SAS Australia star Candice Warner opens up on pain of media scrutiny over Sonny Bill Williams encounter


Former ironwoman Candice Warner has spoken of the extreme pain she carried over the past 13 years.

The wife of Test cricketer David Warner says finally being able to move on from her brief encounter with NRL player Sonny Bill Williams has been liberating.

“I was almost suicidal,” Warner says of the scandal when she was just 22.

“I went through a hell of a lot at such a young age. I got to the point where I literally couldn’t take it anymore.”

I was almost suicidal… I got to the point where I literally couldn’t take it anymore.

The two made national headlines in 2007 after being photographed in a toilet cubicle at Sydney’s Clovelly Hotel.

Warner has kept quiet on the incident since, opening up only now as a contestant on Channel Seven’s hit reality show SAS Australia.

“I don’t know if I would have gone through with the action but I felt like I had to get to that point to work out where my life was going,” she says.

Candice Warner.
Camera IconCandice Warner.

“I got to the point, do I take my life or do I just take a different path. I am very grateful that I took that other path and that is where I started to turn my life around.

“It was very tough at a young age to deal with that. People were cruel and very quick to judge; they made assumptions based off a photo.”

On Tuesday night, Warner and actor Firass Dirani were told to leave by SAS chief instructor Ant Middleton after being deemed the weakest links.

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“I was exhausted but I still think I had plenty to give,” Candice says, adding she also knows she has to respect the decision made by the SAS experts.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.



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South Sydney Rabbitohs star Cody Walker and Sydney Roosters playmaker Luke Keary go head to head for NSW Blues ahead of opening State of Origin encounter


“No. I spent a bit of time with him at Souths, it’s normal, as usual,” Walker said. “Nothing has really been spoken about. We speak a fair bit, but don’t spend every second of every day together.

“I understand the situation I’m in – he’s won two comps, he’s probably been the No.1 five-eighth over the last couple of years.

No love lost … Cody Walker squares up to Luke Keary in 2019.Credit:Getty

“I understand that. Jack Wighton is the Dally M medallist, I know where I stand. I’m quite comfortable with that. If I get an opportunity, I’ll be ready.”

Walker’s career has been intrinsically linked to Keary’s. The former made his NRL debut at Keary’s expense and ultimately took his spot permanently when the latter left for the Roosters.

“I remember I debuted because he was suspended and then Adam [Reynolds] broke his jaw,” Walker recalled. “It was me and Keary for five or six weeks, I spent a fair bit of time with him.

“He’s an awesome player, he’s shown over the last couple of years that he turns up in big games. He’s one of the best five-eighths in the game, he certainly deserves a shot.”

As for that verbal exchange last season, Walker smiled: “Just banter, I love that sort of stuff.”

It would appear Keary is the man most likely to partner Nathan Cleary in the halves for the opening game, although Andrew Johns has other ideas. The league Immortal believes the Souths playmaker’s form can’t be ignored.

“I think Cody at five-eighth, I just thought late in the year Luke Keary’s form dipped a little bit,” Johns told Wide World of Sports’ The Blueprint.

“Cody’s form, the last six weeks of the premiership, I compared it to Jarryd Hayne in 2009.”

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If given the opportunity, Walker believes he will acquit himself better than in his only Origin appearance last year. The 30-year-old struggled to get into the game, prompting Fittler to bench him early in the second half. It was only when he returned to the fray late that he began to produce the sort of performance initially expected of him. Walker believes he is better for that experience.

“I think so. When you go through bitter disappointment, it builds that bit of resilience, you handle things better,” he said. “I suppose being busy, getting around the footy [is the biggest lesson]. If you have a look in the first 50 [minutes], I parked myself on the left edge.

“If you look at the games this year at the Rabbitohs, I’m right, I’m here, I’m all over the shop. It’s up to myself to get me into the game. If I need to look for the footy, I need to go look for it.

“I’ve learned from that part of my game. If I get another chance, I’ll handle things differently.”

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A Chance Encounter With The Beatles Saved The Rolling Stones’ Career. Here’s What You Can Learn From It.



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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


By late 1963 the had released one song. It was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On.” They were a blues cover band and had never written their own music. 

