Discharged too soon. Margarita Yudina, who was kicked by a policeman at a protest in St. Petersburg, was readmitted to a hospital

Amid the protest in St. Petersburg in support of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny on January 23, a police officer brutally kicked 54-year-old Margarita Yudina in the stomach. She fell and hit her head on the asphalt and ended up in intensive care, where she was treated for a severe head injury and a concussion. Yudina was discharged the next day, but was readmitted to hospital on January 26, after complaining of continued dizziness, headaches, and nausea. According to her lawyers, Yudina has now decided to press charges against the policeman who injured her for criminal abuse of authority.

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The American pirate who kicked off one of Hong Kong’s earliest major political scandals

Boggs accused a top colonial official, Daniel Caldwell, and another notorious pirate, Ma Chow Wong, of working together in secret to protect each others’ interests. Boggs claimed that Wong derived his power from Caldwell’s protection racket, and Caldwell profited handsomely financially — and professionally — in return. Caldwell reportedly turned over other pirates to law enforcement so he could rise in the colony’s professional ranks.

George Wingrove Cooke, The Times’ Special Correspondent in China, who covered the trial, dismissed Boggs’ allegations out of hand in his reporting.

But Hong Kong Attorney General T. Chisholm Anstey toook them more seriously, as he was tasked by the governor with investigating corruption upon his arrival in 1856.

That probe became one of Hong Kong’s earliest major corruption scandals involving official wrongdoing. Countless followed — the colony was notoriously rife with corruption until the 1970s, when the government formed its Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), an agency credited with reviving Hong Kong’s reputation for preventing corruption and government malfeasance.

While the Caldwell affair and Boggs’ role in it forced the colonial government to acknowledge the scourge of piracy, piracy itself was not new.

Pirates, by that point, had already been sailing throughout southeast China for hundreds of years.

Ransom and opium

The arrival of the British merchants in East Asia made piracy a particularly lucrative industry because of just how much opium was being sold to mainland China. Things came to a head in the 19th century.

China at the time was ruled by the Qing dynasty, whose leaders were deeply mistrustful of foreigners and overseas commerce. The empire restricted most foreign trade to Canton, and even evacuated villages from along the coast to stop influential, anti-Qing elements based in Taiwan from fomenting dissent.

But as foreign merchants flocked to Canton in the 17th century and shipping routes to the rest of Asia passed through the South China Sea, just south of the city, the opportunity for piracy grew.

While many pirates simply raided opium clippers and sold their contraband, ransom was also big business — it was even more profitable than robbery, according to some experts. Friends, family and business associates of victims often paid up quickly because the pirates roaming the South China Seas had a reputation for cruelty and grisly violence. According to a history of pirates published by a British captain named A.G. Course in 1966, Boggs allegedly of cut up the body of one wealthy prisoner to insure that colleagues or loved ones paid to free the rest of the people he held captive paid up. However, Boggs was never convicted for that crime.

British sailor John Turner also wrote about these brutal tactics after being held hostage on board a pirate ship in 1806. Taylor, the chief mate of a British ship called the Tay, was kidnapped in December that year, while sailing near Hong Kong and Macao and then held for ransom.

Turner later described how new victims were captured on a daily basis, but the treatment of one brought aboard in January “made an indelible impression” on him.

He watched horror as the pirates nailed a fellow captive’s feet to the ship’s deck while the prisoner was still alive. After plunging the two large nails through the other prisoner’s feet, the pirates beat the man with whips until he began vomiting blood. The victim was left on deck for a short time after,

The captive was then taken ashore, but whether he was alive or dead at the time, Taylor didn’t say. It wouldn’t matter. When the pirates reached dry land, the man was “cut to pieces.”

Taylor would go on to spend about five-and-a-half months in the captivity before his ransom was paid and his freedom was secured. Many more sailors would live through similar ordeals.

‘That handsome boy’

Boggs was hardly the most infamous of the pirates sailing in Chinese waters during the 19th century.

Cheng I Sao left her career as a prostitute to marry a pirate in 1801 and, a few years later, was reportedly commanding a fleet of 70,000 pirates aboard 1,200 vessels. Shap Ng Tsai, who supposedly led 3,000 men and 60 ships, and Chui A Poo were the most notorious pirates sailing around Hong Kong around the time of the Opium War.

