NRL 2021: Alex Glenn, Broncos captaincy, testimonial game, Kevin Walters


Veteran forward Alex Glenn will retain the Broncos captaincy for 2021 with the club confirming the news on Friday morning.

The 32-year-old got the nod over Anthony Milford, Ben Te’o and Payne Haas. Andrew McCullough was also in the mix before making the move to the Dragons.

Glenn seems the most logical option considering Haas has been embroiled in off-field controversy and Milford has struggled with form over the last two seasons.

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Round 1

The announcement comes just in time for Glenn’s testimonial match on Saturday against the Cowboys at Dolphin stadium.

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Cricket 2021, India vs England, third Test score: Kevin Pietersen defends Ahmedabad pitch, wicket


A whopping 17 wickets fell in just over two sessions on day two as India was dismissed for 145, rolled England for 81, and then chased down 49 to win.

One ball turned, the next did not — and England was left utterly powerless to tame the unpredictable conditions in a contest that was entertaining but, ultimately, a bad look for Test cricket long-term.

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17-wickets fall within 59 overs!

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Former PM Kevin Rudd tells parliamentary inquiry into media diversity he was fearful of Murdoch media


News Corp Australia has denied making and breaking prime ministers, having “racism as a business model” and running campaigns of “character assassination”.

“Democracy is messy, it is a work in progress and relies on the robust exchange of news, views and opinions,” executive chairman Michael Miller said on Friday to a parliamentary inquiry into media diversity.

When quizzed by committee chairwoman Senator Sarah Hanson-Young about “Dictator Dan” headlines during Victoria’s five-month lockdown, Mr Miller said: “We ask tough questions.”

“[Premier Dan Andrews] was telling Victorians how to live and they weren’t happy about it,” Mr Miller said.

Fellow witness, News Corp corporate affairs, policy and government group executive Campbell Reid, said: “It’s not character assassination to closely examine the actions of people in public life.”

News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller, right, pictured next to the company’s corporate affairs, policy and government group executive Campbell Reid, urged the Senate committee to “push back at those who want to see it through the prism of days gone by”.(AAP: Mick Tsikas)

Mr Miller said agreements with Google announced this week, and News Corp’s own global deal with the tech giant, will support news producers and diverse audiences amid the “digital revolution”.

He urged the committee to “push back at those who want to see it through the prism of days gone by”.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd was the first witness on Friday and called for Australians to resist the Murdoch media empire “culture of fear” and the emerging monopolies of Google and Facebook.

Proposed media bargaining laws simply entrench the power and reach of the “Murdoch mob”, he warned.

He said more than half a million people had signed a petition calling for a royal commission into the issue, because they knew “something was crook”.

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Media decline leaves the regions asking “Who will tell our stories?”

Mr Rudd admitted he was “fearful” of News Corp while prime minister.

“When did I stop being fearful? Probably when I walked out of the building in 2013,” he said.

The “Fox News-isation” of the Australian media was well underway thanks to Sky News Australia breeding climate change denialism and encouraging far-right political extremism, Mr Rudd said.

“The Murdoch media empire has campaigned viciously against one side of politics,” he said, also calling out the “misogyny” and “ditch the witch” imagery used during Julia Gillard’s prime ministership.

Mr Miller said Mr Rudd was making false claims about News Corp exercising a monopoly and undue influence in Australia.

“He has misled you,” he told the committee.

Media leaders back Google, Facebook code

Mr Miller said the full impact of Facebook’s move on Thursday to block news access and sharing in Australia was yet to be understood.

“The door is still open for Facebook,” he said, as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg tried for a workable law that includes Facebook.

Now backed by philanthropists after its media owners sold out last year, Australian Associated Press chief executive Emma Cowdroy, chairwoman Jonty Low and editor Andrew Drummond said one of the most efficient ways of supporting media diversity was to ensure the national newswire was properly resourced.

The competition watchdog, which is keeping a watching brief on AAP’s former owners, says its two key concerns about diversity are the impact of tech giants Google and Facebook and ensuring the viability of an independent national newswire.

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“I am personally delighted that the AAP newswire has survived,” Mr Miller said.