Having signed a record deal the pressure was on. They needed a single (one that wasn’t a cover) if they wanted to keep their label happy and turn music into a career. They found a lifeline in

On September 10th, 1963 Rolling Stones manager Andrew Oldham stepped out of the studio the band was rehearsing in. He bumped into Lennon and McCartney getting out of a cab. The accidental meeting was a godsend. Oldham recalls that he “invited them to the studio where the Stones were rehearsing and, right then and there, the two finished off what had been a McCartney sketch of an idea, handing it the Stones for their single.”

Related: 15 Fab Quotes About the Making of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

Lennon and McCartney had written, “I Wanna Be Your Man”. The song was a gift from one group of friends to another. It may as well have been a gift from god. In November of that year, The Rolling Stones released “I Wanna Be Your Man” as a single. It rocketed to #12 on the pop charts. This gave Rolling Stones the traction they needed. The rest is history.

With , the same dynamics are at play.

Collaboration amongst like-minded creators lays the foundation for success.

To the casual listener, this was (finally) an original song from The Stones. In reality, it was the behind the scenes collaboration with The Beatles that gave The Rolling Stones the launchpad they needed. 

Would they have made it on their own? 

Maybe. Maybe not.

The release gave The Rolling Stones breathing room to figure out how to compose their own songs. Additionally, Jagger and Richards credited watching Lennon and McCartney at work with providing insight into how to write a song.

The modern equivalent is occurring with influencers. They’re working (often behind the scenes), helping one another. They’re sharing information and ideas with their digital compatriots. 

With a combined reach of 50+ million followers, one such group has given themselves the moniker, Titans. They message each other to orchestrate collaborations, promotional strategies and share monetization tactics.

Srikar Karra (who has 5 accounts with a combined reach of over 3 million) is a member.

According to Karra, the TikTokTitans work together, “to identify what actions suppress or boost video performance with the algorithm. Of course, money is a big topic of conversation. We’re always sharing tips about monetization.”

The biggest impact of collaboration has been in their collective growth. Based on Karra’s estimates the, “combined following has nearly doubled. We all engage, with and duet, each other’s content. This is helpful because TikTok pushes out content when big creators engage with posts.”

Related: Rolling Stones Rocker Turns Eco Entrepreneur

Karra thinks most brands don’t understand this aspect of social media. 

He and his peers, “don’t really care about aesthetics. Brands put too much emphasis on the nitty-gritty details and forget the big picture. They’re trying to make the coolest video, but if you’re not creating something that leads to interaction then none of it matters.”

When it comes to social media – most brands place an emphasis on the media. Not the social. 

Just look at a like Microsoft. 

They regularly post beautifully produced videos and images. Yet, despite having 14 million followers on Facebook, they often get less than 100 likes per post. 

Why? 

They’re missing out on what really matters. They’re not participating in the community around them. There is no reciprocity with others. There’s no collaboration. Even comments and questions on Microsoft’s page go unaddressed.  

Microsoft’s approach is in stark contrast to brands that are more socially adept. 

For example, Chipotle has become a social media darling. They regularly collaborate with content creators, participate in trends, and are swift to respond to consumers (and not just to those with large followings). 

For Halloween of last year, they launched a #Boorito campaign. They invited fans to post “before and after” TikTok’s of getting into their Halloween costumes. Anyone who wore their costume into Chipotle was given a discount, and the five TikTok’s with the most likes got free burritos for a year. 

In a sense, it was a collaboration with the entire TikTok community. 

They turned to TikTok influencers to help spread the word. Chipotle collaborated with well-known creators such as Zach King, Kombucha Girl, and The Stokes Twins. 

It paid off. The campaign generated over 4 billion views. 

Tressie Lieberman, VP of digital marketing at Chipotle stated that “the numbers are massive.” This is success rarely seen (if ever) for brands on social media. But this is not a fluke – it’s a natural byproduct of a focus on collaboration with the community.

Before social media came along brands had to focus on the media they created. They’d invest in high-end productions, commercials that would be on par with the TV content that appeared next to the ads. The problem is they haven’t adapted to the two-dimensional landscape of social media. They’re continuing to focus on the media and forgetting to incorporate the social.

If brands want to maintain relevance, they need to put social at the center of everything they do. To do this they must collaborate with the community around them. It cannot be an afterthought. Otherwise, no matter how big they seem today, they will soon be left in the dust.

