Australian captain Tim Paine asks broadcast staff to enter biosecure bubble to ensure January 7 Sydney Test


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The MCG is on standby for the third Test, however a proposal from NSW figures to have back-to-back Tests in Sydney – which would have circumvented the need to head to appease the Queensland government – fell flat.

While a bubble would be a foreign experience for the staff, it has become the norm for the nation’s leading players, some of whom have headed from hub to hub since the white-ball tour of England in September, which was followed by the Indian Premier League season in the UAE.

Speaking after training on Friday, Paine said he was hopeful staff would put their hands up to head into a bubble in order to allow the Sydney Test goes ahead.

“If that’s what it takes to get the Sydney Test up and going, then whilst it’s not ideal I think it’s a small sacrifice for everyone to make,” Paine said.

“I know the boys would certainly be excited to have another few people into the hub to talk to, I think we’re getting sick of each other. If we get a few more people that we can chat to I think it would be good fun. That’s a decision they’ll have to make. As I’ve said before, the hub life is not that bad, it’s not like we’re in jail or anything like that, it’s still a pretty good way of living. I don’t think any of us complain.”

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He added that the Sydney Test – known for more than a decade as the “pink Test” for the McGrath Foundation – was a special event on the calendar.

“There’s no doubt the New Year’s Test in Sydney is a huge part of the Australian summer. And for our team, we’ve got so many guys from Sydney and NSW, so they love playing in front of their home crowds and having their families around, so hopefully that can get off the ground. I think at the moment that is the plan. I’ve been pushing hard behind the scenes for [Hobart’s] Blundstone Arena if it’s not but I don’t think that’s going to happen, so the next best place is the SCG.”

Paine, meanwhile, acknowledged that the Boxing Day Test had a strange feel about it given capacity at the MCG is limited to 30,000 per day. But he said that was vastly better than nothing, which looked a distinct possibility as Victoria battled through a horrendous winter.

“It’s going to be different isn’t it. Seeing the MCG sometimes with 30,000 you’re a bit disappointed when you turn up and I think tomorrow again it’s going to have a completely different feel. Victoria’s had harsher lockdowns than most of us, so to have 30,000 people there, if you had have told us that a few months ago I don’t think we would have believed you. I think we’re just lucky to be playing a Boxing Day Test at the MCG.”



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De Blasio announces sheriff’s deputies will go to homes of UK travelers to NYC, ensure quarantine


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that travelers from the U.K. will receive a quarantine order as well as a  home visit from a sheriff’s deputy — as part of an aggressive effort to prevent that spread of a more infectious strain of the coronavirus.

The mayor said he was taking action in light of the mutated strain of the virus that has emerged in the U.K. and has caused a number of European countries to slap various travel restrictions on the country.

DE BLASIO SAYS CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN COMING ‘IN THE WEEKS AHEAD,’ POSSIBLY RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS 

De Blasio announced that all travelers to New York City will receive a personalized Department of Health commissioner’s order to quarantine by mail.

“This will be a personal and direct order to every single one of them, telling them they must quarantine — and that will be given to all travelers beyond…anyone coming in just from the U.K.,” he said.

However, travelers from the U.K. will also be receiving a knock on the door from law enforcement at their home or hotel to ensure they are locked down.

“But specifically for folks coming in from the U.K., given that particular concern we are going to have sheriff’s deputies go to the home or the hotel of every single traveler coming in from the U.K.,” the mayor said.

UK MUTATED CORONAVIRUS STRAIN LIKELY ALREADY IN US, OFFICIALS SAY 

He said anyone found not to be quarantining would be fined $1,000 immediately and then $1,000 for every additional day they are not quarantining after that.

“We don’t want to, but if you don’t follow quarantine, you’re endangering everyone else in the city, right as we’re fighting the second wave,” he said.

New York City has struggled to keep the virus under control despite continual restrictions that have seen restaurants never open for indoor dining at anything more than 25% capacity — and recently even that was ended amid a rising surge in cases and hospitalization.

De Blasio recently warned that the Big Apple was likely to see a new shutdown, possibly after Christmas, given the continued surge of the virus over the holidays.

“So I think, unfortunately, and I don’t say it with anything but sorrow, but I do think it’s needed, we’re going to need to do some kind of shutdown in the weeks ahead, something that resembles the pause we were in in the spring,” he said last week.

