Cricket Victoria celebrates 2020-21 Premier Cricket Awards winners


Richmond batter/wicketkeeper Scott Edwards and Melbourne all-rounder Rhiann O’Donnell have won the Jack Ryder Medal and Una Paisley Medal respectively at this evening’s Premier Cricket Awards at the CitiPower Centre.

Cricket Victoria celebrates 2020-21 Premier Cricket Awards winners

Richmond batter/wicketkeeper Scott Edwards and Melbourne all-rounder Rhiann O’Donnell have won the Jack Ryder Medal and Una Paisley Medal respectively at this evening’s Premier Cricket Awards at the CitiPower Centre.

O’Donnell polled 33 votes, finishing two clear of Box Hill’s Zoe Griffiths on 31 votes. Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies’ Elyse Villani finished on 20 votes in third place.

For O’Donnell, the season saw her make 488 runs and take 25 wickets for the Demons. She becomes the third Melbourne player in five years to win the Una Paisley Medal.

The win is all the more special for O’Donnell who is based in Mildura and commuted to Melbourne for club commitments on a weekly basis. O’Donnell made her Victorian debut during the 2018-19 season and has played WBBL for both the Renegades and the Hurricanes.

In winning tonight’s count, Edwards become the first Richmond player since England international Paul Collingwood MBE won the Ryder Medal in a tie with Ringwood’s Darren Dempsey in 2001. Edwards is only the second Tiger to win the medal since the Ryder Medal’s introduction in 1973.

For Ryder Medalist Edwards, 2020-21 was a career-best season. The Tonga-born gloveman polled 37 votes, finishing two votes clear of Carlton’s Evan Gulbis on 35 while Prahran’s Damon Egan finished third on 34 votes.

Edwards, who has represented the Netherlands in international cricket on numerous occasions, scored 637 runs for the season, averaging 45.5. Those runs had him seventh on the list of top run scorers and he completed 22 dismissals behind the stumps.

2020-21 Jack Ryder Medallist

Scott Edwards (Richmond)

2020-21 Una Paisley Medallist

Rhiann O’Donnell (Melbourne)

2020-21 Women’s Premier Cricket Awards

Women’s Premier Firsts Best First Season Player

Isabel White (Box Hill)

Women’s Premier Seconds Player of the Season (Sue Woolcock Award)

Hasrat Gill (Melbourne)

Women’s Premier Thirds Player of the Season

Teagan French (Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies)

Kookaburra Women’s Premier Team of the Season

Teagan Parker (C) (WK) – Melbourne

Tiana Atkinson – Dandenong

Makinley Blows – Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies

Bhavisha Devchand – Ringwood

Kim Garth – Dandenong

Zoe Griffiths – Box Hill

Olivia Henry – Ringwood

Anna O’Donnell – Melbourne

Rhiann O’Donnell – Melbourne

Natalie Schilov – Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies

Laura Shaw – Ringwood

Ellen Williams – Prahran

2020-21 Men’s Premier Cricket Awards

Men’s Premier Seconds Player of the Season

Jack Wrigglesworth (Geelong)

Men’s Premier Thirds Player of the Season

Jacob Hind and Jordan Hesline (Tied) (Richmond)

Men’s Premier Fourths Player of the Season

Oscar Gordon (Essendon)

Kookaburra Men’s Premier Team of the Season

Eamonn Vines (C) – Geelong

Scott Edwards (WK) – Richmond

Damon Egan – Prahran

Evan Gulbis – Carlton

Fergus O’Neill – Melbourne

Eddy O’Sullivan – Carlton

James Nanopoulos – Dandenong

Thomas Rogers – Ringwood

James Seymour – Essendon

Henry Thornton – St Kilda

Matt Wilcox – Prahran

Kyle Williamson – Melbourne

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Cairns and Far North Environment Centre celebrates four decades of activism


Lucy Graham spent her childhood in the lush Daintree Rainforest as her parents campaigned for recognition of its environmental significance and the impacts of its degradation.

