Rescuers in Tasmania battle to save whales in mass stranding

Whale rescuers in the Australian state of Tasmania have found more stranded long-finned pilot whales, raising the estimated total to almost 500 in what is the largest-ever stranding in the country.

Authorities had been working to rescue survivors among an estimated 270 whales found Monday on a beach and two sand bars near the remote west coast town of Strahan on the island state of Tasmania.

Another 200 stranded whales were spotted from the air on Wednesday less than 10 kms to the south, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Manager Nic Deka said.

“From the air, they didn’t look to be in a condition that would warrant rescue,” Deka said. “Most of them appeared to be dead.”

Further assessment of their condition would be made by boat and crews would be sent if the whales could be saved, he said.

About 30 whales in the original stranding were moved from the sandbars to open ocean but several got stranded again, Deka said.

About a third of the first group had died by Monday evening, and an update on the death toll and condition of survivors was expected later Wednesday.

Prone to mass strandings

Tasmania is the only part of Australia prone to mass strandings, although they occasionally occur on the Australian mainland.

Australia’s largest mass stranding had been 320 pilot whales near the Western Australia state town of Dunsborough in 1996.

WWF France describes ‘agony’ of injured whale in the Mediterranean

The latest stranding is the first involving more than 50 whales in Tasmania since 2009.

“In Tasmania, this is the biggest (mass stranding) we’ve recorded,” Marine Conservation Program wildlife biologist Kris Carlyon said.

But rescue crews remained optimistic about freeing more whales.

With cool weather helping, “we’ve got a very good chance of getting more off that sandbar,” he added.

In neighboring New Zealand, more than 600 pilot whales washed up on the South Island at Farewell Spit in 2017.

(with AP)

Orginally published on RFI

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Coronavirus patient Richard Misior leaves hospital COVID-19 ward after six months

One of Australia’s longest-hospitalised coronavirus patients has been discharged from the COVID-19 ward at the Gold Coast University Hospital, where he spent 77 days in intensive care.

Richard Misior was admitted to hospital in March after he contracted coronavirus on board the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

Despite initially showing only mild symptoms, the 81-year-old went on to spend six months in hospital and at one stage was placed in an induced coma.

The virus left Mr Misior paralysed and unable to walk, talk or move.

“Suddenly it turned rather bad. They put me in ICU and of course I lost memories from then,” Mr Misior said.

After waking from his coma, Mr Misior struggled to move or communicate due to muscle loss.

“It was terrible,” he said.

“People [would] come and talk to me and I can’t talk, I can’t write.

“It was a hard slog and [there were] lots of difficult periods in between, but things are going well now.”

‘My lungs will never recover’

He said the virus has had a huge impact on his physical health.

“I have to work very hard to start recovering the movement, and my vision changed a bit,” Mr Misior said.

“My voice virtually disappeared, my hearing got worse and my taste was ruined as well.

“It’s getting better and better, a little bit, so I can manage at home with the portable oxygen machine.”

Mr Misior said he felt very lucky to have survived and he was working with physiotherapists to regain the muscle he lost while paralysed.

The Gold Coast man will spend another few weeks in a regular ward of the hospital.

“It took a long time to recover, but after the first two months or so things got better, and from there on [I’m seeing] just gradual improvement all the time,” he said.

He said the ordeal had been particularly difficult for his wife, who also contracted coronavirus but recovered much earlier.

‘A real hero’

Health Minister Steven Miles visited Mr Misior in hospital and said he had been receiving regular updates on his condition.

Health Minister Steven Miles says Richard Misior is a “hero”.(Twitter)

“You’re a real hero Richard, everyone knows about you and your story,” Mr Miles said.

“It’s just so good to see you up and about.”

Sivakumaran Pathmanathan, the Gold Coast University Hospital’s medical director of respiratory medicine, said the hospital was very proud to have saved Mr Misior.

He said many patients who contracted coronavirus while travelling abroad had ended up in intensive care units and the majority had died.

Mr Misior will soon be moved into a rehabilitation clinic, where his overall functioning is expected to improve.

Since the onset of the pandemic earlier this year, health professionals have learnt a lot about the virus and how to treat it — teachings that have saved Mr Misior’s life.

“We have adapted the evidence-based practice and … that’s why he probably survived,” Dr Pathmanathan said.

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South Australia’s The Border Watch makes a comeback after shutting down during the pandemic

One of regional Australia’s oldest newspapers that closed due to the pandemic-fuelled downturn has been rescued by a consortium of independent newspaper proprietors.

The Border Watch — which covers South Australia’s second largest city — closed suddenly late last month, throwing nearly 40 people out of work in Mount Gambier.

The first edition under new ownership is expected to hit newsagency stands next month.

Former The Border Watch editor Brett Kennedy will return as managing editor to lead the relaunch of the iconic masthead.

“I’m delighted a number of my former The Border Watch colleagues, who are among the finest journalists and media consultants in the industry, are also re-joining the team.

“We feel a great sense of pride and privilege to be restoring a community service that has served Mount Gambier and the Limestone Coast so well for almost 160 years.”

Saved by ‘passionate’ investors

The Border Watch has been purchased by a partnership of independent newspaper proprietors from South Australia and Victoria, and a media consultant from Queensland.

Andrew Manuel — owner of The Plains Producer in Balaklava and Clare, and a director of the newly founded TBW Today Pty Ltd which purchased The Border Watch mastheads, websites and digital records — has confirmed their commitment to restoring The Border Watch as the journal of record for the region.