He announced Wednesday that the city saw 224 hospitalizations, above its 200 threshold, and has registered 2,789 new cases and a seven-day positivity rate of 6.19% — above the 5% desired threshold.

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The new restrictions are the latest move by New York to stop the spread from the U.K.

On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he asked three major airlines to add New York state to the list of 120 countries requiring passengers traveling from the U.K. to get a negative test result before boarding flights. 

Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Delta have all since agreed and will require a negative test before boarding flights to New York. 

Fox News’ Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.



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Ruck rethink needed to ensure development of AFL draft prospects


If they are just very good ruck prospects, as Lane, Heath and Walsh are, clubs are unlikely to strike until the end of the second round, somewhere late in the 30s, or even find a place on their tight rookie lists.

Others such as Tsapatolis, Colina and Melbourne’s Austin Bradtke are found through basketball.

Then what happens? A rethink is needed to ensure the development of such prospects accelerates because at the moment there is an issue that shrinking list sizes and reduced interchange rotations only exacerbates.

Ruckman are taking up vital spots on lists without giving clubs the return they need.

Perhaps it’s time the AFL looked at creating a path within their system that replicates, to some extent, the road St Kilda’s Rowan Marshall took to the AFL.

Before Marshall made it on to the Saints’ list he played for Sebastopol in the Ballarat League while on North Ballarat’s list, developing his body and footy smarts. His education then accelerated as soon as he was placed on the Saints’ list as a rookie.

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Perhaps clubs could list a ruckman and pay them a rookie wage but have them allocated to a local club just below the state league to play their footy when necessary, and swing them into the state league occasionally so they get the best of both worlds.

Why? Because at the moment many clubs have too many ruckmen on their list – which they inevitably need as insurance against injury – meaning multiple talls are sometimes squeezed into state league teams hindering their development as they are played out of position.

Clubs who don’t have enough ruckmen risk burning out a young ruckman who gets buffeted and bashed while they put on weight, size and strength, affecting confidence and longevity.

Perhaps the league could develop a ruck academy where developing ruckmen across the competition train collectively under an expert ruck coach or three to develop their craft, pooling resources across the competition rather than each club needing a part-time ruck coach that no one can afford or understand.

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Some might argue such ideas would disconnect ruckmen from the club but they are guns for hire who should be given every chance to go into a system that helps them be as good as they can as quickly as they can. Those who develop their ruckmen well, such as Richmond under Ivan Maric, might be disadvantaged too. That argument is not strong enough as the Tigers will still have an edge on other clubs with Maric in the camp.

That doesn’t happen now as key people at clubs look at ruckmen as unwanted necessities that, in the main, take up list spots and money for little return. If that thought continues to fester and no one is around to prove the sceptics wrong rucking will be downgraded as a role.

Rucks are the game’s characters, the big fellas everyone looks to for direction, but they remain endangered and a shift in thinking is required to shake the process up.

Thilthorpe, Heath, Walsh, Lane, Tsapatolis and Colina deserve the opportunity to be as good as they can be as quickly as is possible.

Ruckmen fewer than 50 games by games, name, club and age

47 Tim English (Western Bulldogs) 23

46 Andrew Phillips (Essendon) 29

41 Sean Darcy (Fremantle) 22

37 Reilly O’Brien (Adelaide) 25

36 Ivan Soldo (Richmond) 24

30 Sam Naismith (Sydney) 28

20 Marc Pittonet (Carlton) 24

18 Braydon Preuss (GWS) 25

16 Archie Smith (Brisbane Lions) 25

15 Peter Ladhams (Port Adelaide) 22

15 Keegan Brooksby (Hawthorn) 30

11 Darcy Cameron (Collingwood) 25

10 Hayden McLean (Sydney) 21

9 Tom DeKoning (Carlton) 21

8 Billy Frampton (Adelaide) 24

8 Sam Draper (Essendon) 22

8 Darcy Fort (Geelong) 27

6 Luke Jackson (Melbourne) 19

4 Tristan Xerri (North Melbourne) 21

3 Bailey Williams (West Coast) 20

1 Kieran Strachan (Adelaide) 25

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Essential ways to ensure your business idea is profitable


The excitement has passed and the reality is dawning that even with the wished-for amount of investment, there will still be a niggling feeling that the plan could do with a little more work. Specifically, the part about profitability.

Addressing this hidden reality is something that all businesses must sooner or later face: When will the idea outlined in the business plan be profitable? This five-step checklist is a tried and tested tool for helping to determine when – and if – a business idea is profitable.

