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Suliasi Vunivalu: Star Reds recruit and Melbourne Storm premiership winger stood down after a late night incident


Star Queensland Reds recruit Suliasi Vunivalu has been sensationally stood down from Friday’s season opening Super Rugby AU match and fined $10,000 after allegedly pushing a security guard.

The incident occurred at a licensed Brisbane venue on January 30, but the Reds were only made aware of it last week.

The former Melbourne Storm NRL premiership-winning winger was charged and will appear in court in April.

He could yet face more punishment from both the Reds and Australian Rugby Union once the matter is dealt with by the courts.

The club said the 25-year-old Fijian had brought “the club and the game into disrepute”.



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Leafs tap out late in North Division heavyweight bout against Canadiens


The Maple Leafs remain the class of the North Division, even after a 2-1 loss to the Canadiens on Saturday night.

But the Canadiens are clearly not prepared to concede the division mantle.

After two mostly dormant periods on offence, Montreal opened up for two goals in the third period for the win at Scotiabank Arena. Tyler Toffoli and Brendan Gallagher delivered the daggers to the Leafs, who could have opened up a seven-point lead over Montreal with a win.

The Canadiens outshot the Leafs 13-8 in the third and dished out 45 hits overall to turn the game in their favour.

“They started forcing the game physically, and started to make us look tired,” coach Sheldon Keefe said of the hits total. “You can’t win a game in this league if you only play 20 minutes.”

The momentum shift was obvious in other areas. Toronto enjoyed a 16-12 edge in shots after two periods and failed to convert at least four high-danger chances on Montreal goalie Carey Price in the first period, after Mitch Marner opened the scoring at 3:36.

Montreal wound up with a 25-22 edge in shots and a slight advantage in puck possession in the offensive zone (15:51 to 15:26) after trailing in that area in the first period.

The Leafs’ first period dominance also included a 7-3 edge in slot shots on net, a category the Canadiens led 12-11 by game’s end.

  • Missed opportunity: The Leafs lost despite season highs in two other areas. They posted 90 zone exits, compared to 67 for Montreal, and completed 21 stretch passes.
  • M, M good: The Auston Matthews-Mitch Marner combo continues to be the most lethal in the North, and one of the deadliest in the NHL.

Marner opened the scoring 3:36 into the game on a setup from Matthews. That’s the biggest difference from previous seasons when they worked together: They are both shooters and passers now, less predictable for opposing defences, whereas in the past it was Marner with the pass-first mentality and Matthews with the big shot.

Marner’s closed a book with his goal: the Canadiens were the only NHL team he hadn’t scored on. He now has seven goals on the season. Matthews, meanwhile, is on a 12-game points streak, with nine goals and three assists over that span. It’s the longest active streak in the NHL.

They combined for seven of the Leafs’ nine shots in the first period.

  • Take that: Matthews set up Marner’s goal with a terrific stick check for a takeaway behind the Montreal net. He stripped Phillip Danault before centring to Marner. Mathews now ranks third in the NHL in takeaways with 13.
  • The book on Price: Matthews, William Nylander and Alex Kerfoot all failed to beat Montreal goalie Carey Price on high-danger chances in the first period. Every one went high blocker on Price, who entered the game having allowed 11 of 23 goals against in that area. Clearly, Price made the adjustment.
  • Dry spots: Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli have accounted for 48 per cent of Montreal’s goals. Tomas Tatar has four (none in his last six games) and Danault hasn’t scored in 37 games dating back to last season. Tatar, the Canadiens’ leading scorer last season, was a healthy scratch Saturday. Another telling stat: The Leafs’ centres (Matthews, John Tavares, Kerfoot and Travis Boyd) have 19 goals. Montreal centres (Nick Suzuki, Danault, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jake Evans) have six. And yet, the Leafs lost for the first time in nine games when they held a lead going into the third period.
  • Ins and outs: The Leafs took Nick Robertson, Adam Brooks and Rasmus Sandin off the club’s taxi squad and lent them to the AHL Marlies. Keefe said Robertson, who has been out since the first game of the season with a knee injury, has been cleared to play. He will get that chance with the Marlies, but Keefe has left the door open for Robertson to return to the NHL.

