Top-10 draft hopeful “gobsmacked” by “bizarre” Crows question

Tanner Bruhn was left “gobsmacked” when in an interview with the Adelaide Crows recently.

The Geelong Falcons and Vic Country midfielder says he was surprisingly asked a question relating to recently-signed Essendon youngster Jye Caldwell and cricket.

Bruhn, who is being tipped to go in the top 10 in next month’s AFL National Draft, admits it was a bit “bizarre” to answer such a query.

“Adelaide asked me how would I get Jye Caldwell out in cricket,” he said on SEN’s The Sporting Capital.

“Which just come out of nowhere. I was gobsmacked.”

The connection is that Bruhn and Caldwell both attended Geelong Grammar and did play some cricket together.

“I used to play with him. He went to Geelong Grammar and I’m studying there now,” he said of the Caldwell connection.

“But it was just out of the blue, just one of those bizarre ones.”

Bruhn explained how he responded.

“It just came to my mind straight away, I thought this is bloody bizarre,” he added.

“I just said LBW I think. He’s been out LBW a few times so I just threw that one in there.”

And how did the Crows recruiters react?

“They sort of watch you closely just to see how you respond,” he said further.

“I think (to see) if you crumble under the pressure, if you look curious or little things like that, your body language as well.

“They started talking about cricket as well. They really got into it asking, ‘What’s your highest score?’, ‘Off how many balls?’

“I think I’d faced almost 200 balls and they were like, ‘Nice, that’s good, shows you’re patient’.”

As for his exploits on the footy field, Bruhn says he has been keeping close tabs on a certain West Coast midfielder in order to draw inspiration.

“I’ve been watching Luke Shuey the last five or so years,” he said when asked how he plays.

“I’m a West Coast supporter so I’ve been keeping a close eye on him.

“He’s someone I model my game on.”

AFL Media draft guru Cal Twomey has Bruhn ranked at pick 7 on his latest phantom list ahead of the National Draft on December 9.

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AFL clubs in ‘bizarre’ wait on list sizes

Melbourne Demons chief executive Gary Pert says it’s bizarre that clubs are still in the dark about the size of next year’s list size and salary cap, stating there are players’ careers on the line.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the AFL and all 18 clubs to implement drastic cost-cutting measures this year.

The ongoing effect means the salary cap and list sizes are set to be reduced next year, but clubs are still waiting on exact figures from the AFL.

“It does seem a little bit bizarre that we’re all negotiating to build our list for a hypothetical number,” Pert told SEN.

“We’re all trying to manage our finances at the moment because of the pandemic impact on all the clubs.

“Two or three times we’ve been given an indication (on when that information will come) and it hasn’t eventuated.

“I think everyone is putting a lot of pressure on and we’re really hoping it gets articulated soon, because there’s players’ careers on the line.

“They’re waiting to hear that information. It is really critical information for everyone to know.”

Pert is confident the Demons will be successful in snaring Ben Brown, who has already been told by North Melbourne that he is no longer wanted.

The Demons have already said they won’t part with a first-round pick to trade in Brown.

“Whenever you’ve got a player that wants to get there, and the club wants them there, the deal normally gets done,” Pert said.

“We need two key forwards. All of the Melbourne supporters would have seen Sam Weideman battle the whole year.

“He needs another big-bodied player down there every week in combination. I think Ben’s shown he can do that.

“He’ll be an important ingredient for the program, and he’s keen to get there.”

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Thai protests fail to rattle nation’s bizarre IPO boom

BANGKOK — The packaging arm of Thai chemical giant Siam Cement Group debuted on the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Thursday, raising $1.5 billion.

Investor demand drove shares for SCG Packaging toward the high range of its initial public offering price. Shares rose 6.4% at one point to 37.25 baht from the opening. The float marked the bourse’s seventh IPO this year.

The company plans to use the funds for expansion into Southeast Asia

Despite hosting the most IPOs in the region, however, the bourse’s benchmark index is slumping, weighed by political tensions between young protesters and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Stellar IPOs and a falling index may appear to be at odds, but market watchers say they could make good bedfellows.

Thai government’s mishandling of the protests has prompted a second wave of selling this year for Thai stocks, driving the country’s benchmark SET Index to a 6-month low. Performance over the past three months has been the worst among major Asian stock indexes.

Large pro-democracy protests have been held almost daily in Bangkok since Oct. 14. Images of youths surrounding Government House on Oct. 14, blocking traffic on Oct. 15, and fending off water cannon on Oct. 16 were seen around the world.

From the outset of the pro-democracy movement, protesters have demanded the resignation of Prayuth and his cabinet, in addition to constitutional changes drafted by representatives of the people and reform of the monarchy — but not its abolition. Demonstrators are also demanding that the government release detained leaders.