Understand the purpose of a business

Investopedia defines a business as “an organisation [sic] or enterprising entity engaged in commercial, industrial, or professional activities…the term ‘business’ also refers to the organised efforts and activities of individuals to produce and sell goods and services for profit”.

Conversely, a business is not a hobby or an activity to pass the
time. Keep this definition in mind, and let it guide your decision-making.

Understand what counts in the business plan

A business plan, as defined by Your Dictionary, is “a
comprehensive plan written by a potential or current small-business owner who
is attempting to obtain venture capital financing, a bank loan, or other
financing. The business plan is a blueprint for how the company intends to
perform”.

It continues, “It must spell out the company’s product or service, give a synopsis of its history, explain how the company is superior to its competition, and outline how it intends to be successful in its target market. Sales projections must be included in the business plan, along with financial performance statistics and future projections”.

So,
if your plan doesn’t include all of these aspects, it may technically not be a
business plan at all.

No more Captain Charming

Investors are ruthless when it comes to reviewing business plans. And you should be too with your own. Think like an investor, along the lines of the famed Gerry Maguire quote “Show me the money!” (which, it’s worth noting, was based on the real person – successful sports agent Leigh Steinberg – who uttered that well-known line well before the movie made it legendary).

Don’t leave any doubt about where the money is
coming from, or when.

Know your cashflow

When it comes to “show me the money”, the real answer for a start-up comes down to cashflow. Cash will only ever flow one of two directions: in or out. In is good, out is necessary. The goal is to ensure the cash coming in is greater than the cash going out.

Sounds simple enough, but in practice, the reasons/excuses for more cash going out always seem to far outnumber the methods of getting cash in. This is where an entrepreneur’s real skills are honed. Guarding cash is not just good business practice, it’s vital. The most ruthless or most likely to succeed entrepreneurs understand this.

Get lucky

Business always involves an element of luck. But successful entrepreneurs know or learn how to make their own luck. Famed Hollywood producer Samuel Goldwyn is quoted as saying “the harder I work, the luckier I get”.

Creating luck isn’t about having blind faith though.
It’s about being realistic.

As Sir Richard Branson noted, “business
opportunities are like buses – there’s always another one coming”. If your
numbers simply don’t add up, they could be telling you something: that you may
need to hop off this bus and wait for the next one.

Alan Manly, Founder, Group Colleges Australia and author of “The Unlikely Entrepreneur” 





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COVID-19: Biden says ‘more people may die’ if Trump doesn’t ensure smooth transfer of power | US News


US president-elect Joe Biden has said “more people may die” if the Trump administration does not help ensure a smooth transfer of power.

Mr Biden also said he was hopeful Mr Trump would be “mildly more enlightened” before the incoming president’s inauguration on 20 January.

Despite mounting public pressure, the Republican’s administration has refused to initiate the traditional transition briefings for the president-elect’s team on national security and policy issues.

Mr Trump is also blocking Mr Biden’s team from being briefed on efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic and distribute prospective vaccines.

The president-elect was speaking alongside vice president-elect Kamala Harris from his makeshift headquarters in Delaware on Monday.

When asked about the Trump administration’s lack of willingness to work with his team, Mr Biden told reporters: “More people may die if we don’t co-ordinate.

“As my chief of staff would say when we handled ebola – a vaccine is important, but it’s of little use until you’re vaccinated… how do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated, what’s the game plan?

“It’s a huge undertaking to get it done, prioritise those greatest in need… (the Trump administration) say they have this Warp Speed programme that’s not only dealt with getting vaccines, but also how to distribute this.

“If we have to wait until 20 January to start that planning it puts us behind over a month, a month and a half.”

Mr Trump seemed to acknowledge Mr Biden’s election victory for the first time on Sunday before walking back the remark and repeating false claims of widespread voter fraud.

When asked how his team would prepare to lead the country without help from Mr Trump during the transition, Mr Biden said: “Deal with every individual organisation in the country from business to labour, Republicans and Democrats, to try to pull together a serious and consistent plan so we are ready on day one… it would make it a lot easier if the president would participate… I am hopeful that the president will be mildly more enlightened before we get to 20 January.”

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When asked about tweets from the president over the weekend where he insisted he had won the election, Mr Biden laughed as he said he interpreted it as “Trumpinism”.

The president-elect also said he was speaking to leaders around the world “knowing what the outcome” of the election will be.

He added Mr Trump’s insistence that he had won were “embarrassing for the country”.

