Rampaging goat ATTACKS a walker in the Blue Mountains leaving him with horrific injuries


Walker is attacked by a psychotic GOAT leaving him with horrific injuries as the tiny beast bizarrely lurks behind ambulance workers rushing him to hospital – before turning its attention to some tasty grass

  • Goat reportedly rammed a bush-walker so hard he seriously injured his knee  
  • The man, in his 60s, was rushed to hospital in Blue Mountains, New South Wales
  • The goat watched on as the man was treated by medics in ‘bizarre’ incident
  • It was seen staring intently at its victim as he was placed into an ambulance  

A berserk goat has ambushed and attacked a bushwalker, looking on nonchalantly as its humiliated victim was put onto a stretcher by paramedics in a ‘bizarre’ incident. 

The man, in his 60s, obtained a knee injury when he was rammed by the chunky brown goat in the lower Blue Mountains in New South Wales on Tuesday morning.

The angry goat showed he wasn’t kidding, staring intently as the wounded bush-walker was placed on a stretcher.   

The berserk goat (pictured) ambushed the walker and then looked on nonchalantly as its humiliated victim was put onto a stretcher by paramedics in a bizarre incident

The white-faced goat (pictured) casually ate some grass as the man was treated by medics, seemingly unaware of the havoc he had caused

The white-faced goat (pictured) casually ate some grass as the man was treated by medics, seemingly unaware of the havoc he had caused 

The man, in his 60s, obtained a knee injury when he was rammed by the chunky brown goat (pictured) - which then stood and stared as he was put into an ambulance

The man, in his 60s, obtained a knee injury when he was rammed by the chunky brown goat (pictured) – which then stood and stared as he was put into an ambulance

The injured bush walker (pictured, second from right) was taken away to Nepean Hospital in a stable condition by paramedics as the goat (pictured in the middle) watched on

The injured bush walker (pictured, second from right) was taken away to Nepean Hospital in a stable condition by paramedics as the goat (pictured in the middle) watched on 

The incident was ‘one of the more bizarre’ animal jobs paramedics have attended, NSW Ambulance Inspector David Patterson told 7NEWS

‘These types of jobs can be quite challenging for paramedics and other emergency services, especially with the possibility of an angry animal lurking in the area,’ he said. 

The paramedics attending didn’t seem afraid of the assailant, who merely munched on some grass as his victim was put in an ambulance with a knee injury.  

The man was in a stable condition when taken to Nepean Hospital.

Goats tend to be far more aggressive than their farmyard friends, sheep, particularly in their teenage years.

Sheep are fearful and shy and flee from attackers, while goats tend to face their attackers when they feel threatened.

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Victorians race to get home ahead of COVID border closure, leaving NSW tourism operators in tears


It took less than an hour for Victorian guests at the Garden of Eden Caravan Park in Eden, on the NSW South Coast, to start checking out after the Victorian Government yesterday announced plans to close its border with NSW.

Acting Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan told Victorians the state would close its border to all of NSW from January 2 because of an increase in case numbers in NSW, where 10 new cases were confirmed on Thursday.

“It is a decision based on the public health advice.

“It is based on the numbers coming out of NSW and it is also based on wanting to make sure we lock in the precious gains and sacrifices Victorians have made.”

The Acting Premier said there were thousands and “possibly tens of thousands” of Victorians in NSW who would need to get home.

Ms Allan said Victorian travellers in NSW who arrived back in their home state on Thursday would be required to have a COVID test and isolate at home until they had their results back.

Victorians who make it home on Friday will need to isolate in their homes for 14 days, while Ms Allan said any Victorians returning from January 2 would be required to go through hotel quarantine for 14 days.

At the Garden of Eden Caravan Park, where 95 per cent of guests were from Victoria, the press conference was watched live on devices by many campers.

Manager Allan Carlson said he was “really pissed off” that his community, just a 45-minute drive from the Victorian border, was included in the hard closure, even though the local region didn’t have any coronavirus cases.

“We have a thousand people in their caravans and everyone was happy and now none of them are happy because they all have got to go home,” he said, speaking to the ABC on Thursday after the announcement.