For 10 years, she enjoyed her true passion of outdoor education, taking students into the natural environment to help them “fall in love with it”.

As consequences of human impact became more and more apparent on these trips, so did her path back to the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) co-founded by her mother Rosemary Hill.

“As I was guiding, more and more, I would see the impact of the changes in our world, whether it was development or the climate, or just the litter in places we were visiting,” Ms Graham says.

“I was teaching students how to love the environment but not guaranteeing it was part of their future.

“That was a bit hard and I couldn’t really reconcile it,” she says.

The calling was too great.

She enrolled at James Cook University to study a Bachelor of Sustainability, majoring in social science to better equip herself to tackle the environmental challenges ahead. 

Dr Hill, who started advocating about climate change in the 1980s, says many of the environmental issues she highlighted decades ago remain concerns for today’s younger generation.

In 1979, she and a group of friends passionate about sustainable living bought a property in the Daintree Rainforest with a vision to grow their own food and form a community.

Before long, the bulldozers arrived on their doorsteps to clear rainforest for roads and development.

“You could look around and see that what we were doing as a society was not sustainable,” Dr Hill says.

During this time, the world was beginning to recognise its most valuable cultural and environmental environments and protecting them under World Heritage listings.

“Cairns was holding the World Wilderness Congress here in 1980,” Dr Hill reminisces.

“It was quite controversial because the idea of wilderness versus home for Aboriginal people and there was also mining industry funding for the conference.

“The Aboriginal leaders in Cairns ran a Development Without Destruction Conference over the road from the World Wilderness Congress and we had a little meeting at that to talk about forming an environment centre.”

In March 1981, CAFNEC officially started with Dr Hill as the founding vice president.

“We did have some successes which was exciting,” she says.

The Daintree Rainforest received World Heritage listing and the Daintree Rescue Package was created.

“There were two rounds of that where the government invested in buying back land … removing development rights from some land,” Dr Hill says.

In 1988, the CAFNEC hosted a conference on climate change in Cairns called Greenhouse 88.

“I was at a meeting at the Wet Tropics Management Authority a few years ago and they were talking about the World Heritage area being threatened by climate change and how this wasn’t really properly addressed,” Dr Hill says.

“One of the government public servants said, ‘Oh well, no-one thought about climate change in 1988’.

Nowadays Dr Hill has a volunteer position with CAFNEC after her daughter, who was on the Queensland Conservation Council, stepped into the group’s director role.

Ms Graham says the group’s members, many of whom are founding members, are like family friends.

CAFNEC has 4,000 supporters, 200 members, 150 volunteers and five employed staff.

“I grew up on a property where we were planting a lot of fine timbers to show that you didn’t have to log old-growth forests,” Ms Graham says.

“We had a lot of restoration planting and mum and dad had the first rainforest nursery in the region on our property and we would sell a lot of seedlings to people doing restoration projects.”

Advocating to stop the Aquis Casino development in Yorkey’s Knob, pushing for the Sustainable Ports Bill and helping to reinstate vegetation management laws in Queensland and the Mangrove Watch program are just some of the work Ms Graham is proud to have played a role in.

“We’re seeing more and more commitment to policy on climate change on a local level here from our local government,” she said.

It’s a sentiment echoed by the group’s previous coordinator, now volunteer, long-term member John Rainbird.

“There is still massive clearing of remnant forest in Australia. We’ve got one of the worst rates of forest clearing anywhere in the world which is really embarrassing and shocking basically and untenable,” Mr Rainbird says.

“This is critical infrastructure … ecological infrastructure that underpins our whole identity and economy and wellbeing as a society and we’ve got to start viewing it in those terms.”

“I’ve never come across a group of people so driven [as CAFNEC], so passionate, so hard working or so selfless in trying to do something good.”

All three environmentalist say climate change remains the biggest and most eminent issue facing us today.

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Horsham Indigenous family violence service celebrates, with $9 million in state budget for refuge


Hugs and tears greeted news today that more than $9 million has been allocated in next week’s state budget for a family violence refuge dedicated to Indigenous people in Horsham.

