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Geelong’s Gary Rohan offered two-match ban, AFL admits umpiring error

Geelong forward Gary Rohan is facing a two-match suspension for striking Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale during the Cats’ controversial one-point win over Brisbane.

The incident occurred behind play during the opening term of Friday night’s drama-filled match at Kardinia Park, and was part of the build-up to a heated exchange between Cats coach Chris Scott and Lions players at quarter-time.

Rohan’s strike was assessed by the AFL match review officer as intentional conduct, medium impact and high contact.

Neale went to ground and then taunted Rohan with a three-finger gesture that suggested the Cat would receive a three-match suspension.

Scott defended Rohan in his post-match media conference and accused Neale of instigating the confrontation.

“Neale strikes Gary on the chest and then Gary struck him on the chest,” Scott said.

“The vision is clear. I am certainly not saying he (Neale) did the wrong thing, that’s footy, but I have had a pretty good look at what Gary did and I’m comfortable with it.”

The quarter-time exchange between Scott and several Brisbane players, including Harris Andrews and Joe Daniher, will be reviewed by the AFL on Monday.

“I was walking onto the ground and Lachie Neale just said to me something, I couldn’t understand exactly what he said, but something about Gary Rohan,” Scott said.

“I said, ‘I’m happy to have the conversation with you if you like, I have seen the vision, and I am comfortable with it’.

“I suspect he didn’t hear all of that. That is all that was said.

“A few of the Brisbane players … were not paying me compliments but I didn’t say anything after that.”

Brisbane goal sneak Charlie Cameron was also charged with striking Geelong’s Shaun Higgins.

Cameron was offered a $2,000 sanction for the second-quarter incident, which was assessed as intentional conduct, low impact and body contact.

The Cats won the match 12.9 (81) to 11.14 (80) after Brisbane’s Zac Bailey was denied a free kick close to goal in the dying stages.

The AFL admitted on Saturday a free kick should have been awarded to Bailey.

Bailey laid a tackle on Mark Blicavs a few metres out from the Lions’ attacking goal and spun the Cats defender, who then appeared to get rid of the ball illegally.

But umpire Robert O’Gorman called play on and Geelong hung on for a controversial one-point win.

If the free kick was awarded, Bailey would almost certainly have kicked a goal and won the match for the Lions.

Instead, the Brisbane side sits 0-2 after two rounds.

“Upon review, we acknowledge that it was a missed free kick on this occasion,” AFL head of umpiring Dan Richardson said.

“By attempting to evade the player with the ball, that’s prior opportunity, and as a result the call should’ve been holding the ball.

“Footy is a game filled with split-second decisions from players, coaches and umpires.

“At any given match, umpires are required to make anywhere between 800 and 1,000 decisions per game.

“In this instance, we didn’t quite get this one right.”

Richardson said the AFL’s umpiring department would “wrap the arms around” O’Gorman this week.

There will be no sanction for the experienced O’Gorman, who made his AFL umpiring debut in 2014 and was named as the emergency umpire for last year’s grand final.

O’Gorman will officiate as planned in round three.

“What I know and have seen of the umpires so far is they’re a resilient bunch, Rob included,” Richardson said.

“He understands we’re all human, we make mistakes, and he’s comfortable with us addressing [this issue] on his behalf today and we’ll move on.”

Blicavs said after the match that Bailey had laid a good tackle, but claimed it did not deserve a free kick.

“I didn’t have prior [opportunity]. It was tough,” he told the ABC.

“I picked it up and there was pressure all over. I tried to get it through (for a rushed behind) but the tackle was bloody good, but yeah, we’ll say play on.”

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan refused to buy in post-match, saying he would not comment on the umpiring.

“I haven’t in the four years I’ve coached, so I’m not going to start now; I don’t think it’s constructive,” he said.

Scott said he felt for umpires trying to make tough calls in the heat of battle.

“I haven’t had a good look at that, I’ll reserve my opinion on that one until I have a look at it,” he said.

“I got caught up in the emotion right towards the end. I’m a big subscriber to the theory that the game is very hard to umpire.”


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Psychologists report an error in the NICE guidelines for autism

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Reporting in the Lancet Psychiatry today, psychologists at the University of Bath highlight that a widely used technique for autism screening is being misused, which may have prevented many people from receiving an autism diagnosis over the past decade.