To adapt the words of (ever so slightly), brands “never needed anybody’s help in any way. But now these days are gone.”



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Pakistan LeT commander, aide killed in Srinagar encounter


Saifullah had infiltrated into J&K earlier this year and had during the past two months shifted his base from north to south Kashmir

A Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) commander from Pakistan and his local associate were gunned down by the security forces in a fire fight that broke out early Monday in Srinagar’s Barzulla area. A private house where the duo had been holed up following the security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in the area was destroyed as it caught fire in the latter’s final assault.

J&K’s Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, claimed at a hurriedly called press conference that the slain Pakistan militant commander Saifullah was involved in a series of attacks on security forces including the ambushes that took place in and outside Srinagar past fortnight, leaving several security forces personnel dead and injured. The other militant killed in the encounter has been identified as Irshad Ahmed Dar alias Abu Usama, a resident of southern Pulwama district, “who was active since May 2019 and involved in several civilian killings and attacks on the J&K police and central security forces.”

 

The police chief said that, so far, this year the security forces have conducted 75 counterinsurgency operations across J&K during which as many as 180 militants including several top commanders of various outfits were killed.

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range), Vijay Kumar, said that after evacuating the civilians living in the neighbourhood the LeT militants trapped inside a residential house in Mir Mohalla (locality) of old Barzulla were offered to lay down their arms and surrender before the security forces as part of the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) followed during the actions. But they refused and opened fire on the joint party of J&K police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), triggering the encounter, he said and added the operation was launched shortly after midnight on receiving input about the presence of militants in the area.  

 

Mr. Singh said that Saifullah had infiltrated into J&K earlier this year and had during the past two months shifted his base from north to south Kashmir.

He said that all the operations against militants carried out by the security forces, so far, this year were “clean and conducted in a professional manner.” He asserted, “Barring one operation at Batamaloo, Srinagar, in which one woman got killed in a crossfire, all operations were cleanly conducted by the security forces”. He said that eight encounters took place in the Srinagar city alone in which 18 militants including a top Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Junaid Ashraf Khan were killed. “Whenever any terrorist outfit tries to establish its base in Srinagar, we successfully corner the militants with the help of our intelligence and other sources,” the DGP said.

 

Asked how many militants were active in Srinagar at present, the police chief said, “Only one who is involved in a couple of attacks. We will bring him to justice very soon.”

He said that the J&K police lost its 19 men and the CRPF 21 during these operations and attacks of militants whereas 15 Army soldiers were also killed, majority of them along the Line of Control (LoC) during this period.

He also said that the police and other security forces succeeded in bringing back as many as 26 Kashmiri youth who had joined the militants’ ranks and reunited them with their families, so far, this year.



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Five Maoists killed in encounter in Odisha’s Kalahandi


The exchange of fire started around 11 am on Wednesday and lasted for about half an hour

Bhubaneswar: Two security personnel lost their lives in the gunfight with Maoists in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, police said on Thursday.

Five Maoists were also killed in the exchange of fire that took place in the Bhandarangi Sirki forest area on the Kalahandi-Kandhamal border on Wednesday, they said.

 

The two personnel of the Odisha Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) who lost their lives are Sudhir Kumar Tudu (28) of Mayurbhanj district and Debasis Sethy (27) of Angul district, an officer said.

While one of them was injured and later succumbed to the injuries at a hospital, the other person’s body was found by the forces during combing operations, he said.

Among the Maoists killed in the operation were four women, he said.

They belonged to the Bansadhara-Ghumsar-Nagabali division of the banned CPI(Maoist), the officer said.

Six weapons were recovered from the encounter site, according to Kalahandi’s Superintendent of Police B Gangadhar.

 

Acting on an intelligence input, the SOG along with the Kalahandi District Voluntary Force (DVF) launched the operation on Tuesday, another official said.

Two composite teams of the SOG and DVF were part of the operation, he said.

The exchange of fire started around 11 am on Wednesday and lasted for about half an hour, he added.

In a similar operation, five Maoists, including tw o women, were gunned down by the security forces in the Sirla Reserve Forest area in Kandhamal district on July 5. Two more rebels were killed in the same area on July 23, police said.