Bushfires, COVID and now Christmas bookings cut short for NSW tourist operator

For the caravan park operator, it was a huge blow.

His wife Lyn Carlson was in tears after hearing the news.

She said it brought back memories of the caravan park emptying out at New Year’s last year when bushfires threatened.

A woman poses for a photo
Caravan park manager Lyn Carlson says her work has lost nearly all of its guests because of the border closure.(ABC News: Adriane Reardon)

“It is the same again, exactly the same day 12 months ago and we had everything planned for a New Year’s Eve party on the tennis court and there was smoke and nobody could breathe,” she said.

“They all packed up and went on the first of January and they are all going tomorrow.”

But Ms Carlson said it was COVID-19 even more than bushfires that had the biggest impact on her business.

A picture of a long line of cars.
There were reports of people waiting for hours just to travel a few kilometres to the Victorian border.(Supplied)

Chaos and long queues of traffic at border checkpoints

Many people returning to Victoria reported chaotic scenes at border checkpoints, with many travellers waiting hours to travel just a few kilometres.

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Tamar spent seven hours struck in traffic at the border with her family and says police at the crossing were not checking permits.

“The communication was just bizarre, and then not actually having your permit checked felt strange because it doesn’t really put you at ease that they’re checking where people are coming from and making sure,” she said.

“We were in a green zone but how do you know that there weren’t people coming from red zones that have got virus travelling through them.”

Out fishing, one Victorian couple nearly missed the crucial border news

Wayne and Lynne stand in front of their caravan and a river.
Wayne and Lynne from Melbourne had to quickly pack up their caravan to get back to Victoria before the state’s border closed to NSW.(ABC News: Adriane Reardon)

At Nethercote, just north of Eden, Melbourne couple Lynne and Wayne were fishing when the border closure was announced and only heard about it when they spoke to the ABC.

“I’m just shattered,” Wayne said.

“The fish are biting too,” he joked.

The pair had planned to stay in NSW for two more days.

“I was totally gutted,” Lynne said after hearing news of the border closure.

She said for Melburnians who had spent the year in lockdown wanting to get away for a break, it was tough to cut holidays short.

Wayne and Lynne decided they would travel back across the Victorian border on Thursday night to avoid having to self-isolate for two weeks.

Victorians queue for fuel before starting long drives home

At Pambula, also on the Far South Coast of NSW, campervans, 4WDs and cars with full bike racks lined up for petrol late on Thursday afternoon, as families prepared to quickly travel home from beach holidays cut short.

Local David Evelyn said the last time he saw similar scenes was during last summer’s bushfires.

“This time last year, nearly exactly to the minute, we had queues like this trying to get petrol but the difference is the sky was orange,” he said.

Cars line up to buy petrol and are also in congested traffic on a passing road.
Victorians holidaying in NSW’s Far South Coast hit the road on Thursday to get back across the border as quickly as they could.

Some Victorians unsure when they will be allowed to return

Melbourne doctor Christine and her mum Louise Phillips have been in Albury for the past 11 days waiting to get home.

Christine travelled to Sydney for a three-day break in mid-December, but a dinner booking at a Manly restaurant meant she had visited Sydney’s northern beaches when COVID cases emerged in that part of the city.

She had to spend 14 days outside of the northern beaches “hot zone” to return to Victoria.

Ms Phillips said her daughter spent three days self-isolating with a friend in another part of Sydney before all of the city was designated a “red zone” by Victoria.

She said when Sydney was designated a red zone it meant her daughter needed to spend 14 days in another part of NSW before she could get a permit to travel back to Victoria.

Christine decided to spend a fortnight in Albury, with her mum meeting her there so they could be together for Christmas.

Louise Phillips sits on the floor in a hotel room next to a half completed puzzle.
Louise Phillips and her daughter Christine have been in an Albury hotel for the past 11 days. They’ve been using puzzles to help pass the time.(Supplied)

The pair isolated in Albury and had COVID tests, which came back negative.

On Thursday when the border closure announcement was made, they were on Christine’s 11th day outside of Sydney.