“We have a small group of passionate second- and third-generation regional newspaper proprietors and a multimedia consultant as part of the ownership, and we’re delighted to be getting this rare opportunity to carry forward a newspaper with such a rich and respected legacy.”

The Border Watch will soon again be displayed at newsagencies in Mount Gambier(ABC South East: Sandra Morello)

Mr Manuel said having The Border Watch be part of a larger publishing network would provide a range of benefits, including an advertising service for local businesses.

The next edition of The Border Watch will be on sale in newsagents on Friday, October 16, and will initially be a weekly newspaper supported by a digital presence.

There are plans to add a second edition each week once the paper is re-established and to also resume printing The South Eastern Times, which is based in Millicent.

Media union says sale ‘inspirational’

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance SA regional director Angelique Ivanica said today’s announcement was “amazing news”.

She said too many regional newspapers had been “left to die” during the pandemic.

“The Border Watch has a place in the Mount Gambier community and in South Australia,” Ms Ivanica said.

She commended the new owners for taking on the publication, which provided crucial information for the Limestone Coast community.

“The staff — some of whom worked for the newspaper — know what to do, and I hope the new owners let them do that,” Ms Ivanica said.

She said the regional community must now support the paper.

It is understood several media companies flagged their interest in purchasing the masthead, including the Taylor Group Newspapers based in South Australia.

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Office buzz

Covid isolation centres for TCS staffWe have heard heartening stories of some companies going the extra mile to take care of their employees. For ins

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Johnson addresses nation on Covid restrictions – Channel 4 News

Mr Johnson spoke to MPs earlier today giving details of new coronavirus restrictions for England – urging people to go back to working from home wherever possible, ordering pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm and bringing in more mask wearing as well as tougher fines for rule breakers.

The leaders of the devolved governments also made their own TV addresses to explain the changes there.

Here is the statement from Boris Johnson in full.

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B2B SMEs: it’s time to refocus, reignite, and rise

In case you have noticed, there is no turning back! As businesses resume out of lockdown, they are facing the “new normal”. For those of us operating in a business-to-business (B2B) context, this will be characterised by:

  • Increased number of decision-makers.
  • Purchased decisions made by consensus.
  • Tighter budgets.
  • Highly demanding, risk-averse buyers.
  • Selling virtually.

Unlike the pandemic, these conditions are here to stay. With 2021 on the horizon, now is the time to begin to plan as to how your SME will move forward. Your roadmap to business recovery and business growth should consist of three phases: Refocus, Reignite and Rise.

Refocus: determine where you can win

Get clear
as to which industries, markets and business customers you will focus on.

To identify
where your company should focus, undertake the following:

  • Make sure your leadership team is aligned as to the company’s goals and mission.
  • Review your company’s performance and understand:
    • Its Key strengths and capabilities.
    • The industries and companies where there has been success as indicated by
  • Understand the trends, characteristics and economic conditions of those industries and markets where you have had success and intend to operate. These may have changed significantly over the past several months.
  • Meet with your leadership and team members and determine:
    • Can your company respond to these new trends and market conditions?
    • What new investments and/or changes will be required by the company? Is this feasible? Do you want to pursue?
  • Talk to customers
    • Try to speak with a cross-section including those who:
      • Stopped doing business with you.
      • Have never bought from you.
    • During these discussions try to gain an understanding of:
      • Who are now the decision makers?
      • Where is their business at now?
      • Where the business is headed?
      • What are their key priorities and challenges?
      • What are their most pressing needs?
    • Be sure you have these discussions with those involved in the purchase decision for your product or service.
  • Consolidate the insights you have gained from your:
    • Internal company analysis.
  • Establish a cross-functional team and workshop the insights gained in order to identify the industries, markets and customers that will be the focus of your business recovery and business growth efforts.

Re-ignite: determine how you will win

what changes, improvements and/or introductions must be implemented in order to
meet the current needs of your target industries, markets and customers.

Such improvements and/or introductions are referred to as business innovations and can occur in one or more of the following areas of your business:

  • products and srvices
  • organisational methods
  • marketing practices
  • business processes.

As you may
identify numerous opportunities to innovate across the business, you will need
to prioritise which opportunities to pursue.

prioritisation criteria include:

  • Do
    these innovations help address the needs of your most valuable customers?
  • Do
    you have the skills, knowledge and resources to implement the innovation?
  • Do
    they align to your company’s goals and future aspirations?


Develop and
implement the marketing and sales activities to generate revenues and business

The cornerstone or engine of your B2B business recovery and growth should be customer retention and expansion

Benefits of this strategy:

  • You have solid relationships,
  • Built a high degree of trust,
  • Easier access to obtain input and feedback.

Key components of your B2B recovery strategy engine should include:

  • Customer
  • Customer
    Expansion via

So, what are you waiting for? Meet with your team and start planning how your SME will reignite, refocus and rise to recovery, growth and future success!

Michael Haynes, B2B Customer Strategy Specialist and Founder, Listen Innovate Grow

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Autistic teenager found one kilometre from home

The heartbroken family of a teenage boy found dead in dense Victorian bushland yesterday have broken down as they approached the scene of his death.

In a devastating detail it has also emerged the 14-year-old’s body was discovered just over one kilometre from the family home where he went missing on Tuesday.

William Wall was last seen at 6:45am on Tuesday morning after leaving his home in Launching Place, a town 54km east from Melbourne’s CBD.

He told his family he would be back in 15 minutes, which wasn’t unusual; the “fitness fanatic” would usually run 25 kilometres.

