Panthers destroy Manly 42-12 as Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters score NRL wins


Penrith made sure it will finish round 12 on top of the NRL ladder following a comprehensive 42-12 defeat of Manly at Brookvale Oval.

Earlier on Saturday, Canberra showed its class to sneak home with a 14-12 win over North Queensland, while the Sydney Roosters survived an almighty scare from Gold Coast to escape with an 18-12 triumph.

The Panthers skipped three points clear of Melbourne and Parramatta on the ladder, although the Storm and Eels will play their respective round-12 fixtures on Sunday.

Charlie Staines, playing just his second NRL match, scored two tries in 25 action-filled minutes before limping off the field with a hamstring injury.

Nathan Cleary also put on a masterclass, setting up two tries and scoring one of his own in the second half when he regathered his own grubber.

But Staines was the main attraction.

He became the first man since South Sydney’s Don Manson in 1937 to score six tries in his first two matches.

In the time since his four tries on debut last month, the winger has spent two weeks in quarantine after having too many visitors in his home and then visiting Nepean Hospital with lockjaw.

But while Penrith shot out of the blocks to a 22-0 lead after 30 minutes, it was an absolute horror show for Manly.

Dylan Walker left the field with a foot injury just 10 minutes into his return from an issue higher up in the same foot, while Curtis Sironen hurt his knee and Brad Parker suffered a concussion.

The loss drops the Sea Eagles back out of the top eight and with a crucial few weeks ahead before Tom Trbojevic’s planned return in three matches.

Meanwhile, the performance was one of the best of Penrith’s season, with the Panthers completing at 91 per cent and playing expansive football.

Staines opened the scoring when he got the ball down in a tight space on the right edge in the 10th minute, then Cleary gifted him with a perfect lofted ball for his second.

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Cleary kicked a 40-20 before another try before one of his grubbers rebounded into Penrith hands and Viliame Kikau put on an offload for Stephen Crichton to score.

Isaah Yeo, Api Koroisau and Brent Naden also claimed tries in the demolition job.

Cherry-Evans was clearly Manly’s best.

He put Jake Trbojevic over with an inside ball for their only first-half try and kicked for Jorge Taufua for one in the second.

He also somehow held Kikau up to save one and stopped another when he chased down Naden after running 80 metres from a Lachlan Croker intercept.

Raiders hang tough to win up north

It was far from the Raiders’ best performance but they did enough to edge a willing Cowboys outfit, with both teams scoring two tries in Townsville.

The Cowboys threw everything at their opponents but too often let themselves down with their kicking options.

Gunning for their third successive victory, the Raiders looked as if they were suffering jet lag early on after their long match-day flight to Canberra.

They were caught out just two minutes into the match when North Queensland hooker Reece Robson dashed over the line from dummy half.

The Raiders found their groove to level in the 18th minute when half-back George Williams started and finished a 70-metre try, helped by a big charge and fend by winger Nick Cotric.

A 35th-minute penalty strike by captain Jarrod Croker allowed his team to take an 8-6 lead to half-time.

A North Queensland NRL player is tackled by three Canberra Raiders opponents.
Cowboys forward Jordan McLean tries to find a way through the Raiders defence.(AAP: Cameron Laird)

Canberra prop Josh Papalii was both hero and villain within two minutes, stripping the ball but then being placed on report for a forearm to the head of the Cowboys’ teenage full-back Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

Cowboys skipper Jason Taumalolo steamed to the try line to put his side up but it was short-lived with the Raiders hitting back four minutes later.

England international John Bateman, playing his first match of the year after two rounds of shoulder surgery, found Curtis Scott, who fended off winger Murray Taulagi to score.

Sharpshooter Croker then showed his value, nailing the conversion from the sideline to put his side ahead again.

The final 12 minutes saw four captains’ challenges, with the Cowboys correct with both but they couldn’t find the points for a win or to take the match into golden point.

Roosters deny gutsy Titans

In an action-packed match laced with drama at the SCG, the Roosters overcame their crippling injury toll to preserve their place in the top four thanks largely to the heroics of classy centre Joseph Manu.