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  • Thornton update: Keefe said Joe Thornton, who suffered a rib cage injury in the second game of the season, has not been cleared to play. That could change after Sunday’s practice.

  • Ownership play: Word broke during the “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast Saturday that Tavares, Jason Spezza and Sam Gagner have purchased the GTHL’s Toronto Marlies organization. “It’s still in a process, so we can’t say much about it now … but Sam approached me when the opportunity presented itself,” Tavares said later. “We’ll have more of an update, but the organization means a lot to both of us.”



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Leicester 3-1 Liverpool: Foxes take advantage of late defensive errors


Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson (second right) was involved in another defensive calamity following his mistakes against Manchester City last week

Leicester City staged an astonishing late comeback to beat Liverpool as the Premier League champions collapsed and paid the price for another defensive calamity involving keeper Alisson.

Liverpool looked to be cementing their top-four aspirations when Mohamed Salah put them ahead after 67 minutes with a clever finish after a piece of individual brilliance in the penalty area by Roberto Firmino.

Leicester – who were not at their best even though Jamie Vardy missed two glorious first-half chances – suddenly bounced off the canvas to sink the champions with three goals in a chaotic seven-minute period.

The Foxes saw a 78th-minute penalty award ruled out by the video assistant referee and even though James Maddison’s resulting free-kick found its way into the net past Alisson it was initially ruled out for an offside against Daniel Amartey before being given after a VAR check.

Leicester’s second three minutes later was another horror show for Liverpool keeper Alisson, whose poor clearances contributed to two goals in Manchester City’s win at Anfield last Sunday. This time the Brazilian recklessly dashed out to clear Youri Tielemans’ long ball, only to farcically crash into debutant defender Ozan Kabak, leaving Vardy to run the ball into an empty net.

And Brendan Rodgers watched the Foxes rub salt in his former side’s wounds as Harvey Barnes applied a composed finish to Wilfred Ndidi’s pass with five minutes left.

Leicester go second while Liverpool’s third successive league defeat means their place in the top four looks in peril.

Liverpool’s slide continues

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (centre)
Liverpool have failed to win six of their past 11 Premier League games in which Mohamed Salah has scored

Liverpool’s unimpressive defence of their Premier League title suffered more embarrassment as they cast aside a position of relative control at Leicester to capitulate at the first sign of a setback.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are unrecognisable from the overpowering combination of talent and concrete-clad self-belief that swept aside all challengers last season to win their first title in 30 years.

The Reds had plenty of possession, without much punch, until Salah put them ahead – and the warning signs had been posted in the first half when Vardy headed straight at Alisson and struck the bar with two chances he would normally have taken.

There was an element of controversy surrounding Maddison’s equaliser for Leicester but it was the lack of response – a total capitulation, in fact – that will be of huge concern to Klopp as his side lost a third successive league game for the first time since November 2014, when Rodgers was in charge.

The visitors’ slumped body language once they had conceded spoke volumes, and their recent decline was summed up by another Alisson error as he came dashing out and crashed into new loan signing Kabak in an incident that had trouble written all over it from the moment the Brazil keeper left his area.

He then redeemed himself with a magnificent save from Vardy but the game had already gone and Barnes was able to confirm Leicester’s win.

Of course, Liverpool will cite their lengthy injury list but the players currently in action must be doing better, with Thiago Alcantara, on as substitute for the injured James Milner, badly off the pace and losing possession on countless occasions.

This is the worst period of Klopp’s reign but Liverpool will have to pick themselves up instantly with a Champions League game against RB Leipzig and a Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield facing them in the next seven days.

Leicester dig deep for victory

James Maddison
James Maddison (left) has scored more direct free-kick goals for Leicester in the Premier League than any other player

Leicester looked jaded after their midweek FA Cup exertions against Brighton and seemed to be heading for defeat when Salah put Liverpool in front – so it says much for their character that they fought back and cashed in ruthlessly when it counted.

Yes, Liverpool offered them a gift for the second goal but the hosts seemed to sense the champions had been badly hit by Maddison’s leveller and pounced for the three points that put them in second place at the final whistle.

