Resources, responding to questions from the Alice Springs News: “When a commercially viable petroleum discovery is made exploration permit holders have a legal right to a production licence.”

There are few production leases: A producing oil and gas field (OL4) at Mereenie west of town; producing gas fields at Palm Valley (west, OL3) and Dingo (south of town, L7); and a gas discovery (RL3) at Ooraminna, also south.

But there are huge areas south and north-east of town under exploration permits (see purple areas on the map).

There are conditions for production licences but they are clearly not insurmountable.

Says the department: “An exploration permit holder must apply for a production licence and undergo assessment including an ‘appropriate person test’ as required under the Petroleum Act.

“A production licence is a form of tenure, it does not solely authorise the holder of the licence to produce petroleum for commercial operations.

“A licence holder must also seek activity approval to drill production wells or undertake production activity under the Petroleum (Environment) Regulations, amongst other approvals.

“A production licence is granted for 21 or 25 years in accordance with the Petroleum Act.”

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has declined to comment but a source speaking on condition of not being named says if a Territory Alliance government rules out fracking as part of the conditions for production, the issue would almost certainly finish up in court: Companies have explored in good faith with Gunner government approvals, after it lifted the moratorium it had campaigned on during the 2016 election.

In NSW the government canceled exploration permits, but faced heavy buy-back costs, says the source.

Meanwhile according to the Australian LNG Monthly lower oil prices are having a significant effect on Australian LNG with extended maintenance, continued cargo deferrals, lower prices and asset write-downs. LNG revenues are down 52% on a year ago.

We have asked Matt Paterson to comment. He is the Territory Alliance candidate for Namatjira, where significant areas are under exploration permits.

Photo at top is part of the cover of the party’s policy position paper.



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What we know today, Thursday August 13



Welcome to your serving of the day’s breaking news from South Australia, the nation and abroad. Follow this post for breaking news through the day.

Marshals called in as restrictions tighten around border but loosen at home

Communities living close to South Australia’s border with Victoria will face tighter rules while restrictions on gatherings in SA homes will be eased under changes to COVID-19 conditions announced by the Police Commissioner Grant Stevens yesterday.

Stevens also confirmed that a range of venues – including gyms, shopping centres, cafes, food courts, places of worship and licensed premises – will be required to have a clearly identified “COVID marshal” on premises from August 21. This will be a “visual reminder” to patrons to comply with social distancing and other hygiene measures.

A previous cap of 10 people in private homes will be lifted to up to 10 visitors, in addition to those who live in the home, to a maximum of 20. Other non-licensed gatherings will be capped at 100.

“Close border communities” will also face much tougher restrictions on travel to South Australia from Victoria, also from August 21.

Stevens said people previously able to move between Victoria and SA for shopping, education, employment or medical care will no longer be able to do so without having successfully applied for approval.

“People who currently have an approval to enter for employment or education, providing or receiving support or obtaining food, petrol, medical or other supplies will not be able to enter South Australia from Victoria,” he said.

They will have to apply for approval under essential travel requirements.

There will be some exemptions for students who are studying years 11 or 12 or farmers whose properties span the border.

Earlier in the day, Premier Steven Marshall said Stevens, who is also the state’s emergency coordinator would make an announcement within the next 24 hours regarding a “logical tightening” of restrictions in aged care facilities.

These include limiting the movement of workers across multiple sites and forcing people to wear face masks while visiting nursing homes.

“We’ve got to constantly look at the restrictions that we have because we know that we have vulnerable communities in those high-density arrangements,” Marshall said.

SA Health reported no new cases for South Australia yesterday for the fifth consecutive day. Six cases remain active.

NDIS Company responsible for Ann Marie Smith’s care banned

Ann Marie Smith in 2012. Image supplied by SA Police.

The company responsible for the care of Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith when she died has had its registration revoked by the NDIS Commission.

The commission has been investigating NDIS provider Integrity Care since the 54-year-old died in hospital in April from septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment.

Integrity Care took two weeks to report her death to the NDIS Commission.