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Richmond beats Essendon in AFL’s Dreamtime in Darwin encounter as Fremantle, Port Adelaide and Bulldogs post wins


Reigning premier Richmond has surged into the AFL’s top-four with a spirited 12-point victory against Essendon in the AFL’s Dreamtime in Darwin fixture.

The Tigers jumped from sixth to third on the ladder with a hard-fought 10.13 (73) to 10.1 (61) triumph in the marquee encounter of the AFL’s Sir Dough Nicholls round.

But spearhead Tom Lynch, days after being fined $2,000 for separate incidents, will again come under match review scrutiny for a behind-play forearm to the throat of Bomber Michael Hurley.

Also on Saturday night, Fremantle defeated Sydney by 31 points in Perth, while earlier Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs posted respective victories.

The annual Dreamtime match continued Essendon’s recent poor showing, with the Bombers having just one win from their past seven matches, while they lost luckless backman Aaron Francis to a hamstring injury.

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The Bombers unveiled a potential cult figure, with Indigenous debutant Irving Mosquito kicking two goals, including a stunner on the run.

But the Bombers were overpowered by Richmond’s big guns: Dustin Martin (29 disposals, one goal, nine inside 50s) and Shai Bolton (28 touches, one goal) ruled the midfield while Lynch and Jack Riewoldt slotted two majors each.

The Tigers’ defence, featuring Liam Baker (16 possessions) was stingy and Ivan Soldo had the better of the rucks.

Essendon’s Zach Merrett was superb with a match-high 34 disposals and a goal, Devon Smith (28 possessions) battled gamely while James Stewart matched Mosquito’s return of two goals.

The match turned amid controversy in the second term moments after Mosquito’s memorable highlight.

The 19-year-old from Halls Creek in northern Western Australia flashed through a pack, gathered the ball 65 metres from goal, took a bounce and threaded a left-footer from a challenging angle.

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Just 90 seconds after the act of brilliance, Bomber Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti took a chest mark and ran into an open goal.

But his teammate Jake Stringer was penalised for a push on Richmond’s Dylan Grimes and the score — which would have given Essendon an 11-point lead — did not count.

Instead, Richmond rallied with two goals in the next three minutes to take a seven-point half-time lead, which did not duly reflect the control of the match that the Tigers enjoyed.

But it took just 10 more minutes for the Tigers to finally cash in.

They made three rapid strikes with goals to Riewoldt, Martin and Kane Lambert creating a 25-point advantage.

The closest Essendon got thereafter was nine points early in the final quarter.

But Richmond killed off the challenge with the next three goals, before the Bombers belatedly scored the last three of the match to reduce the final margin.

Power grind out win over plucky Hawks

AFL ladder leader Port Adelaide has put a horror week behind the club by grinding out a 10-point win over Hawthorn on Saturday..

The under-strength Hawks shocked the Power by kicking the opening three goals at Adelaide Oval and scores were level at three-quarter time.

But the home side prevailed, 9.14 (68) to 9.4 (58), after young star Zak Butters sliced through a forward-50 stoppage to collect Scott Lycett’s expert ruck tap and kick the sealer with two minutes left.

Milestone man Tom Rockliff (28 disposals) starred in his 200th AFL match and fellow veteran Travis Boak (33) continued his outstanding season.

The Power’s positive result came after an embarrassing last-start defeat to Geelong and costly COVID-19 protocol breaches by Peter Ladhams and Dan Houston, who were suspended on Thursday.

Charlie Dixon rebounded from a goalless showing against the Cats with two majors and Indigenous star Sam Powell-Pepper (21 disposals) was a constant threat for Port Adelaide in the competition’s feature Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

A Port Adelaide AFL player yells out as he pumps his right fist while celebrating a goal against Hawthorn.
Charlie Dixon celebrates one of his two goals against the Hawks.(AAP: David Mariuz)

Former Power players Chad Wingard, Shaun Burgoyne (two goals each) and Jarman Impey (one) were all prominent for Hawthorn, as were James Worpel (26 touches) and Tom Mitchell (25).

The Hawks’ early intensity and hot start saw the visitors kick the opening three goals, raising hopes of an upset.

Tempers flared during the second quarter as Stratton and Dixon clashed, with the Power forward eventually losing his jumper in the ensuing melee.

