NRL 2021: David Fifita escapes sanction from Gold Coast Titans over Christmas arrest, Cameron Smith interest cools


David Fifita will not be sanctioned by the Gold Coast Titans after a run-in with police during the Christmas period.

Fifita was arrested after allegations of trespassing incident on December 27 at a Gold Coast home.

The 20-year-old was released without charge in what was his second off-season incident in the space of a year.

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During the 2019 break, Fifita was jailed in Bali and had to be escorted home by a staffer from his former club, the Broncos.

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Driver of truck carrying acid escapes South Eastern Freeway crash with minor injuries


The driver of a prime mover carrying containers of acid has escaped a crash on the South-Eastern Freeway in the Adelaide Hills with minor injuries.

Police said the truck left the freeway and crashed into the barrier on the median near the Callington exit overnight.

Emergency crews and police were called to the scene just after 1:00am.

The 52-year-old driver from Victoria was briefly trapped in the cabin.

He was taken to Murray Bridge Hospital with minor injuries.

The containers of acid were not breached in the crash.

The freeway was closed for all eastbound traffic between Monarto and Callington and lower speed limits are in place for all westbound traffic.

Police said the road was unlikely to be cleared and re-opened until the afternoon.

Investigations into the crash are underway.

Young motorcycle rider suffers life-threatening injuries

Meanwhile, major crash investigators are at Beach Road, Morphett Vale, where a car and a motorbike collided at 9:15pm on Monday.

The rider of the motorcycle, an 18-year-old Morphett Vale man, was rushed to the Flinders Medical Centre.

He has life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the car, a 36-year-old Morphett Vale woman, was not injured.

Beach Road was closed for several hours while Major Crash Investigators attended the scene, but has now been reopened.



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Lewis Hamilton wins after Romain Grosjean escapes dramatic Bahrain GP fire


Lewis Hamilton took his 11th victory of the season in a Bahrain Grand Prix notable for a violent, fiery crash by Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

Grosjean was taken to hospital with minor burns and suspected rib fractures after his car pierced the barriers on the first lap.

The burning Haas was trapped sideways in the barrier, but Grosjean climbed out as medical crews rushed to help.

Hamilton was in control throughout to beat Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

A unique, horrific crash

Marshals try to put out the flames on Grosjean's car
Grosjean walked away from the terrifying crash at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix

Grosjean’s crash was an incident the like of which has not been seen for many years.

The Franco-Swiss triggered it himself after veering dramatically across the track between Turns Three and Four and colliding with Daniil Kvyat’s Alpha Tauri.

That sent him hurtling towards the barriers, which he hit at an angle that would normally not create such a dramatic effect.

But the car speared between layers of the barrier, and the twisting force generated split it in two, the engine and gearbox coming to rest away to the side.

The fracture to the chassis exposed the fuel tank, and the car, now lodged in the barrier, burst into flames.

Grosjean was in the inferno for several seconds before he managed to extricate himself and was helped over the barrier by FIA doctor Ian Stewart, who was in the medical car that rushed to the scene.

Grosjean initially sat in the medical car before being helped into an ambulance and then flown to hospital.

Grosjean
Grosjean managed to undo his seatbelts and pull himself through halo head protection and twisted metal of the barrier within about 10 seconds

Another win for Hamilton

Grosjean’s incident caused a lengthy stoppage while the wrecked metal barriers were replaced by concrete ones.

Soon after the restart, there was another incident, as Lance Stroll’s Racing Point was pitched into a roll by Kvyat and landed upside down – but the driver was unhurt.

That brought out the safety car and it was only on the ninth lap that the race finally got properly under way.

Hamilton, who had converted his pole into a lead at the first corner, made no mistake at the re-start and was able to control the race from there.

But he said it was “not as easy as it looked”, saying he struggled with tyre management and felt under pressure from Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver was critical of his team, saying that bolder calls on pit timing could have enabled him to push Hamilton harder.

“We had the tyres to put them under more pressure today but we didn’t do it,” he said. “I don’t know why we were so conservative.”

Lewis Hamilton
“This track has always been physical,” Hamilton said after the win in Bahrain

The Briton’s victory matches his own previous best tally for a season and means he can match the all-time record of 13 victories in a year, currently held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, if he wins the final two races.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was on course for a fine third place and his second podium in two races until an apparent engine failure with three laps to go promoted Red Bull’s Alex Albon.

The Mexican’s retirement was a massive boost for Renault and McLaren in the fight for third place in the constructors’ championship, as McLaren’s Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were promoted to fourth and fifth, and the Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon to seventh and ninth, with Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly in sixth.

Perez’s failure meant the race ended under the safety car.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas made a poor start from the front row and had a desperate race thereafter.

The Finn was sixth at the red flag for Grosjean’s crash, but was promoted to fourth for the restart as a result of the point at which the officials decided to take the positions.