Ms Phillips spent much of Thursday afternoon trying to call the DHHS hotline for advice but couldn’t get through because it was overwhelmed with calls.

She said she didn’t know if her daughter would be allowed to return to Victoria or if she would need to go through hotel quarantine.

Ms Phillips said the pair were supportive of Victoria’s health measures and wanted to do the right thing, but they also wanted to know how they could get home.



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Colorado natural gas lines vandalized, leaving thousands without heat




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Australia comfortably beaten by India in Boxing Day Test at MCG, leaving series tied at 1-1 with two games left


India has tied up the Test series against Australia at 1-1 with a decisive eight-wicket victory in the second game at the MCG.

Australia now has to win one of the remaining two Tests and at least draw the other to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is currently held by India thanks to their historic away series win in 2018/19.

India was only chasing 70 for victory, but the Australian bowling attack would have had a sliver of hope after bowling them out for 36 in the first Test in Adelaide.

The early wickets of Mayank Agarwal (5) and Cheteshwar Pujara (3) raised some eyebrows, but captain Ajinkya Rahane and impressive debutant Shubman Gill calmly steered the tourists home.

Earlier, Cameron Green and Pat Cummins resumed their overnight partnership and reached 57 before Cummins punched a short ball from Jasprit Bumrah to Agarwal at first slip for an important 103-ball 22.

Green fell next, picking out Ravindra Jadeja at mid-wicket with a mis-timed hook shot for 45 — the highest score of the innings.

Nathan Lyon (3) and Josh Hazlewood (10) provided minimal resistance, with Starc unbeaten on 14, which left India the paltry target of just 70 to level the series.

Look back at all the action from day four in our live blog below.

Live updates

Pinned

INDIA WINS BY EIGHT WICKETS!

                     

AP

             

What a turn around from India. They were a long price to do anything in this contest after the humiliation at Adelaide Oval, but within 10 days they have bounced back and dominated this match to level things up at 1-1 in the series.

            

If you think back even further, India was given no chance in any Test that Virat Kohli was absent for, but even without their skipper, and missing Mohammed Shami who is out with a broken arm, they have come out on top on Australian cricket’s biggest stage. 

             

The stand-in Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane should be handed the man of the match award for his brilliant 112 in the first innings, but it was just as fitting that he hit the winning runs.

Pinned

Australia vs India

            

By Simon Smale

Thanks everyone

           

Right, we’re closing things up here on the live blog

            

OK, I think it’s about time that we wrap things up here for now as we absorb what a brilliant performance that was from India, one of the great responses to adversity that you’re likely to see in sport. 

        

Thanks to you all for being with us over the last four days. Russell Jackson‘s analysis of the day will be up on the ABC Sport website shortly, so get your eyes around that when it drops. 

                

There’s obviously a bit of housekeeping still required to be ironed out, including where the third Test is going to be played, but what I can tell you is that Jon Healy and Dean Bilton will be on duty to bring you all the action from it here on the blog.

         

Thanks once again for being a part of our coverage, from Simon Smale and Dean Bilton, good bye.

Audience comment by Gangesh

Two things mark this tremendous Test win: India conquered the Aussies a week after a most humiliating Test debacle, and then this was achieved sans the most consistent, influential batsman and skipper King Kohli. Grahame can be justly proud of this great Test victory.

By Simon Smale

By Simon Smale

By Simon Smale

Tim Paine: Australia played “sloppy cricket”

           

                           

The Australian skipper Tim Paine said Australia did not play good cricket and were their own worst enemies.           

               

“Obviously we are very disappointed. We played pretty poor cricket and sloppy cricket for much of the Test match,” Paine said.

                 

“That’s to take nothing away from India. They played well and forced us into a number of mistakes with the bat and in the field and when you do that against good sides, you make it very hard to win.

              

“I think you have to give the Indian attack credit. They bowled beautifully to us. No doubt about that.

                   

“We haven’t adapted as well as we would have liked and as a batting group, no doubt we are very disappointed with what we have put up in the first two Test matches, but there is still two to go. We will work hard and try and rectify it in the next match.”