But Boggs captured the public’s imagination because he was a young American with boyish good looks accused of grisly violence — including single-handedly killing 15 men on board one ship, while forcing the rest overboard, according to Cooke, the Times journalist.

“It seemed impossible that that handsome boy could be the pirate whose name had been for three years connected with the boldest and bloodiest acts of piracy,” Cooke wrote. “It was a face of feminine beauty. Not a down upon the upper lip; large lustrous eyes; a mouth the smile of which might woo (a) coy maiden; affluent black hair, not carelessly parted; hands so small and so delicately white that they would create a sensation in Belgravia.”

It is unclear is how — or why — Boggs ended up in China.

But by the early 19th century, what is clear is that the British wanted him locked up, and were offering a 1,200-dollar reward to do so. Yet who captured Boggs is still in dispute.

Captain Course’s history says another American named William Henry “Bully” Hayes, an opium smuggler, was responsible for capturing Boggs near Shanghai — and fetching the reward. Transcripts from Boggs’ trial published in local Hong Kong papers, however, quote the sworn testimony of Police Constable Charles Barker, who said he arrested Boggs at a bar on Bonham Strand in June 1857, in what is now Sheung Wan, one of Hong Kong’s hip neighborhoods popular with expatriates.

Either way, in 1857,then reportedly in his mid-20s, he faced trial for piracy and murder.

One witness said he saw Boggs take part in a pirate raid on an opium boat in which 24 men were killed, according to the trial notes. The American was convicted of piracy but acquitted of murder because no one could prove Boggs fired a fatal shot, despite multiple witnesses seeing Boggs firing at a man clinging to a rope tied to a boat.

Cooke, the reporter from the Times, alleged that jury was also “moved by his (Boggs’) youth and courage.”

Cooke’s dispatch from the trial was picked up and published by periodicals across the United States. While audiences across the world were no doubt drawn to the story’s dashing and dangerous main character, Cooke said he covered it because “this subject of piracy is of great importance.”

“Where I now write there are 200 junks (Chinese ships) lying in the harbor before me, and every one of them is armed with two heavy guns — some have 12,” Cooke wrote. “Probably one quarter of these are pirates, who live principally by piracy, and adopt the coasting trade only as a cover to their real profession.”

Caldwell’s downfall

Cooke didn’t take Boggs’ accusations of a government conspiracy seriously. He said Boggs’ defense was “false” and claimed the killing of the 15 men had been proven.

Anstey, the attorney general, disagreed.

“It was a most scandalous scene,” Anstey wrote to the Duke of Newcastle, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in 1859, “especially because the demeanor of Mr. Caldwell under the infliction was clearly that of a guilty man.”

Thomas Chisolm Anstey.

Caldwell at the time was Registrar General and protector of the Chinese in Hong Kong, a position that gave him ample opportunity to work with, and perhaps even exploit, the local population. Those positions meant Caldwell advised the governor on domestic affairs and affairs relating to the local Chinese population.

Anstey believed Boggs’ claims were “too circumstantial to be entirely false” and thought it was his “duty to represent the scandal which had occurred in court.”

What followed was a three-year-long tit-for-tat, with Anstey and Caldwell accusing the other of wrongdoing. Caldwell called Anstey a vindictive monomaniac targeting him under the guise of stamping out corruption.

Anstey accused much of the Hong Kong colonial government of covering up for Caldwell, and in his letter to the Duke — which Antsey self-published in a pamphlet for the public to read — argued that the commission tasked with investing Caldwell was staffed with his supporters and that the report they filed failed to address the totality of Caldwell’s wrongdoing.

Prejudice was almost certainly a factor. Caldwell had spent a lot of time in Asia and was one of the few British men in Hong Kong at the time to marry a local woman. Anstey called her a “harlot” and Caldwell a “pirate” during a Legislative Council meeting.