Already missing eight players from their 2019 grand final-winning outfit and with superstar signing Sonny Bill Williams holed up in quarantine, the Roosters lost try-scoring ace Josh Morris to a calf strain before Saturday afternoon’s kick-off.

Fortunately the back-to-back premiers had Manu, whose leaping 58th-minute try and miracle first-half try saver on Phillip Sami saved the Roosters embarrassment.

The Titans could have bagged four first-half tries but had to settle for only one after blowing two and seeing Manu pull off his incredible rescue act before the break.

Jamal Fogarty was also denied a try in just the second minute, the half-back touching down only for the bunker to rule Titans teammate Brian Kelly had passed him the ball off the ground.

A Sydney Roosters NRL player tackles a Gold Coast Titans opponent holding the ball around the chest area.
Roosters hooker Jake Friend (left) tries to bring down Gold Coast lock Jai Arrow.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

But there was no denying Anthony Don eight minutes later when the prolific winger started and finished his own 75-metre effort.

After scrambling for much of the half, somehow the Roosters went to the break with a 10-6 advantage after half-back Kyle Flanagan added two penalties to his conversion of Mitch Aubusson’s try.

The Titans were reduced to 12 men for a second time in the match when Keegan Hipgrave was sin-binned for taking out Lindsay Collins.

The Roosters’ claims for a penalty try were denied but Flanagan’s two points made it 12-6 before Manu soared high to reel in Luke Keary’s cross-field bomb.

That appeared to seal the deal before Sami crossed with five minutes remaining to give Roosters fans a tense finish.

AAP/ABC



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Clive Palmer claims Mark McGowan’s coronavirus hard border will destroy lives of West Australians


Billionaire Clive Palmer has claimed the WA Government would “destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for decades” if it continued with its hard border restrictions.

The comments came as WA Premier Mark McGowan again expressed his frustration with Mr Palmer’s legal challenge against the border closure.

“It’s just grossly irresponsible, it’s not reflecting the will of the people, it’s putting at risk all of our achievements,” Mr McGowan said.

“It’s so annoying, it drives me nuts.”

The legal challenge has been heard in the Federal Court this week, with the High Court expected to make a ruling on the hard border arrangements later this year.

Mr Palmer took to Twitter to attack the WA Government’s policy.

“Following revelations that a targeted quarantine was sustainable and there was no reason why the borders could not be open to other states whose performance at containing the virus was better than WA’s, it is clear that the closure is motivated by political reasons,” he said.

‘They want chaos’: Palmer

Mr Palmer appeared to be referring to a report prepared by ANU Professor Peter Collignon, in which he said a targeted quarantine regime aimed at travellers from virus-affected areas was more effective than a hard border.

He also told the court hearing a travel bubble between states that had eliminated Covid-19 for 28 days would present minimal risk to the WA community.

He agreed under cross examination that a hard border was more effective than a targeted regime, but was not sure by how much.

“What is going to happen to West Australians when the Federal Government’s money tap runs dry?” Mr Palmer asked on Twitter.

“This is the typical negative attitude of Labor, they want chaos, they want states fighting states.

“The WA Premier can’t cope with the fact that my legal challenge is being assisted by the Federal Government.”

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Mr Palmer also made comparisons between the COVID-19 death toll, and the number of deaths caused by influenza and road accidents.

“WA desperately needs courage in leadership and the ability to rebuild the economy now,” he said.

Government pins hopes on plan A

Mr McGowan said the state’s quarantine system was robust and the Government was doing everything it possibly could to keep COVID-19 out.

“Today there’s new cases in Queensland … new cases have come from the southern states into Queensland. Victoria has a diabolical and tragic situation on its hands,” he said.

“We do not want that to come in here. We’re doing everything we can to prevent that from coming in here.

Mark McGowan looking down with his eyes closed during a press conference
Mark McGowan has fired another shot at Clive Palmer, calling him selfish and irresponsible.(ABC News: Eliza Laschon)

“Obviously if we end up in a New South Wales or Victorian situation, that will mean big closures of industries, communities and the like. I just do not want us to end up in that position.”

The Premier said the Government was confident about its position in regards to the legal challenge.

“If the High Court rules the border comes down, we’ll look at whatever we can do to protect people.