By Simon Smale

Ajinkya Rahane is man of the match

             

(Fox Sports)

             

“I’m really proud of all the players, ” Rahane said, saying the two debutantes deserved particular credit.

               

“Character was really important going into this Test match”

                   

He said that Gill “batted really well and in this game he showed intent that he can play shots at this level.”

           

He added that Siraj “bowled with discipline. Sometimes you can get carried away but when guys play first class cricket for four or five years and then come to Test cricket, they know what to do actually and it becomes really easy for the captain.

             

“The talk [during the Test] was all about showing that I could do it on the field, showing intent on the field and character.

               

“That matters a lot. I learnt as I said that character and attitude was very important going into the Test match, but for a lot of us as a 
team.

             

“I thought the Australians in the end lost fire because our batters applied themselves very well. It was hard for us because they have good bowlers, but it is good for every individual to show character and win this Test match.”

                     

He said that Yadav could be fit for the third Test and that he was recovering well.

By Simon Smale

The BLOG was the winner. Thanks again team.

-Mike

                

You’re most welcome, and thanks to everyone for their comments

Audience comment by Mandy

Thank you again Dean and Simon for your tireless blogging of another test match. It really helps keen cricket fans (like me) who, for whatever reason, don’t always have access to a TV!

By Simon Smale

Here’s hoping for a New Year’s test in Melbourne now. Since we missed out on AFL GF, it’d only be fair! Thanks for the blog Simon and Dean, Happy New Year!

-In Melb

         

We’ve not heard where the third Test will be played yet, but I think things are shaping up for it to be played in Sydney, In Melb.

         

I’ve no doubt we’ll hear more about that soon though. 

By Simon Smale

16th over – Lyon to bowl what could be the last

           

Rahane is back, defending the first.

               

Oh confusion! They wanted a quick single that was not on, but the Indian skipper was sent back! That would have been a frustrating way to end the match for the skipper.

       

Green has fielded the last three balls, but Hazlewood can’t grab the fourth!

            

Match over! India wins!

Audience comment by longingforgifs

So, what do you reckon? Worth me taking tomorrow off work to watch the rest of the game? *laughs hysterically*

Audience comment by John

HAPPY NEW YEAR, let’s move on hey!!! India has got this one.

Audience comment by Paul

I don’t think Australia can do anything, game to india, 1 all going into the third test, wherever that maybe and a happy new year to you guys.<br>A big thank you.

By Simon Smale

15th over – Marnus Labuschagne comes into the attack 

             

Rahane hooks and that’s one.

       

Gill jumps on a full toss and that’s four down to long on!

         

Late cut, there’s a single.

       

India now needs four runs to win.

             

Another push into the off side, where it is fielded.

        

A short ball is not quite punished as much as it could have been by Rahane.

      

That one is though! A lovely push into the covers! It’s not gone to the boundary! Stopped on the line and that’s three. 

         

Scores are tied!

By Simon Smale

14th over – Lyon to Rahane

            

He fends the first away.

       

Then Rahane lofts one to wide long on! Starc is there! Dropped it! He got both hands to it too!

             

Not pictured, the ball Starc dropped. (Fox Sports)

              

In and out again – that’s disappointing. Eight drops in the match from Australia now?

                 

Rahane fends away for a single backwards of square on the leg side.

                

Gill is forward defending the last. Over.

By Simon Smale

13th over – Hazlewood continues to Gill

          

Gill defends the first, then flirts with a ball that drifts down the leg side, Paine takes the catch.

            

There’s a tick over 13,000 in the MCG to see the death throes of this match.

                   

Shot! Hooked well in front of square off a Hazlewood short ball and that’s four runs, easily. 

           

A dot last ball to end the over, four from it.

            

India needs 13 runs to win.

By Simon Smale

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict a win for India

-Mike

           

Wild prediction, Mike.

By Simon Smale

12th over – Nathan Lyon is coming on, and he’s on a hattrick!

                 

What can the GOAT do? He’s not being helped by the field… Just two men around the bat, a slip and a short leg.

             

Gill fends into the off side. A dud of a hattrick ball.

                

Lyon asking questions, angling the ball in to Gill, who fends forward off the next couple.

                  

A single into the off side.