Dixon could also come under scrutiny from the match review officer for pushing his elbow into Stratton’s head as they wrestled on the ground.

Like Rockliff, Hawthorn captain Stratton was making his 200th senior appearance.

It looked like his side might help him celebrate by causing a major upset until Port Adelaide took control of general play in the final quarter, kicking 2.4 to 1.0 in the process to complete a hard-fought victory.

The Power will start favourites again when they meet Sydney on Saturday in the second of four straight matches against teams currently positioned outside the top eight.

Hawthorn has now lost seven of its last eight matches and tackle Essendon on Thursday night.

Bulldogs move inside top eight

Rocked by the 11th-hour withdrawal of Nathan Jones (quad injury), the Demons led by seven points at half-time in the round-13 encounter before the Bulldogs kicked six consecutive goals to set up the 12.8 (80) to 7.10 (52) win in Carrara.

The victory saw Luke Beveridge’s Bulldogs (7-6 win-loss record) take the Demons’ (6-6) spot inside the top eight with five rounds to play.

The Bulldogs have not been inside the eight since round nine.

Mitch Wallis dominated on goal for the Bulldogs with four majors for the match, while Jack McRae, Bailey Smith, Lachie Hunter, Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore all had between 22 and 26 disposals.

Christian Petracca (26 disposals, eight clearances), Angus Brayshaw and Jack Viney were busy but helpless during the third-term onslaught from the Bulldogs that ultimately decided the contest.

A Western Bulldogs AFL player runs with the ball in two hands as he his chased by a Melbourne opponent.
Lachie Hunter has a busy day for the Bulldogs with 24 disposals.(AAP: Albert Perez)

The Bulldogs clicked into gear after the main break when they opted to handball through the midfield.

The ever-lurking Wallis benefited, kicking two of his majors in the third term, while Bailey Williams was gifted another when Jake Melksham gave away a 50-metre penalty.

Liberatore was efficient early in the match, with nine of his first 10 possessions contested. He also kicked a goal as the two sides traded majors in the first half.

Aside from losing Jones before the match, the Demons were struck down by an injury blow during the contest, with Tom Sparrow helped from the field with a suspected shoulder injury.

AAP/ABC



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Los Angeles Lakers toppled by Portland Trail Blazers in first Playoffs encounter


The Portland Trail Blazers are threatening to cause an NBA boilover after toppling the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their playoffs series.

The Lakers have struggled to adapt to life in the Orlando bubble, only managing to win two of their seven previous encounters.

Despite topping the Western Conference, the Lakers’ woes have continued with a 100-93 loss against eighth-seeded Portland, once again failing to reach triple figures.

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Although the Lakers were able to briefly take the lead in the final quarter, a flurry of late threes ensured a comeback was not possible.

LeBron James provided another stellar performance, achieving his 24th postseason triple-double, including 23 points — the four-time MVP became the first player in NBA history to record at least 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists in a playoff game.

However, the Lakers were let down by inconsistent shooting from the three-point line, where they finished 5-for-32.

READ MORE: LeBron unveils very own MAGA hat

“We had a couple of breakdowns, which you can’t have down the stretch, especially against a team like Portland,” James said after the game.

“We had some great opportunities, some great looks. We just didn’t knock them down.”

Portland forward Damian Lillard scored a game-high 34 points, while Jusuf Nurkic managed 15 rebounds. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis scored 28 points in 39 minutes for the Lakers.

“Every game since we’ve been here has been a playoff game. So that prepared us for a game like this,” Lillard said.

“It’s only one win. I’m happy to be here competing in the playoffs again, but we’ve got to move on to the next one.”

Blazers coach Terry Stotts praised replacement forward Wenyen Gabriel after the game: “I like his energy, particularly at the defensive end.

“I like his length and athleticism. When you have a starting lineup with Dame, CJ, Melo and Nurk, I think he complements them. He doesn’t need the ball and I think he’ll make the plays that we need.”

Legendary NBA coach George Karl tweeted: “Lakers should feel worried at this point. Trust me, I know about losing to an 8 seed.”

After Portland secured 1-0 lead in the seven-match series, Game 2 will take place Friday morning AEST.