The provider was slapped with a $12,600 fine over its failure to notify the commission within 24 and hours been banned from operating.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Graeme Head said Integrity Care was advised early in June of the commission’s intention to revoke its registration and to ban it from operating over several contraventions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act).

“There are very clear requirements under the NDIS Act as to how the NDIS Commission takes compliance actions … This includes giving ample opportunity for the party subject to these actions to respond,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The revocation of Integrity Care’s registration will take effect from tomorrow (August 14), while the ban will come into place from August 21.

Integrity Care will no longer be able to provide NDIS-funded supports and services to NDIS participants as a registered provider and will be banned from providing all supports and services to any person in the NDIS.

The commission’s investigation into Integrity Care is ongoing and further regulatory action may be taken if necessary.

A carer for the disabled woman, Rosemary Maione, 69, was last week charged with manslaughter over Ms Smith’s death. Maione was sacked from Integrity Care in May.

Police allege Ms Smith died of serious criminal neglect and her death was preventable.

City office vacancies remain steady despite virus

The full COVID-19 impact is yet to play out on Adelaide’s office market with latest figures showing only a slight rise in vacancies.

The Adelaide CBD office market vacancy increased marginally from 14.0 to 14.2 per cent, which the Property Council said was mainly due to supply additions.

The city had 11,530sqm of new commercial office space come online in the six months to July 2020.

A-Grade office stock was again the most popular asset class, with vacancy dropping from 11.3 to 10.8 per cent.

Office vacancies are calculated on whether a lease is in place for office space, not whether the tenant’s employees are occupying the space or working from home.

Property Council SA Executive Director Daniel Gannon said upward pressure on vacancy rates caused by COVID-19 would not be seen until at least next year.

“Adelaide has demonstrated over the past six months that it is a comparatively safe, healthy and resilient capital city, with a growing number of competitive national advantages,” he said.

Australian CBD office vacancies increased from 8.3 to 9.5 per cent over the six months.

Today’s jobless figures predicted to be worst in 22 years

Economists expect Australia’s unemployment rate to hit to jump to 7.8 per cent – a 22-year high – when the latest jobs figures are released at 11am this morning.

Number crunchers anticipate today’s labour force report to show a 30,000 increase in the figure of those employed in July.

But it is unlikely to be enough to prevent the July unemployment rate rising from 7.4 per cent in June

Westpac economists expect the jobless rise to be fuelled by a greater number of people seeking work.

The Reserve Bank predicts the unemployment rate to hit 10 per cent by the end of this year and still be around seven per cent in two years.

Central bank governor Philip Lowe will be grilled on this outlook when he faces federal politicians on Friday.

Rising unemployment and the first recession in nearly 30 years is expected to further depress wage increases in the months ahead.

The June quarter wage price index released on Wednesday grew by just 0.2 per cent, the slowest rate since the Australian Bureau of Statistics began collecting the data in 1997.

Russia rejects vaccine criticism

Russia says the first batch of what it claims is the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out within two weeks and has rejected as “groundless” safety concerns aired by some experts.

The vaccine, called “Sputnik V” in homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957, has yet to complete its final trials and some scientists said they feared Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.

Scientists from Germany the United States and Britain have queried the wisdom of approving the vaccine before testing is complete.

“It seems our foreign colleagues are sensing the specific competitive advantages of the Russian drug and are trying to express opinions that in our opinion are completely groundless,” Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the day after President Vladimir Putin announced it had won regulatory approval.

Officials have said that the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, would be administered to people, including doctors, voluntarily in the final trial. Mass roll-out in Russia is expected to start in October.

The Moscow-based Association of Clinical Trials Organisations (ACTO), a trade body representing the world’s top drugmakers in Russia, had urged the health ministry to postpone the vaccine’s approval until the final trial had been completed.

“It’s the ambition, the desire to be first in a field in which, unfortunately, Russia cannot vie for a top spot,” executive director Svetlana Zavidova told Reuters.

“Our task is now to warn the population because we so far don’t understand how they (the authorities) are going to carry out mass vaccination.”

