PM tackles the NRL over Origin national anthem and forces a turnover


So, for this one, the NRL decided to ditch it? So, great!

The second reason it was an astute move, was because it allowed the NRL to skirt controversy – always a good idea for a code whose controversy cup doth always floweth over. Last week, as you will recall, the Wallabies were briefly engulfed in huge controversy after one player expressed the view that as this next Bledisloe was an Indigenous Round, and they would be wearing an Indigenous jersey, they might very well express base solidarity with the Indigenous struggle in this country and “take a knee”.

The NRL announced it was to go without the national anthem for the State of Origin series … then hours later said it would be played.Credit:Getty

The result was – don’t get me started – a numerically limited but nevertheless loud outcry, led by my dear friend Nick Farr-Jones, that this would risk alienating rugby supporters just when the game was getting back on its feet, and in any case there was no such thing as racism in Australia. (Don’t get me started, I said!) Two days of narkiness later, and Rugby Australia folded, saying there would be no taking a knee.

This was despite the fact that in rugby league there have been many cases of NRL players taking a knee before club matches this season – most particularly in the case of the Penrith Panthers, earlier in the season – and, just as happened with AFL clubs who took the same approach, it was no big deal. Those individuals who wanted to it did so, and those who didn’t want to, were not obliged. League and AFL followers took it in their stride and no-one charged for the exits, simply because players wanted to show solidarity for a – you heard me – noble cause. And equally, if you can believe it, those who took a knee didn’t turn out to be Marxists wanted to overthrow the establishment! With the possible exception, I suppose, of Bronwyn Bishop – who likely fainted somewhere that the commies had taken over Australian sport – everyone else just got on with their lives with commendable maturity.

Nevertheless, what would happen if they played the national anthem at such a high profile event as State of Origin, and the many Indigenous players, particularly, took a knee? And were men whose forebears have been here for 65,000 years really expected to mouth the words “for we are young and free”, so denying the fact that Australia has actually had the oldest continuous culture on the planet, and it something to be proud of? In recent times we have had Indigenous players of the status of Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker expressing strong reservations about singing such an anthem and it was canned before this year’s Indigenous All-Stars game.

This time, when some Indigenous players, it is believed, expressed reservations about singing it before the Origin, the league leaders took the decision: can the anthem. So, all good?

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Yup, right up until one person in particular got wind of it. For when the word got out that there would be no national anthem, Prime Minister Scott Morrison got involved, more or less insisting that it be played as it would bring us altogether etc. In the face of that request, Peter V’landys – who has had a very good record on supporting Indigenous players and issues – nevertheless all but instantly said, “Yes, Prime Minister,” did a screaming U-turn on a sixpence, and the league administration roared back the other way.

League “never meant to make a political statement”, Mr V’landys said, and the anthem was restored.

“The NRL have done the right thing,” the PM purred in response. “We have all faced a year of struggle and heartbreak and it has never been more important to be coming together to celebrate Australia and to be able to sing together our national anthem at the game so many of us love.”

Yes, Prime Minister. After a very tough year of plague and pestilence, of lock-down and a languishing economy, having the league players sing the national anthem will make it all better.

Anyhoo, that is where it stands now. The interesting thing will be if any of the Indigenous players, particularly, do sing the words “for we are young and free,” and if any of them do take a knee.

If they decline to sing it, and or take a knee – possibly supported by non-Indigenous players – good luck to them. That will be their perfect right, just as it will be right of those who do not.

Over and out. Fire at will. See if I care. I will be in my trailer.

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Prepare for a scaled-back holiday season amid coronavirus pandemic, experts warn – National


It’s unlikely most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, carolling and travel, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead.

As the pandemic’s second wave maintained its grip in many parts of the country, political leaders acknowledged this week that recent limits on social gatherings, restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues in some hot spots have not significantly changed the trajectory of COVID-19 infections.

READ MORE: Coronavirus pandemic ‘really sucks’ and could impact holiday gatherings, Trudeau says

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo and Quebec Premier Francois Legault were among those urging Canadians to step up efforts that could flatten the curve and allow for some modified festivities by Dec. 25.

The warning followed weeks of unclear messages and confusing advice that likely played a role in cases now being linked to Thanksgiving weekend, says Toronto infectious diseases expert Dr. Andrew Morris, who stresses the importance of frank talk about the severity of the pandemic.

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“We need to be able to say when there’s uncertainty but we also can’t have comments like (Monday) at the provincial press conference, when the Ontario health minister said that there are some hints of things on a decline (in Ontario hot spots). That is very misleading information and all it does is it sows doubt in the public,” says Morris, a physician at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

“Or even to suggest that we’re still waiting to see the effect of our measures, (that) it’s too early to tell, when I think everyone around us — most people — should recognize that things are still rising substantially.”