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Whale and calf flee busy Encounter Bay after boating near misses, finding refuge in Sleaford Bay


Whale watchers say a mother and calf spotted at Sleaford Bay on South Australia’s west coast are the same pair spooked by boats in Encounter Bay, south of Adelaide, and Victoria.

There were concerns for the health of the southern right whales, prompting renewed calls for a sanctuary area in Encounter Bay free of motor vessels.

Encounter Whales spokesperson Elizabeth Steele-Collins said there had been near misses of boats and whales in the bay this year and the Department for Environment had installed signage to warn mariners to slow down and be aware of their presence.

Ms Steele-Collins said the mother and calf had been disturbed at least three times by vessels while traveling in Victorian waters and in Encounter Bay.

Marine Parks regional coordinator Jon Emmett said any interactions with southern right whales at Encounter Bay were likely to be accidental because, while the mammals were huge, only a small part of their back was generally seen above the water.

He said there had been community meetings and consultation on whether to introduce a seasonal motorised vessel exclusion zone last year, but the then-minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, Stephan Knoll, decided existing protective measures were adequate.

The mother whale was found located at Sleaford Bay since last Friday.(Supplied: Marianne Stockham)

Boats must stay 300 metres from whales in Encounter Bay, 100 metres from whales elsewhere in the state, and 300 metres from whales with calves.

Near misses common

Mr Emmett confirmed there had been a couple of accidental near misses in The Bluff area this whale season, prompting the department to install an illuminated sign at the boat ramp to warn boaters to slow down and watch out for the mammals.

He said one mariner was lucky to miss hitting three whales after accidently running over the top of them while travelling at about 20 knots.

He said whales and calves were sensitive to noisy boats and disturbances but it was speculative to say the mother and calf, now in Sleaford Bay, had moved on due to boating activity.

“There’s no causal link that we can establish,” he said.

“It might well be that she gave birth too early or always intended to head west. These are migratory animals.”

He said mapping the identity of the whale using the markings on its head, called callosities, would provide more information about the whale and where it frequented.

Illuminated signs caution whales in area with whale picture and tail picture
The Department of Environment installed a warning sign after some near misses with boats and whales.(Supplied: Encounter Whales)

Curtin University researcher Rhianne Ward said southern right whales migrated east to west, and almost 2,000 had been catalogued at the head of the Great Australian Bight by their markings.

“It is possible that we can look at our catalogue to see if that particular whale has been to the head of the bight in the past,” Ms Ward said.

Ms Steele-Collins said photographs from Sleaford Bay whale watchers would be assessed to see if the whale had previously been catalogued.

She said the mother and calf were first sighted at Cape Schanck at Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, about a month ago where some boats interacted with it.

The pair were tracked and photographed at Phillip Island and Portland before arriving at Encounter Bay, in South Australia, earlier this month.

“Unfortunately they didn’t have a very good time in Encounter Bay either, being a very busy area for boats,” she said.

Whale tail out of water in mid picture in ocean scene cliffs in background
The one-month-old southern right whale calf has been slapping its tail in Sleaford Bay.(Supplied: Marianne Stockham)



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WWE superstar Keith Lee shares horrific encounter with suspected drink spiker


WWE superstar Keith Lee has revealed a horrifying encounter with a “young lady” who he claims spiked his drink at a bar in Dallas.

Lee has appeared in Ring of Honor, Evolve and Pro Wrestling Guerilla before signing with the WWE in 2018. Sports Illustrated ranked him at the tenth Best Male Wrestler of 2017.

The 35-year-old also played a starring role in Netflix comedy film “The Main Event”, which premiered in April.

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On Wednesday, Lee contributed to the #SpeakingOut movement, in which several wrestlers have exposed sexual impropriety within the industry.

Lee recounted how a young woman offered him a drink after he repeatedly rejected her passes, only to lose consciousness soon after and awake naked in a hotel room.

He captioned the post: “Not out of spite. Not because I want to cause anyone harm. Not out of hate or anger. I simply want you to know.”

“I am going to share a story with you that very, VERY few know. I am watching friends and associates #SpeakOut. I am noticing how much strength it is taking for them to bring forth their stories. I shall share one of my own,” Lee posted.

“I cannot lock down the time frame because of how hazy it was for me. However, I was living in (Texas) still during this time. Perhaps 2016 or 2017.