“There was nothing out of the ordinary, he’s left money at home, doesn’t have a myki or use public transport, his push bike is still at home,” Williams, dad, Shane Wall said earlier.

“It’s absolutely the first time he’s got lost. He’s a kid that sticks to himself, does all his school work, so this is really out of the ordinary.”

But more than 24 hours later, the Wall family was facing a heartbreaking walk of their own in wet and muddy conditions.

William’s body was found just before 5pm on Wednesday at the end of a residential street at Yarra Junction after a huge air and ground search mission that saw close to 100 personnel from Victoria Police and dozens of State Emergency Service units combine forces with locals.

The boy’s body was found by a member of the local boxing club.

Police say they are not treating the death as suspicious and will prepare a report for the coroner.

William was described as being 177cm tall, with a lean build and mousy brown hair. He was dressed in a dark hooded jumper, trackpants and had a hydration pack across his chest.

Family friend Tyson Truscott told The Herald Sun: “He was a great kid. There is nothing bad about him. He loved going for runs, he went flat out,” said Mr Truscott.

His family were pictured breaking down as they visited the scene of his death, exhausted and depleted after joining the search mission that saw rain and temperatures drop to 7C.

Just hours before, William’s father had fronted media in tears, asking locals to put out protein bars and fruit for his son and claiming his disappearance was out of character.

The mood on Wednesday night, according to reporter James Hancock in Warburton, was quiet and sombre.


The distressing news of his death came amid reports those who had wanted to join the search were turned away due to treacherous conditions.

William’s older brother Harrison, told Seven News he and other brother Jake were turned away after spending Tuesday night scanning the area on dirt bikes.

“We’ve been told by all the police, saying we’re not allowed to help because we’re past the five kilometre radius, which is going to put a bit more of a delay in finding him,” his older brother, Harrison, .

William suffered from high functioning autism and it was feared he may have become disorientated without food due to the length of time he had been missing.

Despite William’s body being located so close to home, in excess of 100 personnel from Victoria Police and the State Emergency Service had centred their search around the tracks along Warburton and the Warburton Rail Trail, which runs for approximately 40km across rough terrain. Specifically, they focused on a 10km radius around the area.

The O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail in Warburton was also a focus, located 16 kilometres away from William’s home. Police said earlier they had received a number of tips of “credible” sightings around those areas.

Police at the station cited “quite treacherous, wet and slippery” conditions as the reason for not wanting extra help from the public.

A reporter at the scene as police delivered the news to frustrated volunteers described the mood as “tense”.

“This is not to do with COVID. We don’t want to bring this into a COVID conversation. What we are doing is focusing our search on Will,” Inspector Jason Goddard, local area commander for the Yarra Ranges police service, said.

Still, many volunteers searched on their own.

On Wednesday, Mr Wall said he had slept very little in the past 24 hours.

Mr Wall said William loved dogs, liked healthy food, and was a very energetic and athletic teen who could run 20-30km.

“It wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for him,” he said.

He said he had been overwhelmed by support from the community.

“This has just blown me away, the support from local people, Facebook, community noticeboards, it’s fantastic, it’s really top notch and the police and SES have been great.”

He said their family – including William’s two brothers, Harrison, 18, and Jake, 21, and sister Sophie, 10 – absolutely missed him

“Just come home, we want you home,” Mr Wall said.

“There’s heap of people around, I thank the police, his brother’s mates, they’ve all been out all night, and I just want everyone to be safe.”

The Prime Minister is among a number of high profile Australians to send their condolences, tweeting his “heart goes out” to William’s family after the “very sad news”.

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Live Stream: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lies in Repose News Updates

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was honored on Wednesday as a pioneer of women’s rights who brought the nation closer to its vision of equal justice through a storied career as a lawyer and on the bench.

In a short, simple and modest ceremony in keeping with her own reputation for humility, Justice Ginsburg’s family and fellow members of the Supreme Court paid their respects in the Great Hall of the building where she served for 27 years. Her coffin was then brought outside, where she will lie in repose as Americans bid farewell over the next two days.

“Justice Ginsburg’s life was one of the many versions of the American dream,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said during the ceremony inside the building. “Her father was an immigrant from Odessa. Her mother was born four months after her family arrived from Poland. Her mother later worked as a bookkeeper in Brooklyn. Ruth used to ask what is the difference in a bookkeeper in Brooklyn and a Supreme Court justice. Her answer: one generation.”

The chief justice, who was the only one to speak other than the Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, recalled that Justice Ginsburg wanted to be an opera singer but pursued law only to find herself the subject of discrimination because of her sex at law school and in the work force. She went on to become perhaps the country’s leading advocate fighting that discrimination.

Credit…Pool photo by Andrew Harnik
Credit…Pool photo by Alex Brandon

“She was not an opera star, but she found her stage right behind me in our courtroom,” the chief justice said. “There, she won famous victories that helped move our nation closer to equal justice under law, to the extent that women are now a majority in law schools, not simply a handful. Later, she became a star on the bench.”

He said her 483 opinions — majority, concurring and dissenting — would “steer the court for decades” to come. “They are written with the unaffected grace of precision,” he said. “Her voice in court and in our conference room was soft, but when she spoke, people listened.”