“The benchmark index fell sharply on the trading day after the government dispersed the crowd with water cannons, due to a psychological shock sale that triggered stop-loss moves on the Stock Exchange of Thailand,” said an analyst at Asia Plus Securities.

SET index has dropped 11% to around 1,205 since mid-July when the pro-democracy movement really took off. It is now approaching the lowest level since March, when the coronavirus shook the market.

A drop in share prices reflects the questionable judgment of the government, which has let the situation spiral out of control and spill over into the economy. Prime Minister Prayuth declared a state of severe emergency on Oct. 15, banning assemblies of more than four people and giving authorities massive power to muzzle protesters.

A protester shows a placard with their demands for the government. 

  © Reuters

In an effort to lower attendance at rallies, the police halted some public transportation and asked a number of transit operators to stop servicing key stations. But the demonstrators worked around this, using motorcycle taxis and ride-hailing services to get to rally venues. Others simply walked.

About the only thing the measures accomplished was to hurt businesses such as skytrain operator BTS, whose stock price fell over 10% since Oct. 14.

Demonstrations are now being held sporadically in Bangkok, disrupting traffic around rally venues and forcing nearby businesses like shopping malls to close. The government has been asking people to spend more to help offset the loss of revenue from the lack of foreign tourists, but some people just stay home and save their money for what could be more difficult times ahead.

Prayuth’s revocation on Thursday of the emergency declaration may appear that the government has caved to protester’s demands. But it could also mean a more pragmatic approach for dealing with popular sentiment.

It is still unclear how big of a headwind the protests will create for Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which is already expected to contract 7.8%, due largely to a sharp drop in foreign tourists and weak consumption. The largest contraction in history was 7.2% in 1998 during the Asian financial crisis.

“Protracted political tensions could reduce the credibility and effectiveness of the institutional framework, particularly if they hamper authorities’ ability to effectively execute macroeconomic policy,” Moody’s Investors Service pointed on Wednesday.

In the past three months, major Asian stock indexes have been mixed, according to QUICK-FactSet. Indexes rose in India, South Korea and Japan, but fell in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Among the losers was SET, which fell over 10.5% — far worse than Malaysia at 7% and Singapore at 2.2%.

Thailand has myriad economic issues that require swift action, including reforms targeting an aging population and improving labor skills. It also needs to reduce dependency on external demand, including exports and tourism, both of which are subject to the whims of international markets.

But efforts to address these issues have often been disrupted by bureaucracy, corruption and changes in government. Most recently, a cabinet purge of former economic ministers created uncertainty about economic policy.

Foreign investors have all along doubted the ability of the former junta and current administration to steer the economy. According to data from the Institute of International Finance, nonresident investors have been pulling big money from Thai equity markets since 2018. But the outflow started much earlier and is much larger compared to other emerging markets.

“Foreign investors were buying stocks in China and India,” said Apichat Poobunjirdkul from Tisco Securities. “They also shifted to Thai bonds, which are considered safer assets,” he added.

Individual domestic and institutional investors have been the major buyers of Thai stocks, thanks to excessive liquidity provided by the central bank.

But contrary to underperforming shares, Thailand’s stock market has been leading Southeast Asia’s IPO boom. According to SET,the cumulative value of IPOs reached $3.1 billion in the first nine months of 2020, topping the $2.7 billion recorded through all of 2019.

Post-coronavirus IPOs in Thailand kicked off with medical glove-maker Sri Trang Gloves. Since last year, there has been a clear trend in Thailand for leading conglomerates to list subsidiaries to eke out more growth. Thursday’s listing of SCG Packaging follows this pattern.

“There’s only a small chance for indexes to rise sharply,” said an analyst at KGI Securities. With such scant opportunity from trading or holding shares, investors are looking to profit from companies going public.

“I think it’s a good time for IPOs, as investors are watching out for them,” he said. “Sometimes new stocks can rise quickly and generate more than 50% of return, a return that’s hard to get with already listed stocks.”

Additional reporting by Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat.

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Woman charged after driver stabbed in ‘bizarre’ road rage incident near Adelaide intersection

A woman has been arrested after allegedly getting out of her car near an Adelaide intersection and stabbing another driver in the stomach with a knife, in an incident captured on CCTV.

Police said an altercation broke out between the woman and the 53-year-old Hendon man just after 6:00pm on Tuesday.

The vehicles did not collide, but stopped close to the intersection of Trimmer Parade and Findon Road, at Findon in Adelaide’s north-west, according to police.

At that point, it is alleged, the woman got out of her car and used a knife to stab the man in the stomach as he was sitting in his driver’s seat.

He was taken to Flinders Medical Centre with minor injuries.

“It was just after 6:00pm yesterday, so peak-hour traffic,” Senior Constable Kimberley Broad told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“There was no collision, but once stopped at the intersection, the woman’s actually exited her car and stabbed the man in the stomach with a knife while he was seated in the driver’s seat.”