He said the service was “by nature independent”, unlike News Corp Australia’s new centralised newswire.

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks also called for the government to stick to its plan to legislate the media bargaining code and rejected Mr Rudd’s call for a royal commission.

But he was concerned about Facebook’s decision to limit Australians’ access to news.

AAP

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NT leaders hope Kevin Andrews’ preselection loss will reignite euthanasia debate


Northern Territory politicians are hopeful Liberal MP Kevin Andrews’ departure from federal politics may help the NT and ACT claw back the ability to make their own assisted dying laws.

In 1996, Mr Andrews introduced a bill banning both territories from passing laws on voluntary euthanasia — legislation that still prevents the jurisdictions from doing so today.

Mr Andrews was ousted by his own party when he failed to secure preselection for his Victorian seat of Menzies on Sunday.

His eventual exit from Federal Parliament does not overturn the 1996 legislation, and a spokesman for Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter has said the Federal Government has no plans to repeal the law.

But NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said Mr Andrews’ departure could mean more federal support for a bill restoring the territories’ rights.

“Hopefully with someone like Mr Andrews moving on, there will be less resistance or less blockage to the Northern Territory having that ability to make its own decisions again,” Mr Gunner said.

He said it was “absurd” the NT and ACT Governments were still without that power.

“Territorians should have the ability to make that decision for themselves, especially as we have seen other jurisdictions make that decision,” Mr Gunner said.

Mr Gunner says the NT deserves the same power as states to draw up assisted dying laws.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

‘We’ve still got a battle’

Former chief minister Marshall Perron, who in 1995 put forward the bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia in the Northern Territory, was not convinced Mr Andrews’ preselection loss would spark immediate change.

“We still got a battle on our hands,” he said.

“We’ve got to convince enough federal politicians that this is an issue.”

With voluntary assisted dying laws set to be debated in Queensland and Tasmania this year and a bill already tabled in South Australia’s Parliament, Mr Perron said the territories’ right to vote on assisted dying should be in focus.

“This has simply got to be addressed,” he said.

Kevin Andrews speaks to reporters
In 1996, federal Liberal MP Kevin Andrews put forward a bill — passed in 1997 — which overrode the right of the territories to legalise assisted dying.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

All four of the Territory’s federal representatives want the NT to be able to make its own laws on assisted dying, including the Labor MP for Solomon, Luke Gosling.

Mr Gosling, a practising Catholic, does not personally support voluntary euthanasia but says he wants the NT to be able to vote on the issue for itself.

“Repealing the Andrews bill isn’t about euthanasia per se, but the ability of the Northern Territory to make laws about issues that matter to Territorians,” he said.

Even if the NT was granted the right to decide for itself on assisted dying, it would likely remain a contentious issue.

The Australian Medical Association, for example, has a policy position against physician-assisted dying and is instead calling for increased palliative care funding.

Limited support to repeal Andrews bill

Mr Gosling was elected in 2016 and, in his first term, introduced a private member’s bill to give the NT the power to vote on assisted dying.

This bill lapsed as the parliamentary term ended, and the Labor MP said although he did not have the numbers to overturn the Andrews bill now, the “fight wasn’t over”.

“I was able to get that support in the previous parliament, but I don’t have that support at the moment,” he said.

The Northern Territory's Parliament House in Darwin.
NT Parliament cannot pass laws on assisted dying.(ABC News: Andie Smith)

The Labor MP says he is canvassing support from other federal representatives for a bill restoring the territories’ rights.

Scott Morrison’s office was asked if the Prime Minister would support such a bill, but he declined to comment.

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Keith Wolahan, the ex-commando who unseated Liberal Party stalwart Kevin Andrews, insists he’s ‘not a moderate’


Former special forces commando Keith Wolahan has rejected suggestions he is a “moderate”, a day after unseating Liberal Party stalwart Kevin Andrews in the Melbourne seat of Menzies.

Mr Wolahan on Sunday won preselection for the federal seat that Mr Andrews — one of the Liberal Party’s most socially conservative stalwarts — had held since 1991.