“It’s just so selfish and so irresponsible of Mr Palmer, joined by the Liberal Party, trying to bring down our border.”

But Mr McGowan said a decision was not expected from the High Court until September at the earliest.

He repeated his call for the Liberal Party to withdraw from the case, saying the border closure was creating jobs and allowing WA to get its economy back on track far more quickly than any other state.



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Fears IPL final could destroy return of Test cricket to Australia


Australia faces the agonising prospect of having to postpone its historic clash with Afghanistan, or go to battle in a Test match with a vastly understrength side.

The Indian Premier League has flagged a November 8 final, a date too late for any Aussie stars featuring to make it back home in time to serve a required two-week quarantine in order to play in a historic Test against Rashid Khan’s Afghanis on November 21 in Perth.

In such unprecedented times, it begs the question whether Australia, in the interests of honouring commitments and getting the game going again, would consider the extraordinary option of playing a Test match without at least four of its most important players available.

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Taking the field without David Warner, Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood might in theory even up the contest against world cricket’s minnows, but it would challenge the proud tradition of the baggy green being handed out only to the best of the best.

The other prospect could be to pull Australia’s multimillion-dollar stars out of the biggest show on earth early in order to be quarantined and ready for Afghanistan, with Cricket Australia yet to confirm the terms of its No Objection Certificates it gives to release players to the IPL at their discretion.

However, that would appear to go against Australia’s commitment to scratching the backs of the BCCI who are desperate to get the rivers of gold running back through the game again with a full IPL, before India return the favour by touring here for a $300 million, four Test summer.

The more likely scenario is Cricket Australia will either have to move the dates of the Afghanistan Test back slightly, or postpone to a completely different time on the calendar.

CA officials to their credit are desperate to find a way to make the stand-alone Test match happen. With only four Tests against India, CA wants more content not less for their broadcasters and they also want to do the right thing and provide Afghanistan with the opportunity. But the time restrictions being placed on them by COVID-19 appear to be making the first-ever Test a fight against the odds.

There is nothing easy about these vexing decisions and compromises must be made.

Even if the start date of the Test was pushed back a couple of days, Australia’s IPL stars would have to be quarantined in isolation away from their teammates – as they would be returning into the country as individuals rather than as a team – and therefore would be unable to train together before facing Afghanistan.

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The other major complication is the Test match is scheduled for Perth – with Western Australia the strictest of all States with its quarantine conditions and also the most expensive for TV networks Fox Sports and Channel 7 to send their expansive crews.

Regardless of whether the Afghanistan Test takes place, there is an ever-growing prospect that Australia’s Test stars could go into the summer of cricket against India with no high level red-ball match-play under their belts.

State border restrictions are making the Sheffield Shield competition due to start in early October look like a nightmare, and Test star David Warner said on Tuesday that players will just have to adapt with unprecedented restrictions on their preparation.

“If there’s no Shield cricket being played up until Christmas, it doesn’t give anyone else an opportunity to be picked,” said Warner.

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“If there’s an injury, there’s nobody coming up from red-ball cricket.”

Warner said players had not been told about whether the Afghanistan Test would go ahead or whether they’d be expected to take a haircut on their Indian wages and return home form the IPL early.

“To be honest, I forgot about that (Afghanistan),” he said.

“Obviously we are dictated by what happens with the states as well given that you’ve got to quarantine for 14 days in WA and if that goes through to the summer, who knows, the first Test (against India) might be moved there.

“Behind the scenes CA would be communicating with the governments as well to work out plans and we can learn from the AFL and the NRL as well about shifting teams or the competitions.”



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Woke brigade’s push to destroy Goya for praising Trump falters as grocers reject boycott — RT USA News



An effort by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other leftists to punish Goya Foods because the ethnic foodmaker’s chief executive complimented President Trump has lost a key constituency right in the New York congresswoman’s backyard.

The United Bodegas of America, a trade group for small food and variety stores that cater to Hispanic consumers, has decided to defy a boycott of Goya Foods products. Members of the group gathered in New York Saturday to show their support for Goya, saying the firm is “the most socially responsible company in the world.”