    

Now there’s a whole heap of people around the bat, three close catchers and a short mid on for Rahane.

           

Over.



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Tetevano leaving Panthers for Leeds


Penrith Panthers forward and New Zealand international Zane Tetevano has been granted immediate release from his club to join the Leeds Rhinos on a three-year deal.

The 30-year-old will join the Rhinos ahead of the new Betfred Super League season after his release from the final year of his contract.

“While it’s difficult to leave Panthers, I’m extremely grateful to the club for allowing my family and I to take up this opportunity,” Tetevano said in a club statement on Friday.

“My time at Penrith was one of the most enjoyable years of my career.”

Panthers General Manager Rugby League Matt Cameron said the club wished him the best of luck in the Super League.

“Zane had an extraordinary impact on our young squad following his arrival at the club last season,” he said.

“He consistently elevated our training sessions with his professionalism and played an important role in the team’s success in 2020.”

Tetevano made 19 NRL appearances in 2020 and averaged over 100 running metres per game.

Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield told PA that once the club knew of Zane’s availability he was their number one priority to strengthen the squad for next season.

“We have got an exciting crop of young players coming through at the Rhinos and to add a current international with a proven track record of winning will give our group a tremendous lift.”





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France’s Emmanuel Macron leaving isolation after week with COVID-19


Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron no longer has virus symptoms and is leaving isolation after a week with COVID-19, but is urging the French public to limit their contacts and remain vigilant to keep infections under control during the Christmas holidays.

Macron’s office said on Thursday, local time, that he is finishing a week of isolation at a presidential retreat in Versailles based on French health protocols, which recommend seven days of confinement following the appearance of symptoms or a positive virus test.

French President Emmanuel Macron released a video while he was isolating in Versailles.Credit:@EmmanuelMacron via AP

In an apparently self-shot video from the presidential retreat last week, a tired-looking Macron said he was suffering from a dry cough, headaches and fatigue, and said negligence and bad luck led to him getting infected.

French authorities lifted virus restrictions for the holidays but infections remain high, and some doctors are urging new lockdown measures.



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Here’s everything coming to Netflix in January 2021 — and what’s leaving


Netflix Inc. has a lighter-than-usual crop of new releases scheduled for January 2021.

Original offerings include Season 3 of “Cobra Kai” (date TBA), the “Karate Kid” sequel series starring William Zabka and Ralph Macchio that aired its first two seasons on YouTube; “History of Swear Words” (Jan. 5), an “education in expletives” hosted by Nicholas Cage; Season 4 of the Matt Groening animated comedy “Enchanted” (Jan. 15); and “The White Tiger” (Jan. 22), a darkly comic movie about an ambitious Indian driver’s efforts to escape poverty and rise to the top, based on the bestselling novel.

There’s also “Night Stalker” (Jan. 13), a true-crime documentary about the notorious 1980s California serial killer; “Outside the Wire” (Jan. 15), a futuristic action movie starring Damon Idris and Anthony Mackie; and the fifth and final season of “The Magicians,” (Jan. 15), which aired last year on Syfy.

For more: See What’s Worth Streaming

Netflix
NFLX,
-0.30%
is also adding a smattering of older movies, including the 1967 classic “Bonnie and Clyde,” Paul Newman’s “Cool Hand Luke,” “Mystic Pizza” and “Superbad” (all Jan. 1).

Here’s the complete list of new releases, as of Dec. 16 (release dates are subject to change).

What’s coming in January 2021

Date TBA
50M2 — Netflix Original
Bonding: Season 2 — Netflix Original
Cobra Kai: Season 3 — Netflix Original
June & Kopi — Netflix Film
The Netflix Afterparty — Netflix Original

