Councillors face conflict claim on campaign trail

ELECTED members running for state or federal parliament should be required to take a leave of absence from their council role while campaigning, says the head of the state’s local government association.

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Western Bulldogs defeat Richmond by 13 points to end 2021 AFLW campaign

The Western Bulldogs have finished their 2021 AFLW campaign on a positive note with a 13-point victory over Richmond in their final-round clash at Whitten Oval.

After opening up a three-goal lead at half-time, the Bulldogs were tormented by their former captain Katie Brennan, who kicked two of her three goals for the Tigers in the third quarter to trim the deficit to just four points.

But despite being held goalless in the third term, the Bulldogs reasserted themselves in the final stanza, booting two of the last three goals to seal the deal.

Making the 7.3 (45) to 5.2 (32) result even sweeter for the hosts was that it came against Brennan and star midfielder Monique Conti who were both playing their old side for the first time.

Kirsty Lamb was the Bulldogs’ best player with 23 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances and a goal, while Elisabeth Georgostathis (10 touches) did a magnificent tagging job on the usually prolific Conti (12).

Brooke Lochland (23 and a goal) and Ellie Blackburn (20) were also instrumental to the victory.

Brennan (14 disposals) stood out for the Tigers, and she was well supported by Harriet Cordner, who who shut down star Bulldogs forward Izzy Huntington.

The Bulldogs, who were out of finals contention heading into the match, made the most of the strong breeze in the first quarter, doubling the Tigers for inside 50s (10-5) and tripling them for marks inside 50 (6-2), to kick four of the first five goals.

Two of those were booted by Kirsten McLeod, one of them a magnificent running effort from 52 metres out after taking the intercept mark on the wing and taking two bounces.

Kicking into the wind in the second term, the Bulldogs set up cleverly defensively, making it hard for Richmond to get it out of its backline, and not even a mark-of-the-year contender from Ellie McKenzie over Lochland could inspire the Tigers to cut the three-goal deficit by half-time.

The Tigers dominated the third period but despite Brennan’s best efforts in the second half, she was not able to drag her side over the line as the Bulldogs held firm.


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50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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Rennie begins campaign to bring Wallabies big guns home from overseas

Rennie hopes more players will follow the towering lock’s lead.

“There’s been criticism of Izack and that he left based on money. I don’t think that was ever the case,” Rennie said. “He’s coming back for a fraction of what he was on. That shows he’s desperate to be a Wallaby. And he’s willing to take a big pay cut.

“But he’s going to have to earn it. I think it just highlights what the Wallaby jersey means to him.”

The Waratahs’ woeful start to the season has made earning a Wallabies jersey a tough task for NSW players.

Will Harrison, James Ramm, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Tom Horton and Jack Maddocks are just a few of the players that will be sweating on being included in Rennie’s 40-man Wallabies train on squad, which will be revealed on Sunday.

But Rennie isn’t disheartened. The Wallabies coach has liked what he’s seen at Daceyville this week.

“We’re going to pick on what we see. It’s not always about results,” Rennie said. “It’s a challenge. Some guys are playing really well and are putting pressure on us to pick them in this group.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie at Daceyville on Thursday.Credit:Kate Geraghty

“But we’re going to pick 40 guys. It’s not concrete. There are a few spots where we want to see what plays out in the next three months and [the camp] is the chance to gather these guys in and learn more about them.

“There’s no doubt it’s tough for some guys to shine when the team isn’t going so well but I genuinely believe based on what I saw this week, there will be positive change. Hopefully this week.

“But it’s not an easy side to turn it around against. No one else has beaten [the Reds].”


The Wallabies will spend the majority of their three day Sanctuary Cove camp taking care of logistics – uniform fittings, photo shoots and other commercial arrangements – but will do some training.

Taking care of the off-field commitments next month will allow Rennie to immediately dive into the areas that let the Wallabies down last year ahead of the July Test series against France.

“There are a number of things we need to improve,” he said. “The quality of our skill set. The quality of our work in contact. We need to tackle better. Our footwork in contact and winning races to create quicker ball. And then a lot of work ethic stuff.

“Getting back on our feet and back into position quicker. We need to work harder to get back into position, whether that’s with or without the ball. So we can stretch the opposition.

“They’re things we were well aware of during the period (last season) and areas we need to grow and get better.

“I’ve certainly seen more emphasis around the country on that in Super Rugby and we’re certainly seeing change.”

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New Queensland tourism campaign assuages border fears

An “aggressive” domestic advertising campaign will be launched in Sydney and Melbourne on Sunday night to lure tourists back to Queensland after a year of controversial border closures.

The tourism campaign, announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this month, plays off the state’s success at managing the COVID-19 pandemic and its “gold standard health practices”.

“There are no apologies for stressing that fact down south – it’s another big lure,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Travel confidence has been decimated after a series of snap closures during the summer holidays, with many Australians still apprehensive about crossing state borders.

Queensland Small Business Minister Di Farmer said a “key component” of the campaign was to assure Sydney and Melbourne tourists they could get refunds on their bookings if borders were closed again.


“I know people have been hit in the past, but I think this campaign makes it really clear that there are flexible booking conditions and that tourism operators are COVID-safe,” she said.

“We are going straight to that issue of COVID safety and the issue of confidence in travel bookings.

“We are saying to people, ‘Queensland is fantastic, if you have any worries, don’t worry because Queensland is good to go’.”

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Hollywood Backs Campaign to Drop Charges Against Pussy Riot

A group of high-profile Hollywood celebrities has signed a letter calling on the Russian government to halt the prosecution of punk protest group Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina and Ludmila Shtein, entertainment news site Deadline reported on Tuesday. 

The activists face up to two years in prison for Instagram posts demanding the release of political prisoners following the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. 