The centre will house up to six families at a time so they can recover from abusive relationships and access administrative support on-site.

This removes the need for families to travel beyond the region for crisis accommodation, which is currently the only option.

Wotjobaluk elder and Aunty Pam Branson works in family services at Horsham’s Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-Operative.

She often leaves her door open well after closing time so that Indigenous women can talk safely about their domestic struggles.

Aunty Pam hopes the new service will help the next generation stay out of the justice system and out-of-home care.

“We also have over 400 children across the Grampians, Warrnambool and Mildura areas in out-of-home care, (as a result of) family violence or mental health.

“What does that say about what the parents are going through without much support?”

A young Indigenous woman, who can’t be named, had been with her partner for 10 years.

By the time she came to see Wotjobaluk woman Jo Clark, her partner was using physical, financial and mental abuse against her.

Ms Clark, who is Grampians co-chair of the statewide Dhelk Dja Aboriginal Family Violence Service, knew she had to get the woman and her children out of the Wimmera to help her.

She wished she didn’t, but there was no other way.

It meant the young woman had to leave her family network and connection to country to start a new life.

“We sent her to Melbourne, and she had never been in the city before,” Ms Clark said. 

“She struggled being away from family, and she refused to see any services because she didn’t know them — there was no trust.

“Her children had a stable life (in Melbourne), but she had to uproot them from school to get them there.”

Today’s announcement means that eventually there will be another way.

While it is too late for the accommodation to help the young mother, Ms Clark said she was now “kicking goals” and back in the region.

“She was away for three months and was too scared of staying and she and her children losing their cultural identity and sense of belonging,” she said.

Ms Clark said the woman took it upon herself — with the help of the family violence service and another agency — to start coming back to the community.

“She’s got her self-wellbeing back on track and got connection back to her people. Her kids are doing well at school.”

Victoria’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams said the location for the site had not yet been decided. 

However Goolum Goolum chief executive Tony Clark said he hoped the building would be completed in 12 to 18 months.

Crisis accommodation is not the only service Indigenous residents must travel for hours to access. So what is next on Mr Clark’s wish list?

“How long have you got?” he said.

“For us it’s one of the first major announcements of this type in our community, so there is a lot of things that could come off the back of this.”

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City celebrates local swimmers’ national achievements


The City is celebrating the incredible achievements of
Geelong Swimming Club athlete Hayley Mackinder and her peers, following stellar
performances at the 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships.

Competing recently in the Gold Coast, Hayley rewrote the
record books by breaking a 26-year-old Australian Age Record in the heats for
the Women’s 13-years 100m breaststroke.

Hayley’s time came in at 1:11.66, with the previous record
of 1:12.10 set in 1995 by World Short Course champion Kirsty Ellem.

To top off a great start to the championships, Hayley went
on to win gold in the 100m breaststroke while also qualifying for the Olympic trials in June this year. 

Fellow club athlete, Matilda Byrnes won bronze in the
Women’s 13-years 100m butterfly, the club’s first medal in this category for 18
years, and 100m backstroke. Madison Cooper made finals in the Women’s 16-years
200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, also qualifying Madison for the upcoming
Olympic trials.

Dylan Logan competed in the Australian Age and Open
Multiclass Nationals and won gold in the Men’s 17/18-years 100m backstroke and
silver in the 50m freestyle and Men’s open 50m butterfly. Congratulations are
also in order for finals achievements by Romy Heard, Joshua Wilkinson, Brooke
Briscoe, Sarah Steinman, James Logan and Lachlan Dosser.

Hayley Mackinder expressed her gratitude for the win and her
incredible support network.

It felt pretty
incredible to break the record and I actually didn’t realise I had until after
the race.

I went out harder
in the final and did a PB for my first 50m, so I was pretty happy. I think I am
just relieved that I put together a good race and was able to back it up in the
final and get the gold – so I’m really happy.

I’m so lucky to have
the best coaches Sam and Lucky and the fact that they have always believed in
me. I also couldn’t do it without my parents and my sister – it is a big
commitment from my whole family. My club mates are the best, we were by far the
loudest cheering club there!