Jan. 1
Dream Home Makeover: Season 2 — Netflix Original
Headspace Guide to Meditation — Netflix Original
The Minimalists: Less Is Now — Netflix Documentary
Monarca: Season 2 — Netflix Original
What Happened to Mr. Cha? — Netflix Film
17 Again (2009)
30 Minutes or Less (2011)
Abby Hatcher: Season 1
Blue Streak (1999)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
Catch Me if You Can (2002)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
The Creative Brain (2019)
The Departed (2006)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
Gimme Shelter (2013)
Good Hair (2010)
Goodfellas (1990)
Gothika (2003)
The Haunted Hathaways: Seasons 1-2
Into the Wild (2007)
Julie & Julia (2009)
Mud (2012)
Mystic Pizza (1988)
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
Eddie Murphy: Raw (1987)
Sex and the City: The Movie (2008)
Sex and the City 2 (2010)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Striptease (1996)
Superbad (2007)
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

Jan. 2
Asphalt Burning — Netflix Film

Jan. 5
Gabby’s Dollhouse: Season 1 — Netflix Family
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
History of Swear Words — Netflix Original

LA’s Finest: Season 1
Nailed It! Mexico: Season 3 — Netflix Original

Jan. 6
Ratones Paranoicos: The Band That Rocked Argentina — Netflix Film
Surviving Death — Netflix Documentary
Tony Parker: The Final Shot — Netflix Documentary

Jan. 7
Pieces of a Woman — Netflix Film

Jan. 8
Charming — Netflix Film
The Idhun Chronicles: Part 2 — Netflix Anime
Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 5 — Netflix Original
Lupin — Netflix Film
Mighty Little Bheem: Kite Festival — Netflix Family
Pretend It’s a City — Netflix Documentary
Stuck Apart — Netflix Film

Jan. 10
Spring Breakers (2012)

Jan. 11
CRACK: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy — Netflix Documentary
The Intouchables (2011)

Jan. 12
Last Tango in Halifax: Season 4

Jan. 13
An Imperfect Murder
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer — Netflix Documentary

Jan. 15
Bling Empire — Netflix Original
Carmen Sandiego: Season 4 — Netflix Family
Disenchantment: Part 3 — Netflix Original

Double Dad — Netflix Film
Henry Danger: Seasons 1-3
Hook (1991)
Kuroko’s Basketball: Season 1
The Magicians: Season 5
Outside the Wire — Netflix Film

Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie (2014)
Pinkfong & Baby Shark’s Space Adventure (2019)

Jan. 16
A Monster Calls (2016)
Radium Girls (2020)

Jan. 18
Homefront (2013)

Jan. 19
Hello Ninja: Season 4 — Netflix Family

Jan. 20
Daughter From Another Mother — Netflix Original
Sightless (2020)
Spycraft — Netflix Original

Jan. 21
Call My Agent!: Season 4 — Netflix Original

Jan. 22
Blown Away: Season 2 — Netflix Original
Busted!: Season 3 — Netflix Original
Fate: The Winx Saga — Netflix Original
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous: Season 2 — Netflix Family
So My Grandma’s a Lesbian! — Netflix Film
The White Tiger — Netflix Film

Jan. 23
Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) — Netflix Original

Jan. 26
Go Dog Go — Netflix Family

Jan. 27
Accomplice
Penguin Bloom — Netflix Film

Jan. 29
Below Zero — Netflix Film
The Dig — Netflix Film
Finding ‘Ohana — Netflix Film
We Are: The Brooklyn Saints — Netflix Documentary

Jan. 31
Fatima (2020)

What’s leaving in January

Jan. 1
Bloodsport (1988)

Jan. 3
QB1: Beyond the Lights: Season 2

Jan. 4
Mara (2017)

Jan. 5
The Monster (2016)

Jan. 7
The Tudors: Seasons 1-4

Jan. 8
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Jan. 14
Haven: Seasons 1-5
The Master (2012)

Jan. 15
A Serious Man (2009)
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Waco: Limited Series (2018)

Jan. 16
Friday Night Tykes: Seasons 1-4

Jan. 20
Fireplace 4K: Classic Crackling Fireplace from Fireplace for Your Home
Fireplace 4K: Crackling Birchwood from Fireplace for Your Home
Fireplace for Your Home: Season

Jan. 24
When Calls the Heart: Seasons 1-5

Jan. 26
We Are Your Friends (2015)

Jan. 29
Swiss Army Man (2016)