It also meant Rodgers became the first former Liverpool manager to win against them in the Premier League since Roy Hodgson won with West Brom in April 2012.

Vardy proved his importance once more while Barnes, who struggled in the first half, showed his quality and determination in the second to show a touch of class for Leicester’s third.

It was a 4-0 thrashing here by Liverpool that signalled the beginning of the end of the Foxes’ title hopes last season – this victory will bolster their belief that they are very serious top-four contenders after missing out on the Champions League places on the final day of last season.

Player of the match

VardyJamie Vardy

Leicester City

  1. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  2. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

  3. Squad number15Player nameBarnes

  4. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  5. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  6. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

  7. Squad number21Player nameRicardo Pereira

  8. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  9. Squad number6Player nameEvans

  10. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  11. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  12. Squad number20Player nameChoudhury

  13. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  14. Squad number17Player nameAyoze Pérez

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 18Amartey
  • 6EvansBooked at 43mins
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 25Ndidi
  • 8TielemansSubstituted forChoudhuryat 87′minutes
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forPérezat 74′minutesSubstituted forMendyat 90′minutes
  • 10Maddison
  • 15Barnes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 12Ward
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 17Pérez
  • 19Ünder
  • 20Choudhury
  • 24Mendy
  • 28Fuchs
  • 33Thomas
  • 46Daley-Campbell

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 19KabakBooked at 71mins
  • 14Henderson
  • 26Robertson
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forThiago Alcántaraat 17′minutes
  • 5WijnaldumSubstituted forShaqiriat 87′minutes
  • 17JonesBooked at 24minsSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 75′minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 9Firmino
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 13Adrián
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 46R Williams
  • 47Phillips
  • 65Clarkson
  • 76N Williams

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Fatal truck crash forces closure of main SA-Victoria checkpoint amid late night border rush


A driver has died in a fiery crash involving three trucks in Victoria’s far west, near the South Australian border where coronavirus travel restrictions were reimposed overnight.

The main border crossing between Victoria and South Australia has been closed as a result of the crash, which occurred during a late night rush for the border.

Victoria Police said the accident happened on the Western Highway at Serviceton about 2:20am, and SA Police are also currently on scene.

The highway is closed in both directions and motorists are being diverted to the Wimmera Highway at Naracoorte.

It is believed a truck crashed into a stationary truck, which then collided with the truck in front of it.

One of the trucks burst into flames, and the fire spread to the other two vehicles.

The crash scene is about five kilometres east of the South Australian border.

“The driver of the first truck, a yet to be identified man, died at the scene,” Victoria Police said.

“Emergency crews are still on scene and an investigation into the incident has commenced.”

Two people have been taken to the Bordertown Memorial Hospital in a stable condition.

He said the circumstances of the crash would be investigated, but confirmed the trucks were queuing to get into South Australia.

“My understanding is the trucks were heading to South Australia. One truck has gone into the rear of another vehicle and forced it into another truck, and those trucks were already in a line waiting to enter South Australia,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“This is clearly a tragic set of circumstances where a person has lost their life, but the reality is we’ve been doing these checkpoints for months and months. There are always going to be obstructions on our roads.”

Witness ‘saw the blast’

SA Police’s Bordertown coronavirus checkpoint will be closed as police investigate.

“The Dukes Highway is currently closed in both directions and access to each state will not be possible at this location,” SA Police said.

“SA motorists heading to Victoria are being diverted south onto Meatworks Road toward Naracoorte; access to Victoria will be via the Wimmera Highway.”

Truck driver Steve told ABC Radio Adelaide the incident occurred amid heavy traffic and a rush for the border. He said he “saw the blast”.

He said it took “five hours to get 10 kilometres … to get to the front of the line, to drive through an empty marquee”.

Traffic is being diverted to other border checkpoints.(ABC News: Isadora Bogle)

Another witness, Tracey, who boarded a bus at Ballarat, said she saw the blaze.

“The bus driver slowed down to say, ‘I think something’s happened up ahead’,” she said.

“Our driver has brought us to Kaniva and he’s just waiting on his boss to decide whether or not to continue to Adelaide, or take us back.”