As Geelong Swimming Club swimmers, Hayley, Matilda, Madison
and Dylan all train at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre, often in the 50-metre FINA
pool, with nine training sessions taking place each week.

The City has a long-standing relationship with the Geelong
Swimming Club, which has based itself at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre since
1970, prior to the amalgamation of Council and when the facility was then known
as the Geelong & District
Memorial Swimming Centre.

Among many disruptions and closures of facilities last year
due to COVID-19 restrictions, Council allocated $300,000 to open the South
Geelong facility for an extended period during the 2020 ‘off season’ for the
Greater Geelong community.

Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan said Hayley and her peers
should be extremely proud of their efforts.

It’s incredible to see Geelong represented so strongly on
the national stage, and that’s testament to Hayley and her peers’ athleticism,
dedication and the elite training and support they receive with the Geelong
Swimming Club.

Council was happy to see its decision of extending the
opening of the Kardinia Aquatic Centre last year make a difference to this
passionate group of swimmers, giving them more opportunity to continue training
during winter.

Congratulations to Hayley on her record-breaking swim,
gold medal and for qualifying for the Olympic trials which take place in the
coming months.  

The Geelong Swimming Club athletes are supported and trained
by an expert coaching team made up of former Australian Dolphin Sam Ashby as
Head Coach and Lucky Weerakkody, who was this year awarded the prestigious
Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association coaching ring for his
selection as a coach on an Australian Swimming team.

Geelong Swimming Club President Glenn Benson thanked the
City.

Thank you to the City of Greater Geelong for keeping the
Kardinia Aquatic Centre open during winter last year and adapting to COVID-19
restrictions, their commitment to the sport of swimming has allowed the Geelong
Swimming Club to achieve extraordinary results during the 2020-21 season.

At the Geelong Swimming Club we are changing the landscape
of swimming, not only in Geelong, but also the state of Victoria.

Further information on the Geelong Swimming Club can be
found at www.geelongswimmingclub.com.au.

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Men’s Health Network Celebrates National Women’s Health Week – Talking About Men’s Health™


National Women’s Health Week, which serves as a reminder for women and girls to make their health a priority, takes place from May 9-15 this year. It is important for all women and girls, especially during the outbreak of COVID-19, to continually take care of themselves and each other.

Starting off the week with Mother’s Day provides the chance for many to remember everything that mothers and maternal figures do for us, from their motherly comfort to their life lessons to their unconditional love. Women are an integral aspect of everyone’s lives, as they’re the ones who remind us to brush our teeth, eat a well-balanced meal, get outside, and express our feelings. All women, whether they are mothers, wives, sisters, or friends, remind us to take care of ourselves, and it’s important that they do the same for themselves.

Men’s Health Network supports the observance of National Women’s Health Week because men value the physical and emotional wellbeing of the many women and girls in their lives. Additionally, women encourage their male counterparts to take care of their mental and physical health. For these reasons, MHN offers a variety of resources targeted to women so that they can better understand and respond to men’s health issues. These sources can be found on the MHN website at http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/women.htm

Led by the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), National Women’s Health Week encourages women and girls to pay close attention to their physical and mental health and take steps to improve it. To be your healthiest self, you can:

Continue to protect yourself from COVID-19 by wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, watching your distance (stay 6 feet apart), washing your hands often, and getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.

When the COVID-19 vaccine is available to you, schedule your appointment and talk to your friends and family about the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

• To learn more about the COVID vaccine, how to prepare for your vaccine appointment and what to expect, visit: https://go.usa.gov/xHRDu

• You can find locations to receive the vaccine here: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/

Talk to your doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, and/or physician assistant:

• about the COVID-19 vaccine and any vaccines that you may have missed during the pandemic;

• about preventive care such as PAP smears, mammograms, bone density scans, stress tests, cholesterol screenings, blood pressure screenings, physical exams, and other preventive health screenings that you may have missed during the pandemic;

• if stress, anxiety, or depression is getting in the way of your daily activities; or • if you have a health condition, such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, to develop or maintain a plan to keep it under control.