Canada Post gearing up for a busier than normal holiday season


Canada Post gearing up for a busier than normal holiday season

On Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford countered bleak outlooks on Christmas by noting “people get tired, but I’ve got to give them hope.”

“Let’s all work together and let’s make Christmas happen. Let’s always think of the glass as half full,” said Ford. “Let’s not think the glass is half empty — we can do it. We will do it by working together.”

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Morris says it’s unfair to impose a timeline on hoped-for victories, pointing to many uncertainties that make it hard to predict what infections will look like in December. He also questions how accurate Ontario’s data was to begin with, noting he continues to hear about some people waiting days for a test — a problem that would make it “near impossible” to get a handle on COVID-19’s spread.

But he doesn’t expect much will change over the next two months.

“Fast-forward six weeks, we’re going to be seeing waves pretty substantially rising, if not cresting,” Morris predicts.

“I would be absolutely shocked if we aren’t seeing really high peaks in six weeks’ time.”


Click to play video 'Ready to get your party on this Christmas? Why you’ll likely have to wait until next year'







Ready to get your party on this Christmas? Why you’ll likely have to wait until next year


Ready to get your party on this Christmas? Why you’ll likely have to wait until next year

The colder temperatures and shorter days have coincided with mounting public frustration over months of economic, scholastic and social upheaval, which in recent weeks escalated to instances of outright defiance of public health directives.

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Manitoba’s premier and chief provincial public health officer this week delivered blistering rebukes of infected people brazenly disobeying containment rules, while a coalition of Quebec gym owners initially threatened to defy extended lockdown measures before vowing Wednesday to protest instead.

Trudeau acknowledged frustrations while cautioning the nation that “unless we’re really, really careful, there may not be the kinds of family gatherings we want to have at Christmas.”

And while Legault recognized the “vast majority” of Quebecers have complied with public health guidance, he said it was “not enough” and that “big parties for Christmas” were unlikely.

In order for public health measures to hit home, the advice must be clear and consistent, and politicians should be transparent about their rationale for social restrictions, says infectious disease epidemiologist Ashleigh Tuite.

READ MORE: Retailers speed up holiday plans amid coronavirus pandemic

She says it’s far more helpful to offer concrete examples of what people should do, than admonish them for what they should not do.

“The reality is we know that people are going to bend the rules a little bit. First of all, give people creative ideas of how they might celebrate the holidays,” says Tuite, a University of Toronto professor who especially wanted holiday travel guidance for university students living away from home.

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Still, Tuite says tapping into shared hopes can be a powerful motivator to keep people committed to COVID-19 sacrifices: “We need something to look forward to.”

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place, including bustling Christmas markets, Santa Claus parades, mall photos with Santa, blockbuster movie releases, and holiday concerts and performances.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Annual Toronto Christmas Market cancelled'







Coronavirus: Annual Toronto Christmas Market cancelled


Coronavirus: Annual Toronto Christmas Market cancelled

But that doesn’t mean Christmas is cancelled, says health economist and policy analyst Peter Berman of the University of British Columbia, who suggests a near-normal celebration might be possible in the least-impacted regions.

In the same way many Canadians found ways to celebrate a scaled-back Thanksgiving and are now modifying their Halloween fun, Berman encourages people to focus on accepting a new reality — one he expects will curtail social gatherings well into the new year.

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“We should probably turn our attention not so much to lamenting that we won’t have the Christmas we’re all used to, but rather thinking, ‘How can we make the best of enjoying the one we’re going to have together?”’ says Berman.





© 2020 The Canadian Press





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NRL backflips on national anthem decision, will play song before State of Origin


“We have all faced a year of struggle and heartbreak and it has never been more important to be coming together to celebrate Australia and to be able to sing together our national anthem at the game so many of us love.”

Earlier on Thursday, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo defended his decision to axe the anthem, arguing the game had done so in an effort to make the game more intense.

Game one on Wednesday at Adelaide Oval will be the first time in the series’ history the anthem will not be played. Credit:Getty

Abdo was quick to reject the notion the governing body had reversed the decision based on pressure from the Prime Minister’s phone call.

“I wouldn’t say we caved into pressure,” Abdo said on Thursday afternoon. “I think this is about listening to the community.

“We have all been a bit surprised about just how much interest there has been.

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“This was never about politics.”

Abdo also said the NRL had received “no pressure” from senior Indigenous players to axe the anthem for State of Origin ahead of the decision.

“We haven’t been in dialogue with them about this because it wasn’t coming from player pressure and it wasn’t politically motivated,” he said. “I’ve actually had no direct discussions with them either prior to this decision or afterwards because it wasn’t motivated from or by the players.

“This hasn’t been politically motivated and that’s a genuine and authentic statement I am making.

Abdo said player could now make their “own minds” up on whether to sing the anthem or not.