By the end of it all, both men were out of jobs. Colonial Gov. Sir John Bowring quickly tired Anstey’s constant quarreling, short temper and impetuous nature, according to a dispatch he filed in 1858. Bowring suspended Anstey from his post in 1858. A year later, Anstey left Hong Kong for Bombay.
Sir John Bowring.
Bowring’s successor, Hercules Robinson, revived the commission on instructions from the Duke of Newcastle. It found Caldwell unfit for public service in 1861.

Though his revelations were still upending in Hong Kong politics, Boggs was long gone by that point.

He had been released from prison about a year earlier on April 12, 1860, and deported to the US because he was sick “and it was not expected he would have lived much longer if kept in prison,” according to the colony’s legal records. Albert Smith, a traveler to Hong Kong, wrote that he saw Boggs in prison about a year after his convictions, where the American “complained terribly of his confinement, and said his chest was affected.”

Boggs slowly faded into history after his return to the US, while Anstey died in Bombay in 1873.

Caldwell died two years later. He was buried in a cemetery in Hong Kong’s Happy Valley, where is grave is today.

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Farmers want Australia-China barley trade dispute ‘kicked off’ to World Trade Organization, NFF says

The National Farmers’ Federation says it will support the Federal Government if it decides to appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over China’s decision to impose hefty tariffs on barley.

In a statement to Parliament, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the Government was “considering all dispute settlement options” in order to help exporters who have been crippled by tariffs.

As well as barley, Australian wine has also recently been stung with tariffs of up to 200 per cent as part of a Chinese investigation into wine dumping, accusing producers of selling wine for below the cost of production.

Senator Birmingham again said the government had raised concerns about the investigation and the tariffs on both commodities, that they were inconsistent with the WTO’s rules and the free trade agreement it signed with China, known as ChAFTA.

“The government continues to work closely with our exporters in an effort to retain preferential market access into China and raise issues of apparent discriminatory actions targeted against Australia,” he said.

“Australia has raised these concerns with Chinese officials on multiple occasions in Canberra and Beijing and has asked the Chinese government to engage on these matters at officials’ and ministerial levels.

Australia’s barley farmers fell victim to trade tensions with China, after it announced major tariffs.(Tara De Landgrafft)

“The Chinese government has consistently spoken about its commitment to open trade and the multilateral trading system as well as to its free trade agreements, including ChAFTA.

“All WTO members are expected to conduct their trading relationships in a manner consistent with their international obligations.”

National Farmers’ Federation president Fiona Simson has thrown her support behind an Australian appeal to the WTO, over China’s decision to impose hefty tariffs on barley.

“Absolutely, we depend on playing by the rules, we have to support that,” Ms Simson said.

Fiona Simpson stands in a paddock.
National Farmers’ Federation president Fiona Simson says farmers want the government to establish new trade markets.(Supplied: National Farmers’ Federation)

Senator Birmingham has previously said he expected Australia could launch a formal appeal at the WTO, having exhausted China’s domestic appeals process.

If Australia does escalate the dispute, it would be the first time Australia has referred China to the independent umpire over an agricultural trade since signing ChAFTA in 2015, and could be considered a precedent for a similar dispute over tariffs on Australian wine.

Ms Simson said the National Farmers Federation had been speaking with the Government about opening trade to new markets.

“Government can always do more, we always want more markets,” she said.

Senator Birmingham said progress was being made on establishing new trade partnerships, including through the recent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement — the largest trade deal in the world.

But he also said even with new agreements, China was still Australia’s largest trading partner and the relationship between the two countries was also affected by China’s “growing economic and strategic weight in the global context”.

“We make no secret that this competition is creating new dilemmas for us and the rest of the global community,” Senator Birmingham said.

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Dramatic rescue at IronWoman Series trial after competitor kicked unconscious

Brown managed to put her arm underneath O’Sullivan to keep her head above water before signalling for help. The two competitors were taken ashore with the teenager regaining consciousness soon after.

Brown’s selfless actions were commended by the Surf Life Saving community on Monday, with SLSA National Sport Manager Wayne Druery saying the 24-year-old actions “epitomised” everything the sport was about.

“Ella sacrificed her own race to help a fellow competitor in the true spirit of what surf lifesaving is about, she is an outstanding role model and deserves to be acknowledged,” he said.