Final trials, normally carried out on thousands of participants, are considered essential in determining safety and efficacy. Only about 10 per cent of clinical trials are successful.

Kamala Harris may prove difficult target for Trump

Photo: David J. Phillip/AP

Joe Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in November’s presidential election provides a brand-new target for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that has struggled to find an effective line of attack against his Democratic rival.

Within minutes of Biden’s announcement on Tuesday, Trump had called Harris “nasty,” “horrible” and “disrespectful,” while his campaign painted her as an extremist who would yank the moderate Biden to the left.

But there is little evidence at the moment that suggests that the public views Harris, a former California prosecutor and attorney general with strong ties to the Democratic establishment, as a radical.

In fact, she’s more liked by Republicans than Biden, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on August 10-11, just before she was announced as Biden’s pick.

More concerning for Trump: Attacks that could appear sexist or racist against the first black woman on a major party ticket in US history could complicate his campaign’s effort to shore up his standing among suburban women, a critical voting bloc he must win back to get re-elected, strategists on both sides say.

Already, leading Democratic women warned against a replay of Trump’s match-up in 2016 with then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who was subject to gender-based critiques as the first female presidential candidate.

“If he wants to use misogynistic tropes against Kamala Harris, I think that is deeply challenging for him,” said Neera Tanden, a top aide to Clinton during her presidential bid. “He has no room for error with suburban women.”

Biden and Harris were expected to make their first public appearance together as a team overnight.

NZ flags election delay

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is considering deferring the country’s September 19 election due to the return of COVID-19.

Ardern postponed the dissolution of Parliament – poised for Wednesday – back to Monday, buying time to consider the decision.

In the meantime, her government is focussed on responding to the country’s first outbreak in three months, and all parliamentary parties have paused their campaigning.

“We’re in the first 24 hours of a response to resurgence. Our immediate focus has been that,” Ardern said yesterday.

“We’re giving ourselves the room to fully consider the implications of a move of (the election) date and what we find out about what resurgence we’re seeing.”

Eight confirmed or probable cases have been identified in south Auckland in the last 36 hours, resulting in a 60-hour lockdown of New Zealand’s biggest city.

Opposition Leader Judith Collins has called for an 11th hour deferral of New Zealand’s election, which is due before November 21.

Ardern has earmarked a cabinet meeting on Friday for a discussion about a potential election move.

Scottish train derailment kills three

Three people have been confirmed dead after a train derailment in eastern Scotland.

The train’s driver and conductor are among the fatalities, while six people have been taken to hospital with a range of injuries.

Dark smoke billowed from the stricken ScotRail train at the bottom of a narrow valley near Stonehaven, just south of Aberdeen, after it came off the tracks.

Two air ambulances and about 30 emergency service vehicles could be seen in a field just above the site of the derailment, which appeared to be difficult to access.

Stonehaven and the surrounding area had been hit by floods in recent days and some reports suggested a landslide may have played a part in the derailment, although that was not confirmed by the authorities.

Finals dream over for Adelaide United

Adelaide United’s hopes of contesting the A-League finals series this season have been dashed after Western United defeated Perth Glory 2-0 last night.

The win puts Western into sixth place – level with Adelaide United on 36 points but with a vastly superior goal difference (+10 to -5).

Adelaide has played all their 26 games while Western has two games to come.

The Reds drew their final game of the A-league season against second-placed Melbourne United 2-2 on Tuesday night to put them three points clear in sixth.

The Reds have been one of the form teams of the competition since the A-League restart, winning two and drawing three under interim coach Carl Veart.

A few showers today, 17C

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting an 80 per cent chance of showers for Adelaide today with falls of up to 4mm and winds northwesterly 25 to 35km/h.

Yesterday’s forecast rain did not arrive in earnest with only 0.2mm falling at the airport in the past 24 hours.

 – with AAP and Reuters





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NFL-Union, league agree to daily COVID-19 testing through Sept. 5



FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo is pictured at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

August 12, 2020

By Amy Tennery

(Reuters) – NFL players can expect daily COVID-19 testing through Sept. 5, the players’ union said on Wednesday ahead of the season kickoff next month.