When individuals with suspected autism are assessed by a GP, a decision to refer them to a specialist for diagnosis is informed by using the Autism Spectrum Quotient. This ten-point scale, known as the ‘AQ-10’, is an internationally used technique, whereby individuals agree or disagree with statements such as ‘I find it difficult to work out people’s intentions’. The maximum score is ten, and higher scores represent more autistic traits.

A score of six or above on this scale should signal that an individual needs to be referred to a specialist psychologist or psychiatrist. However, through this new research, psychologists have uncovered that for almost ten years the NICE guidelines have incorrectly been recommending a score of ‘more than 6 out of 10’. This error may have consequently prevented people who scored ‘6’ from receiving proper support.

The Bath team were surprised to discover this error, and closely analysed the original research about the autism screening tool in comparison with the NICE guidance. They found that the NICE Guideline Development Group had considered, but rejected, a cut-off score for diagnosis of seven or above (≥7). In their Lancet article, they conclude that the NICE recommendation of a score “more than 6 out of 10” is an error.

The researchers say that the use of an inappropriately high cut-off score makes this autism screening tool less sensitive, and therefore less accurate. Because it is so widely used among GPs and other healthcare professionals, this issue will be contributing to missed autism referrals, diagnoses, and opportunities for intervention and support. Although clinicians are not solely reliant on AQ-10 scores to make referrals, it factors into their decision-making process. As the NICE AQ-10 guidelines have been in place for almost a decade, the consequences of this mistake will be considerable.

Until the erroneous guidelines are corrected by NICE, the psychologists are calling for an urgent review into this matter, so that pending diagnoses are not missed and that any errors in previous screening can be rectified. In their paper, they recommend that clinicians and researchers use the cut-off score of “6 or above” (≥6) instead of NICE’s “more than 6 out of 10” (≥7) to inform their work.

Dr. Punit Shah, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Bath and the GW4 Neurodevelopmental Neurodiversity Network, explained: “This is a worrying finding as cut-off scores on screening tools underpin their accuracy. Although a difference of 1-point might not seem huge, a 1-point increased cut-off score on a 10-point scale is substantial and makes the instrument less psychologically sensitive. This means that many people going to their GPs who genuinely have autism—perhaps scoring 6 on the scale—are currently less likely to be referred to specialists for full diagnostic assessment. Diagnosis is of course crucial: without a diagnosis, people have less access to appropriate interventions and support, even certain benefits.

“It is impossible to put a number on exactly how many people will have been affected by this, but it is well known that delayed referrals and late diagnoses of autism have negative consequences for the mental health and wellbeing of autistic people and their families. We urgently need to do all we can to raise awareness of this issue, among GPs and other clinicians, while the NICE guidelines are corrected. NHS waiting times for autism assessments are already far too long and these flaws in screening procedures will be compounding this issue.”

Lucy Waldren, lead author of the article also of the Department of Psychology at Bath, suggests the findings have implications for autism and psychiatry research. She says: “Our examination of the literature has discovered that the erroneous NICE guidelines have caused major confusion amongst researchers on which cut-off scores to use. We have found several examples of the incorrect value being applied. Participants in studies have also been inappropriately excluded based on their scores. And, even when the correct value was used, it has been incorrectly attributed to the NICE guidance. If researchers have followed the incorrect NICE guidelines and used the AQ-10 incorrectly in their studies, they may need to reanalyse and republish, or even consider retracting their findings.”

Researchers question reliability of common autistic personality test

More information:
Lancet Psychiatry (2021). DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(21)00065-1 , www.thelancet.com/journals/lan … (21)00065-1/fulltext

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Psychologists report an error in the NICE guidelines for autism (2021, March 18)
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More than 120 doses of Pfizer vaccine thrown out at Melbourne aged care home after delivery error

More than 120 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been thrown out after more than double the supply of required vials was delivered to a Melbourne aged care home by mistake in another rollout bungle.

The federal health department has confirmed 125 doses, or 25 vials, of the COVID-19 vaccine were thrown out, as it could not be guaranteed the required sub-zero refrigeration process had been followed.

A vial of the Pfizer vaccine is prepared for use.