“These baseless charges are part of the Russian government’s campaign to silence activists and discourage people from further protests stirred by corruption and the unfair and politically motivated imprisonment of Aleksei Navalny,” said the letter, written by Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova, who herself spent almost two years in jail on “hooliganism” charges.

The letter was signed by actors and film directors including Martin Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Spike Jonze, Marina Abramovic, Mike Farrell and Mia Farrow. 

“The international community of artists and human rights advocates around the world will continue to monitor their situation and press your government until you withdraw their cases,” the letter concluded.

In 2012, pop queen Madonna spoke out in support of Pussy Riot when members, including Tolokonnikova, were on trial for a provocative anti-Putin performance in one of Moscow’s main cathedrals.  

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Labor, Libs take campaign to Peel

Peel Health Campus, TAFE courses, and the balance of power in parliament were key issues on the election campaign trail today.

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Obama said Buttigieg can’t become president because he’s ‘GAY’ and ‘SHORT,’ new book on 2020 campaign reveals — RT USA News

Former President Barack Obama sized up the top Democrat 2020 presidential contenders and concluded that Pete Buttigieg couldn’t win because of his sexual orientation, shortness and youth, according to a new book on the race.

“He’s 38, but he looks 30,” Obama told a group of wealthy black political donors in New York in October 2019, two mainstream journalists wrote in a book on how President Joe Biden won the election.

He’s the mayor of a small town. He’s gay, and he’s short.

Obama gave his brutal assessment of Buttigieg months after meeting with the then-mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to offer advice on how to cope with homophobia on the campaign trail, authors Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen wrote in their book, “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency.”

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According to the book, Obama’s impromptu comments at the meeting focused primarily on Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), arguing that she had what it took to win and met his criteria to be considered a viable president. Warren had satisfactory answers to his three-question litmus test: “Why you?” “Why now?” and “Is your family behind you.” He essentially endorsed Warren without officially endorsing her.

As for the other candidates, Obama acknowledged that he knew then-Senator Kamala Harris, but he offered no opinions about the woman who later became Biden’s vice-presidential running mate. Obama said even less about his own vice president, Biden.

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Biden boosters’ bid to erase first ‘out’ gay cabinet member Grenell in favor of Buttigieg is a sweeping revisionist fantasy

When reminded by one of the donors that he hadn’t mentioned Biden, Obama offered nothing. “His silence spoke for him,” the book said. The 528-page tome was released on Tuesday, but Obama’s comment on Buttigieg has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, other than the authors themselves.

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Temporary clinics and a campaign blitz form phase 1b of the NT’s coronavirus vaccine rollout

One year and one day after its first case of coronavirus was diagnosed, the Northern Territory has released more details about the next phase of the ambitious vaccine rollout.

Phase 1b will immunise elderly adults, Indigenous Australians aged 55 and over, some adults with medical conditions and critical or high-risk workers not vaccinated in phase 1a.

The first shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will play a significant role in the next phase, is due to touch down in the NT next week.

And we now have a date for when phase 1b will begin in the NT — March 22.

Here’s what else we learned.

Who will deliver the jab?

The second phase of the rollout will expand on phase 1a — which took place at a small number of vaccine hubs — to include 25 GP clinics and 13 Aboriginal community-controlled health centres across the NT.

Speaking at a press conference today, Chief Minister Michael Gunner said 10 of those GP clinics would soon receive 1,600 doses of the vaccine and begin administering them from March 22.

“These clinics are based in Alice Springs, Darwin and the Darwin rural area,” Mr Gunner said.

“There’ll be a gradual increase and by week four of phase 1b, the NT will receive 6,190 doses per week.”

GP and Aboriginal health clinics will take part in the vaccine rollout within weeks.(

AP: Frank Augstein/Pool


What’s this about temporary clinics?

Mr Gunner also revealed that there are currently no Commonwealth-eligible GP providers in three of the NT’s major population centres: Tennant Creek, Katherine and Nhulunbuy.

Instead, he said the NT government would establish temporary vaccination clinics in those three areas “within weeks”.

He said that would ensure the rollout stays on-track.

What will happen in remote communities?

Vaccinating the NT’s numerous remote Indigenous communities against coronavirus has repeatedly been flagged as one of the most challenging aspects of the rollout — especially given mobile populations and the cold storage requirements of the Pfizer vaccine.

The NT government and Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Centres will share the mammoth job.

But Mr Gunner said it won’t necessarily begin on March 22 — instead, he said teams will arrive in those communities on that date and stay there until the job is done.

“This will be extremely complex in some respects, but we also think the tightknit nature of many of these communities will work to our advantage and help us to achieve excellent take-up and outcomes,” he said.

The majority of the remote Indigenous population — like the majority of the general NT population — will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, which can be stored at between two and eight degrees.

How will I know when it’s time to get the jab?

The entire phase 1b effort will also be accompanied by a large advertising and education campaign, including some in Indigenous languages.

The NT government said that campaign would begin within a fortnight.

It will roll out to television, print and online and social media, and will also confirm how appointments for eligible people to get the vaccine can be made.

Wait a minute. What happened to the first phase?

Mr Gunner said phase 1a is continuing on schedule, with 2,200 Territorians vaccinated in the first two weeks.

He said that the NT had delivered 3.4 per cent of the vaccinations delivered nationally so far — despite having just 1 per cent of the nation’s population.

“This is how we save lives and how we open up Australia to the rest of the world. This vaccine program is crucial,” Mr Gunner said.

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New ad campaign to rock Uluru’s image

Fettered by border shutdowns and the lack of direct flights to the red centre, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, which operates five hotels and resorts plus a 440-site camping ground in the shadow of Uluru, has launched its first major advertising promotion in a decade.

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