USA 4-0 Colombia: Sam Mewis scores hat-trick in first home game in 10 months


Sam Mewis scored a penalty to complete a hat-trick and claim her 21st international goal

Sam Mewis scored a hat-trick as the United States beat Colombia 4-0 in Orlando on Monday.

The Manchester City midfielder, 28, scored twice in the first half before securing her first international treble just after the interval.

Her older sister Kristie, 29, added a fourth goal late on as the Women’s World Cup holders extended their unbeaten run to 33 matches.

The US have another friendly against Colombia in Orlando on Saturday.

Sam Mewis slotted in from Megan Rapinoe’s pass before heading home a Carli Lloyd cross to become the 30th US women’s player to reach 20 international goals as he US outclassed a Colombia side that failed to manage a shot on target.

She claimed her 21st, from 69 appearances, after Lindsey Horan was brought down in the penalty area.

Colombia failed to have a shot on target while Brazil-born midfielder Catarina Macario made her US debut as a substitute after being cleared by Fifa to play for the country she moved to at 12.

For the US, who had Catarina Macario making her debut as a substitute after being cleared by Fifa to play for the country she moved to at 12, this was a first home game since beating Japan 3-1 in the SheBelieves Cup final last March. They did, though, play the Netherlands in Breda on 27 November, winning 2-0.

A limited-capacity crowd of 4,000 was permitted at Exploria Stadium, which will host this year’s SheBelieves Cup, which begins on 18 February and also features Brazil, Canada and Japan.

Line-ups

USA

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Naeher
  • 5O’HaraSubstituted forPurceat 72′minutes
  • 7Dahlkemper
  • 4Sauerbrunn
  • 19DunnSubstituted forSonnettat 72′minutes
  • 3MewisSubstituted forLavelleat 64′minutes
  • 8Ertz
  • 9HoranSubstituted forMewisat 64′minutes
  • 6Williams
  • 10Lloyd
  • 15RapinoeSubstituted forMacarioat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 14Sonnett
  • 16Lavelle
  • 22Mewis
  • 23Purce
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Smith
  • 29Macario

Colombia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Sepúlveda
  • 2Ibarguen
  • 16Carabalí
  • 3Arias
  • 15VelásquezSubstituted forGuerraat 77′minutes
  • 8Caro
  • 21SalazarSubstituted forReyesat 67′minutes
  • 18PaviBooked at 23minsSubstituted forAcostaat 45′minutes
  • 11Usme
  • 10RobledoSubstituted forCaicedoat 90+1′minutes
  • 9RomeroBooked at 40minsSubstituted forCaicedoat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Giraldo
  • 7Reyes
  • 14Guerra
  • 19Caicedo
  • 20Caicedo
  • 22González
  • 23Acosta

Live Text



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GWS Giants AFLW player Brid Stack released from hospital after neck injury in trial game



Greater Western Sydney’s Irish import Brid Stack has been released from hospital after suffering a fractured vertebra in an AFLW practice match in Adelaide.

Play was stopped in the fourth quarter of the game at Norwood Oval on Sunday after a collision.

They were fears Stack may have severely injured her spine after she was stretchered off the field.

The 34-year-old player was taken to hospital by paramedics after spinal protocols were enacted.

But in a statement released on Monday, the Giants said scans revealed Stack had a stable fracture of the C7 vertebra and no injury to surrounding nerves.

She will be required to wear a neck brace but will not be required to undergo surgery.

Stack was released from hospital late on Sunday night and will re-join the Giants squad in Adelaide for her rehabilitation.

“Bríd and her family have made incredible sacrifices to come to Australia to play in the AFL Women’s competition and we will be supporting them all the way through her recovery.”

Stack is entering her first AFLW season after a successful career in Gaelic football.

The 11-time All-Ireland winner for Cork joined the Giants last year and has been living in Australia with her husband and one-year-old son.

She spent Christmas in hotel quarantine in Perth with her family before joining her new teammates in Sydney.

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Experts call for calm on Pfizer vaccine supply after pre-order ‘guessing game’


Monash University Professor Colin Pouton, who has been working on an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine project in Melbourne, said it was not worth speculating on whether Australia should have negotiated for a larger order of the Pfizer vaccine last year.

At the time of negotiations, there was no complete data on the effectiveness of vaccines like Pfizer’s and it was not known how many doses could be produced.

“When the government were thinking about negotiating, I don’t think they had anything to go on,” he said.

“It’s not something where we should be too critical of the government, though we can act from now.”