• if your child has missed any recommended check-ups or vaccinations during COVID-19. COVID-19 has caused many disruptions in families’ lives – and in some cases, it has meant that children have missed or delayed their wellness checkups and vaccination, which are a critical part of ensuring children stay healthy. Talk to your child’s doctor to make sure they are on track with routinely recommended vaccinations. If they have missed any vaccinations due to COVID-19, work with your child’s doctor to develop a plan to get caught up.

Maintain a healthy weight

• Healthy weight is different for everyone but it’s important to know what a healthy weight is for you. Talk to your health provider about what a healthy weight is for you.

• Set realistic goals. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your health goals and ways to achieve them.

Get and stay active

• Spend time outdoors in the sunshine and be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day.

• Incorporate exercises that build and strengthen your muscles. This is important if you experienced reduced movement or physical activity or if you were hospitalized during the pandemic. All of these may contribute to muscle loss.

• You can get great ideas to get active and create a weekly activity planner through Move Your Way.

• If you are pregnant, there are ways that you can exercise safely but it is important to talk to your doctor before starting or changing your physical activity.

• There is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to physical activity. Find a routine to fit your needs based on your age, stage of life, and abilities.

Eat well-balanced meals and snacks

• Heart-healthy eating involves choosing certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, while limiting others, such as saturated and trans fats and added sugars.

• It’s important to ensure you are getting enough vitamins in your diet, like vitamin D. Good dietary sources of Vitamin D include fortified foods such as milk, yogurt, orange juice, and cereals; oily fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, canned tuna, and sardines; and eggs. Calcium is an important nutrient for your bone health across the lifespan.

Take care of your mental health

• Stay connected with family and friends.

• Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations.

• Make time to unwind and focus on activities you enjoy.

• Pay attention to changes in your mood

• If you or anyone you know is experiencing changes in thinking, mood, behavior, and/or thoughts of selfharm, reach out for help:

• SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357) • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence

• National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24/7 confidential service that supports victims and survivors of domestic violence. The hotline can be reached:

• By phone: 1-800-799-7233(SAFE)

• By text: Text LOVEIS to 22522

• Online chat: https://www.thehotline.org and select “Chat Now”

• Highly trained, experienced advocates offer support, crisis intervention information, educational services and referral services in more than 200 languages. The website provides information about domestic violence, online instructional materials, safety planning, and local resources.

Find healthy ways to manage stress.

• As a caregiver, taking care of yourself and getting the help you need are important. Taking care includes maintaining healthy behaviors, managing stress, and seeking extra support, especially during COVID-19.

Practice good sleep habits to improve your mental and physical health and boost your immune system:

• Follow a routine for going to sleep – be consistent going to bed and getting up – even on weekends.

• Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep.

Monitor alcohol intake and avoid illicit drugs, including drugs that are not prescribed to you.

Look out for your lungs

• Quit smoking and vaping.

• Smoking weakens your lungs and puts you at a much higher risk of having serious health complications, especially if you have COVID-19

We know that when it comes to taking steps for better health, it’s not always easy, especially during the current pandemic. Take time this National Women’s Health Week to pause and reflect on your physical and mental health. Ask yourself where you are on your health journey and where you want to go to stay healthy during and after the pandemic. Whether you’re focused on getting outside for regular physical activity, eating healthier, or managing your stress, OWH has tips and resources to help you along the way! For ideas and tips to help you improve your health in a way that works for you, visit www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw. Start working toward your health goals — and share your progress with us using #NWHW and #OWH30.

For more information about National Women’s Health Week, visit www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw and follow the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Go to https://www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw/tools for additional social media toolkits and factsheets.

Image source: Pexels.com



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Motor racing-Ecstatic Hamilton celebrates his 100th pole in Spain



Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton reacts after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Emilio Morenatti

May 10, 2021

By Alan Baldwin

(Reuters) -Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton became the first Formula One driver to take 100 pole positions after lapping fastest for Mercedes in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

The 36-year-old was already way ahead of the rest in the record books, with retired Ferrari great and fellow seven-times champion Michael Schumacher second on the all-time list of polesitters with 68.