But Bottas suffered a slow puncture on the first lap of racing and had to pit for fresh tyres. He was able to recover only to eighth place.

Albon had been unable to challenge Perez before the Mexican’s retirement, while both McLaren drivers recovered well from difficult qualifying sessions – and Sainz, in particular, produced a fine drive after starting on the soft tyre, passing several cars.

Perez’s retirement promoted Charles Leclerc to the final point in 10th place after a dismal race for Ferrari, for whom Vettel could manage only 13th.

Driver of the day

Carlos Sainz
The fans gave it to Grosjean, in an obvious recognition of his remarkable escape, but Sainz deserves it for a strong recovery drive after a brake failure left him 15th on the grid. And an honourable mention to the unfortunate Perez, who deserved a podium

What happens next?

For the penultimate race of the season next weekend, F1 stays in Bahrain but will use a new layout, the so-called outer track, which is short and fast, and is a step into the unknown.

What they said

Hamilton: “It was physically very demanding. With the break we had at the beginning – you get into a mindset of going out and getting a good start – but with that 45-minute wait we had, it is so easy to step out of the zone.”

Verstappen: “I was lacking a bit. I tried to keep close but they were ahead and we didn’t have an answer and we didn’t really go aggressive enough with the strategy, we also had a slow pit stop. It is what it is. Second isn’t too bad.”

Albon: “It was obviously a bit of luck with what happened to Sergio (Perez). He had a good race, but the guys did an amazing job to get the car ready. A double podium for us and I’m happy.”

Stroll flips
Lance Stroll saw his Racing Point flip upside after the re-start

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In court: Mid-range drink-driver escapes conviction for morning after offence | Goulburn Post



news, local-news, news, court, crime, drink, driving, police

A Goulburn woman has avoided conviction after testing mid-range for drink-driving the morning after a night out with friends. READ ALSO: Co-accused in relation to fraud and drug offences reappear in court Courtney Daisy Puckett, 21, of May Street, Goulburn, appeared before Goulburn Local Court on November 18 for mid-range drink-driving. It was presented to the court that on October 25, 2020 Puckett was pulled over by police at Wollogorang on the Hume Highway while travelling from Canberra. A Random Breath Test conducted by police returned a Blood Alcohol Concentration reading of 0.082. The court heard that Puckett had consumed alcohol until 1am the night before with friends. Solicitor Sam Rowland spoke in defense of his client. He said Puckett had a “significant degree of remorse and embarrassment” about the offence. CHECK OUT: Stopping contraband smuggling at Goulburn Correctional Centre Mr Rowland said his client was not speeding or driving erratically at the time. He said Puckett had waited “several hours [that] morning” before driving. The solicitor told the court that Puckett had “learnt her lesson” and had been impacted by the loss of her licence. He said Puckett had to walk 1.5 hours home from work each day. Magistrate Geraldine Beattie took Puckett’s early guilty plea into account. She said drink-driving was a really serious offence because “people die from it”. “Yet, despite it being so serious people still drink drive,” Magistrate Beattie said. “It’s not illegal to drink but if you do, you won’t be able to drive for a while.” The magistrate said Puckett was not likely to re-offend and had completed a Traffic Offender’s Course. “[The offence was] a mistake you’ve cured with education,” she said. A conviction was not recorded and Puckett received a two-year Conditional Release Order (CRO). A CRO can be issued for first time and less serious offences where the offender is unlikely to present a risk to the community. READ MORE: Here to help: Anglicare highlights support for people leaving domestic violence

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Wayward DeChambeau escapes with an opening 70


November 12, 2020

By Andrew Both

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – Bryson DeChambeau smashed his tee shots massive distances but found his share of trouble en route to a two-under-par 70 in the opening round at the Masters on Thursday.

Deciding against using the 48-inch driver he had been tinkering with on practice days, DeChambeau instead stayed with the more standard 45.5-inch shaft that he wielded so brilliantly to win the recent U.S. Open by six strokes.

But Augusta National can be a tough beast to tame, and an early double-bogey at the par-five 13th left the American behind the proverbial eight-ball.

In the end, he was happy with his score, his mood helped by a 365-yard drive down the middle at his final hole that set up birdie and left him five strokes behind leader Paul Casey.

“This golf course, as much as I’m trying to attack it, it can bite back,” he said.

“It’s an amazing test of golf no matter what way you play it. I tried to take on some risk today. It didn’t work out as well as I thought it would have, but at the end of the day I’m proud of myself.”

DeChambeau hits his tee shots with such ferocity that it seems every swing risks serious back injury.

Playing companion Jon Rahm, one of the tour’s longest hitters, regularly found himself 20 yards or so behind DeChambeau.

“There was a couple of them that were reality checks,” said the Spaniard, who is not used to being outhit.