Professor Pouton said Australia’s plans to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine was a positive because it was shown to be safe and effective. Beyond this, there is still scope for the country to play the long game and consider investing in mRNA vaccine manufacturing so that vaccines like Pfizer’s can one day be made in Australia, he said.

“Given this is all going to be a long game, one option is to manufacture under licence here. It is something that can happen, but not overnight.”

Adam Kamradt-Scott, a global health security expert and associate professor at the University of Sydney, said buying vaccines under advanced purchasing agreements was a complicated process and the Morrison government had to balance a range of risks when pre-ordering products like Pfizer’s.

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“The decision on how much to order of each vaccine is really a bit of a guessing game. It is an educated guess based on preliminary vaccine data, but it’s a guess nonetheless to then estimate the quantity required in order to achieve a reasonable level of protection for the Australian community.”

He said the government would have had to make its initial pitch for vaccines last year while also being mindful that if it ordered too many doses of a product that didn’t work, it was running the risk of still having to pay for it.

“These types of agreements do have financial risk involved,” he said.

Modelling this week from financial services giant Morningstar predicts the global vaccine rollout will take years. Global herd immunity may not be achieved until 2023 and this largely comes down to constraints on supply of doses.

Professor Pouton said the reality is that given global demand, it’s understandable Australia would find it difficult to order more Pfizer doses immediately.

“At the moment, we just don’t have access to those vaccines anyway, whether we like it or not,” he said.

Pfizer has been tight-lipped about its contracts with the Australian government here, but a spokeswoman said this week the company would “continue to work closely with the government to support their vaccine implementation plans.”

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Sydney Sixers look to emulate Melbourne Storm spirit after home game snub


“We thought we might be a chance of reduced crowds and playing a couple of games here,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for our fans and our members that we can’t get there; it was a bit of a shock.”

The Sixers are keeping their fingers crossed they will be able to host at least one BBL final at the SCG in the back end of the season.

The Sixers will finish the regular season as the only side not to play at home.Credit:Getty

“It would be very important if we get the opportunity for that go ahead,” Hughes said. “Having a home game advantage in finals is huge … they are conditions that you’re used to.”

Sixers boss Jodie Hawkins said the club would be out to emulate the Storm spirit and take out the premiership while based interstate.Mitchell Starc, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott and Nathan Lyon are also all scheduled to return in the coming weeks.

“If you look at the Melbourne Storm, it’s the season of winning away and you just have to do it any way you can,” Hawkins said. “We’ll start the conversation with Cricket Australia about finals next week, and we’re hopeful we’ll be able to get back [to Sydney].”

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The Sixers will finish the regular season as the only side not to play at home. The second-placed Thunder have played at Manuka Oval nearly every year and are no strangers to the conditions in Canberra.

“The Thunder have been able to stay put in one spot longer than anyone else,” Hawkins said. “They’ve had a good crack at Manuka and know the conditions well, and we don’t really get that benefit.”

Also disappointed by the decision for Sydney games to be relocated, Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson said the Sydney Test had given his side a false “glimmer of hope”.

“We thought that might have given us a little bit more of a chance,” he said. “But we’ve just got to ride the wave and take every challenge that comes.”

Ferguson also confirmed Daniel Sams was set to return from concussion.

“Obviously his health is the most important thing, not just now but in the long-term future,” he said. “Now that he’s passed all the tests, been through all the protocols, he’s ready to go and excited to be playing in the derby.”

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Cricket crowds must shape up or stay home in the modern game


This has its benefits, of course, and those are one of the charms of the sport. Kids can clamber down around the boundary and ask for autographs of the stars, who are meandering around right in front of them. Any cricket fan can remember seeing someone you thought larger than life up so close. They might even give you a wave if you ask 1000 times. Which you will.

But that intimacy between player and fan also exposes the athlete to the extended attention of individuals or groups who believe they are there simply to be the target of their sledges or tawdry ballads. Sometimes, those interactions can be genuinely funny, like the famous scenes of Merv Hughes warming up Bay 13.

Most of the time, it’s a parade of tired jokes we’ve all heard before, and as the blood alcohol percentage increases lines inevitably get crossed. I’m not sure what was said at the SCG during the Test, but I doubt there was a single person surprised given the crowd culture we have built at out Test venues.

Police remove six men from the SCG after more allegations of abuse were levelled by the tourists.Credit:Getty

Twenty-four Test veteran Kerry O’Keeffe unleashed when asked about the incident on Fox, saying it had become a right of passage for some Australian fans to spend their time lambasting opposition players. That, he said, was juvenile, boorish and well past its use-by date.

“When you come to Test cricket, you come to watch the best of one nation play the best of another nation. It’s elite sport, not stand-up comedy, where you feel like you have the right to heckle the entertainer,” O’Keeffe said.