The chief justice was joined by the other seven current members of the court, seated in order of seniority, as well as Anthony M. Kennedy, the retired justice, and several of their spouses, all wearing face masks and sitting apart in keeping with social-distancing guidelines because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ceremony lasted 18 minutes from the time the coffin was brought into the hall by Supreme Court police officers serving as pallbearers. Justice Ginsburg’s former clerks lined the steps of the court building before the ceremony and as the coffin was placed on the portico while visitors paying their respects filed past at the bottom of the stairs.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Hundreds of mourners, some of whom had traveled great distances, lined the street outside the Supreme Court to say goodbye to Justice Ginsburg.

The wait for some visitors lasted hours, and each had their own story about the impact the justice had made on their life.

For Carolyn Curry Tallman, 51, who wore a mask emblazoned with Justice Ginsburg’s face, and her friend Renee Bobbitt, 43, the justice represented a trailblazer who not only made their own careers possible but paved a future for their daughters.

“We’re both mothers to daughters,” Ms. Curry Tallman said. “We’re here for them.”

The friends, from Merritt Island, Fla., had been lamenting the loss of Ms. Ginsburg on Tuesday morning when they decided to fly to Washington to honor her and booked an evening flight.

“We’re here for the history we wanted to witness,” said Ms. Curry Tallman, a compliance officer at an investment bank. “I’ve had an almost 30-year career in Wall Street, and I don’t think I would have had six months without her; I would never have gotten my foot in the door.”

For Lara Gambony, 52, and Kathleen Dungan, 57, honoring Ms. Ginsburg was a tribute to their mothers.

“It’s not only for ourselves but for my mother’s generation,” Ms. Gambony said, holding an American flag and choking back tears. “She forced the courts to see us as human, and that we had brains and we deserve our full rights.”

The two friends drove from Grayslake, Ill., to be at the Supreme Court early Wednesday.

“She really has helped bring women along. She’s a hero,” Ms. Dungan said. “We came out of respect and love for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This is still our country.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Tonya Wells, 51, in a mask with an image of the justice, flew from Grosse Pointe, Mich., with her daughter on Tuesday night to pay their respects. Choking up, Ms. Wells said that the justice’s death had prompted her own self-reflection about how to honor her legacy and spurred her to volunteer more with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign.

“I just felt the sense that I was compelled to be here,” she said. “R.B.G. is just such a representation of goodness and justice and a person who was willing to give her entire life to making things better for people.”

Her daughter Katherine Nottmeier, 17, chimed in that as a young woman, she was fearful of a Supreme Court without Justice Ginsburg.

“It’s definitely scary,” she said. “I feel like my rights could be taken away at any point.”

Brenna Means, 26, from Potomac, Md., said she grew up in Washington reading and learning from Justice Ginsburg’s opinions. She hoped that the response to the justice’s death would show the Trump administration and the Senate that the Supreme Court needed balance, not a strong conservative justice.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Among the crowd of mourners lined up outside the Supreme Court were some of Justice Ginsburg’s littlest fans.

Lucille Wilson, 3, of Chesapeake Beach, Md., could barely walk 10 steps without someone asking for a photograph of her dressed in black as the legal titan.

“We have a book called ‘I Dissent’ that she likes to read,” said Lucille’s mother, Meghann Wilson, 38. “All day she keeps saying, ‘I look just like Ruth in the book.’”

After Justice Ginsburg’s death, Ms. Wilson said, “my daughter’s future is in the forefront of our minds.”

“You always want more for your children than you had, right? So I want my daughter to be able to do more and achieve more,” Ms. Wilson added.

Not far away in line was Cristina DiPiazza, 38, a social worker who drove from Pittsburgh with her daughter, Frankie Frezzell, 2, who was also dressed up as the justice.

Frankie was Justice Ginsburg for Halloween last year, a costume that Ms. DiPiazza said she chose to instill in her powerful female role models.

Though her daughter might not remember the day, Ms. DiPiazza said she planned to take photographs so that she could ask questions about the trip.

To Ms. DiPiazza, Justice Ginsburg represented intelligence and femininity — and “not letting the world hold those things against her.”

“Those are things that are important for me for my daughter,” she said.

Tabitha Frazier of Tallahassee, Fla., drove to Washington on Tuesday with her 10-year-old son, Kellen, and 15-year-old daughter, Skylar, wanting to pay respects in person at a time of political uncertainty.

“Her passing marks new events for this country, and it’s something we need to memorialize and recognize,” Skylar Frazier said.

As for her youngest, Ms. Frazier said she knew that he would one day understand the importance of this moment in history.

“I want him to always have the memory of when he learned the impact of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Ms. Frazier said. “I want him to always know that his mom took him there.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday at 87, made a final trip to the Supreme Court, starting three days of extraordinary honors for a transformative figure in American law. Her coffin was carried up the court’s grand marble steps by the Supreme Court police, flanked by lines of the justice’s former law clerks — spread out for social distance — who served as honorary pallbearers.

Justice Ginsburg’s coffin rests on a catafalque, on loan from Congress, that once held President Abraham Lincoln’s remains.

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the events to honor her:

Justice Ginsburg lies in repose outside the courthouse, under the portico at the top of the front steps. The public is invited to pay its respects from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday and again from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday. The court requires masks and social distancing.

President Trump is expected to pay his respects at the court on Thursday.

At the Capitol on Friday, there will be a small private ceremony honoring Justice Ginsburg and she will lie in state in Statuary Hall, the first woman to receive that honor. Lawmakers will then be invited to pay their respects in groups of about 40 at a time, with women given the first slots to honor her.

She is expected to be buried next week in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, where her husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, was buried in 2010.