“Once back on the beach Lily was seen by the first aid and medial officers and was thankfully fine and able to go home.”

Brown said she trained around 20 hours a week in the lead up for the race after making her debut in the series four years ago.

But despite missing out on her shot at the finals, she felt more “accomplished and rewarded” by her actions than she would have to finish the trial race.

“We are day-in, day-out training but then also on the other side of things we do our volunteer patrols,” she said. “The essence of our sport is to be there to support people. That if they get in trouble in the water we know what to do.”

Brown said she was a “bit emotional” after performing the rescue, saying her adrenaline was puming and she was in a state of shock over what had occurred.

“At that point, I was more concerned for how she was, to make sure that she was okay,” Brown said.

“At that point, the race was the furthest thing from my mind.”


It was O’Sullivan’s first attempt at the IronWoman Series and said she would “hate to think” about what could have happened if Brown didn’t stop to assist.

“I can’t thank her enough,” O’Sullivan said. “All I remember is getting near the first can with the lead girls in my swim and feeling a pain in my head and the next thing I remember is being in the IRB [Inflatable Rescue Boat] and Ella telling me that I was going to be okay.

“I am disappointed that it ended my race, but it makes me hungrier to get back out there and aim for next year’s series”.

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How Packer kicked a mighty own goal with Crown

“In those instances the adverse impact of CPH and Mr Packer, we submit, was ultimately harmful to the public interest, which is a primary object of the Casino Control Act to protect.”

We appear to be witnessing the unravelling of Crown.

James Packer is watching his empire unravel.Credit:

Evidence from several of its key management and board suggests either an ad hoc or cavalier approach to risk management and major problems with anti-money laundering and compliance, including the existence of bank accounts with camouflaged names to facilitate offshore players disguising gambling activities.

Crown’s association with junket operators with links to criminal activity has been widely evidenced during commission hearings.

Regardless of the fact that at various times over the past five years Packer has not been a director of Crown, this shadow has been sufficiently large that it could be characterised as operating as his personal fiefdom.

There has been recognition even by Packer that the regulator may not allow him to remain as a controlling shareholder.

While the commissioner Patricia Bergin will not necessarily follow the advice of counsel assisting it does not augur well for Crown, which will get an opportunity to lodge its submissions in a couple of weeks.

Bell’s submission on Wednesday dealt primarily with the 2016 arrests and who knew what about the impending risks associated with having staff in China, operating out of a clandestine office.

The inquiry heard that Packer supported the ‘VIP working group’ that made the decisions on the strategy and direction of the international business. This group worked outside the normal management grid and as such was responsible for the China arrests.

‘In 2013, quite possibly at Mr Packer’s instigation but certainly with his approval the VIP working group (otherwise referred to as the CHP working group) was established,’ Bell said.


Other aspects of the inquiry such as Crowns associations with junkets operators will be dealt with by others assisting the commission.

The irony for Packer is that his heavy involvement in the minutiae of Crown was clearly an attempt to maximise its profits and its growth. Now he faces the prospect of having to sell all or part of his 36 per cent shareholding in Crown at a time when the chances of the international VIP market returning are slim.

Crown’s share price has fallen by 30 per cent this year and while its new 10 per cent shareholder Blackstone has applied to increase its stake, any bid at this stage would be a low-ball offer.

Packer was the driving force behind the receipt of the Barangaroo licence, which may now be in jeopardy. At the very least, there must now be a large question mark over the planned opening of Barangaroo in five weeks.

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Dusty deal kicked off golden era for the Tigers

”It’s by no means a conservative plan, it’s a very ambitious plan about how we can get Richmond back to being not only a top-four club but hopefully the pre-eminent club in the AFL.”

Richmond had already ended the era of failure before Saturday night in Queensland.

They ended the era of failure when they not only removed the financial debt but also built wealth for the club. They ended that era when they added members like tattoos – they’re everywhere.

They ended that era when they stopped finishing ninth and started making finals.

They ended that era and ceased to be the butt of a joke when they resisted the push by the Focus on Football group that looks more ridiculous with every passing flag, but which in a not-so-distant era would have gained traction as a smart idea. (That the group is now claiming credit for inspiring the three flags is just breathtaking).