“(On the eighth hole) he seemed to toe it and I hit mine good and he was still way ahead of me.

“But I think today proves that no matter how far you hit it, you still need to make the putts.”

RUNNING COMMENTARY

DeChambeau, who started his round at the 10th hole, provided a running commentary as he played, his comments clearly audible in the spectator-free silence.

“Oh no,” he groaned after hitting a big hook from the 11th tee, a shot so bad he hit a provisional in case it was lost.

Fortune smiled on him, however, as his first shot ended in a half decent position and he saved par.

But Augusta reared up and bit him at the par-five 13th, where he hooked his second shot into the azaleas left of the green, and again hit a provisional that he cut into Rae’s Creek.

Staring at a high number if he could not find his first ball, he was mightily relieved when his caddie located it after a couple of minutes.

“Very, very (relieved), because I hit my other one in the water and that was not going to be a fun number,” he said.

DeChambeau took a penalty stroke from the bush, and compounded his misery by duffing his chip on his way to an inglorious seven.

He fought back to get under par, but had a hiccup with a bogey at his 16th hole, the par-four seventh, where he hooked his drive into the pines and air-mailed the green with his second shot, leaving himself in an impossible position above the hole and behind a bunker.

“This hole I’ve got to figure out how to hit the fairway,” he muttered to his caddie, a look of dismay on his face when he saw where his ball had stopped.

(Reporting by Andrew Both, editing by Ed Osmond)





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Rabbitohs star escapes conviction on gun charge


Rugby league star Latrell Mitchell has escaped conviction on a gun charge after pleading guilty.

In April, Mitchell was charged with handing a firearm to an unauthorised person, and his licence was suspended.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs star was also hit with a fine for a COVID-19 breach on the same occasion, after a photo was posted online of himself with a number of other men on a property near Taree on the NSW mid north coast.

He was also fined $50,000 by the NRL for bringing the game into disrepute, though $30,000 of it was suspended.

Mitchell, 23, was today sentenced to a conditional release for 12 months.

He made no comment as he left court today.



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Vijay Yesudas meets with an accident, escapes unhurt


By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |

November 3, 2020 2:23:22 pm





Vijay Yesudas suffered no injuries. (Photo: Instagram/vijayyesudas)

Singer Vijay Yesudas, son of beloved musician KJ Yesudas, was involved in a car accident.

Vijay’s car collided with another oncoming vehicle in Thuravoor on the national highway in Alappuzha district on Monday night. Vijay suffered no injuries.

According to the police, the singer was en route to Kochi along with a friend when the accident occurred. The front portion of both the cars were damaged in the accident.

After the vehicles were removed from the spot, Vijay Yesudas and his companion proceeded with their journey in another car.

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2 die in Vegas-area small plane crash; man on ground escapes


A twin-engine aircraft crashed into a desert lot in suburban Las Vegas, killing two people Thursday and igniting a fire that damaged a construction trailer from which a man escaped while choking on fuel fumes

LAS VEGAS — A twin-engine aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff Thursday in suburban Las Vegas, killing two people and igniting a fire that damaged a construction trailer from which a man escaped while choking on fuel fumes.

“It was awful,” said Bruce Langson, the property owner. He said he heard the aircraft flying low and knew something was wrong.

“I could hear the propeller … it sounded like a helicopter,” Langson told reporters. “Then I heard a thud, crash, and a gigantic ball of flames. Fuel splashed over my construction trailer.”

Two people were aboard the Cessna 310R aircraft that took off minutes earlier from North Las Vegas Airport, Clark County fire Capt. Thomas Touchstone said. The plane crashed against a block wall in a desert lot about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) northwest of Henderson Executive Airport.

Langson, a race car driver, described searing heat from the crash but said he escaped uninjured. He was checked by paramedics after reporting lightheadedness from fuel fumes. Residents around Las Vegas saw a plume of smoke.

“There was nothing I could do to assist anyone there,” Langson said. “It looked like a movie scene from the worst horror movie you’ve seen.”

Touchstone said there were no survivors on the aircraft. The names of the victims were not immediately made public.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.



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Peter Madsen, Who Killed Kim Wall on Submarine, Briefly Escapes Prison


ODENSE, Denmark — A Danish inventor convicted of killing a journalist aboard his homemade submarine in Copenhagen in 2017 briefly escaped from prison on Tuesday, according to the Danish state broadcaster.

The inventor, Peter Madsen, reportedly fled the Herstedvester Prison near Copenhagen after using a staff member as a human shield, but was arrested a short time later in Albertslund, near the facility on the western outskirts of the city. Photos and videos posted by Ekstra Bladet, a local news outlet, appeared to show Mr. Madsen seated on the side of the road surrounded by armed police officers with the area cordoned off. Media reports said he may have had a “belt-like” object around his waist.