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Mr Biden also said he “wouldn’t hesitate” to take the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine if they were concluded to be safe.

The president-elect and Ms Harris held a virtual meeting with a collection of labour and business leaders earlier.

Mr Biden has vowed to spend trillions of dollars to reinvigorate US manufacturing, expand healthcare coverage and combat climate change, among other priorities.

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Obama: ‘It’s time for Trump to concede’

But his chief priority remains controlling the coronavirus pandemic, which is surging to record levels in the US and forcing state and local leaders to implement new rounds of restrictions on local businesses.

The president-elect has so far tried to sidestep difficult questions about whether he might support a short-term national lockdown to arrest the surge of coronavirus cases.

Since his election win, Mr Biden has devoted most of his public remarks to encouraging Americans to wear masks and embrace social-distancing measures.



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We must ensure that those who need help receive it


Not only does this assume such waters existed in the first place, it fails to understand that sections of our community have been swimming in poverty since before the pandemic. It further foreshadows the withdrawal of the supplement and a mean-spirited social policy principle based on ‘‘the deserving’’ versus ‘‘the undeserving poor’’. This was never more evident than when the JobSeeker payment was almost doubled overnight with the emergence of COVID-19.
Peter McIntosh, Ballarat

Reducing poverty and boosting the economy

Congratulations to Jessica Irvine for spelling out the reality of trying to live on the old Newstart allowance – ‘‘Live on $40 a day? Let me see’’ (Comment, 12/11). In her regular Age articles, she has demonstrated her mastery of budgeting and getting value for every dollar spent. If she would barely be able to sustain life on $40 a day, many others would fail dismally. And there should be more to life than just staying alive.

The JobSeeker allowance should at least equal the age pension, and it should be indexed in the same way. This would not only keep a very large number of Australians out of poverty, but the money would go straight back into the economy and act as a much needed stimulus.
Julia Blunden, Hawthorn

Forget about any comforts on $40 a day

Jessica Irvine describes fairly well life lived on $40 a day but forgot to include no heating in winter and no cooling in summer. Moreover, if you are one of the many who should be receiving a disability pension but have been forced onto Newstart, you can forget about having a phone.
Karina Kanepe, Northcote

Governments must stop pampering ‘winners’

Providing stable housing turns lives around far more than the plethora of services that treat the symptoms of homelessness rather than curing it. It is also economically and socially more beneficial. However, successive governments have backed away from, or paid lip service to, solving the problem by handing out too much money to the market for what it could have done itself at half the cost.

The economic burden of housing is not helped by a system that pays $10 billion in tax credits each year to help Australians buy a second or third ‘‘home’’ but seemingly baulks at providing the same support for anyone without one. COVID-19 has shown that governments can do great things when they have the will. We need a government brave enough to be seen to be backing so called ‘‘losers’’, not just pampering winners.
Stephen Farrelly, Donvale

Too many workers cannot afford to get sick

Surely, this pandemic should have taught us one most important thing – that casual work with no sick leave is penny wise and pound foolish. A healthy economy requires a healthy population.
Georgina Simmons, Mornington

An economy-obsessed view of the world

With La Trobe University’s capitulation – ‘‘La Trobe plans to cut arts, education’’ (12/11) – the government has moved one step closer to achieving its ambition to turn the university sector into one big training college.

By making job-ready courses cheaper and pushing up the cost of humanities and education courses, they get people safely into jobs while reducing the output of humanities and similar graduates prone to pointing out the shortcomings of this economy-obsessed world view. La Trobe will only be the first university to succumb.
Tony Haydon, Springvale

THE FORUM

The dangers of vaping

The US, Canada and New Zealand governments have all been required to act to address epidemics of e-cigarette use in school age children.

Canadian authorities, the US Surgeon-General, the Irish Health Review Board and, locally, CSIRO and Australian National University have concluded that vaping multiplies the risk that a young person will start smoking. The New Zealand government has passed an act to mitigate the same concerns there.

Yet Hollie Hughes, the chair of the Senate selection committee on tobacco harm reduction, says: ‘‘I don’t think anyone is going to be a non-smoker and take it (vaping) up’’ (The Age, 13/11). This comment displays her ignorance of the matter and shows she is ill-equipped to judge matters of science.
Professor Bruce Thompson, school of health sciences, Swinburne University

Dedicated, unrecognised

I concur with Dr Jane Sullivan’s acknowledgement of, and gratitude to, aged care staff for doing their best for residents and their loved ones during the pandemic (Letters, 12/11). I join the Health Services Union in calling for an immediate wage increase for these workers (The Age, 12/11).