The Briton whooped with delight over the team radio as his engineer told him the news.

“I feel very humble, very grateful. I’m ecstatic, like it’s my first,” said Hamilton after the session at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen joined the championship-leading Briton, who has an eight-point lead after three races, on the front row with a time 0.036 seconds slower and another wheel-to-wheel duel looming on Sunday.

Valtteri Bottas qualified third for Mercedes, a week after the Finn took pole in Portugal.

Hamilton’s pole continued a remarkable run of Mercedes domination, with the champions taking the top slot in every race at the Spanish circuit since now-retired Nico Rosberg began the sequence in 2013.

“I can’t believe we’re at 100 and really it’s down to the men and women back at the factory who are continuously raising the bar and just never giving up,” said Hamilton, who will be chasing a record-extending 98th career win on Sunday.

“The support that I have, it’s been a dream for me to work with these guys, and the journey that we’ve been on has been immense.”

Only five constructors in the 71-year history of the sport have racked up 100 poles or more, and Hamilton’s milestone puts him far ahead even of Red Bull, who as a team have so far managed 64.

SHOULDER PAIN

Hamilton, who took his first pole with McLaren in 2007, had set the fastest time of one minute 16.741 seconds with his first flying lap of the final phase and was unable to improve on it with his second.

It had looked like he had been slowed by Mexican Sergio Perez spinning his Red Bull ahead but there were no yellow warning flags.

Perez told reporters afterwards that he had been struggling with pain in his left shoulder that became worse as the session, delayed 10 minutes for marshals to fix barriers, wore on.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc qualified fourth with Esteban Ocon fifth on the grid for Alpine ahead of Ferrari’s Spaniard Carlos Sainz.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo will line up seventh for McLaren, one place ahead of Perez, with McLaren’s Lando Norris qualifying ninth and Spaniard Fernando Alonso 10th for Alpine.

Norris had been fastest in the first phase of qualifying, with Verstappen on top in the second part with a stunning 1:16.922 lap.

Hamilton meanwhile made small adjustments to find more pace and getting the “lazy” car to turn as he wanted before the final shootout.

“It’s quite gusty around here so the wind changes a lot,” said Verstappen. “But nevertheless I think second for us here on this track was very good today. We know they are hard to beat around here but to be that close, I can be happy.”

No driver has won from pole so far this season but the Barcelona circuit rewards grid position more than most, with the winner coming from pole 22 times in 30 races to date.

Hamilton has won there five times, including the last four, and is chasing his third win of a season that has become a battle between him and Verstappen, who is also celebrating his own century of starts for Red Bull.

The 23-year-old triumphed on his team debut in Barcelona in 2016, becoming at 18 the youngest ever race winner.

Further down the grid, Williams’ George Russell made it through to the second phase to take 15th on the grid.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Jason Neely and Hugh Lawson)



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Meghan Markle celebrates Mother’s Day by donating diapers and cleaning supplies to an organization that serves homeless, pregnant women and their babies



Meghan Markle has been seen in her first appearance on American television since her and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah in March.  

They celebrated Mother’s Day by donating diapers, supplies and other items to an organization that serves homeless pregnant women and their babies.

The organization, Harvest Home, shared news of the donation on their Instagram page Sunday afternoon. 

‘Today, we are thrilled to have the support of Archewell Foundation, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Procter & Gamble, who are donating diapers, cleaning supplies, and other essential items to ensure that the moms and babies at Harvest Home are celebrated all throughout the year,’ the caption of the post reads. 

According to Harvest Home, the Mother’s Day surprise was accompanied by a personal letter from the Duchess, who is the mother of two-year-old Archie.

‘As a mom, and an expectant mom, I deeply appreciate the significance of community support, safe and accessible pregnancy resources, and trusted guidance in a nurturing setting,’ Meghan said.