Despite holding some different views to his predecessor — Mr Wolahan voted for marriage equality in the 2017 plebiscite — he rejects suggestions he is a moderate.

However, his win is seen as a blow for party conservatives, as Mr Andrews had the support of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

A ‘generational change’ for the Liberal Party

Monash University politics lecturer Zareh Ghazarian said Mr Wolahan’s preselection marked a “generational change” for Victoria’s Liberal Party.

“It’s rare for sitting MPs to not retain their seat,” Mr Ghazarian said.

“The decision to select a new candidate in Keith Wolahan potentially will impact the future direction of the party in the state.”

Mr Wolahan dismissed suggestions he was out of step with the party leadership and characterised their support for Mr Andrews as a show of loyalty for a longtime colleague.

“The Prime Minister and his colleagues backed Kevin because they’re colleagues, that’s what they do,” Mr Wolahan said.

He said the Government’s “cautious rollout” of the coronavirus vaccine was “appropriate”, and the Prime Minister had “the balance right” on climate change.

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said Mr Wolahan’s preselection was an indication that local party members were ready for change, rather than a negative assessment of Mr Andrews’ track record.

“I don’t think after a 30-year career I would look at the decision of the preselectors as anything other than it’s time for renewal in that seat,” Mr Sukkar said.

Kevin Andrews held the seat of Menzies in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs for 30 years.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Vote a ‘wonderful exercise of democracy’

Mr Wolahan won Sunday’s vote of Liberal Party members by a clear margin of 181 to 111, including a “handful” of votes cast by Australian Defence Force (ADF) veterans.

He denied any suggestions of branch stacking, but said around 20 former ADF colleagues were waiting outside the party room as he emerged as the victor.

Keith Wolahan poses for a portrait
Keith Wolahan won the preselection vote 181-111 to push aside incumbent Kevin Andrews.(Supplied: Victorian Bar)

It was the first time a sitting Victorian Liberal MP had been ousted by their members in more than 20 years.

However, his victory, though noteworthy, doesn’t top Mr Wolahan’s list of lifetime achievements.

A veteran of three tours of Afghanistan, Mr Wolahan was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service for his performance of duty in action with the ADF in 2009 and 2010.

Mr Wolahan described Sunday’s vote as a “wonderful exercise of democracy”.

“There was no dirt sheet, there were no smears, there were just decent people, hearing the arguments and then quietly exercising their vote in a secret ballot,” he said.

In response to questioning about his leadership ambitions, he demurred.

“I’m just a candidate, I’m not even a parliamentarian, so I have to earn the trust of the people of Menzies, then I’m off to the right start,” he said.

“I won’t be getting ahead of myself.”

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Donald Trump meets House Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy


Trump faces a US Senate trial next month after the House impeached him on January 13 on a charge of inciting insurrection stemming from his incendiary speech to supporters before they stormed the Capitol. He has falsely claimed that the November 3 election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden was “rigged.”

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Advisers say Trump has talked recently about forming an alternative to the Republican Party, the Patriot Party, which could have disastrous effects for Republicans in elections to come if it were to happen.

But a statement issued by Trump’s “Save America PAC” about the Trump-McCarthy meeting suggested Trump had set aside for now the idea of forming a new party. It said they focused on the goal of Republicans taking control of the House in the 2022 elections.

“President Trump has agreed to work with Leader McCarthy on helping the Republican Party to become a majority in the House,” Save America said in a statement.

It added that the meeting “was a very good and cordial one.“

Republicans picked up House seats in last November’s election, reducing Democrats’ majority in the chamber to a 221-211 margin.

McCarthy said in a statement that Trump had committed to electing Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022 and criticised Democrats for “impeaching a president who is now a private citizen.“

“A united conservative movement will strengthen the bonds of our citizens and uphold the freedoms our country was founded on,” he said.

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Is Bling Empire Scripted? Star Kevin Kreider Sounds Off – E! Online


Bling Empire has provided some seriously unreal reality TV moments.

Between a penis pump being thrown out a window to a child being the reincarnation of their late grandmother to a cross country hunt for a biological father, Netflix’s new reality show is one we couldn’t turn off.