But, true to form, the Aged Care Minister, while giving lip service to the rhetoric of the ‘‘importance of a skilled and supported aged care workforce’’, again defers action until ‘‘the royal commission hands down its final report in February’’. It is the same answer he has been giving to every aged care issue since the October 2019 interim ‘‘neglect’’ report.
Glenda Addicott, Ringwood East

Put human rights first

The Australian Olympic Committee is resisting calls to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, saying politics should play no part in sport. I disagree in this instance. So too does crossbench senator Rex Patrick.

It is not just the human rights abuse of China’s own persecuted minorities which is the motivation for most calls to boycott. More than this it is its overt bullying and militarisation of several reclaimed shoals in the South China Sea.

This is Berlin 1936. The global community should unite and call China out as it did South Africa over apartheid. An eminent Briton, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, is calling for global support. This is what is needed.
Bob McDowell, Albert Park

The other ‘strandees’

It is nice that the government has made representations to Chinese authorities regarding those poor Indian sailors who have been stranded at sea for months (The Age, 13/11). Now if only it could do something about those pesky refugees who have been stranded for years at its own behest.
Patrick Toohey, North Balwyn

End of HK democracy

The Prime Minister should declare a day of mourning in Australia for the death of democracy in Hong Kong (The Age, 13/11). With opposition totally gutted by the Beijing regime, pro-democracy Legislative Council members had no choice but to resign. Australia’s offer of haven for Hong Kong dissenters needs to be made practical with free travel to this country.
Neil Tolliday, Werribee

Labor’s brawling shame

The State of the Climate report from CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology warns that ‘‘climate change is already here’’, and of more extreme fire seasons and ‘‘big weather’’ events like major flooding, severe cyclones and long-lasting droughts (The Age, 13/11). Yet our once great party of vision, intellectual vigour and social wellbeing engages in ignominious climate policy brawling to protect seats. Shame, shame.
Jenny Lobato, Coburg

An opportunity for ALP

Labor has got itself into a nice pickle over climate change and the coal industry. Workers are no doubt fearful of losing their jobs. But as some observers have said, they are not dumb. If they could see that new jobs were being planned, and actually created, then they would be less fearful about their future.

The government is collectively sitting on its hands, hoping that market forces will achieve what it is not prepared to do: facilitate change. This gives Labor a golden opportunity to consult with workers, local communities and industry to map the way forward. What COVID-19 has done is show that politicians can bring people (voters) along with them by good, fact-based plans and sufficient explanation.
Geoff Crowhurst, Thornbury

Show Joel the door

Joel Fitzgibbon has called on Labor’s long-time energy spokesman Mark Butler to be removed from the portfolio (The Age, 13/11). Mr Butler should stay right where he is. He is the climate voice of reason in Labor. Mr Fitzgibbon et al are now so entangled with the mining, coal, oil and gas industries they no longer have the interests or wellbeing of Australians in mind. They should be sent packing. This is too important.
Lee Guion, Portarlington

Move to independence

Please, Joel Fitzgibbon, if you are so committed to your (outdated) ideas about the fossil fuel-related industries and yet claim to be a loyal Labor man, declare yourself as an independent and let your electorate decide. Then talk as much as you like but do not bring down the party you assert is so dear to you. Feel free to align yourself with the likes of Angus Taylor and Matt Canavan. Most thinking types acknowledge the future of the fossil fuel energy industries is all used up.
Royce Bennett, Baxter

A lack of integrity

Surely Scott Morrison must be running short of room on the growing list of topics being filed under ‘‘Now is not the time to talk about it’’. With the mounting number of government scandals now including MPs who hypocritically claim to espouse ‘‘family values’’, there will be little else that the rest of us want to talk about. The only effective federal integrity commission that would have the trust of the populace would be one crafted by a group of eminent judges.
Erica Grebler, Caulfield North

Not the spot

I read with sadness about a woman who allegedly tried to score a free meal at a fast-food outlet by posing as an FBI agent – Odd Spot (The Age, 12/11) . Police said she began to ‘‘talk into her shirt like she was talking into a radio telling someone we were going to arrest her’’.