The association praised Goya, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the US, for its donations of millions of cans of its products to food banks and noted that the company employees more than 5,000 people in the New York City metropolitan area. “We want to send a very clear message to those that think for one moment we would consider boycotting our family: You do not boycott family,” group spokesman Fernando Mateo said.




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Brand suicide or savvy PR move? CEO of Hispanic food giant Goya praises Trump, inciting Twitter riots



Bodegas not only will continue stocking Goya products, and at least some will encourage customers to buy more. Francisco Marte, owner of three bodegas in the Bronx, wrote in a July 15 op-ed piece in the New York Post that thousands of bodegas in the city are calling for a Goya “buycott.” He called the boycott initiative an “insult to Hispanics” and said it was being led by “politicians and pundits – some Hispanic, some painfully woke-white.”

Part of the Bronx borough is located in Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional district. After Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised the president during a July 9 White House visit – saying “We are truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder” – Ocasio-Cortez joined in the calls to stop buying the company’s products. “Oh look,” she quipped on Twitter. “It’s the sound of me Googling `how to make your own adobo,’” referring to a popular Goya seasoning mix.

The reaction to Unanue’s speech and his refusal afterward to apologize made Goya a new battleground in a US culture war. Trump sent a Twitter message the next day professing his “love” for Goya, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, later tweeted a photo of herself holding a can of Goya black beans. The caption above said, in both English and Spanish, “If it’s Goya, it has to be good.” After Reuters and other media outlets questioned whether the tweet violated ethics rules against endorsing products, President Trump posted a photo on his Instagram account showing him in the Oval Office with a selection of Goya products displayed on his desk.

Many Trump supporters and free-speech advocates responded to the boycott by buying Goya products in bulk. Casey Harper, one of several people who started fund-raising campaigns to spur more Goya purchases, said in a Fox Business interview that Americans are rising up against “this vicious cancel culture.” Harper’s GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $311,000, or 31 times his original goal, which will be used to buy Goya products that will be donated to food charities.

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Investors face pressure over miner set to destroy Aboriginal artefacts


CBUS, the $54 billion super fund for construction industry workers, also confirmed a small investment in the firm, which is majority controlled by the Chinese government.

Failures by mining companies to preserve Indigenous artefacts have come into sharp focus after resources giant Rio Tinto last month decimated a 46,000-year-old site in Western Australia against the wishes of its traditional owners.

The Rio blast sparked an emergency Senate inquiry into how state and federal laws protect Aboriginal heritage.

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There has also been rising scrutiny in the investment world over responsible and sustainable investing and best strategies for lifting corporate environment, social and governance standards.

The Gomeroi people last month filed submissions in the Federal Court against federal environment minister Sussan Ley in an attempt to overturn the mine’s 2015 approval.

Gomeroi woman Dolly Talbott called on major institutional investors to boost transparency about where they put their clients’ money.

“They have an obligation to their people investing to make sure their investors know exactly where their money is spent,” she said.

“If you believe in preserving and looking after sacred sites, they need to know where they’re putting their money and what these companies are doing.”

Gomeroi woman Dolly Talbott is suing the government to protect significant artefacts on the China Shenhua mine.

She said all Australians should be angered about cultural artefacts that will be destroyed if the mine proceeds, which include ceremonial corridors, burial sites and other items.

“Our direct ancestors are buried out there. You don’t go and blow up European burial sites so why should they be able to do that to us?” she said.

“It’s totally disrespectful and it’s something the whole of Australia should be up in arms about. While it’s our history and they’re sacred to us, history should be important to all Australians.”

Grinding grooves show marks of ancient Indigenous warriors sharpening spears for battle.

Grinding grooves show marks of ancient Indigenous warriors sharpening spears for battle. Credit:Dolly Talbott

China Shenhua’s annual general report released in March lists BlackRock as owning 7.97 per cent of the company. According to Bloomberg, its stake now stands at 5.97 per cent, worth more than $3.4 billion. Blackrock did not respond to repeated requests for comment over the investment.

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CBUS confirmed it owns around $4.5 million worth of shares in the company through a passive index fund.

The fund said it was considering divesting its stake as part of its broader climate change strategy and would ask its investment managers to incorporate First Nations heritage issues into engagement strategies.

“The sacred sites of our First Nations Peoples should be protected,” CBUS head of responsible investment Nicole Bradford said.