Travellers from Greater Melbourne are now barred from entering South Australia due to new coronavirus cases in Victoria, after a hard border kicked in overnight. 

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier defended the snap lockdown, saying it was a necessary response to Victoria’s Holiday Inn cluster.

Exemptions apply for essential travellers, SA residents returning home, genuine relocations and people escaping domestic violence, SA Police said.

People already in South Australia who had been at, or are a close contact of anyone who had been at, the Holiday Inn from January 27 onwards have been directed to contact SA Health immediately, and enter quarantine.

Anyone who has been in Greater Melbourne who had already arrived in SA prior to the travel ban will have to remain in quarantine until they test negative.

Travellers from Victorian regions outside Greater Melbourne are still permitted to enter SA and will not have to be tested or enter quarantine.

“People are permitted to transit through Melbourne Airport providing they have been in a low community transmission zone… for 14 days, have only been in the airport for two hours or less and have worn a face mask for the entirety of the time they are in transit including during the flight,” SA Police said.

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Back up your irreplacable data before it’s too late


We all have data we’d hate to lose forever, and for me it was my iTunes library. I’d been building it with demos, live recordings and rarities since Winamp. It had unreleased albums from bands you might have heard of, the only recordings of my (admittedly mediocre) teenage bands, and a samples library to be proud of. With videos and music, it totalled around 6TB. This is the story of how I lost all of it, and tried to get some of it back.

For the longest time I kept it on an 8TB drive, with a backup on a second 8TB drive. But, when my father’s drive died during lockdown, I felt confident enough to wipe my backup and give it to him. I planned to buy a replacement, but they’re expensive so I put it off.

Mechanical hard disk drives can be fragile, and take beloved memories with them when they go.

My primary iTunes drive was old, Thunderbolt 2 old, and it always made slight crackly noises. Worse still it was technically two drives in a RAID0 trench coat, which you should never use for anything important. Those noises got louder after I moved a couple of years ago, and I assumed that was because of the acoustics in my new home office. Unfortunately I now know it was the equivalent of a character in a period drama getting a cough; death would soon follow.

CleverFiles Data Recovery CEO Sergei Sergienko said weird sounds were the first thing to look for.

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WA’s post-lockdown restrictions revealed in late night announcement


“All Western Australians must continue to practise physical distancing where possible and maintain good personal hygiene at all times.”

The following post-lockdown restrictions will remain in place in the Perth metropolitan area and the Peel region until 12.01am Sunday morning, February14th.

Everyone must continue to wear a mask in public and while at work, unless exempt or for outdoor vigorous exercise.

All businesses and venues can reopen, except for the casino and nightclubs. The 4 square-metre capacity rule is back in place and most venues.

There will be a 150-person capacity – excluding staff – at hospitality, entertainment and venues and events including weddings and funerals at these venues. Seated service only.

Community sport can start, and involve up to 150 people including players, officials and spectators.

Dancing will only permitted at weddings and dance studios, there will be a 20-person limit for private indoor and outdoor gatherings and only essential travel will be allowed in and out of the Peel and Perth zone.

Visits to aged care and disability care facilities will be restricted to on compassionate grounds only.

Residential school and boarding facilities can resume with a COVID Safety Plan.

“Under the post-lockdown transition measures, Perth and Peel schools will start from Monday, 8 February, with the mandatory mask rule applying to all school staff and secondary students,” Mr McGowan said.

“Masks are not required for primary school students.”

They will be mandatory for staff at childcare facilities as well as students and staff in higher education, including TAFEs and universities but teaching staff will be permitted to remove their mask if teaching at the front of the classroom to enable clear communication.

“People who need to leave the Perth and Peel region for essential purposes must wear a mask at all times in other regions of WA, as per the rules in place in Perth and Peel,” he said.

Elective surgery at WA public hospitals would resume once the lockdown has ended.

FIFO workers will once again be able to leave the Perth and Peel regions, but documentation will be required and they must follow strict health protocols.

The announcement comes after growing criticism from the opposition and business sector over the uncertainty the state government allowed to fester as the state waited anxiously to see if it would make the full five days without any community transmission cases.

Around 2 million Perth, Peel and South West residents were plunged into a five-day lockdown at 6pm on Sunday following WA’s first known community transmission case of COVID-19 in nearly 10 months.