“Sledging is the most overrated aspect of Australian sport. Young fathers bring their children to the game. If they see anti-social behaviour in the stands, they feel that’s the way to conduct themselves. It’s wrong.

“I have never seen a more overrated aspect of cricket than sledging. As a nation, we are consumed by it. I played 24 Tests for Australia. One of the very first questions I get from people is ‘what is the best sledge you heard’? Grow up.

“When guys get together at a cricket match, it’s a game of one-upmanship in the stands, who can come up with the most stinging one-liner. It’s boorish and you cross the line, as may have been crossed yesterday.

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“Ninety-nine per cent of sledging is unfunny. A huge percentage of it is personal abuse dressed up. Get over it . . . we are better than that and we’ve got to start now.”

Sledging persists in cricket and, even though Australia have tempered their mannerisms in the post-sandpaper era, much of it can still be heard on the stump microphones. Tim Paine, the Australian captain, went to the lowest common denominator when his attempted takedown of Ravi Ashwin backfired late in the day.

That’s hardly a hanging offence from Paine, but it comes across as petty and a touch desperate. It also doesn’t help the cause when everyone is trying to ensure the Indians, who have been brilliant opponents this summer and travelled in a restrictive biosecurity bubble, are treated with the respect they deserve.

Here’s hoping the Gabba crowd can navigate the line between humour and offence with more agility than those few in attendance at the SCG, because O’Keeffe is right: We all must do better.

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The aspect of Fremantle’s game that Jakovich has “grave concerns” over


Eagles legend Glen Jakovich has run his eye over Fremantle, believing they’re a team with a formidable backline, but their offensive struggles will keep them out of the top eight in 2021.

The Dockers impressed in their first season under coach Justin Longmuir, finishing 12th with seven wins and a percentage of 93.7.

Jakovich hopes to see what they’re capable of with their full arsenal of defenders fit and healthy.

“Last year defensively they were ranked fifth in the competition. In the back end of the season, they were ranked number two so they were really, really good defensively,” he told Sportsday WA.

“If they can get Joel Hamling back, that’s an added bonus. He’s an A-grader and a premiership player. Luke Ryan is an All-Australian, Nathan Wilson, if he can get a good run with his body, he’s an A-grader. Explosive and gets them going.

“I really like Fremantle’s backline. Ethan Hughes, Griffin Logue, throw in Alex Pearce if he can hold his body together he’ll be very good.

“Their mids are fantastic. Caleb Serong was the NAB Rising Star.

“Look out for Hayden Young. I had the privilege of working with him in the National Academy program. He is an elite kick, sees the angles well.

“Darcy Tucker, James Aish will be better in his second year, Stephen Hill needs to stay on the park.”

Jakovich believes Fremantle should ride its young midfield and begin to transition Nathan Fyfe and Michael Walters forward more regularly.

“The mids are really good, the forwards, I’ve got grave concerns,” he said.

“Last year (their) attack (was ranked) 16th in the competition and they averaged 50 points per game.

“In the top four, Port Adelaide (averaged) 69 (points per game), Brisbane 69, Richmond 66 points and Geelong 72 points per game.

“You’ve got to score. Matt Taberner, who is going to stand up with him?

“You’ve got Michael Walters. Where does he play next year? For me, I’d like to see him and Nat Fyfe play high half-forward and in the midfield.

“They’re not in their younger years anymore and I think Fremantle need them, as part of climbing up the ladder, playing more deep forward and preserving their bodies because they have played a lot of footy and have been banged up over a long period of time.

“(Fremantle) needs to add something more to their forward line. That’s their Achilles heel.

“The two things that Fremantle needs to really improve on is their impact on the scoreboard … and the other thing is they need to improve on their kicking game.

“If they really improve on that and become the envy of the competition like Hawthorn were a few years ago then opposition clubs will take not that they’re on the rise.

“I’ve got them finishing ninth or 10th, in that area. If they can improve, they should be on the cusp of finals footy. I can’t put them in the finals or the top eight equation just yet, the reason being their forward doesn’t look that scary to me at the minute and that’s where they’ve got to really boost up their stocks.”





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Tennessee Titans to honor 6 heroic officers from Nashville Christmas Day explosion at NFL playoff game


“It is an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to honor them.”

The Tennessee Titans will honor the six first responders responsible for safely evacuating residents in downtown Nashville prior to the Christmas Day bombing.

Officers Brenna Hosey, Tyler Luellen, Michael Sipos, Amanda Topping, James Wells and Sergeant Timothy Miller will be in attendance at Sunday’s NFL playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens and plunge the Titans Sword of Honor to mark the countdown to kickoff and will be recognized as the game’s honorary 12th Titans, according to the Tennessee Titans.