The Tigers emphatically ended that era with the first flag. That flag restored their credibility.

Richmond players pose with the 2020 Premiership trophy.Credit:Getty Images

The second flag two years later moved them from a heart-rending riches-to-rags-to-riches story to a sustainable and, dare it be said, mature club. Good clubs win one flag, very good clubs win two in short order.

A third flag has recrafted them again. Only the best clubs win flags in clusters. They certainly present a persuasive argument that they are now the pre-eminent team.

The rarity of Richmond’s achievement is that they had a plan that worked. Football is littered with five-year plans, Powerpoint presentations and lofty, unrealistic goals. Even the Focus on Footy troupe had a brochure. Ok it might have been on craft paper with crayon, but it was still a brochure.

The surprise is Richmond’s plan worked. They built their list. They held it together.

The most pivotal moment in the history of the club was not the night Gary March and Brendon Gale spoke to those inner sanctum members, it was the moment when they a price on what they would spend on Dustin Martin’s new contract and did not budge.

Dustin Martin and his Tiger teammates at The Gabba on Saturday night.

Dustin Martin and his Tiger teammates at The Gabba on Saturday night.Credit:Getty Images

It was the night when Martin sat with GWS officials and they looked at him and asked ‘why are you leaving?’ And Martin thought “Yeah, why am I leaving?” That chat crystalised in his mind where he’d really rather be.

That brave moment when the club refused to overspend and still kept the player who has now become probably the best Richmond player ever, is one of the most important moments in their history.


Three Norm Smith Medals now and counting. Does Richmond win all three flags if Martin chose at that point to leave? Do they even make all three grand finals if Martin, who also won that Brownlow, is not there? Probably not, but maybe. Richmond has argued as a club that no one person deserves all the credit, but surely, if there’s one who does deserve it, Martin has to be pretty close.

There is a lesson in that moment for other clubs and players alike. Richmond didn’t overspend (they still spent a lot) and kept their player. That does not always happen – you can dig your heels in and the player still goes – but the teams that have golden eras always have a habit of not overspending on their players and yet they manage to cultivate something about themselves – a culture even if just for a time – that has players staying for less and achieving more.

Dustin Martin could have left for more but stayed for less, and in the end has earned so much more.


Leigh Matthews made a boo boo in voting for the Norm Smith Medallist, giving two votes to Nathan Broad instead of Jayden Short. This is notable because … it’s Leigh Matthews, and it gives heart to all of us who from time to time get muddled.

Nathan Broad played OK, and was a more popular Gabba performer than his namesake Stuart, but Jayden Short was better. Matthews corrected his error.


The consolation thought for Geelong watching the second half was that Jeremy Cameron will be there next year (move/trade deal pending).

He’ll make them better. Whether he would have been the difference on Saturday is for now moot.

Cameron will give the Cats a second genuine mobile target up forward, allowing Patrick Dangerfield to play on the ball.



Night grand finals have had their cameo now we can return to day grand finals when normal transmission resumes.

Night games might make the half time entertainment better but isn’t it about the rest of the entertainment – you know the stuff either side of half time – that is the point?

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Quebec conspiracy theorist kicked off YouTube for spreading COVID-19 misinformation

Quebec’s best-known conspiracy theorist, Alexis Cossette-Trudel, lost another media platform on Thursday when YouTube shut down his account, which had more than 120,000 subscribers.

YouTube said it was removing Cossette-Trudel’s channel, Radio-Québec, for “repeatedly violating our community guidelines regarding COVID-19 misinformation.” The news was first reported by Radio-Canada.

Last week, Facebook shut down both Cossette-Trudel’s personal account and his Radio-Québec account, where he had also gained a large following.

Facebook said it took action against Radio-Québec because of its affiliation with the QAnon conspiracy movement, which believes, among other things, that world events are controlled by a cabal of Satanic pedophiles. 

YouTube said 60 channels and 1,800 videos were removed Thursday under its new policy aimed at limiting the influence of conspiracy theories. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

YouTube said Thursday it too is taking measures to keep QAnon content off its platform. It announced that it will remove videos that target “an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence.”