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Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt from Adas Israel Congregation in Washington honored Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during a private ceremony in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Andrew Harnik

Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt from Adas Israel Congregation in Washington honored Justice Ginsburg as “a path-marking role model to women and girl of all ages” during a private ceremony for family, clerks and friends in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court.

“Today we stand in mourning of an American hero,” Rabbi Holtzblatt said, standing before Justice Ginsburg’s flag-draped coffin and in front of an oil portrait of her flanked with flowers as mourners looked on.

After chanting the 23rd Psalm, Adonai Roi — a traditional Jewish song of mourning — in Hebrew and English, the rabbi eulogized Justice Ginsburg as a pioneering woman who had left a lasting legacy in the law and in generations of women who benefited from her example.

“To be born into a world that does not see you, that does not believe in your potential, that does not give you a path for opportunity or a clear path for education — and despite this, to be able to see beyond the world you are in, to imagine that something can be different — that is the job of a prophet,” Rabbi Holtzblatt said. “It’s the rare prophet who not only imagines a new world, but also makes that new world a reality in her lifetime. This was the brilliance and vision of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

The rabbi described Justice Ginsburg’s “life’s work: to insist that the Constitution deliver on its promise — that ‘We the people’ would include all the people.”

“Nothing could stop Justice Ginsburg’s unflagging devotion to this project, not even cancer,” said Rabbi Holtzblatt, whose husband, Ari Holtzblatt, clerked for Justice Ginsburg from 2014 to 2015.

As mourners stood in the marble hall, the rabbi chanted a Jewish prayer of remembrance and mercy, “El Malei Rachamim” (God Full of Compassion).




‘When She Spoke, People Listened’: Roberts Remembers Ginsburg

In remarks honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. described Justice Ginsburg as a symbol of the American dream.

It has been said that Ruth wanted to be an opera virtuoso, but became a rock star instead. But she chose the law. Subjected to discrimination in law school and the job market because she was a woman, Ruth would grow to become the leading advocate fighting such discrimination in court. She was not an opera star, but she found her stage, right behind me in our courtroom. There she won famous victories that helped move our nation closer to equal justice under law to the extent that women are now a majority in law schools, not simply a handful. Her 483 majority concurring and dissenting opinions will steer the court for decades. They are written with the unaffected grace of precision. Her voice in court and in our conference room was soft. But when she spoke, people listened. Among the words that best describe Ruth: tough, brave, a fighter, a winner, but also thoughtful, careful, compassionate, honest.

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In remarks honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. described Justice Ginsburg as a symbol of the American dream.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Andrew Harnik

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. spoke of Justice Ginsburg as a version of the American dream, the daughter of immigrants.

“It has been said that Ruth wanted to be an opera virtuoso but became a rock star instead,” he said. “But she chose the law. Subjected to discrimination in law school and the job market because she was a woman.”

Underscoring the importance of reaching across ideological divides at a particularly searing moment, Chief Justice Roberts talked about Justice Ginsburg’s friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016 and was a member of the conservative wing of the court, and recalled them riding an elephant together in India.

“In the photograph, she’s riding with a dear friend, a friend with totally divergent views,” Justice Roberts said. “There’s no indication in the photo that either was poised to push the other off.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

A small army of Justice Ginsburg’s former law clerks lined the steps of the Supreme Court as honorary pallbearers to see their former boss return to the court to lie in repose.

Over her 27 years on the court, Justice Ginsburg hired more than 100 clerks, generally just a year out of law school, for yearlong apprenticeships, and they were devoted to her. Though their careers have scattered them around the nation and the world, very few of them seemed to be missing on Wednesday.

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said on Tuesday that he would back President Trump’s push to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, cementing all but monolithic Republican support six weeks before the presidential election for confirming a new justice who would tilt the court decisively to the right.

Mr. Romney’s decision capped off an extraordinarily swift and enthusiastic rally by Republicans around Mr. Trump’s position that underscored his iron grip on the party four years into his presidency. But it also reflected the political bargain that has been driving Republicans for much of the past four years.

Republican senators have loyally stood behind the president at every turn, even as he trampled party principles, shattered institutional norms and made crass statements — all in the service of empowering their own party to install a generation of conservative judges in the nation’s federal courts.

Now, with the biggest prize of all in reach — a third seat further tipping the Supreme Court to the right — they are rushing to collect on their bet, even if it is the last thing they do before they lose their Senate majority, Mr. Trump loses the presidency, or both.

With Mr. Trump planning to wait until Saturday to announce his nominee at the White House, Senate leaders remained publicly undecided about whether to try to rush through a confirmation vote before the election on Nov. 3. But Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have begun privately making preparations for a confirmation process that could play out in as little as a month, a drastically abbreviated timeline compared with other recent Supreme Court nominees.

Credit…Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

Democrats, conceding that they did not have the power to stop it, unleashed a torrent of anger and parliamentary tactics intended to disrupt Senate business. They accused Republicans of gross hypocrisy, pointing to their refusal in early 2016 to consider Judge Merrick B. Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, because it was an election year.

“They are fighting to reverse Justice Ginsburg’s legacy, not honor it,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader. He made a point on the Senate floor on Wednesday morning of formally inquiring whether a Supreme Court justice had ever been confirmed in a presidential election year between July and Election Day. (Official documents “do not show such a precedent,” said Senator Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia, who was presiding over the Senate at the time.)

The partisan rancor extended to a nonbinding resolution honoring Justice Ginsburg’s life, which failed to pass on Tuesday because Democrats sought to include language in the measure recognizing her wish that the next president select her successor.