9News understands the vaccines were delivered to St Vincent’s aged care in Werribee, in the city’s south-west, on Wednesday, with the facility receiving more than double the required number of doses to treat its 70 consenting residents.

“Aspen reported to the Commonwealth’s Vaccine Operation Centre that there were 25 vials unused and stored in an on-site refrigerator,” a Federal Government statement read.
“The Pfizer vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator at two-eight degrees celcius for up to five days.
“While refrigeration was maintained, it was not possible to verify that temperature was maintained throughout.
“Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, a medical decision was made not to use the remaining vials.”
Premier Daniel Andrews was quizzed about the error today but said he had no details about the incident.
“I think (Federal Health Minister) Greg Hunt is the person to talk to there,” he said.

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Aged-care provider puts extra safeguards in place after vaccine error

It was revealed on Wednesday afternoon that the doctor had not done the appropriate level of training, with federal Health Minister Greg Hunt forced to correct the record in question time in federal Parliament after earlier stating the GP had completed all relevant training.

“Healthcare Australia has now advised that the doctor had not completed the required training,” he said.

The aged-care operator at the centre of a vaccine error says it has referred the GP involved to the regulator.

The aged-care operator at the centre of a vaccine error says it has referred the GP involved to the regulator.Credit:File image – Edwina Pickles

“This is being investigated by Healthcare Australia, and we are expecting a report later [on Wednesday].”

The doctor involved has been stood down pending a review of the incident, after a nurse raised concerns that incorrect doses had been given to a man and a woman.

The 88-year-old man and the 94-year-old woman were taken to hospital as a precaution. Neither had yet experienced any adverse reactions to the incorrect dose, reportedly as high as four times the standard amount.

Mr Hopper said the GP and the nurse who raised concerns were outside staff allocated by Healthcare Australia to the facility for the vaccine rollout, with aged-care centres under the jurisdiction of the federal vaccine rollout, not the concurrent rollout being managed by state health departments in public hospitals and quarantine hotels.

Mr Hopper stressed they still had confidence in the rollout but were seeking assurances from the Commonwealth that processes were in place to avoid a repeat of the mistake.

“What has happened is an individual error, and I am sure there will be a review of the process by Healthcare Australia as well as the federal government to ensure that does not happen again,” he said.

“St Vincent’s has put that extra measure of validating credentials for staff on site. That is as an extra precaution.”

Mr Hopper confirmed the vaccination program was set to continue at the facility, and he believed residents would still want to participate, with a 95 per cent take-up reported before the incident.


The Queensland government is seeking assurances from the Commonwealth that training and oversight for its part of the vaccine rollout is adequate.

“The Commonwealth has already committed to sharing the findings of this investigation with the Queensland government, and we welcome this,” Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.

“What these incidents highlight is the importance of full transparency and sharing of information from the Commonwealth government about the rollout across the aged-care sector and the broader rollout of the vaccine.”

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England fume after AWFUL error from third umpire

Cricket: Joe Root and England had every right to feel aggrieved after the third umpire inexplicably failed to view different angles of a review for an Ajinkya Rahane catch.

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Shocking BBL umpiring error ignites more calls for DRS to be introduced

The million dollar cost is the reason given for not using the decision review system in the Big Bash but calls are growing louder after a howler in Canberra on Tuesday night.

Perth captain Mitch Marsh would be “all for” the DRS being used after the Scorchers were robbed of a wicket in their seven-wicket loss to the Sydney Thunder.

Umpire Simon Lightbody was heard telling Perth bowler AJ Tye he believed Thunder batsman Usman Khawaja’s bat hit the ground after a strong, and what appeared clear-cut caught behind appeal.

But Tye protested the bat was nowhere near the turf, which was backed up by every single replay that showed Lightbody was way off the mark.

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Khawaja was on 18 at the time, and made just three more before being dismissed.

But Marsh, who was also the victim of a growing number of bad umpiring decisions this BBL season, would be keen for DRS to come in.

“As a player you like to see stuff introduced, I would be all for it,” Marsh said.

“It’s probably above my pay grade to really be commenting on that. But I’d certainly be all for it if it was introduced.

“It’s probably a case of (needing) to go all in, or not (at all).”