The league has conducted 109,075 COVID-19 tests among players, staff and coaches since the start of training camps through Tuesday, NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills told reporters on Wednesday, with an overall positive rate 0.46% and a positive rate among players of 0.81%.

Sills said a total of 53 new positives were confirmed among players upon their intake into training camp last month.

Sills added that he was not aware of any individual who was “seriously ill” from a COVID-19 positive, adding that not every positive necessarily meant a person was “actively infected.”

“Our goal is all the same: to have the safest possible environment for everyone,” said Sills. “We want to try to ensure that there’s no-one – player, coach, staff member, official, anyone – who steps onto a field with an active COVID infection.”

The league continues to enforce social distancing measures ahead of its Sept. 10 season start.

More than 60 players have opted out of playing this season, according to media reports, amid the new coronavirus pandemic that upended professional sports earlier this year.

The Washington Football Team said on Tuesday it would not allow any fans to attend out of an “abundance of caution,” but added that it would re-evaluate the decision if conditions improved, becoming the latest franchise to limit – or ban outright – spectators at games.

But the Dallas Cowboys, which in July was again ranked by Forbes as the most valuable sports team in the world, “plan on playing all of our football games and we plan on playing them in front of our fans” at AT&T Stadium, owner Jerry Jones told reporters on Wednesday.

“Our safety precautions that we are doing won’t be unfamiliar to a lot of people when we look at the general protocol of the country,” said Jones.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris)





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the platform making it easy


An accepted fact in enterprise IT today is that capturing and examining the wealth of data across the enterprise can yield significant results.

But, according to IBM, we currently generate 2.5 Quintilian bytes of data every day, across the planet, with estimates from Forrester that data quantities will double every two hours by 2025.

Despite the large figures, the fact remains that every API, application, or service, down to the individual database instance is a source of significant intelligence. Capturing data accurately from a myriad of sources, and then placing it so it’s presented to applications (in-house and third-party) gives organizations access to new levels of resources that previously may have been untapped.

Certainly, given enough time and energy, the tools out there in the open-source community can be bolted together to produce a normalized data “lake” that holds all critical information. But there’s often no time nor available resources to create just such a repository, whatever value it may bring.

Introducing Keen

However, there is a solution that collects event data of any color or type in the modern enterprise, normalizes and enriches it, helps query it, and offers it via rich interfaces to make analytics more accessible and impactful at a business level. The Keen platform does much of the heavy lifting required to achieve just that. The alternative is really only to start teams retraining in Apache Kafka and Cassandra, and building JS presentation layers: that’s a costly and resource-heavy approach.

Because it’s built from open-source elements, teams can easily interact with the various components, using parts as extensible additions to existing applications and services in the legacy stack. By the same means, all the resources from the Keen platform are available to new projects. And data can be stored (encrypted) wherever needed, pushed to S3, held locally, re-parsed, archived and so on — the entirety of the data available across the enterprise or from third-parties becomes a better, more valuable resource.

Data streams can be captured from anything connected to a network, including applications, servers, IoT devices, proprietary systems or services, using one of the SDKs or the RESTful API. Data that’s enriched by the Keen cloud-based platform (for instance, by adding location data via a simple code snippet) can be presented in a dashboard that’s easily constructed using built-in libraries. Data at any stage of collection or transformation can, of course, be fed into any legacy application or app under construction.

Queries, calculations, and transformations are handled by the Compute element of Keen, so there’s no construction of lengthy SQL statements, nor any need for manual database attenuation — the Keen stack comes with a host of capabilities under the hood — but more on these in due course.

In our next article, we’ll dive into the technical components of the Keen platform. Until then, you can get 30 days of premium-level access to the Keen platform, or to proceed in your own time frame, download the source code and get your hands dirty in your particular DevOps environment. Either option will let you see how Keen can make positive inroads to your workflow.

With most organizations possessing under exploited information, we recommend Keen as the best way to start wide data capture, processing, and presentation, in whatever context you need. So, the next time the phone rings with a data-related query, Keen could be there to help solve your problems much more quickly.





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