Police charged the woman, who is aged in her 30s and is from Adelaide’s north-west, with aggravated assault causing harm and granted her bail.

She will face the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on December 17.

Police spoke “to a number of people at the scene at the time” but are asking anyone who witnessed or captured footage of the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

In another incident on Tuesday night, emergency services attended the scene of a car rollover at Prospect.

Police and fire crews were called to Devonport Terrace to find the sedan flipped onto its roof.

The overturned car on Devonport Terrace, Prospect.(ABC News: Steven Love)

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Brownlow Medal 2020: Bizarre bets, weirdest bets placed, suspended players, long odds, Lachie Neale to beat entire team

While many of us are simply Brownlow purists who watch for the fun and excitement of the votes being read, others like to be financially invested on the night.

Some in particularly weird ways.

Here’s a look at some of the more bizarre bets placed on the 2020 Brownlow Medal.

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Preliminary Final

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‘Bizarre’ treatment suggests Donald Trump may be sicker than officials say

White House staff have insisted that Donald Trump is only suffering mild COVID symptoms. But his treatment suggests a different story.

White House doctor Sean P Conley outside the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Image: Pool/ABACA)

This morning Donald Trump took a joy ride around the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to show off how well he was doing in his fight against COVID-19. You’ve got to feel for the aides who rode in the car with him, exposing themselves to the deadly disease.

Officials insist Trump has just mild symptoms, while the president has seemed upbeat in video messages to his supporters. But his treatment tells a different story, experts say. Early evidence shows the experimental drugs Trump has received may benefit only those with severe cases of the virus. 

Trump has received antibody treatment REGN-COV2, remdesivir, oxygen and dexamethasone, along with zinc, vitamin D, an acid reducer, melatonin and a daily aspirin. 

Keep reading about how Trump is being treated for COVID-19?

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Steph Claire Smith’s bikini photo sparks bizarre backlash over masks

Melbourne model and fitness entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith has hit back at the “ridiculous” criticism she‘s received after posted a photo of her wearing a mask at the beach.

Steph, who is co-founder of online fitness program Keep It Cleaner, shared a picture on Instagram from her local beach.

In the caption Steph wrote that she was “incredibly grateful” for the fact she lived close enough to visit the sea.

“Just getting to sit on the beach for an hour without having to ‘exercise’ as an excuse to be there was heavenly,” she wrote.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

But Steph‘s post soon received dozens of comments from people who criticised her decision to wear a mask – despite it being mandatory in Victoria and proven to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Don’t understand the mask out in the open fresh air??” one person wrote, while another added: ”Seriously wearing a mask in open air at the beach?”

“Take off the mask! Just because the government makes something law doesn’t make it right,” another commented read.

“It’s clearly not about health when you have to wear a mask even when outside/not in a crowded place.”

But Steph‘s other followers defended her decision to wear a mask and slammed the “ridiculous” comments from people who claimed it wasn’t needed.

“It was a cracking weekend here in Melbourne and the beach was probably pretty packed with other people enjoying some vitamin D … just because she’s alone in the picture doesn’t mean she was alone on an entire beach,” one follower argued.

Steph also addressed the controversy over her picture on her Instagram story, writing that she had “just wanted a photo at the beach” and was ”not going to argue” about the points raised in the comments.

“To all the people questioning me wearing a mask or thinking it’s ridiculous — here in Melbourne we have to wear one anytime we’re outside of the house,” she said.

Steph said she was “absolutely not getting paid to wear a mask and promote it”, as some had accused her of doing.

“I just wanted a photo at the beach … and didn‘t want to bend the rules or promote breaking the law by not wearing a mask,” she wrote.

Melbourne took the first step towards moving out of its harsh lockdown on September 13, with residents now allowed to leave their home for two hours a day for exercise or socialising outdoors with one other person or your household.

The city curfew has also been reduced by one hour to 9pm to 5am.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is facing increased pressure to accelerate the state‘s plan out of lockdown after falling numbers, with just 11 new coronavirus cases recorded on Monday.

Melbourne is not expected to be freed from harsh lockdown measures until October 26, according to the State Government’s strict COVID-19 recovery road map.

Mr Andrews hinted at the possibility of relaxing that date at Sunday’s press conference.

“We will always be guided by those three things: the evidence and the science, the data and what is deemed safe,” the Premier said.

“We are on schedule. We may even be a bit ahead of schedule, but we’ve got to keep going.”

– With NCA NewsWire

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Man sentenced for role in bizarre Grindr robbery

A KINGSCLIFF man has been sentenced for his role in covering up a Grindr date which police claim turned into a bizarre home invasion.

Thomas Alfred Grover, 29, appeared by videolink from Kempsey Correctional Centre to plead guilty to concealing a serious indictable offence in Tweed Heads Local Court on September 7.