I have a psychology degree and have worked with bipolar and schizophrenic people. I suspect this woman was mentally ill and hungry, and that she was displaying a lack of medication issues. If that was the case, this piece was not funny or newsworthy.
Anita Kalnina, Elwood

Lament for the Pies

What a debacle at Collingwood. They could not do their sums with the salary cap and now find themselves having to unload proven players, Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson and others. They could not add any new players to their list due to these constraints.

Eddie McGuire has announced he is leaving his radio gig at the end of the month: he should also consider his presidency of the club. One premiership in his 22 years at the helm of supposedly the biggest club in the country is testimony to his impact. Coach Nathan Buckley, with no flags after eight years in charge, paints a similar picture. How will Collingwood be competitive in 2021 and beyond with a list minus these proven performers?
Hans Pieterse, Narre Warren North

Ruthlessness of trades

AFL trade week: when young people full of dreams are commodified in a grubby, almost ‘‘people trafficking’’ frenzy. We are sorry to lose you, Adam Treloar.
Sue Currie, Northcote

Keep faith, Mr Biden

Though the evening of the Trump presidency is not playing out as fast as many would like, I suggest the president-elect and his supporters keep on singing, aBiden With Me, Fast Falls the Eventide.
Paul Castley, Kew

AND ANOTHER THING

Matt Golding cartoon 
Four corners one corner
For letters
Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

Politics

It’s a madhouse in Canberra. They’re all bonkers.
Doug Shapiro, Doncaster East

The government’s list of threatened species now includes certain ministers.
Annie Wilson, Inverloch

Alan Tudge is tainted.
Merilyn Tabor, Point Lonsdale

Until the major parties get serious about climate change, my only possible choice is the Greens.
Peter McTigue, Sandringham

Joel Fitzgibbon’s primary interest appears to be, first and foremost, looking after Joel Fitzgibbon.
Stephen Cross, Campbells Creek

To take action on climate change is science. To oppose action is politics.
Rob Ward, Lake Tyers Beach

The US

America must be the only country in the world where the opposition can rig an election.
Raelene Spencer, Croydon

When Trump is evicted from the White House, I hope it will be broadcast on TV. I’d like to watch it.
Peter Carlin, Frankston South

Joe Biden calls the situation an embarrassment. That’s an understatement. That mob couldn’t organise a chook raffle.
Susan Penninger, Hurstbridge

I’m suffering from Trump ‘‘tweet’’ withdrawal symptoms.
Ed Farbrother, Hughesdale

‘‘Just because I’m delusional and paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me and steal the election’’.
Tony Andreatta, Kew

Donald Trump: a massive fraud.
Brian Nelson, Fitzroy

From his golf course to the White House, Trump is chasing handicaps.
Denis Young, Sandringham

National anthem

Change the ‘‘girt by sea’’ dirge to We Are Australians, a perfect expression of modern, multicultural Australia.
Geof Carne, Moonee Ponds

I’m for Waltzing Matilda or I Still Call Australia Home, both rousing melodies recognised around the world.
Marie Nash, Balwyn

Note from the Editor

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Nitish Kumar govt needed to ensure Bihar’s uninterrupted development: Modi


New Delhi: Asserting that reforms are impossible in an environment of mismanagement and anarchy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he needs the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar to ensure that there is no paucity in the state’s development and the welfare schemes continue there uninterrupted. In an open letter to the people of Bihar ahead of the final phase of voting on Saturday, Modi said people have full faith that only the NDA government can work for the state’s development.

“I am convinced about the development of Bihar. I need the Nitish Kumar government to ensure that there is no paucity in Bihar’s development and the welfare schemes continue there uninterrupted,” he said.

“I have full faith that the power of ‘double engine’ will take Bihar to new heights of development in this decade,” Modi said.

In his four-page letter in Hindi. the prime minister also said that better infrastructure and rule of law are imperative for social and economic prosperity and only NDA can provide that in Bihar.

NDA has done work in all sectors in Bihar — electricity, water, roads, health, education and for law and order, he said.

Modi said it was a matter of pride that the focus in Bihar polls has been on development. He said that the NDA has presented its report card to people and also shared its vision for the future.

While the first two phases of voting for Bihar assembly elections have taken place, the final round will be held on November 7, followed by counting of votes for all 243 seats on November 10.

Modi has himself addressed a number of rallies in the state during the election campaign, seeking the return of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the state.