“While we can never thank these officers enough for their heroic acts, it is an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to honor them at the game on Sunday,” said Titans president and CEO Burke Nihill. “We are grateful for their service to our community and appreciate that we’ll have them on site to support the team.”

Nashville police officers were called to downtown Nashville early on Christmas morning when they discovered an RV playing a recording saying a potential bomb would detonate within 15 minutes.

The officers immediately began working to evacuate nearby buildings when the RV exploded at approximately 6:30 a.m, blowing out windows of nearby buildings and causing extensive and structural damage to dozens of buildings in the surrounding area.

Authorities found human remains among the debris of the explosion and investigators eventually determined that they belonged to the RV owner who was later identified as 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner of Antioch, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville.

Eight people were injured in the blast. Warner He was the only person to die in the blast.

The Nashville police officers were hailed as heroes at a press conference a couple of days later.

“Immediately, they didn’t think about their own lives. They didn’t think about themselves. They thought about the citizens of Nashville and protecting them, and they went about knocking on doors,” Chief John Drake said, as he introduced five of the six officers. “Had they not made those efforts, we’d be talking about the tragedy of people and lives lost.”

On Sunday, however, the officers will be lauded on the national stage.

“To be able to stand at the stadium with [my fellow officers] and receive this honor together is amazing,” said Officer Wells. “[Our response on Christmas Day] was a total team effort. It was not what one individual did or said, it was about all of us coming together to protect our community, and keep our community safe and keep each other safe.”

The Tennessee Titans said that their players will continue to wear the “615 Strong” helmet decal in this weekend’s game, honoring Nashville’s resilience and the six officers involved.

The Tennessee Titans (11-5) are the fourth seed in the AFC and will take on the fifth seeded Baltimore Ravens (11-5) for the right to move onto the divisional round of the 2021 NFL playoffs.

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Gaming Like It’s 1925: There’s Still Plenty Of Time To Join Our Public Domain Game Jam!


from the mine-that-domain dept

Sign up for the Public Domain Game Jam on itch.io »

We’re just over a week into our third annual public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1925, and it runs until the end of the month so there’s still plenty of time to sign up and start working on an entry! We’re looking for analog and digital games that are inspired by and/or make direct use of materials from works published in 1925, which have now entered the public domain, and giving away prizes for the best ones in multiple categories.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced game designer or someone who’s never tried it before — the beauty of the public domain is that it supplies a growing wealth of inspiration and assets for you to use, and the beauty of modern game design tools is that you can dip your toe in without any particular expertise or technical knowledge (and we’ve got links to several tools that can help over on the game jam page). Entries can be as simple as a one-page set of rules for a game to be played in person (or perhaps over Zoom, given our current circumstances) or as complex as a full-fledged video game, and anything in between. There are six categories to compete in (the winners of the 2020 jam are linked below, and you can read our judges’ thoughts on them here):

Sign up for the game jam on itch.io where you can also read the full rules and find links to lists of 1925 books, plays, films, art and music, including stuff from many notable 20th century creators like Aldous Huxley, Gertrude Stein, Zora Neale Hurston, Pablo Picasso, Charlie Chaplin, Irving Berlin, and Louis Armstrong. You’ve got until January 31st to submit your entries after which they will be played by our amazing panel of judges from both the game design and copyright worlds.

Check out the winners of the 2019 and 2020 jams (which used works from 1923 and 1924 respectively) then sign up for the jam and get designing. We’ve already got a few entries this year, and we can’t wait to see more and play everyone’s games!

Sign up for the Public Domain Game Jam on itch.io »

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How Canberra’s influence game changed in 2020


She is new to being the face of an interest group, having spent two years with the non-profit and taking on her current role in July 2020 in the middle of the crisis, but her experiences are shared by a range of advocates from major associations who were spoken to by this masthead.

There are shared frustrations from lobbyists about the lack of in-person meetings with government decision-makers through large parts of 2020 but there is also agreement that dialling in on the computer has proven to be an efficient way to touch base quickly when reacting to the fast-changing economic and social environment.

“Pre-COVID I would never have pictured that sort of scenario playing out with children walking in,” Dent says. “It has changed things.”

Rethinking relationships

Most people outside of Australia’s political circles will know groups like the Australian Council of Social Service, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions largely through their significant presence in the news and on social media.

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But for most of those involved with influencing the nation’s policymakers, getting coverage in the media is only one part of a complex job. A lot of the unseen work traditionally happens over coffee at Canberra’s Parliament House and electorate offices across the country, where lobbyists aim to explain their point of view and ultimately change legislation affecting every Australian.