“For the Democratic leader, two things qualify as a crisis when it comes to the courts,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. “The sky is falling when a Democratic president does not get to confirm every last judge he or she wants, and the sky is falling when a Republican president gets to confirm any — any — judges.”

By Tuesday, it appeared that Republican leaders and Mr. Trump would hold defections in their own party to just two: Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, who have said they would not support filling the vacancy so close to the election.

At the White House, Mr. Trump and his advisers continued to contemplate a handful of possible nominees, all women, before the announcement on Saturday. Mr. McConnell, who has been the architect of Republicans’ record-breaking success in filling the courts, said the party would lay out a timeline for the confirmation process as soon as Mr. Trump settled on his pick.

Credit…Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a child of Brooklyn long before she was Notorious — daughter of Jewish immigrants, graduate of P.S. 238 and James Madison High School (class of 1950), cheerleader known as Kiki Bader, member of the East Midwood Jewish Center.

She lived on the first floor of a two-story house on East Ninth Street in the multiethnic Midwood neighborhood and fed her mind at the local public library branch, upstairs from a Chinese restaurant and a beauty parlor.

“She’s part of the folklore of the community,” said Joseph Dorinson, who lives in the neighborhood and has taught at James Madison. “My neighbor’s brother dated her.”

Howard Teich, the founding chairman of the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative, said Justice Ginsburg resonated so profoundly with Brooklynites — the elders who followed her judicial career and the young people who loved the pop icon — because she represented the values of her block.

“It’s a place that lends itself to the values of modesty and people living with each other, and that has lasted her through her lifetime,” he said. As an emblem of pride, he added, “she’s singular in terms of who she was.”

Credit…Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Over the weekend, as news spread of Justice Ginsburg’s death on Friday, makeshift memorials of candles, signs, flowers and even an R.B.G. action figure went up outside James Madison High School and her childhood home. Hundreds gathered Saturday night outside the courthouse in Foley Square in Manhattan, holding candles and singing the civil rights anthem “Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Freedom,” and a vigil was also held outside Kings County Supreme Court. Handwritten signs in different parts of Brooklyn urged neighbors to honor her legacy by voting.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state would erect a statue in her honor in Brooklyn. It will be only the fifth statue that Mr. Cuomo’s administration has created since he took office in 2011.

And over the weekend, state monuments were bathed in blue light, her favorite color. At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the display board posted her encouragement: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”





The Radical Project of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court’s feminist icon, not only changed the law, she also transformed the roles of men and women in society, according to Linda Greenhouse, contributing writer and former Supreme Court Correspondent for The Times.