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Ensure he is treated fairly: Editors Guild on Arnab Goswami arrest


By: Express News Service | New Delhi |

November 5, 2020 4:49:41 am





Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami after his arrest, at Alibaug in Raigad on Wednesday. (Express photo: Narendra Vaskar)

Condemning the arrest of Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami in a suicide abetment case, several journalists’ organisations appealed to the Maharashtra government to not “misuse state power for vendetta” and follow “due process”.

In a statement, the Editors Guild of India said it was shocked and asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to ensure that the state machinery is not used against critical journalism. “We condemn the sudden arrest and find it extremely distressing,” it said, adding that it “calls upon the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to ensure that Goswami is treated fairly and state power is not used against critical reporting by the media”.

The self-regulatory body of television news channels, the News Broadcasters Association, said that though the media is not above the law, due process needs to be followed. It condemned “the manner” in which Goswami “was arrested by the Raigarh Police”. It stated that “according to the police, Goswami was arrested in a 2018 abetment to suicide case”. “NBA is dismayed in the manner in which he was arrested. Even though NBA does not agree with his type of journalism, we denounce retaliatory action, if any, by the authorities against a media editor. Media is not above the law but due process must be followed.”

The NBA also appealed to the Maharashtra Chief Minister “to ensure that Goswami is treated fairly and state power is not misused for vendetta”.

EXPLAINED | What is the suicide case in which Arnab Goswami has been arrested by Maharashtra Police?

Another association of news broadcasters, founded by Goswami and including several regional players, the News Broadcasters Federation also expressed shock at Goswami’s arrest “by resurrecting a two-year-old closed case”. It called upon the Centre and Maharashtra government to “follow the due process of law and ensure fair treatment” to Goswami.

Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) said it “unequivocally condemns the high-handed manner in which the Maharashtra Police” arrested Goswami “ostensibly in a 2018 abetment to suicide case”.

Goswami, IWPC said, “had been cooperating with the police and going to the police station each time he was summoned” and the state government’s “ use of its police force reeks of cynical and self-serving vendetta”.

The Maharashtra government, it said, “must realise that the arbitrary nature” of Goswami’s arrest, “not just violates the principle of liberty, but also seeks to tamp down principles of free speech and expression enshrined in our Constitution,” and stated that it believes “that the Maharashtra government’s attack on the press is dangerous for the media and the people at large”.

The National Union of Journalists called it an “illegal arrest of noted journalist” and said that it “appears an attempt to subdue and throttle the freedom of speech and expression by misuse of the police force by the Maharashtra Government” and said that the “misuse of the police force to gag the media, the fourth estate of democracy, is highly dangerous”.

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Wadjarri people gather to ensure extraordinary family legend of endurance and defiance lives on


For generations, a Wadjarri family has whispered the legend of a man in their family line.

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article contains images and names of of people who have died.

The story of their ancestor’s exploits was passed down through song as generation after generation wondered at the man’s extraordinary escape and journey of endurance, determination, and family love.

But the legend had begun to die, along with the Wadjarri language and the elders who once sung the story.

Now Wadjarri man Gavin Egan is determined to ensure it lives on.

He has gathered several generations of his family to a remote cattle station in Western Australia’s Murchison region to share the legend.

Standing beside a vast red-dirt clay pan, he made a great sweep of his arm to indicate the site of the story.

For it was here that the story of his great-grandfather, through marriage, known as Isseka, Jimmy and also Isaac, played out some 160 years ago.

Wadjarri elder Gavin Egan is determined to preserve his great-grandfather’s escape story.(ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt: Samille Mitchell)

Family legend

According to the story, Isaac lived at what is now Yallalong Station in the Murchison around the 1860s, though some say it was later.

His people would camp into the hills bordering a large clay pan, and travel to the clay pan and a nearby spring to gather food, hunt and seek water.

But when European shepherds began grazing their sheep at the spring, the kangaroo these people relied on stopped coming, so Isaac speared a sheep to feed his family.

“He had these kids and of course, like all good fathers, he wanted to provide for them,” Mr Egan said.

“Aboriginal people are big on family, we’ll do anything for family — so did he.”

The sheep kill incensed European shepherds who demanded retribution and it was not long before police troopers rode out to the remote camp to arrest Isaac.

According to legend, the police marched Egan some 300 kilometres across the arid land to Mount Gould Police Station, where he was crammed into a single cell with other Aboriginal prisoners.

Mr Egan said his great-grandfather was then chained by the neck to other Aboriginal prisoners and marched another 600 kilometres back to the coast to be shipped from Port Gregory to the Aboriginal prison at Rottnest.