Co-accused Stewart John Saunders and Jason Mark James have both been charged with robbery in company for the same incident. They continue to defend the charges.

According to police allegations contained in court documents, a 69-year-old man was contacted by a profile called ‘Hungry’ on the Grindr dating app while staying at his Casuarina unit between 8-9pm on February 12.

The pair agreed to meet up and the other user said it might take a while to get there as the roads were flooded.

It is alleged about 2.30am on February 13, the man went downstairs to open the door for the man, co-accused Mr James, and the two had consensual oral sex.

Police said the man went to have a shower while Mr James went to the balcony to make a phone call in hushed tones and then went downstairs to open the door for Mr Saunders.

It is alleged after a struggle, Mr Saunders hit the man on the head with a spanner and demanded money before taking his wallet, documents in a black folder, laptop, iPhone and keys.

Police allege the two men ran away as Mr Saunders yelled “you interfered with my brother Aaron”.

After Mr James was arrested, police claim the victim’s keys were found in a roof cavity in the main bedroom of his home.

Mr James allegedly denied knowledge of them and said his friend must have put them there.

Police claim security footage showed two men entering the side entrance of the victim’s unit complex at Cotton Beach at 3.19am.

It is alleged the first man is Mr Saunders and the second was Grover.

A review of Mr James’ phone allegedly showed he had texted Grover and Mr Saunders the victim’s house number.

During a search of Grover’s address, police say the alleged victim’s wallet and black document folder were found in the bathroom.

Defence solicitor Ms Anderson said her client had been sentenced in May to imprisonment for other separate matters committed in January and would have been eligible for parole in August.

She said given the previous matter and this offence occurred within a month of each other it indicated a “pattern of criminality” as at the time “he was under the influence of methylamphetamine”.

She said he had battled the drug addiction for years and had completed an addictions course while in custody.

Ms Anderson said he plans to live with his parents, help them with their health problems as well as work on his own issues and re-enter the workforce.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy accepted that Grover was not involved in the robbery itself but once he was aware of it, assisted in concealing the offence.

Mr Dunlevy said he took into account the man was on a Community Corrections Order and subject to parole at the time of the crime.

Grover was convicted and sentenced to eight months in jail to commence from August 13 with a non-parole period of one month.

He was released on parole on September 12.

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Braith Anasta blows up over bizarre Tigers-Roosters captain’s challenge calls

The Sydney Roosters have opened up a 20-0 lead at halftime over the Wests Tigers but two controversial captain’s challenges have dominated the discussions of the first half.

The Roosters withstood a good start from the Tigers. But despite the huge injury toll when the Roosters get on a roll, they are almost unstoppable.

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Three tries in the opening 20 minutes set the defending champions on a path to victory but two captain’s challenges have continued to bring the rule under scrutiny.

The rule has been contentious at best this year in its first season in the rule book but more baffling bunker decisions have left fans and commentators stunned.

While they aren’t the first this season or this round, former NRL star Braith Anasta was left baffled by the decisions.

In the 22nd minute, the Roosters appealed a knock on from a chip over the top with it appearing as though Tigers fullback Adam Doueihi knocked it back into the hand of Joseph Manu

Fox League commentator Anasta said “Doueihi has definitely knocked it back”.

The commentators said it was Ashley Klein, who was in the box as the senior review official with video ref Ben Lowe, somehow coming up with the call of a double knock on, with the Roosters getting the ball back 10m out from their own line.

Anasta was stunned with Dan Ginnane adding “How can you argue that Doueihi lost that forward?”

“We’ve had some curious ones this weekend with captain’s challenges,” Ginnane added.

Anasta added: “I don’t know how they got that one.”

Bizarrely, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

The Rooster knocked on on the first tackle after the restart, but after the Tigers earned a penalty, a sloppy play led to another captain’s challenge just two minutes after the first.

An attempted run around from Benji Marshall saw the ball go to ground with the veteran racing to clean up before Manu made a tackle with the ball going to ground.

The Tigers’ Russell Packer picked up the ball with the referee ruling him off-side.

Anasta immediately called for the Tigers to review and said Manu had knocked it back.

But the ruling came back “Joseph Manu is making a tackle, the ball is lost forward by Benji Marshall”.

Anasta was again stunned.

“Am … am ….am I watching the same game?” he said. “He directly knocks it out. I can’t believe that.

“Is that horribly unlucky or a bad call? It was clean knocked out of his hands.”

Anasta wasn’t the only one baffled by the decision.

Former Sri Lankan cricketer Russel Arnold took particularly pointed aim, tweeting: “Buls*** calls in favour of Roosters as usual

It’s not like it would have changed the game as the Tigers put in a limp performance in the first half.

The Tigers fans even sent a chorus of boos at halftime.

The Roosters soon scored again through Brett Morris, with he and his twin Josh combining for three between them.

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