“I surely would not be in this room today without the determined efforts of men and women who kept dreams alive, dreams of equal citizenship.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the Supreme Court’s feminist icon. Small, soft-spoken, yet fiercely determined, she was an unstoppable force who transformed the law and defied social conventions. “To her fans she’s known as Notorious R.B.G.” Singing: “Supreme Court’s a boys club. She holds it down, no cares given. Who else got six movies about ’em and still livin’?” Ginsburg was hailed as a crusader for women’s rights. Chanting: “D-I-S-S-E-N-T. We’re Notorious R.B.G.!” But her legal legacy was even more sweeping. “The project she brought to the Supreme Court first as the leading women’s rights lawyer of her day, and then as a justice for all those years, I actually think has been kind of misunderstood. She had a really radical project to erase the functional difference between men and women in society. She wanted to make it clear that there should be no such thing as women’s work and men’s work.” “Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the court.” In fact, in many of the landmark cases Ginsburg argued before the Supreme Court as a young lawyer for the A.C.L.U., her clients were often men. One key case involved a man from New Jersey, whose wife died during childbirth. “Stephen Wiesenfeld’s case concerns the entitlement —” He wanted to work less and stay home with his son, but found out only widows, not widowers, were eligible for Social Security payments. “Ruth Ginsburg went to court on his behalf and said that law, that distinction between mothers and fathers incorporates a stereotyped assumption of what women do and what men do in the family, and is unconstitutional.” “Laws of this quality help to keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage.” “She won. And that was the kind of case that she brought. And it was really very significant in the march toward the court establishing a jurisprudence of sex equality.” What inspired Ginsburg to take on such a bold project, and there was little sign of anything radical in the beginning. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn in a lower middle-class family. When she was in high school, she was a twirler. You know, a cheerleader with a baton. She was known as Kiki Bader. And she played a very traditional female role in her high school.” Ginsburg’s mother, who’d been a star student until she was forced to drop out of school to put her brother through college, had big ambitions for her daughter. But the day before Ruth’s high school graduation, her mother died of cancer. It was that shattering loss, Ginsburg said many years later, that instilled in her the determination to live a life her mother could have only dreamed about. “I pray that I may be all that she would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve, and daughters are cherished as much as sons.” The other pivotal turn in Ginsburg’s path came during college. She earned a scholarship to Cornell, where she met a jovial sophomore who became the love of her life. “He was the first boy I ever knew who cared that I had a brain.” Theirs was not a typical 1950s marriage, but an equal partnership. “Her husband, Marty, was a fabulous cook, and she was a terrible cook. And Marty did all the cooking.” “In the historic Harvard Yard, you will see your classmates, men from every section of the country.” A year after Marty enrolled at Harvard Law School, Ruth followed, one of only nine women in a class of more than 550, with a new baby girl in tow. “During their time in law school, Marty became very sick. He had cancer. And she basically took all the notes for him and made it possible for him to graduate on time, while in fact, raising their baby and being a law student herself. Marty recovered and their relationship was very central to her work and her understanding of how it was possible to organize society.” This understanding turned into a mission after law school, when Ginsburg took on a legal study in Sweden where feminism was on the rise. “Sweden, where everything and everyone works.” Swedish women weren’t choosing between careers and family, and they inspired the young lawyer. When Ginsburg returned to the U.S., she launched what would become her radical project. As a law professor and leader of the A.C.L.U. Women’s Rights Project, she took on groundbreaking cases to build constitutional protections against gender discrimination. There was a lot of speculation about why a lawyer hailed as a Thurgood Marshall of women’s rights was representing so many men. “People looking back on that had thought, well, she was kind of trying to sweet talk the court. She was trying to give the court cases and plaintiffs that wouldn’t get those nine old guys very upset and kind of, you know, sneak in a doctrine of sex discrimination. And actually, that’s not accurate. She happened to have male clients because they were making claims that were traditionally, were women’s claims. And she wanted to just shake up the preconceived notions when it came to raising families and providing for them and working in the economy. Everybody should be on equal footing.” The legal crusade quickly unleashed profound changes in the law and daily life, but Ginsburg’s own rise to the federal bench took decades, and a lot of lobbying by her husband, a prominent tax attorney, with key old boys club connections. After getting passed over three times, President Carter nominated Ginsburg to be a federal judge in 1980. “The framers had in mind as the way to protect individual rights and liberty.” People were surprised that the A.C.L.U. activist turned out to be a very moderate judge, a centrist who often sided with conservatives, praised judicial restraint, and slammed Roe v. Wade for going too far, too fast. “I am proud to nominate for associate justice of the Supreme Court, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” Some feminist leaders were concerned when President Clinton tapped Ginsburg for the High Court. “She will be able to be a force for consensus building on the Supreme Court.” But Justice Ginsburg quickly pleased supporters and skeptics alike with her opinions in landmark cases, like the Virginia Military Academy. “May it please the court. V.M.I., the Virginia Military Institute, was established by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1839.” “V.M.I. was age-old military academy run by the state of Virginia, was men only.” “Stand! Attention!” “It emphasizes competition. It emphasizes standing up to stress. It emphasizes the development of strong character in the face of adversity.” “The question was, did it violate the Constitution to bar women from this school that was entre into the political establishment of the state of Virginia.” Justice Ginsburg believed that omitting women was a constitutional violation. And she ultimately convinced all but one justice, Scalia, to take her position. “The opinion of the court in two cases, the United States against Virginia, will be announced by Justice Ginsburg.” “State actors may not close entrance gates based on fixed notions concerning the roles and abilities of males and females.” “Women will now be walking on the campus of the Virginia Military Institute.” “I think she would say it was the case she was happiest about in her tenure on the court.” “V.M.I. superintendent promises that female cadets will be treated the same as male cadets.” “She used an analysis that increased the level of scrutiny that courts in the future have to give to claims of sex discrimination. I think she found that an extremely satisfying outcome.” Ginsburg’s opinions helped solidify the constitutional protections she’d fought so hard to establish decades earlier. And her grit helped keep her on the bench through colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and the death of her beloved partner. “Justice Ginsburg, even though her husband died yesterday after a battle with cancer, was on the bench.” Ginsburg battled on through it all, unrelentingly tough, but still a consensus builder. She famously forged friendships with right-leaning justices, including Justice Scalia. “You know, what’s not to like? Except her views of the law, of course.” [laughter] Their shared love for opera actually inspired a composer to write a new one, about them. Singing: “We are different, we are one.” “Do you like how you were portrayed in the opera?” “Oh, yes. Especially in the scene where I rescue Justice Scalia, who is locked in a dark room for excessive dissenting.” [laughter] But in her later years, as the court moved to the right, Ginsburg grew bolder in her dissents. “She was not in a position to control the outcome of events. But she was in a position to stake her claim for what the outcome should have been. And she was very strategic and very powerful in using that opportunity.” The opportunity that made her into a rock star came in 2013, when the court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act. “Ginsburg wrote a lengthy, scathing dissent.” “She was pretty candid in her displeasure with the court’s decision.” “Hubris, pride, is a fit word for today’s demolition of the Voting Rights Act.” Ginsburg’s fiery dissent inspired law students to lay her words to a beat and turn the 80-year-old justice into the Notorious R.B.G. Singing: “Now I’m in the limelight, because I decide right, court has moved right, but my dissents get cites.” Suddenly, Ginsburg went viral. Children’s books to bumper stickers. Halloween costumes to a Hollywood biopic. “What did you say your name was?” “Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” Even her fitness trainer was a sensation. “Justice is blind, but you know man meat when you see it.” When asked about retirement plans, Ginsburg balked. “There was a senator who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator, whose name I’ve forgotten, is now himself dead.” [laughter] Ginsburg’s stardom only grew after she criticized then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential race. “Ginsburg said, ‘I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president.’” Ginsburg apologized for her remarks, but instead of retreating, she was emboldened. “As a great man once said, that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle, it is the pendulum. And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it will go back.” Notorious R.G.B. became a badge of the Trump resistance, and keeping her on the bench became part of the cause. “Health scare for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” “News tonight about the health scare for Supreme Court Justice —” “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she was hospitalized.” “And those ribs you busted?” “Almost repaired.” After all the spills, surgeries and bouts with cancer, what was it that kept her going? Ginsburg said it was her job on the bench, which she still found exhilarating. But perhaps most of all, it was her radical project, which Ginsburg said was still far from complete. “People ask me, ‘When will you be satisfied with the number of women on the court?’ When they are nine.”