A spokesperson for YouTube told CBC News that 60 channels and 1,800 videos were removed Thursday under the new policy, and more terminations were expected in the coming weeks.

The spokesperson, Zaitoon Murji, said Radio-Québec was removed not for its ties to QAnon but for spreading incorrect information about COVID-19.

WATCH | Quebec conspiracy theorist removed from Facebook:

Facebook has removed the account of popular Quebec conspiracy theorist Alexis Cossette-Trudel as part of its campaign to take down any group or page openly identifying with the QAnon right-wing conspiracy movement, a group U.S. law enforcement officials call a security risk. 2:04

Influence grew as pandemic worsened

The number of subscribers to Radio-Québec’s YouTube channel have more than tripled since the start of the pandemic. 

In his videos, some of which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, Cossette-Trudel repeats groundless claims that the dangers of COVID-19 are being exaggerated as part of a plot to undermine U.S. President Donald Trump.

He also routinely maintains — without evidence — that Quebec government officials are manipulating statistics about deaths and hospitalizations. He argues that public health restrictions, such as wearing masks indoors, are unjustified. 

Thanks to his social media following, Cossette-Trudel has become a leading figure within the movement opposing Quebec’s public-health rules. He spoke at several anti-mask demonstrations in the summer and fall.

The Quebec government has expressed growing concern about the influence of conspiracy theories in the province. (Jonathan Montpetit/CBC)

Growing concern

The Quebec government has expressed growing concern about the influence of conspiracy theories in the province. 

Premier François Legault said last week they posed a “real problem” to the government’s efforts at curbing the second wave of coronavirus infections. (The province reported 969 new cases on Thursday).

“It doesn’t help to convince the population to follow our guidelines,” Legault said.

Cossette-Trudel continues to broadcast on smaller, lesser-known social media channels, but his following there is a fraction of what it was on YouTube and Facebook.

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Annastacia Palaszczuk calls for Sydney Stack, Callum Coleman-Jones to be kicked out

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk bent over backwards to bring the AFL to Queensland and rescue the 2020 season.

This is how the AFL repays her.

The game was plunged into crisis on Friday when the league confirmed reports the integrity unit is investigating an alleged punch-on out the front of a Gold Coast strip club.

Tigers stars Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones are reported to have been involved in a brawl outside a strip club on Friday morning around 3.30am (AEST).

It comes as Stack took to social media on Friday posting his first message since the scandal erupted.

Stack, 20, and Coleman-Jones, 21, were allegedly evicted from the Hollywood Showgirls gentleman’s club on the Glitter Strip’s Orchard Ave before engaging in a fight just metres from a police station that left them both injured.

Police were called to the incident and released the following statement after fining both players $800.

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Richmond said it was aware of the breach of AFL COVID-19 protocols by two of its players and immediately reported it to the AFL, which has launched an investigation.

Reports later emerged the brawl erupted after Stack visited a kebab shop near the strip club.

There were immediate calls from within the AFL community for Stack and Coleman-Jones to be banned for the rest of the season on Friday afternoon — and Palaszczuk also leaned on the league to send a message to its players that further border and biosecurity breaches will not be tolerated.

“AFL players caught breaking COVID rules should be sent home,” she said in a tweet.

“Queensland won’t tolerate it.

“I know the AFL takes these issues seriously and will take appropriate action.”

Palaszczuk earlier defended the state’s agreement with the AFL for the 2020 grand final to be held at the Gabba in Brisbane for the first time.

“It’s almost as if we’re being singled out because we won it,” she said.

“The economic benefit to Queensland is enormous

“The other parts of the world where there is no sport happening, no business happening.

“This is in Queensland because we are focused on the health response. Our economy is able to do better than in other states.”

If found guilty, the Tigers could be fined up to $100,000 after the club was last month fined $25,000 with a further $25,000 suspended as a result of Brooke Cotchin’s visit to a day spa.

Stack, from Western Australia, has played nine games for Richmond this season but hasn’t featured since a round 13 clash against Essendon in Darwin on August 22.

Coleman-Jones, a South Australian product, hasn’t played a senior game this season.