A security guard working at the Four Points by Sheraton quarantine hotel in the Perth CBD is suspected to have caught the virus from a COVID-positive guest on January 24.

He visited about 18 sites around Perth while authorities believe he was infectious, which prompted the lockdown.

“I wish we could just snap back immediately to the life we had last week – but doing so would be too risky,” Mr McGowan said.

“It would be irresponsible. All things going well, and if we continue to see good results from our COVID testing, this phase will last for less than nine days. But to make sure that happens, I do need to ask one more thing. If you are unwell, if you have any symptoms – please go get tested.

“And obviously, if you have been to any of the exposure sites, you need to get tested. And even if you have received a negative result, get tested again if symptoms develop.”

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PM shift towards net zero may be too little, too late


Note to the Prime Minister: the science tells us that we don’t have a blank cheque for climate change either. Stuart Kean, Berowra Heights

We’re making progress! Scott Morrison’s rhetoric on climate change is shifting from “we’ll do as little as possible” to “we’ll now try a little bit”. Alan Fry, Winmalee

First we had the “for we are one and free” charade in the hope that it would look like Morrison is interested in Indigenous matters. Now he’s floating a “goal to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible” to paint some kind of impression that he’s doing something about climate change. It is so inadequate as to be laughable. Nedra Orme, Neutral Bay

Targets are easy to set up. Much harder to hit. Especially those moveable, long-range targets viewed through the smoke-haze from burning coals. Joy Cooksey, Harrington

When I see a headline like “PM shifts towards net zero emissions”, I feel that what this means is that the PM and his team have come up with a marketing strategy to make their current stance of doing nothing look like a positive plan. Don Squires, Lake Cathie

Could this be the breakthrough many of us have been waiting for? I suggest Scott Morrison changes his nickname from Scomo to Zero, just in case his “hope” gets forgotten in the murky politics of climate change. Nick Franklin, Katoomba

PM shifts ″⁣towards″⁣ net zero emissions. Ah, the Duke (of Plaza-Toro). Leading from behind again.
Brian Milton, Avalon

Coalition’s tired ideology on tax holds back economy

Apparently, you can’t run an economy on taxpayers’ money forever, according to Scott Morrison. (David Crowe, February 2). No doubt this was stated because he was worried about the long-term impact of running a deficit, especially on future generations. Such a pity that this concern is not extended to future citizens of the world thanks to his government’s continued insistence on gas and other fossil fuels, which will overheat the planet for them. Tom Meakin, Port Macquarie

The Prime Minister’s sanctimonious statement that he can’t run the economy on taxpayers’ money forever is puzzling as this makes up about 93 per cent of government revenue, in one form or another, so what alternatives does he have in mind? Can we hope that he and his fellow Coalition MPs now plan to dig deep into their own pockets in an altruistic attempt to keep the economy afloat? Or perhaps he’s planning a boost to revenue by using those recently disclosed donations from grateful constituents. Then again, his comments could just be a bit more spin by Scotty from marketing. Merona Martin, Meroo Meadow

The Prime Minister is once again giving us this tired rubbish about burdening future generations with debt and you can’t keep running the Australian economy on taxpayers’ money. We are now going to starve the unemployed again in the name of ideology. The Prime Minister is right to an extent; our government has gone into debt, but it has done nothing to stimulate our economy. I am afraid we are, in fact, going to end up with a huge debt and an ongoing deep recession. Our government is driven by an ideology that prevents them from doing what is needed – stimulating demand by making money available to those who will spend it, and spending borrowed money on investments that generate returns. We have been very badly served. Michael McMullan, Five Dock

The PM says there are two ways to reduce carbon – technology and tax. He should rethink the latter. Not all taxes are bad. Many taxes serve dual purposes – raising money for services while discouraging harmful activities (tobacco and alcohol). It took a long time for government to realise it was better to tax tobacco now rather than pay for the damage later. For carbon, later is already here.
Much as a tobacco tax encouraged people to minimise harm, so too do we need a similar win-win tax on carbon. Hans Knutzelius, Balmain