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court’s feminist icon, not only changed the law, she also transformed the roles of men and women in society, according to Linda Greenhouse, contributing writer and former Supreme Court Correspondent for The Times.CreditCredit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and a pioneering advocate for women’s rights, who in her ninth decade became a much younger generation’s unlikely cultural icon, died on Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

The cause was complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, the Supreme Court said.

When Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired in January 2006, Justice Ginsburg was for a time the only woman on the Supreme Court — hardly a testament to the revolution in the legal status of women that she had helped bring about in her career as a litigator and strategist.

Her years as the solitary female justice were “the worst times,” she recalled in a 2014 interview. “The image to the public entering the courtroom was eight men, of a certain size, and then this little woman sitting to the side. That was not a good image for the public to see.” Eventually she was joined by two other women, both named by President Barack Obama: Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan in 2010.

After the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens in 2010, whom Justice Kagan succeeded, Justice Ginsburg became the senior member and de facto leader of a four-justice liberal bloc, consisting of the three female justices and Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

Justice Ginsburg’s pointed and powerful dissenting opinions, usually speaking for all four, attracted growing attention as the court turned further to the right. A law student, Shana Knizhnik, anointed her the Notorious R.B.G., a play on the name of the Notorious B.I.G., a famous rapper who was Brooklyn-born, like the justice. Soon the name, and Justice Ginsburg’s image — her expression serene yet severe, a frilly lace collar adorning her black judicial robe, her eyes framed by oversize glasses and a gold crown perched at a rakish angle.

Young women had the image tattooed on their arms; daughters were dressed in R.B.G. costumes for Halloween. “You Can’t Spell Truth Without Ruth” appeared on bumper stickers and T-shirts. A biography, “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” by Irin Carmon and Ms. Knizhnik, reached the best-seller list the day after its publication in 2015, and the next year, Simon & Schuster brought out a Ginsburg biography for children with the title “I Dissent.” A documentary film of her life was a surprise box office hit in the summer of 2018, and a Hollywood biopic centered on her first sex discrimination court case opened on Christmas Day that year.

Scholars of the culture searched for an explanation for the phenomenon. Dahlia Lithwick, writing in The Atlantic in early 2019, offered this observation: “Today, more than ever, women starved for models of female influence, authenticity, dignity and voice hold up an octogenarian justice as the embodiment of hope for an empowered future.”

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Qantas ends Wallabies sponsorship, cuts off cash to cricket and soccer

“In an environment where thousands of our people have lost jobs and thousands more are stood down while they wait for flying to restart, we can’t maintain these sponsorships in the way we have in the past,” Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said in a statement.

“While we’re dealing with this crisis and its aftermath, the cash cost of our sponsorships has to be zero.

“Qantas has had a very long association with Rugby Australia and the Wallabies, and we’ve stuck with each other during difficult times. Unfortunately, this pandemic has been the undoing.”

Qantas said it would continue its association with the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia, and intended to fly the teams to the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Qantas to ground most of its fleet and push it to a $1.9 billion annual loss for the 2019/2020 financial year. The company has stood down 20,000 staff and announced almost 8000 redundancies.

Qantas said it had also ended several of its arts and community sponsorship agreements, but would continue its partnership with the National Gallery of Australia and Museum of Contemporary Art.

Qantas will also cease financial support for the national cricket and soccer teams.Credit:Getty Images

“While it is obviously disappointing to lose such a loyal partner, it is understandable given the world we are all now living in and the challenges we are all facing,” RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said in a statement.

“There aren’t many 30-year partnerships in Australian sport and I want to thank Qantas for everything they have done for our great game. Alan [Joyce] and his team have been transparent and collaborative in their discussions with us and they have now given us the opportunity to prepare for 2021 and beyond.

“While we have all felt the effects of COVID-19, rugby in Australia is entering a very exciting
new chapter.”


Qantas was entangled in the Israel Folau saga last year but stood by RA during the ordeal.

In 2018, Qantas continued its partnership with RA after Folau’s first controversial remark in which he wrote on Instagram that gay people were destined for “hell” unless they repented for their “sins”.

The 73-Test Wallaby doubled down in 2019 by posting a photo on Instagram that said homosexuals, among other groups of people, including drunks and atheists, would go to hell.

RA ended up terminating Folau’s contract, something Qantas boss Alan Joyce said he was “quite happy” about after his organisation had earlier labelled the post “very disappointing”.

“We don’t sponsor something to get involved in controversy. That’s not part of the deal,” Joyce said. “We expect our partners to take the appropriate action.”

RA and Qantas had re-negotiated a new deal until the end of 2021 but sources with knowledge of negotiations say the value had been reduced compared with previous years.

Qantas has sponsored recent international cricket tours, including last year’s Ashes and the just completed limited-overs series in England where the team had the company’s logo emblazoned on the playing strip.

Australia’s next scheduled overseas assignment is the men’s Test tour of South Africa, slated for February and March, but there are doubts as to whether it will go ahead due to that country’s coronavirus numbers and issues with the nation’s cricket board.

CA will continue to fly Qantas this summer, with chartered flights to be needed to transport players around the country in accordance with biosecurity protocols.

“We are incredibly grateful for Qantas’ continued support at this particularly challenging time for the airline industry,” a spokeswoman for CA said.

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