The Big Bash League has never used DRS and this year was unable to afford the reported $1.5 million needed to spend on the state-of-the-art technology for the nine-week tournament.

With the COVID-19 pandemic draining cricket’s finances, it was even less of a chance to come in this year.

The BBL’s maiden season in 2011-12 allowed third umpires to overrule incorrect decisions off replays, without using added technology.

Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell joined in the debate after Tuesday’s howler, backing a return to that style of system.

“We get that umpiring isn’t easy!!” he posted on Twitter.

“But surely with a stump mic, a bunch of different camera angles, and a basic understanding of cricket, the right decision could’ve been made without any of the fancy DRS bells and whistles?

“It was introduced to eliminate the howler.”

Tye was fuming when the decision was given not out, and was left more upset when the umpire explained he thought Khawaja’s bat hit the ground.

“How did the bat hit the ground? It was that far off the ground!,” Tye said.

Tye’s Perth teammate, Kiwi international Colin Munro, said he heard the edge from near the boundary where he was fielding.

“I’ve got to really have my ears open at home to hear the Mrs talk to me, but I actually heard that from the boundary at backward square-leg,” Munro said on Fox Cricket.

Last weekend Thunder captain Callum Ferguson said the BBL would fall behind rival T20 tournaments if the DRS was not introduced.

“We certainly like to think we’re in the top couple of T20 tournaments around the world,” Ferguson told the ABC.

“But on the basis of not having little things like DRS in the place, I feel like we’re falling behind certainly the IPL.

“If we’re trying to be as good as we possibly can be, we’ve got to have little things like DRS in.”

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Foreign affairs minister says he doesn’t believe human error was to blame for Flight PS752’s destruction

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he does not believe Iran’s destruction of Flight PS752 can be blamed on human error. 

In an exclusive interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics on Tuesday, Champagne was asked if he accepts Iran’s explanation for the crash. The minister said he did not — but refused to say where he believes the blame should be laid.

“Well, we’ll let the process unfold,” he told Host Vassy Kapelos. “What I say is that we saw missiles being fired at the airline, and that, for me, raised all sorts of questions.”

Champagne also said he’s concerned about the quality of information about the crash probe being released by the regime in Tehran. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane on Jan. 8 with surface-to-air missiles shortly after it took off in Tehran — killing all 176 people onboard, including 138 people with ties to Canada.

“I will question everything they say because I take nothing at face value,” Champagne said. “I have questions, because there’s too many examples that we’ve seen where … they have not been forthcoming.”

Champagne said the task of getting to the bottom of what happened has been difficult, since Canada lacks access to witnesses, evidence and suspects. He said he would continue to press Iran for answers.

Watch: Champagne doesn’t believe Iran’s claim that Flight PS752 was shot down due to human error:

Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne wouldn’t say whether he believes Flight PS752 was shot down deliberately. 2:00

The minister’s comments came on the day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s special adviser on the destruction of Flight PS752, Ralph Goodale, released a report. In it, the former federal cabinet minister said that Iran should not be left in charge of the investigation since it was the actions of the Iranian military that caused the crash.

“The party responsible for the situation is investigating itself, largely in secret,” Goodale wrote in the report. “That does not inspire confidence or trust.”

“In the circumstances of this case, as known thus far, there are indications of incompetence, recklessness and wanton disregard for innocent human life.”

Champagne also weighed in on Canada’s ongoing struggles with China, specifically his department’s efforts to free Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor from Chinese detention.

Kovrig and Spavor were detained in China on Dec. 10, 2018 — nine days after Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested while changing planes in Vancouver.

Meng was detained on a U.S. extradition request over allegations she lied to a Hong Kong banker in August 2013 about Huawei’s control of a subsidiary accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The arrests of Kovrig and Spavor are widely seen as retaliation for Meng’s detention. Both men are now facing charges of spying for Canada.

People hold signs calling for China to release Canadian detainees Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig during an extradition hearing for Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the B.C. Supreme Court last year. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

Christopher Coons, a Democratic senator from Delaware and member of the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee, told Power & Politics last week that he thought Canada should impose sanctions on China as a retaliatory measure for the detentions of Kovrig and Spavor.