“I don’t expect this to continue to be a divisive issue,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be an issue.”

V’landys said he made the call to reinstate the anthem based on feedback from “the fans”.

“Sometimes you have to put your hand up and reverse things if they need to be reversed and this is one of this times,” he said. “Our fans believe, at the moment, we are in a COVID emergency and we need to be together. We are not going to do things to break that togetherness.”

Earlier this year, the ARLC scrapped the national anthem at the All-Stars match following advice from senior Indigenous players including Latrell Mitchell.

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V’landys said Indigenous players in the NRL would be understanding of the decision to keep the anthem for State of Origin.

“The Indigenous players never asked for the State of Origin,” he said. “No one supports the Indigenous players more than me and they know that they have got my full support.”

Last year, Cody Walker said he would not sing the national anthem during the State of Origin opener before Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr and Queensland’s Will Chambers joined in on the protest.

Earlier this year, the anthem was axed from the All-Stars match for the first time.

At the time, ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said the scrapping of the anthem was vital in demonstrating one of the important roles of the commission: to consult with players on issues that impact the game.

“We have listened to our players’ concerns that the words of the anthem do not represent them or their families and does not include an acknowledgement of First Nations people,” V’landys said at the time. “We respect their wishes and have agreed that the anthem will not be played.”

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Australian selectors name Cameron Green in men’s national squad for India ODI, T20 series


Rising star Cameron Green will get the chance to display his talent on the international stage after being selected in the Australian men’s ODI and T20 squads for the upcoming series against India.

Green and fellow all-rounder Moises Henriques were the notable inclusions in the 18-player squad ahead of the three ODIs and three T20s, which get underway late next month.

The most notable omission from the squad was spinner Nathan Lyon, who can now put his focus into preparing for the four-Test series against India.

Mitch Marsh, who sustained an ankle injury in the Indian Premier League, was also overlooked.

National selector Trevor Hohns said Green was regarded as a long-term prospect for Australia across the three formats of the game.

“Cameron’s domestic form has been outstanding and he has carried it through for Western Australia this summer,” Hohns said in a statement.

Green has been hailed as the brightest young star in Australian cricket, with calls growing for the 21-year-old to be included in Justin Langer’s Test squad.

He averages 52.23 with the bat and 21.53 with the ball from 17 first-class matches.

Just this week, Greg Chappell labelled Green the best young player since Ricky Ponting.

He was unable to bowl last summer due to stress fractures in his back, but even when playing only as a batter he has proven to be a match winner.

In his most recent Sheffield Shield match, Green scored 197 for Western Australia against New South Wales.

Green has been ramping up his bowling loads at training over recent weeks, and he could be ready to play as a legitimate all-rounder against India.

Moises Henriques (right) returns to national duties after a three-year absence.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Henriques has not played for Australia since 2017, but Hohns said the 33-year-old deserved his return to international cricket.

“Moises is a tremendous cricketer with loads of experience and is a great person to have around the group,” he said.

“His form was extremely impressive in leading the Sixers to the BBL title last summer and he has played well at the start of this season.”

The SCG will host the opening two ODIs against India on November 27 and 29, with the third match to be played at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on December 2.

Both venues will be used for the three T20 internationals, with the first to be played at Manuka Oval on December 4.

The ODI and T20 matches will be the curtain raiser to the Test series against India, which begins with a day-night encounter at Adelaide Oval on December 12.

Cricket Australia confirmed on Wednesday the MCG will host the traditional Boxing Day Test, with the SCG (January 7-11) and the Gabba (January 15-19) the venues for the third and fourth matches of the series.

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State of Origin series to feature national anthem after fans criticise plan to ditch Advance Australia Fair



Shortly after it was revealed that the national anthem would not be played at State of Origin games, the NRL has backflipped, confirming Advance Australia Fair will go ahead before the games as normal.

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) said the move was in response to a backlash by fans after the initial decision was reported by News Corp.

“The original decision not to play the anthem at Origin was about the rivalry and tribalism associated with the Origin series,” ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said.

“However, having listened to the public response and given the strong national unity in fighting the COVID pandemic together, the commission has decided it is important to ensure that unity continues.

“We have always been a commission that listens to our fans. We have heard the message and acted accordingly.”

After the decision was revealed, V’landys also received a call from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said fans would not support the removal of the anthem.

“This is a welcome decision by the NRL. The NRL have done the right thing by listening to their fans and acting quickly to overturn their choice not to play the national anthem at the Origin series,” the Prime Minister said.

“We have all faced a year of struggle and heartbreak and it has never been more important to be coming together to celebrate Australia and to be able to sing together our national anthem at the game so many of us love.”

More to come.