Jan. 30
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

Jan. 31
A Thin Line Between Love & Hate (1996)
Braxton Family Values: Seasons 1-2
Death at a Funeral (2010)
Employee of the Month (2006)
For Colored Girls (2010)
Malicious (2018)
Mr. Deeds (2002)
Pineapple Express (2008)



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Shipping out – Western expatriates are leaving Asia | Asia


WHEN JAKARTA went into lockdown in April Asian Tigers Group, a moving company, received a flurry of business from wealthy expatriates who had fled overnight. Removal teams were led into deserted homes by maids or colleagues. Without the owners on hand to sort belongings, they found themselves stripping beds and packing dirty sheets into boxes alongside broken toys and other junk.

All the expats who want to move away have now done so and there are few new arrivals. Asian Tigers is laying off staff for the first time in its 35-year history. “Unless the tap turns back on we’re in a tough spot,” says Bill Lloyd, head of the group’s Indonesian operations.

Asian metropolises have long attracted migrants from the rich world. Fast-growing businesses, vast natural resources and unfamiliar commercial environments make for interesting work. Meanwhile, living costs are low, so expats can afford maids and big houses that would be out of reach back home. Around 3m migrants from the OECD were living in Asia last year, according to data from the club, which is composed mostly of rich countries, up from 2.3m in 1990. But the pandemic has underlined the drawbacks of living abroad, including distance from family and (in some places) a lack of good medical facilities. Unlike most immigrants, these are a well-off lot for whom relocation is a choice. Many have raced home rather than weather the pandemic in a foreign country.

That is a loss for both their home and host countries. People moving from the developed world to emerging markets make up a tiny portion of the world’s 270m international migrants. But they play an outsized role in the global economy, bringing new ideas and cosmopolitan connections wherever they go. A study in Canada found that a 10% increase in migrants from a given country is associated with a 1% increase in exports to that country and a 3% increase in imports from it. There is no reason why migration to developing economies should not produce similar benefits, says Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels of the University of Kent. “We rarely think of the global North as a region that gains from emigration but it absolutely does,” she says. “This is a small but powerful movement.”

However, covid-19 has diminished the appeal of living abroad for many in the rich world. Iñigo Lumbreras de Mazarredo spent much of his 20s working his way up the ranks at a food-delivery firm in Asia. The best thing about expat life, he says, was the opportunity to travel widely and meet new people. After a stressful couple of weeks trying to pack up and go home, including four cancelled flights, the 29-year-old returned from Cambodia to Spain in April. “The main point of going abroad is to have an experience,” he explains. “Now that isn’t an option.”

Data are patchy on migration in Asia, but all the evidence points to a mass exodus. By June America had repatriated more than 15,000 of its citizens from the continent, including both tourists and migrants. Knight Frank, a multinational estate agent, has seen a big rise in expats looking to buy a base in their home country, particularly among those with elderly parents or children at boarding school back home. In a survey in June roughly 30% of the group’s agents said these clients were planning to move permanently and 60% said they wanted to split their time between their original and adoptive homes.

For employers, the pandemic has accentuated the disadvantages of hiring pricey Westerners in Asia. Most countries have introduced quarantine rules and stalled visa applications, making it difficult to get people where they are supposed to be going. Eliminating expensive foreign postings is an easy way to save money in a recession. Meanwhile, the need to work from home has shown that colleagues can collaborate reasonably well at a great distance using video-calling. More than 50% of businesses have repatriated employees on long-term assignments abroad and only half of them expect to move them back within a year, according to a survey by ECA International, which helps firms relocate staff. Almost all the companies surveyed also said they were allowing expats to work from other places if they wanted to.

Covid-19 is accelerating a trend that was already under way, says Toby Fowlston of Robert Walters, a recruiting firm. Education and language skills across the region have improved markedly in recent years. There is much less need to fly in expats to get a job done. In Hong Kong, Mr Fowlston says, the growing influence of mainland China means that employers are looking for Mandarin-speakers. He estimates that expats occupy just a fifth of client-facing roles at investment banks in the city, down from a third five years ago.