“I would say my view on sanctions is that they have maximum impact when you go with a core group of countries,” Champagne said Tuesday, noting that Canada has imposed sanctions against Belarus and Russia in concert with other countries.

“When I hear the issue of sanctions, we’re working with the international community, we’re working with our partners, we’ve done it. And we will continue …”

Champagne also addressed criticism his department received from the opposition after a report in the Globe and Mail revealed that Global Affairs officials pushed back against a decision by Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, to cancel exercises with the Chinese military in early 2019.

Officials at Global Affairs were reportedly worried that the decision to cancel the exercises with the Chinese armed forces would be viewed as retaliation for the arrest of Kovrig and Spavor, further complicating diplomatic efforts to bring the two men home.

Watch: The full interview with François-Philippe Champagne on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics

Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne sits down with Vassy Kapelos to discuss the investigation into the downing of Flight PS752 and Canada’s current approach to dealing with China. 25:47

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AFL draft 2020: Essendon picks, Adrian Dodoro, whiteboard error, plans leak, Bombers, draft order

A potential webcam gaffe at Essendon may’ve revealed the club’s plans to rival recruiters ahead of Wednesday night’s national draft, although one list manager thinks it’s part of head recruiter Adrian Dodoro’s “wicked sense of humour”.

With this year’s draft the first ever to be held virtually, recruiting and list managers on Tuesday dialled in via weblink for a trial run.

Foxfooty.com.au understands that during the meeting, rival clubs were able to spot magnets on a whiteboard in Essendon’s shot that had several draft prospects circled and placed alongside current Bombers players.

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Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre admits ‘technical error’ notifying 24,000 year 12 students they are ineligible for an ATAR

Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) has apologised for accidentally emailing 24,000 year 12 students across the state, informing them they are “ineligible” for an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

The erroneous email was sent out by QTAC as a result of an internal testing procedure.

QTAC CEO John Griffiths said it was a human error, triggered when someone entered a date into the program incorrectly, triggering a release of emails without the required data.

“Regretfully, testing of the release information rolled out into our live production space, which issued ATAR notifications to 24,000 year 12 students,” Dr Griffiths said in a statement.

“QTAC acknowledges this technical error and deeply apologises to our year 12 cohort. This has no doubt caused additional anxiety during what has already been a trying year for our school community.”

ATAR results are not due to be released until December 19 and the erroneous notice is dated December 18.

This is the first year Queensland students will receive an ATAR instead of an Overall Position (OP) measure.

Dr Griffiths spoke later on Saturday afternoon, apologising for the stress the mistake had caused for students and their families.

“I sincerely apologise to all year 12 students after the distress this has caused,” he said.

“I am a father of a year 12 student, so I am well aware of the pressures the year 12 students have been under this year.”

He said QTAC would be reviewing the system again to ensure the error would not be repeated.

“I take this very seriously and obviously we will undertake another series of reviews … and make sure there are no further issues that are going to impact students,” he said.

“I have to work through who is responsible and how that occurred … my focus at the moment is just reassuring parents and year 12 students.

“It’s very unfortunate that this occurred and it occurred in the first year [of the Queensland ATAR] … overlayed with a COVID pandemic.”

‘A stressful year for students’

Among the students to receive the notification was Stella Eaton, the dux of Indooroopilly High School’s year 12 cohort in Brisbane.

“It was honestly such a shock, before I thought about the fact that ATAR actually comes out on December 19,” she said.

“I had no idea what was going on.

“I was pretty certain it was a scam, but still not the most amazing feeling for 9:00 in the morning.”

But a concerned parent, who wished to remain anonymous, told the ABC the notice had given several students a sleepless night.

“It’s already been a stressful year for students, with schooling from home due to the coronavirus pandemic and having to adjust to a new system,” the parent said.

Numerous students have posted questions about the notification to the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s ATAR page on Facebook.

Career Development Association of Australia president Wanda Hayes said several students had been in touch with her about the email.

“My first email was at 6:30am this morning and it just said, ‘Wanda – help’,” she said.

“Just a really gut-wrenching thing after what they’ve been through this year, to get this message.”

Dr Griffiths said QTAC would receive the year 12 result file on Monday “which is when the actual calculation of the Queensland ATAR begins”.

“We are on track for official release on Saturday, December 19,” he said.

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