Pensive over future of pension

In light of recent debate on the superannuation guarantee, it is good to see the aged pension receiving overdue attention (“Relax, the pension will always be there for you”, February 2). What will future governments do long-term to prevent the old aged pension slipping further away so that a retiree has to be 70 to claim it? What incentives will be provided to encourage retirees to continue to work part-time if they wish and to draw a pension? Rod Leonarder, Roseville

This Coalition government has said that the aged pension is welfare, not an entitlement. Given their punitive attitude to other welfare recipients, does anyone really think any Coalition government will maintain the aged pension at a level that will provide for life’s necessities? Sandra Pertot, Diamond Beach

Chamber of horrors

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry call for a return to the pre-COVID dole rate (frozen since 1994) (“Cut dole to $40 a day except for long-term jobless: ACCI”, February 2) shows its true colours and the COVID-induced lies of “we are all in this together”. It shows once again that public life can be broken into two groups: the “enlargers” and the “punishers and straighteners”. The current union bus ad showing Morrison at the wheel of a bus mowing down workers says it all. Alan Carruthers, Artarmon

What is the role of the citizen in our society? Is it to simply work and consume, or is there anything more? It would seem that worker/consumer is all the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry believe we’re worth. But if we’re a society, not just an economy, we need to have a broader view.
I have worked with unemployed people and their needs and stories are as diverse as any other group in society. While our governing political parties continue to rely on the wealthiest corporations to gain power it’s difficult to believe government will act with compassion. If, however, we want a good and fair society, government must end the punishment of the unemployed and increase social security payments so that all of us can live decent lives. Colin Hesse, Marrickville

Wheels on the bus

If Craig Kelly can promote controversial theories then the CFMMEU can satirically depict the Prime Minister running down workers and their rights in a fictitious bus (‴⁣⁣A new low’: Porter slams unions’ anti-IR reform bus ad”, February 2). Denis Goodwin, Dee Why

Coalition members failing to repudiate Craig Kelly’s comments on using unproved drugs to treat COVID-19, I am reminded of the saying by Lieutenant General David Morrison: “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” We are in a sorry state when the behaviour of Kelly is apparently acceptable to most of Parliament. Rob Siebert, Skenners Head

Time to stand up to China

Hear, hear, Peter Hartcher (“Disregard China? We’ll be sorry”, February 2). His essay about calls for Australia to toe a “nuanced” diplomatic line with China is dead on target. When have Australians ever been asked by their government to kneel before a bully? Those calling for us to back down to avoid making China angry appear to have more than just sovereign interests at hand. Financial, perhaps? Doing the best thing is not as important as doing the right thing. Karl Fletcher, Mudgee

Mining dissent

That the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies’ push to remove community groups’ right to mount legal challenges to major project approvals has been rejected (“Community complaints are planks of democracy: law review”, February 2) rightly channels the sound view that in our democracy (to paraphrase) it is important that no entity existing be not responsible to the people. Steve Ngeow, Chatswood

Myanmar coup lessons

The military coup in Myanmar reminds us once again just how fragile democracy can be (“Aung San Suu Kyi held as military takes over”, February 2). The Myanmar army’s claims of election fraud appear to be as baseless as those in the US. Here, we can rail against our governments, both state and federal, for their many shortcomings, but are fairly certain that an election result will always be honoured. Joan Brown, Orange

Aung San Suu Kyi’s only political crime is that she has been unsuccessful in managing the army to stay out of politics, free their people and return to their barracks, where they belong. Mike Fogarty, Weston (ACT)

Justice for Biloela family

Your correspondent (Letters, February 2) identifies the absurd criminality of our government’s treatment of the Biloela family. Is it time for us to have mass silent vigils outside our capital city parliamentary buildings to demonstrate how we feel about the ridiculous treatment given these poor people? Anthony Tucker, Leichhardt

Peter Dutton showed his displeasure at the WA Premier for imposing a lockdown at short notice. I hope he is aware that as minister of his portfolio, he has locked down a number of refugees, at an enormous expense of taxpayer money. Peng Ee, Castle Cove

While Labor is looking for issues to tackle the government with, go no further than the Biloela family for a return to a normal Australian life. This is sure to be a winner with all the fair-minded populace we hear so much about from the Opposition Leader. Zuzu Burford, Heathcote