Historical photo of four traditional Aboriginal prisoners, wearing only loin clothes, chained by the neck.
The Egan family believe Isaac Egan was chained to other prisoners by the neck, much like those in this photograph.(Supplied: State Library of Western Australia.)

Escape

While no records existed of an Isaac, Isseka or Jimmy Egan having been imprisoned at Rottnest, the Egan family believed Isaac escaped from his island prison.

Some said he swam the gruelling 18 kilometres to shore, others believed he stole a boat to flee to the mainland.

Once ashore, Isaac began the long trek home — some 800 kilometres back to Yallalong Station — determined to return to his family.

A gruesome past

Filmmaker Glen Stasiuk has completed a PhD on Rottnest’s past as a prison, and produced a documentary on the subject.

He said some 4,000 Aboriginal men and boys were sent to Rottnest over its 100-year history as a prison, about 400 of them dying there in horrendous conditions.

“There was no sanitation, you just basically slept in your own urine and faeces and, if you were sick, your own vomit,” he said.

Dr Stasiuk said records showed about 30 prisoners had escaped Rottnest, though most were re-captured.

He’d heard no stories of prisoners having swum back to shore, saying even rowing back to the mainland would have been an incredible feat of endurance.

Escapees, and those who were released, were simply dumped on the mainland and forced to make their own way home, often through unknown and hostile territory.

“It would have been really hard for a lot of these Aboriginal prisoners to move back to your traditional country so anyone who did that is a grand story and one that needs to be applauded,” Dr Stasiuk said.

A Wadjarri man is dwarfed by a vast red claypan landscape in the WA Murchison.
The claypan at which Isaac Egan was captured, and to which he later returned to be with his family.(ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt: Samille Mitchell)

Recapture

Several months after Isaac’s apparent escape, Mr Egan said, the police returned to the Yallalong range where Isaac’s family lived.

The legend went that the police spied Isaac on the claypan, saw him flee for the hills on foot and galloped him down, the trampling hooves of their horses damaging his foot and crippling him. Once captured Isaac was again sent south to prison.

Some said he managed to return once more, later dying in the region of tuberculosis.

Whatever the case, Mr Egan was determined to keep the story of his great-grandfather alive by sharing it with his family.

“I think that he was a brave soul, I think that a lot of people took it upon themselves to defy authority and to say that we can survive, and we have survived with all those atrocities,” he said.



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President Trump: Americans should ensure mail-in vote is counted


With the USS Battleship North Carolina in the background, President Donald Trump speaks on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Wilmington, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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UPDATED 4:05 PM PT – Thursday, September 3, 2020

With just two months until Election Day, the president is ramping up his message to Americans to participate in democracy. Earlier this week, he suggested citizens should try to vote twice to test the functionality of the mail-in ballot system.

During an interview, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany clarified the president is not encouraging anyone do anything unlawful. She explained the president instead wants people to be confident their votes are tabulated amid the “whole new fraudulent system of mail-in voting.”

This came after President Trump suggested Americans test the voting system by trying to cast their ballot in person if they first mailed in their presidential pick.

“If it tabulates, it won’t be able to do that. So let them send it in, let them go vote. If their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote. That’s the way it is.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

FILE – In this Aug. 5, 2020, file photo, vote-by-mail ballots are shown in sorting trays at the King County Elections headquarters in Renton, Wash., south of Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

On Twitter, the president reiterated Americans need to take precautions so their “vote counts.” He urged voters to make sure their ballots are not “lost, thrown out or in any way destroyed.”

FILE – In this June 1, 2020, file photo a stack of table top voting booths are stored at the Allegheny County Election Division’s warehouse on the Northside of Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

In the meantime, critics have accused him of trying to encourage people to commit a felony. Attorney General William Barr has said they’re missing the mark on the real danger America is facing.

Barr stated it’s been widely acknowledged for years that mail-in voting heightens the potential for fraud and other grave risks. This year, he claimed Democrats have flipped the narrative.

He went on to discuss the significance of trust in election results amid a time of national debate and turmoil.

“We’re a very closely divided country here. People have to have confidence in the results of the election and the legitimacy of the government. People trying to change the rules to this methodology, which as a matter of logic is open to fraud and conversion, is reckless and dangerous. People are playing with fire.” – William Barr, U.S. Attorney General

MORE NEWS: AG Barr: Mail-In Ballots Enable Fraud, Voter Coercion





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