“I was in Dallas for an event, or maybe just to visit family. Afterwards, I went to an old bar I would sometimes visit and sing at.

“It had been some time, so I was unfamiliar with the atmosphere. But the vibe of the music kept me interested.

“Eventually I got to sing a song. Afterwards, a young lady asked to sit with me. I was alone so I did not mind and welcomed her.

“We went on to talk about the beauty of music and books. Random philosophies on life. It truly was a pleasant conversation.

“I am often told I am …. oblivious …. when someone is interested in me. And I would have to concur as I did not realise the interest until she blatantly expressed it. To which I declined as I was taken at the time.

“She was disappointed, but still pleasant. She would continue to make passes throughout the night, citing all that she wanted to do to me. I politely declined and explained I enjoyed the company, but that chat could not continue.

“I then offered to buy her a drink as an apology before I headed to the rest room. She declined and said that she’d buy me one because she enjoyed my song so much, that I could go ahead for the bathroom. I expressed gratitude and went to put in a song before heading for the rest room.

“I would return to fresh drinks. We’d continue discussing the types training I do. I’d try to get her to sing, but she would act shy and decline, saying she enjoyed listening to others, but didn’t want attention on her. I even offered help with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ It’s kind of my go to when people are nervous about karaoke. I try to be inviting. And that sing is pure fun!

“Unfortunately … it’s right around here things become extremely fuzzy for me. No matter how much I rack my brain, all I find myself able to recall is struggling to make it to the stage.

“I recall waking up naked in a hotel room (I don’t even recall if it was my own room), confused and in a panic. I was fortunate enough to have my essentials such as wallet and phone. But … who knows what all I lost.

“To this day …. I know not what happened. I have tried to forget about it ever since …. But I tell this story, so people understand. Anyone can be a victim. ANYONE.

“It is why I randomly stopped drinking. And why it remains such a rarity to this day.”

Lee was flooded with supportive messages after sharing his story, but when a Twitter user questioned whether the post was aiding the #SpeakingOut movement, the 145kg wrestling star didn’t hold back.

“I expected someone of your level ignorance to show up … even though this isn’t for you. Why are you in this thread?” Lee replied.

“Are you searching for details? I was drugged and raped. That’s all you get. Assault is assault. However it comes, that’s what it is. Begone.”



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Former Yass teacher Lee Brown did not know sexual encounter with student was illegal, court told



A former Yass High School teacher who admitted having sex with a student has been found not guilty of two other sexual offences alleged to have occurred during the same incident.

Lee Brown, 60, pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to one count of sexual intercourse without consent, but challenged other charges.

She contested the account by the former student about an encounter in the shed of her Canberra home more than a decade ago, when the teenage girl was staying overnight with another friend.

The 60-year-old told the court the the girl had driven things by sitting on her lap.

At the time Brown was a teacher at Yass High School and the teenager was a student at the school.

Each gave conflicting accounts about what happened.

‘She said I led her on’

The then teenager said she was sitting on a couch in the shed at Brown’s home when they started kissing.

But when things started to escalate, the girl said “no” and asked to stop.

She told the court that had angered Brown, who allegedly said: “What did you expect? You sat yourself astride me. You obviously wanted it.”

The victim said she apologised. “I felt guilty. I felt horrible. I felt it was all my fault,” she said.

“She said I led her on.

“It felt very uncomfortable, very unpleasant.”

‘It’s probably naive and stupid of me’

But Brown told police it was the girl who had initiated things by kissing her.

She said the encounter was the first sexual activity between the pair, in a relationship that continued when the girl left school.

Brown said the pair had discussed the wrongs of the situation and that she had told the girl it had to stop.

She said the teenager had promised to protect her.

“She said she was comfortable with me,” Brown said.

Brown told officers that although she knew what she was doing was wrong, she did not realise it was illegal.

“It’s probably naive and stupid of me,” she said.

When the girl eventually told her mother, Brown said she was forced to resign.

Brown then went to work in Canberra’s jail, she told the court.

Prosecutors questioned Brown’s plausibility, but Justice John Burns found they had not proved the facts beyond reasonable doubt.

Brown has already spent time in jail in New South Wales for other offences against the same former student.

She will be sentenced in August.



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