My local member (Cook electorate) doesn’t reply to my many emails regarding the Sri Lankan family incarcerated on Christmas Island, except for acknowledging receipt of the emails. Josephine Piper, Miranda

EV come, EV go

The only time I suffer ″⁣range anxiety″⁣ with my EV (Letters, February 2) is when I start thinking about travelling across the Nullarbor Plain. Cornelius van der Weyden, Balmain East

We can’t have EVs because we will lose our weekends. In 2019 Scott Morrison told us so. Christiaan Goudkamp, Murwillumbah

Golden greats

Gold is a great colour for the Wallabies (Letters, February 2) as it might help them distinguish a teammate to pass the ball to. Denis Suttling, Newport Beach

Your correspondent states gold or yellow is a poor choice for the Wallabies jersey and a dark colour would be better for rule infringements to be overlooked. My suggestion is dark purple, a colour reminiscent of sour grapes. Barrington Salter, Neutral Bay

Prickly threat

All there seems to be on the TV news each day are people getting virus jabs. I know it’s important but if I see another one I’ll scream. John Nickel, Noosa Heads

When the vaccine becomes available, we would have more success if we stopped referring to it as “the jab”. Ray Smith, Kings Park

The digital view
Online comment from the story that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Morrison eyeing more ambitious climate target of net zero by 2050
From Praetorian: ″⁣He who aims at nothing. Sure to hit it!″⁣

  • To submit a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, email letters@smh.com.au. Click here for tips on how to submit letters.

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Melbourne Demons beat Gold Coast Suns despite late AFLW schedule change



Melbourne has overcome some late schedule changes to beat the Suns by 21 points in their AFLW season opener on the Gold Coast.

The Demons were supposed to open their season at home against Adelaide but, a week before the game, they were told to get ready for the trip to Queensland and pulled off a 9.2 (56) to 5.5 (35) win.

They flew up on the day of the game and as a result, could be forgiven for turning up a little bit late, as the Suns’ Jamie Stanton kicked the first goal 30 seconds after bouncedown and cult hero Sarah Perkins potted after the first-quarter siren to maintain the lead.

But the Demons hit back in the second term, slotting five goals to none thanks in no small part to 13 disposals by Karen Paxman, who was on pace to break the record for the most possessions in an AFLW game (35 by Adelaide’s Anne Hatchard) with 19 at the half.

More importantly, Melbourne had jumped out to a 43-21 advantage.

The Suns did not let the lead balloon out to an embarrassing degree, but were victims of their own ill-discipline as the Demons were gifted three goals by 30-metre penalties throughout the game.

Tegan Cunningham, Kate Hore and Krstel Petrevski all potted doubles for the Demons, while Perkins nabbed a pair for the Suns against her former club.

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What I want to say to my friend who’s always late


One recurring theme I noticed in these threads was expectation. For example, while some dinner parties can hold a ‘come as you please’ mentality, one-on-one dinner dates require more promptness. This is where the phrasing is often important; “Come over any time after 6pm” entertains an air of laxness, whereas “Dinner starts at 7pm” has an expectancy of punctuality. And where an expectation of punctuality is met with laxness, frustration and tension can occur.

Where an expectation of punctuality is met with laxness, frustration and tension can occur.

What I find it ultimately boils down to is respect. Is the lateness putting the other person out? If yes, then irritation may be (and probably is) warranted. This I find is especially true if the lateness means schedules or plans need to be rearranged to accommodate the tardiness. As author Susan Shapiro Barash wrote in Psychology Today, “… it’s the punctual friend who becomes an acrobat, contorting to her unpunctual friend’s schedule”.

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We all embrace our lives differently, including how we treat tardiness and the importance of being on time. Some people are early, some are on time and some are regularly late – and just as some claim that chronically lateness is ingrained in their DNA, being agitated at having to wait is in another’s.

So, to make relationships work despite this takes some give and take. Also, a courtesy “I’m going to be late” text or a genuine apology when someone’s been waiting in the rain for half an hour never goes astray either.

Marnie Vinall is a freelance writer.

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