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NIMH » NIMH’s Carlos Zarate Jr., M.D., Elected to National Academy of Medicine


At its annual meeting for 2020, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 90 regular members, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)’s Carlos Zarate Jr., M.D. One of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, election to the Academy recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Zarate is chief of the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch within the NIMH Intramural Research Program, where his research focuses on developing novel medications for treatment-resistant depression and bipolar disorder. Dr. Zarate’s research helped determine that a single infusion of ketamine can rapidly reduce depressive symptoms in people with treatment-resistant depression or bipolar depression. The identification of ketamine as a rapid-acting intervention for depression has provided hope for the many people for whom traditional depression treatments are not effective.

Dr. Zarate received his M.D. degree from the Catholic University of Cordoba in 1985. He went on to complete a Fellowship in Clinical Psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital from 1992-1993, after which he remained as a staff member until 1998. At the McLean Hospital Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Dr. Zarate served as the director of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Outpatient Services, chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee, and director of the New and Experimental Clinic. From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Zarate served as the chief of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Program, associate professor of psychiatry, and chair of the Grand Rounds Committee at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In January 2001, he joined the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the NIMH as chief of the Mood Disorders Research Unit. In 2009, Dr. Zarate formed the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch at NIMH.

Dr. Zarate is the recipient of multiple previous awards, including the Outstanding Psychiatrist Research Award from the Massachusetts Psychiatric Association; the Brain Behavior Research Foundation Award for Bipolar Mood Disorder Research; and numerous awards from both NIMH and the National Institutes of Health for mentorship, supervision, and for his outstanding scientific contributions.



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Al Interviews Mindy Greiling | Former MN State Representative, Former National NAMI Board Member & Author


In this episode, Al interviews Mindy Greiling, former Minnesota State Representative, Former National NAMI Board Member and author of Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Law Maker’s Fight for Her Son (recorded 8-19-20). A former teacher and school board member, Mindy first joined the Minnesota House of Representatives with her eye on education. After six years in the legislature, her son, Jim, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. While continuing her work within the education committee, Mindy decided to also focus on mental health.

Hear Mindy’s story of navigating through the complex mental health system, her attempts at improving it, and the challenges of caring for a loved one with schizophrenia in her new book Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son.

Her book was released on October 6, 2020. Find out more about Mindy and where to get her book at mindygreiling.org.

 

If you have listened and feel that you have received some value from the podcast, please consider supporting the show by becoming a Patron at patreon.com/thedepressionfiles. You can begin to support the show with as little as $1.00/month!

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al’s blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

==

Previously Published on The Depression Files

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Texas gov. to deploy National Guard in multiple cities on Election Day


Members of the National Guard arrive. (Photo by Gary Williams/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:55 PM PT – Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Texas National Guard is set to be deployed to multiple Texas cities on Election Day.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) has decided to send 1,000 troops to polling stations across the state in preparation for potential unrest following election results. Among the cities include San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott. (Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images)

Democrats were reportedly upset to hear of the move because they believe it will be used for voter suppression and intimidation. However, officials have reiterated that troops will be used only to deter any civil disturbance or violence.

MORE NEWS: Trump Supporters In Israel Participate In Car Convoy To Jerusalem





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National Children’s Week – Enjoying childhood has never been more important

This year has been so tough for everyone, but most of all children. The restrictions have impacted on children, not seeing friends and restricted on all interactions. This can leave them not stimulated through those bonds of other children, family members and even school teachers provide. Parents have had a challenging year, to be friend, play mate, parent, teacher, entertainer and guardian during such a tough time. Maybe we should be referring to the parents as super hero’s in disguise.

First, how can you create safe social hang outs which are covid compliant but still allow real interaction with their friends or family. This may need to be in a park if you’ve been in Victoria or visiting friends families or have them come to you. Make sure that easing back into catch ups is completed wisely and not build it up too much. The excitement of finally having the chance to see their friends or family again may become an emotional time. This can happen either at the catch up, before or even afterward. Set expectations, manage these so they know what to expect and that they will be able to see people more often again. It is also best to not overload times of catching up, by trying to see multiple people on a given day or within a small window of time.

Secondly, safe networking and making friends is tough in a pandemic, especially if friends and family are at a distance. This challenge due to border closures or distance has seen zoom or facetime with family as the saving grace. Just doing facetime may work for a period of time but we need interactivity to make it meaningful for kids. Play games, fancy dress days and Halloween will provide a great opportunity for this, so take advantage of any added extra you can provide.

Last tip is to have open conversation, about the state of their friendships and how you can improve these. Allow the child to feel relaxed as you move through this process. A casual conversation rather than being too formal works best. Ask your child open questions and listen to how they phrase their responses, who are they most enthusiastic to see and are their expectations realistic or unrealistic. Manage these expectations and reassure them of being able to see their friends and family more often moving forward. Hopefully this relieves the mountain of expectations that can build up and will minimise anxiety that may be quietly building up.

Enjoy National Children’s Week!