Host governments are also obstructing the hiring of expats, imagining that this might reduce unemployment. In Malaysia firms can employ foreigners only if they cannot find a local applicant who fits the bill. Employers have to advertise jobs through a central portal, interview candidates within 30 days and report back to the authorities afterwards. In August the Singaporean government raised the minimum wage businesses have to pay foreigners to secure a visa. It also launched an investigation into 47 firms that, it suspects, have not given local applicants a fair shot. In a similar vein, several Asian countries say they will cancel the residence permits of foreigners who leave the country without obtaining special permission first.

Whether businesses and governments want them or not, there will always be Westerners eager to live in Asia. Most people move either for love or for work. The first group is not that flighty. For the second, the appeal of expatriate life is likely to return when borders reopen and social-distancing rules fall away.

Hector Drake and his wife recently moved to London to have their first child after a decade in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. If anything, Mr Drake says, the pandemic has revealed what a desirable place to live Asia is. The governments of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam have done a far better job than most in the West of keeping the virus under control. The couple caught covid-19 shortly after returning to Britain. Mr Drake may put more thought into his health insurance next time, but he hopes to work abroad again. “People will chase opportunities if they are there,” he says.

Editor’s note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our hub

This article appeared in the Asia section of the print edition under the headline “Shipping out”

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Michael Jackson estate can take private action against HBO over Leaving Neverland documentary | World News


Michael Jackson’s estate can take action against HBO over its documentary Leaving Neverland and allegations he sexually abused two boys, a court has ruled.

Unless the network appeals, the singer’s estate can now pursue private arbitration over the 2019 documentary, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday.

This means the case that HBO disparaged Jackson by airing claims he abused Wade Robson and James Safechuck will now be considered by an independent third party – outside of court – and largely away from public view.

Image:
Jackson’s Neverland ranch near Santa Barbara, California

Jackson’s estate had already sued the channel for $100m (£75m), arguing it broke a 1992 contract the star had with them.

It claims that when HBO broadcast Jackson’s Dangerous tour, the contract agreed it would not disparage him, Variety reports.

Estate attorneys Howard Weitzman and Jonathan Steinsapir said in a statement: “In the court’s own words, HBO agreed that it would not make any disparaging remarks concerning Jackson.

“It’s time for HBO to answer for its violation of its obligations to Michael Jackson.”

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The network’s lawyer, Theodore Boutrous, argued the 27-year-old clause expired once each side fulfilled its obligations.

HBO also claims that Leaving Neverland is an important piece of journalism.

James Safechuck is pictured aged 10 with Jackson
Image:
James Safechuck is pictured aged 10 with Jackson

Jackson’s family says the documentary was based on allegations made by two men who previously told authorities they weren’t molested by him.

But during the film, both men repeatedly accuse the star of grooming and molesting them at his Neverland ranch in California.

They have each tried to sue companies created by Jackson, but Mr Safechuck’s lawsuit was dismissed last month.

Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed has been filming the recent court hearings for a follow-up documentary.

Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50.



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No-deal Brexit odds – what are the chances of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal?



How have the odds changed?

Throughout 2020 bookmakers have offered shorter odds on the probability of a trade deal as the final deadline looms. 

In the months after Brexit Day on Jan 31, when the UK officially and legally left the European Union, bookmakers’ odds heavily favoured no deal.

But since then, the implied probability of no deal being reached has fallen considerably.

Implied probability is the likelihood of a particular outcome based on the betting odds on offer at the time. For example, odds of 2/1 would typically yield the desired outcome once in every three scenarios, so the implied probability would be 33.3 per cent.

Over the course of the year the implied probability of a no-deal exit has fallen from a high of 94 per cent in early April to a low of 17.6 per cent at the start of December, suggesting bolstered confidence among bookies of a deal being reached.

After the sixth round of negotiations, which concluded on July 24, the implied probability of a no-deal Brexit fell dramatically.

They were the first round of talks since the UK had allowed the deadline to apply for an extension to the transition period to lapse, effectively locking in place the deadline which now looms – Dec 31.

At the time EU negotiator Michel Barnier said their “resolve remains unchanged” despite talks remaining “far away” on several key issues including the “level playing field” and fishing quotas.

Both remain sticking points today.





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