BlackRock has positioned itself as a leader in socially responsible investing and last year pledged to reduce its holdings of thermal coal. The firm’s founder, Larry Fink, has also been a prominent supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Proposed impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage sites.

Proposed impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage sites. Credit:Watermark Coal Mine Heritage Management Plan.

Market Forces campaigner Will van de Pol said the outrage over Rio Tinto’s blasting should serve as a reminder for super funds about the role they play in actively managing investments.

“The Western Australia example should serve as a turning point that should have come long ago,” Mr van de Pol said. “But at least from now on, we need to see super funds ensuring that that sort of destruction never happens again on their watch.”

“As a firm committed to racial equality, we must also consider where racial disparity exists in our own organisations and not tolerate our shortcomings,” Mr Fink said in a public letter on May 31.

An archaeological report commissioned by China Shenhua Energy said it could preserve roughly half of the more than 60 significant artefacts identified by adding fencing or moving them to another location.

China Shenhua Energy was contacted for comment.

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I May Destroy You is an astonishing study of sexual assault



However the show also implicitly questions whether your personality can ever really be effortless, particularly when you’ve achieved some kind of public profile – and what the cost is for having to maintain it. This is exemplified by a grimly surreal moment, when Arabella, dizzy and reeling her way home the morning after her assault, is approached by a fan for a selfie: despite barely being able to stand up, she instinctively switches into the smiley bonhomie expected of her. And Arabella is not the only character who you sense has layers yet to be unfurled: four episodes in, both Opia’s frustrated, diffident Terry and Essiedu’s faintly inscrutable Kwame are equally compelling presences, as much for what we don’t know about them yet as what we do.

Some other strengths to mention: it’s difficult to think of another show that has captured the mores and rhythms of modern, smartphone-centred communication so unselfconsciously, and its striking visual sensibility is complemented by an expertly-selected soundtrack of R&B, dance and hip-hop. Above all, there’s an absolute sense of authenticity that courses through every aspect of the show, from the character development to the production design; from Arabella and Terry’s banter and impromptu singing as they get ready together, to the Game Boy that Arabella pulls out of a drawer in her childhood bedroom. ‘Immersive’ is an overused word these days when it comes to culture, but the experience of watching I May Destroy You merits that description – and, for all its agonies and ecstasies, the way in which it teems with life, at a time when our real lives are so circumscribed, makes it truly thrilling viewing.

★★★★★

I May Destroy You is on Sunday nights on HBO in the US and begins today in the UK on BBC1 and BBC iPlayer.

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Trump tweets he’s ordered Navy to destroy Iranian gunboats


WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid tensions with Iran, President Donald Trump said Wednesday on Twitter he has given orders for the Navy to “shoot down and destroy” any Iranian gunboats found to be harassing U.S. ships.

A U.S. Navy video last week showed small Iranian fast boats coming close to American warships as they operated in the northern Persian Gulf near Kuwait, with U.S. Army Apache helicopters.

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump tweeted.

Trump did not cite a specific event in his tweet, or provide details. The White House had no immediate comment.

The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet referred questions about the tweet to the Pentagon, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s tweet came after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it had put the Islamic Republic’s first military satellite into orbit, dramatically unveiling what experts described as a secret space program with a surprise launch Wednesday that came amid wider tensions with the United States.

The launched immediately raised concerns among experts on whether the technology used could help Iran develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

On Sunday, the Revolutionary Guard acknowledged it had a tense encounter last week with U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, but alleged without offering evidence that American forces sparked the incident.

The Guard and the Navy routinely have tense encounters in the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of all oil passes.

___

Jon Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.



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Trump instructs U.S. Navy to destroy Iranian gunboats ‘if they harass our ships at sea’




FILE PHOTO: Four Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels, some of several to maneuver in what the U.S. Navy says are “unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range” is seen next to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton in the Gulf April 15, 2020. U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

April 22, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had instructed the U.S. Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea, a week after 11 vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to U.S. ships in the Gulf.

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump wrote in a tweet, hours after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps said it had launched the country’s first military satellite into orbit.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Susan Heavey; Editing by Toby Chopra)





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