The police said in a statement posted to Twitter that they had responded to an incident in Albertslund in which “a man has been arrested after attempted escape” but did not name Mr. Madsen. A short time later, the police said that the person had been removed from the scene. The state broadcaster, DR, said the police had confirmed the escaped prisoner was Mr. Madsen.

The police also said that investigators were on site and that the area had been cordoned off.

Mr. Madsen was able to escape by taking a female prison psychologist hostage, the chairman of the prison workers’ union, Bo Yde Sorensen, told Ekstra Bladet, adding that he had been brandishing what appeared to be a gun.

“The weapon was so lifelike that prison guards at the gate didn’t take any chances in relation to the hostage,” Mr. Sorensen told the newspaper. Mr. Madsen’s actions were deemed a danger to the prison worker’s life, prompting a decision to let him out of the gate, he said.

“It’s a decision I support,” he said. “We don’t want to risk anybody getting killed — we have to find people afterward.”

Guards followed Mr. Madsen as he fled, but stepped back when he threatened them, the news outlet reported, before eventually taking him into custody.

Kirsten Schlichting, 78, who lives and works near the prison, spoke with TV 2, a national news network, and described a heavy police presence as officers tried to apprehend Mr. Madsen.

“The only thing I’m worried about is the school which is also close by, but I don’t know if there are students there,” Ms. Schlichting said. “But I’m not afraid. There’s lots of police watching out.”

Mr. Madsen was found guilty of the premeditated killing — equivalent to a murder conviction — of the journalist Kim Wall in 2018 and sentenced to life in prison. A life sentence is rare in Denmark, even in murder cases, but Ms. Wall’s grisly death horrified the nation, and the brutality of the crime made Mr. Madsen’s trial one of the most closely watched in Scandinavian history.

Ms. Wall, 30, disappeared after meeting Mr. Madsen for an interview aboard his homemade submarine in August 2017. Her body was later discovered dismembered, and Mr. Madsen was soon arrested and charged with her killing.

Mr. Madsen initially offered a series of shifting explanations about Ms. Wall’s whereabouts, before admitting to dismembering her body and tossing body parts overboard. But he denied killing her.

Ms. Wall, a freelance journalist who had written for international outlets including The New York Times, graduated from the London School of Economics and received two master’s degrees from Columbia University. She reported from Uganda, Sri Lanka and Cuba, and died only miles from Trelleborg, Sweden, where she grew up.

“Kim wanted to give a voice to people who didn’t have one,” Joachim Wall, her father, said in a recent interview with The New York Times. “She was always looking for the story behind the story.”

A television drama based on the police investigation of her killing premiered in Denmark last month.



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Ben Barba escapes assault conviction after stunning fall from grace


Former NRL star Ben Barba has escaped conviction for assaulting his brother-in-law and breaching bail.

The ex-footy player arrived in Mackay Magistrates Court today to learn his fate after pleading guilty to three charges: assault occasioning bodily harm, breaching bail conditions and failing to complete a community service order.

Barba was slapped with $1500 in fines and ordered to pay $1000 to the victim, Adrian Currie, who he reportedly punched in the head in February.

Magistrate James Morton pointed out Barba’s fall from grace in his sentencing remarks, asking if it felt like he’d “gone from the penthouse to the s***house” after spending a night in custody.

“You had everything given to you and you threw it away,” Mr Morton said. “All the negative attention has been brought by you at your own doing.”

Barba was stood down by the Bulldogs early in 2013 for behavioural issues and in 2014 moved to Brisbane for one season.

He won the 2016 premiership with Cronulla but was banned from the NRL for 12 matches after testing positive to cocaine in the wake of the grand final victory.

The talented fullback, who won the Dally M Medal in 2012, went to France to play rugby union but was sacked just three months after signing a two-year deal.

Barba then headed to the UK Super League, winning the Man of Steel award in 2018 as the competition’s best player, and returned home to North Queensland to play for the Cowboys in 2019.

However, he was punted before playing a game following allegations he assaulted his partner in a Townsville Casino in January of that year.

Barba was charged over the incident after handing himself in to police, and was sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to public nuisance.

Despite all the missteps, Barba remains hopeful of continuing his rugby league career in Spain with Valencia Hurricanes, which played a part in Mr Morton sparing him of a conviction for the assult and breaching bail in July.

Barba’s lawyer Campbell Maccallum said the footy star was grateful for his lifeline.

“He is a young Indigenous man with a lot of talent who certainly is hoping to further his career in rugby league,” Maccallum said.

“Whether that be in Spain or Australia or in the Super League competition.

“That (a conviction) would have impeded his progress to Spain and certainly travel overseas.

“There’s a clause in the contract which does say if an NRL club or Super League approaches him with a contract, that they will release him immediately.”



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