‘These ingredients are essential to not just our physical health, but our mental well-being, and I commend you for leading a compassionate community that lives these values.’ 

Meghan continued: ‘Thank you for all you do for the women and mothers who are turned away elsewhere, at no fault of their own.

‘When we consider how vulnerable any mother feels during the fragile time of pregnancy, we gain perspective about how especially difficult it can be for pregnant women of color and those who come from under-resourced and vulnerable communities. I hope you will accept an offer of support to help further uplift Harvest Home’s residents.’

It’s unclear how much was donated to the organization.

Meghan and Harry’s act of kindness on Mother’s Day comes as the Duchess shared a message to supporters during the Vax Live telecast.

Cradling her large baby bump in a red floral blouse, Meghan talked about welcoming another child: ‘My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter. It’s a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. 

‘When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward.’

The Vax Live concert took place at Los Angeles’ Lo-Fi stadium this past Sunday. Prince Harry appeared in person, but Meghan reportedly pulled out at the last minute.  

However, her brief recorded statement aired at the conclusion of the concert’s telecast – which was aired across multiple TV channels in the US on Saturday night.  

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Massive street parties erupt in Spain as nation celebrates lifting of six-month national curfew – while hotel owners push for inclusion on UK’s ‘green list’



Spaniards have celebrated the end of a six-month national night-time Covid curfew with raucous New Years Eve-style early hours’ street parties. 

Large groups of revellers chanted ‘Freedom’ and sang songs as they unleashed their emotions and boozed on take-out alcohol after the threat of fines of more than £500 was lifted. 

There were reports of clashes between partygoers and police in some parts of Madrid as officers tried to dissolve large gatherings of people without face masks on. 

The surreal scenes, dubbed today by local media as a New Year’s Eve night in May, came 48 hours after Spain’s popular Brit holiday destinations were hit with the hammer blow of failing to make the UK’s ‘green list’. 

The bizarre end to a six-month Spanish government-imposed state of alarm which provided the legal framework for restrictions including the night-time curfew, meant millions of Spaniards had to be indoors by 11pm on Saturday but were free to go out at midnight. 

Many youngsters in Spain’s two largest cities Barcelona and Madrid are said to have carried on partying anyway as they counted down the 60 minutes to the recovery of their freedom of movement. 

The end of the state of alarm has given rise to a confusing situation in Spain in which Covid restrictions vary wildly between regions. 

Restrictions on movement around the country have been lifted, meaning the Costa resorts currently deprived of British tourists can welcome back holidaymakers from across the country.  

The night-time curfew has been lifted in most parts of Spain including its most populated region Andalucia which covers the Costa del Sol where restaurants can open till midnight and late-night bars and nightclubs until 2am. 

But the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community, which includes the Costa Blanca, are maintaining their night-time curfews. 

Late on Saturday night 16 people were arrested for public order offences after gathering in a city centre square in the Majorcan capital Palma as the local 11pm curfew kicked in and allegedly throwing missiles including stones at police when they were ordered to leave the area. 

Spain is hoping to make the UK’s green list in the next British government announcement on the traffic-light system at the start of June. 

Portugal and Gibraltar have been put on the green list and tourists will be able to travel there from May 17, but Spain including the Balearic and Canary Islands have been given amber status meaning quarantine on top of expensive Covid tests. 

Ibiza hotel owner Jose Antonio Llano Mari, president of the PIMEEF association of small and medium-sized business on the island and neighbouring Formentera, branded the decision a ‘massive blow.’ 

He said: ‘It’s a great disappointment. We have begun to receive cancellations. It’s been immediate.’ 

Claiming the Balearic Islands should have been treated separately from the Spanish mainland because of their lower rate of coronavirus contagion, he told newspaper Periodico de Ibiza: ‘The Spanish government and our regional government should make the British government change this decision so we’re treated as independent islands to the rest of Spain.’ 

Iago Negueruela, the Balearic Islands’ government’s tourism minister, added: ‘The decision penalises us because London is treating Spain as a country when there are many regions with much higher average contagion rates than ours.’