The Tigers last played against Fremantle on Wednesday night, winning by 27 points to move into the top four.

Despite not playing, both Stack and Coleman-Jones are required to remain inside their team’s isolation bubble.

Players and coaches are forbidden from attending bars and restaurants under strict COVID-19 protocols.


Premier Palaszczuk was earlier on Friday put under pressure for her decision to lay out the welcome mat for the AFL this season.

Having rescued the league earlier this year by allowing clubs and players to relocate to Queensland when the NSW-Victorian border was shut and having allowed 400 players, staff and family members to enter the state — the lstate leader is under pressure to justify that the AFL’s mass migration has ben in Queensland’s best interest.

Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington was seething, and took the chance to score some political points over Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“This is yet another slap in the face for the everyday Australians that have been overlooked by @AnnastaciaMP,” Frecklington wrote on Twitter.

“The Premier rolled out the red carpet for AFL players & their families — we need consistency and compassion, not special deals for sporting stars and celebrities.”

Australian Paralympian Richard Colman tweeted: “When is the @AFL going to get tough on players and teams. Far too many breaches this year when they are crazy lucky to be playing. Time to be sent home!”

Dan Nolan, a reporter for Channel 9’s A Current Affair, added: “Two Richmond players arrested for fighting outside a strip club on the Gold Coast. While their fellow Victorians live under curfew!”

Nine sports reporter Corey Norris wrote: “As it stands, AFL players are allowed to leave their hub to grab a coffee, something to eat, catch a few waves etc.

“But has it got to a stage where they should be contained in their resort unless training or (undergoing) scans. School camp rules, for adults acting like kids.”

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Liberal politician Mark Parton kicked out of ACT’s parliament over TikTok video that breached rules

A Liberal politician has been ejected from the ACT Legislative Assembly after he refused to delete a social-media video that mocked the institution’s rules.

Mark Parton posted a video on TikTok, Facebook and Twitter earlier this week that contained about three seconds of footage of a portrait of former Labor chief minister Jon Stanhope.

The portrait hangs on a wall in the Legislative Assembly, which forbids anyone from filming inside the building without the Speaker’s permission.

The Assembly’s broadcasting policy also prevents people from using its facilities for electioneering.

Mr Parton said in his film that Mr Stanhope, who often criticises his former Labor colleagues, was “supporting our [Liberal Party] million trees initiative”.

After the video was published, the Assembly Speaker, Labor’s Joy Burch, sent a letter to all MLAs, which reminded them of the filming rules and warned them against breaching them.

However, Mr Parton published a second video titled “Don’t destroy democracy”, in which he said Ms Burch’s warning was “very clearly directed at me”.

He described the Assembly policy by saying “you’re not actually allowed to [film] because, I don’t know, it destroys democracy or something”.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Mark Parton suggests Legislative Assembly rules ‘destroy democracy’

Ms Burch ordered Mr Parton this morning to delete both videos.

She told the Assembly that Mr Parton’s first video used images of Assembly facilities to “promote a Liberal Party election policy”, which was “a clear breach” of the rules.

Under separate parliamentary rules, members are only allowed to criticise the Speaker by raising a formal complaint under the standing orders.

“I would remind members that there is an election due in October this year and there may be over 100 candidates seeking to be elected to this place,” Ms Burch said

“None of those candidates will be able to use the Assembly’s facilities to further their election campaigns.”

Joy Burch sits in the Speaker's chair in the ACT Legislative Assembly.
The Speaker, Joy Burch, says Mr Parton had implied that she lacked impartiality.(ABC News: Tamara Penniket)

Mr Parton apologised for breaching the broadcast guidelines and committed to staying within them “for the balance of the term”.

However, while he deleted the first video, which featured Mr Stanhope’s portrait, he initially refused to delete the second.

“At this stage, Madame Speaker, I am continuing to receive advice on the second video, and it still remains,” he explained.

The parliament voted along party lines to remove him from the chamber, and Ms Burch ordered him to be barred from re-entering until both videos were removed. He deleted the second video later on Thursday.

Mr Parton was a radio presenter and social-media consultant before he was elected to the Assembly in 2016.

The next ACT election will be held on October 17.

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