Of course, with so many wild TV moments packed into one season, fans have wondered if Bling Empire is scripted. Thus, during our exclusive chat with Kevin Kreider, we asked the model to reveal how real this reality show is.

His answer: “To me, it’s 100 percent.”

Wanting to only speak to his own filming experience, Kevin made it clear that fans are witnessing his real life.

“I know for what I went through, that was so real,” Kevin told E! News. “I even talked to the producers, and I said, ‘Does this happen often in reality?’ They said they pray for stuff like this because it’s gold. It’s real.”

Continuing on this point, Kevin highlighted that production was “documenting real-life stuff.”



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NRL 2021: Kotoni Staggs, Brisbane Broncos, Kevin Walters, centre to test his value on open market


Young gun Brisbane Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs will test his value on the NRL’s open market next week with rival clubs tipped to need in excess of $700,000 a season to convince him to leave Red Hill.

Staggs, 22, is regarded among the most damaging young centres in the NRL and was consistently one of the Broncos’ best players despite a lean 2020 for the club.

The Broncos centre is expected to be ruled out until at least Round 10 this year after undergoing off-season surgery on an ACL injury sustained in Round 20 last year.

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Round 1

But the injury issue won’t stop rival NRL clubs from pitching to convince free agent Staggs to sign with them for 2022.

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NRL 2021: pre-season training updates, Tesi Niu at centre, Brisbane Broncos, Kotoni Staggs injury, Kevin Walters, Melbourne Storm captain, Cameron Smith, Ryan Papenhuyzen


With just under two months to go until the 2021 season kicks off, teams are starting to take shape.

Some players face the challenge of a positional switch while new recruits focus on locking down a starting spot at their new club.

Now is the time for a coach to experiment with his team to find the strongest combinations and further develop new skills amongst their squads. That’s exactly what the likes of Broncos coach Kevin Walters and Dragons coach Anthony Griffin are doing.

Meanwhile, with Cameron Smith not attending pre-season training, life without the legendary skipper has started to set in… but who will have the little ‘c’ next to their name now?

Round 1

Read on for the latest around the grounds teams update in our Pre-season Diary.

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James Harden gets long-awaited move away from Houston, joins Kevin Durant at Brooklyn Nets


The James Harden saga ended on Wednesday when the Houston Rockets traded him to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a four-team trade, according to multiple reports.

Earlier reports suggested the Philadelphia 76ers were preparing to trade Australian star Ben Simmons for Harden, before the Nets deal was announced.

The move sees Harden, 31, reunited with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant. They played together for three seasons before Harden was dealt to the Rockets in 2013.

The trade comes one day after a disgruntled Harden went on a postgame rant following Tuesday’s 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed,” Harden said.

“We’re just not good enough — chemistry, talent-wise, just everything. And it was clear these last two games.

The Rockets told Harden not to attend Wednesday’s practice, with coach Stephen Silas saying it was “best for the group and for James”.

Harden has been upset with the Rockets since the departures of coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey after last season.

An eight-time All-Star, Harden has three years, $133 million with a player option for the final season remaining on his current deal.

Harden is averaging 24.8 points per game — down from his career average of 25.2 — after reporting late to training camp. However, his assists are up to 10.4 per game from a career average of 6.3.

Harden has led the NBA in scoring in each of the past three seasons with averages of 30.4, 36.1 and 34.3.

Aussie Dante Exum switches as part of multi-player, multi-team deal

Dante Exum, right, is heading to Houston.(AP: Ben Gray)

Australia’s Dante Exum will move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to Houston as part of the deal.

As well as Exum, Houston reportedly received guard Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers and forward Rodions Kurucs of the Nets.

It also received three first-round draft picks from the Nets, one unprotected 2022 first-round pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers (via the Milwaukee Bucks) and the right to swap four first-round picks with the Nets.

Guard Caris LeVert and a second-round pick will go from the Nets to the Pacers, and centre Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince go from Brooklyn to the Cavaliers with Cleveland sending a 2024 second-round pick to the Nets.

The first-round picks Houston received from the Nets are in 2022, 2024, 2026. The swaps are in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027.

Reuters/ABC

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