Thank you for reading this post regarding International and United Kingdom Political updates titled “Massive street parties erupt in Spain as nation celebrates lifting of six-month national curfew – while hotel owners push for inclusion on UK’s ‘green list'”. This news update is presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

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Line of Duty’s Martin Compston says no rain will stand in way of pub pint as he celebrates 37th birthday


Scots actor Martin Compston is celebrating his birthday today and says no rain will stand in the way of having a celebratory pint.

The Line of Duty star turned 37 today and as he is currently working in Edinburgh, it looks like he will need a brolly to sip on his birthday pint as the forecast is for rain for most of the day and drinking indoors is still not permitted.

But the star didn’t let the weather rain on his parade as he took to Twitter to thank fans for their kind messages.

Compston, from Greenock, also shares his birthday with Line of Duty co-star Vicky McClure, and made sure he gave his ‘mate’ a mention too as she celebrates her 38th birthday.

He wrote: “Massive thanks for all the lovely birthday msgs really appreciated!!!No rain shall stand in the way of a pub pint today. Also the biggest of birthday love to the greatest partner in all of telly land, have a blinder mate @Vicky_McClure xx.”

One fan wrote: “Enjoy that pint!”

Another said: “Happy Birthday to TV’s finest Detectives.”



Martin Compston and Vicky McClure share the same birthday

Outlander actor Richard Rankin said: “Happy Birthday you pair of legends!! Is it the same day??”



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Another wrote: “Ah the best duo to share a birthday with! Legends.”

One commented: “iconic mates, on and off screen.”

While one added: “Happy Birthday to you both @martin_compston and @Vicky_McClure and thank you for keeping us entertained with your incredible acting abilities and for giving us something to look forward to each week. Shame it had to end. Hope the rain stops for u.”

And today seems to be a common birthday in celeb land as Sir David Attenborough turns 95, and ‘H’ (not Detective Superintendant Ian Buckells) from pop group Steps turns 45.

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Thanks for dropping by and checking this article regarding UK news titled “Line of Duty’s Martin Compston says no rain will stand in way of pub pint as he celebrates 37th birthday”. This post is brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

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Australia’s first leak detection dog celebrates birthday


SYDNEY, May 6 (Xinhua) — An Australian dog with the rare and invaluable ability to sniff out leaky pipes has saved an estimated 880 million liters of water in one of the world’s driest regions.

Kep, officially the nation’s first leak detection dog, has discovered more than 90 non-visible leaks throughout water pipes in the state of Western Australia (WA).

As an “employee” of Water Corporation, Kep along with her handler Andrew Blair, have surveyed more than 900 km of water mains since 2018.

The duo works in rural and remote areas where there are long stretches of buried pipelines and where regular acoustic leak detection methods are less effective or cost prohibitive.

The springer spaniel, whose name is an Indigenous word meaning “Water,” was trained from a pup to sniff out the scent of chlorine in underground leaks which could be buried more than a meter deep.

In honour of Kep’s birthday a special lunch was held at the WA Parliament House on Thursday, hosted by Water Minister Dave Kelly.

“It’s incredible that Kep can sniff out a water leak buried deep underground and help save our precious water supplies,” Kelly said.

“For Water Corporation, the challenge is there are nearly 35,000 kilometers of water mains in Western Australia, that’s enough to stretch across the country eight and a half times.”

Following in Kep’s tracks, a few other talented Aussie canines are joining the elite leak detection ranks.

Joey, on the other side of the nation in the state of New South Wales (NSW), began similar work this year, and with about 40 leaks recorded per day, the cocker spaniel is being kept busy.

He has joined two other dogs, Winnie and Ziggy, at Sydney Water who have been tasked with the more odorous duty of sniffing out waste water.

They have been trained to alert Sydney Water inspectors about the illegal dumping of waste chemicals and can also detect waste water leaks in stormwater canals.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out this news release regarding National and West Australian News and updates named “Australia’s first leak detection dog celebrates birthday”. This news article was posted by My Local Pages as part of our local news services.

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