Last year, the typical channels for this sort of lobbying dried up fast. Sitting weeks were cancelled, there were limits on who could come to Parliament and border restrictions to limit the spread of the pandemic kept workers in their homes.

“It was a huge opportunity and a huge threat to how the industry operated,” Financial Services Council deputy chief executive Blake Briggs says.

“A lot of effective advocacy is based on the quality and depth of the relationships you have with key decision-makers,” he says. “That’s much harder to do when you can’t physically sit down with someone and take them through your arguments and evidence and the data you’re using to support your position.”

Briggs says most lobbyists were left relying heavily on the depth of pre-existing relationships. The industry was being affected in real-time and it was crucial to know MPs on all sides of the political spectrum or to quickly build trust.

His lobbying also became much more data-driven, he says, with Treasury, the Reserve Bank and ministers needing to know specifically what was happening among financial providers. In the early days of the crisis there were significant concerns about the strain lending institutions might be under.

“There was a huge demand for up-to-date data in real time about how the market was functioning. I think that will leave a permanent mark on how policy is done — I think there will be a lot more focus on data in the future,” he says.

Shifting gears

Some lobbyists weren’t able to get as much attention on the issues they had previously planned to focus on over the year. The pandemic was all-consuming and it was hard to win interest on any other topic from politicians, says a representative of a major industry group who did not want to be named in case it affects their relationships.

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“Everyone was understandably focused on the crisis … but it derailed some of the plans we’d made at the end of 2019 and meant we had to be louder in other ways,” they say.

Another advocate who preferred not to be named says MPs tended to be more open-minded than in the past about innovative ideas and recommendations, but they also found it difficult to get cut-through on issues not related to the nation’s economic recovery or immediate pandemic assistance.

Briggs has noticed some of his counterparts in other groups have “been louder in the media” and “had to rely more on those levers” to get their arguments out than they would have if they’d been able to walk the corridors of Parliament.

“That may appear as them being louder or more shrill,” he says.

With challenges for every company across the country due to the pandemic, many of the changes are set to stay for the time being. Industry Super Australia’s deputy chief executive Matt Linden, who is based in Canberra, can’t recall a year where the workload has been as intense as 2020. “I think everyone from our organisation pulled out all the stops to be on top of everything,” he says.

Policy changes were coming “thick and fast” and the group’s responsibilities escalated as the year went on and emergency changes allowing more than 3 million people to access their superannuation savings early were brought in to help struggling workers.

The year forced Industry Super to use technology at an accelerated pace, including video-conferencing, and increase their focus to ensure messages put out to the public and to policymakers were clear and relevant.

“There is a limited bandwidth in terms of your ability to get messages out when it has been a busy year media-wise in terms of all the topics being covered. It’s a challenge,” he says.

“We’re all looking forward to this year hopefully being different to the last.”

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Twitter engages in game of whack-a-mole as Donald Trump tries to tweet from other accounts after ban


Twitter engaged in a game of whack-a-mole deleting tweets from Donald Trump off various accounts on its site, after permanently suspending the US president’s main account over fears his tweets could incite further violence in the Capitol.

It comes as Republicans loyal to the president decried the suspension as an assault on free speech, criticising Twitter for leaving unchecked the accounts of Chinese and Iranian officials.

Twitter said it suspended Mr Trump’s account because he violated their warnings about possible further incitement of violence with two tweets issued after a 12-hour block on his account was removed.

It deemed those tweets, including one in which Mr Trump said he would not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration, as “highly likely” to encourage others to replicate the “criminal acts” that took place at the Capitol on 6 January, when thousands of Mr Trump’s supporters raided the building. At least five people have died as a result.

Mr Trump took to the official @POTUS account to accuse Twitter of conspiring with his political enemies to silence him.

“Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me – and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me,” he said.

Twitter Permanently Suspends Trump, Capping Online Revolt

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Twitter then deleted the series of four tweets, in which Mr Trump also raised the possibility of building his own “platform”.

The same tweets then appeared on the Trump campaign account @teamtrump, before that account was also deleted.

US political reporters also claimed Mr Trump may have tried to circumvent the ban with other accounts.

‘Big mistake’

Mr Trump’s supporters slammed the social media giant for hypocrisy over the move, criticising why the accounts of others remained.

Republican senator Lindsey Graham vowed to act against legal protections for tech giants, saying the move was a “big mistake”.

Meanwhile, many of Mr Trump’s political adversaries, including Hillary Clinton, poked fun at the suspension.



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