The “really nice text” Stephenson sent new Kangaroos assistant Rocca


Jaidyn Stephenson will reunite with Anthony Rocca at North Melbourne this year.

The former Collingwood star forward has been appointed as an assistant coach at Arden Street where he will link up with Kangaroos recruit Stephenson.

Rocca, who will be working closely with the rucks and taller players, said Stephenson has already reached out and is excited to again be at the same club following their time together at the Magpies.

“He gave me a really nice text the other day, ‘Stepho’,” Rocca said on Sportsday.

“He was happy I was there. I’ve got that Collingwood connection with him and he’s really looking forward to working closely together.

“I rate Jaidyn really highly. He has an X-factor. We know he had some issues last year and he tried to overcome them.

“When he’s up and going, he can be a dominating forward. He can turn games in the space of five minutes.”

Stephenson, who won the 2018 Rising Star award, kicked 76 goals in 54 games for the Pies before joining North last trade period.

Rocca is also optimistic about what is ahead for the Roos, particularly from a key forward viewpoint with Nick Larkey and Cam Zurhaar set to take the mantle following Ben Brown’s move to Melbourne.

He also feels the ruck position is in very good hands with Todd Goldstein leading the way with support from Tom Campbell and Tristan Xerri.

“The likes of Nick Larkey and Cameron Zurhaar. Those two could be a really good combination for the future,” he added.

“I love the way Zurhaar goes about it. He’s tough, strong, loves the contested mark and just loves crashing packs.

“I’m excited working with Todd Goldstein. He’s a really good ruckman who has achieved a lot and I believe he could still achieve a whole lot more.

“The likes of Tom Campbell, who has been a back-up ruckman for a long time. He keeps putting the pressure on underneath at VFL level. The games I’ve seen him play at AFL level, he’s a crash and bash ruckman who’s done a great job. I hope he can keep putting pressure on to help Goldstein out in that regard.

“Tristan Xerri is another young kid going through the VFL ranks as well. If they both can put the pressure on Todd, that will make him a better ruckman.”

Rocca has bolstered David Noble’s Kanagroos’ coaching staff after working in development roles at Collingwood over the last decade.







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“It was nice to score a few and keep people quiet”



Cricket: Following his brilliant century against India, Steve Smith reveals what motivated him to turn his form around.

Thank you for visiting My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed seeing this story about State and Federal News and updates named ““It was nice to score a few and keep people quiet””. This news update was posted by My Local Pages as part of our national news services.

#nice #score #people #quiet



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CEO Update: How nice it is to see and engage with people in person


A few weeks ago I made a decision to return briefly from my home in Canberra to my other home in Melbourne to see my adult children. I was missing them. 

Like many, many Australians, the global pandemic and resulting border closures and lockdowns disrupted my plans and forced me to connect with my family via video and phone for the last four months. It was too long, which was why I needed to go home. 

And while I was in Melbourne I also had the chance for face-to-face meetings with some of our Mental Health Australia membership organisations and stakeholders. 

This week I have been doing the same again in Sydney, and my Brisbane trip is coming up before Christmas with plans to catch up with others across the south, west and north early in 2021.

I don’t need to tell you what a great thing it is, meeting face-to-face. For starters there is no mute button or technology glitches, and for me the real benefit is the opportunity for personal connection, collaboration and the evolution of ideas. Just what we need in our mental health ecosystem as we head into a year of opportunity. 

In these face-to-face conversations over the last couple of weeks I’ve heard about exhausted teams working to sustain their efforts. I’ve heard a great deal about what these teams have learned, and done, in this most extraordinary of years.

I’ve heard about holiday plans that are coming closer. And I’ve heard about challenging economic and personal situations and their impact on organisations and the individuals for whom they provide services and support. 

I have also heard, and talked about, hope for 2021 and for positive strategic change, investment and sector development.  

In the light of the Productivity Commission report and the challenges we have as a sector going forward, now is the time to be building on the collaborative partnerships we have, and to work together. 

Our consumer and carer communities need this more than ever because lasting reform doesn’t just come from coordinated leadership from government — it comes from each of us committing to the power of shared action.

We need to be building on the existing strengths in our mental health ecosystem and using these to work together for change.

Next week the Grace Groom Memorial Oration will be delivered by Dr Brendan Murphy via video conference (the first time ever in its 14-year history) and while this is a change for the organisation, we can only hope that our 2021 Oration will be face-to-face and members and stakeholders will benefit accordingly.

Have a good weekend. 

Leanne Beagley
CEO

PS A quick note of thanks to Christine Morgan, Mark Roddam, and Tania Rishniw for today’s webinar discussing the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health and how it will link with the National Mental Health Commission’s Vision 2030. To have more than 50 members of the sector on the webinar today shows just how much interest there is in the next steps, and we look forward to working with you all as we advocate further for these reports and the recommendations within them.


Reminder that the Annual General Meeting of Mental Health Australia Ltd will be held on Thursday 10 December 2020 at 2.30pm (AEDST). Due to extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the continued safety of everyone in our community, this meeting will be held virtually using Redback webinar. A link to the virtual AGM will be sent to all registered members prior to the meeting.


Mental Health Australia is pleased to invite you to the 2020 Grace Groom Memorial Oration to be delivered by Dr Brendan Murphy, Secretary of the Department of Health and former Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government.

The oration will take place at 3:00pm AEDT on Thursday 10 December, preceded by the Mental Health Australia Annual General Meeting at 2:30pm AEDTTo register for either or both events, please email governance@mhaustralia.org RSVP by Monday 7 December.


This week Mental Health Australia published a policy paper on NDIS Independent Assessments. The policy paper highlights several concerns about the proposed process of implementation of NDIS Independent Assessments. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is introducing Independent Assessments for prospective NDIS participants and for some current participants at plan review. The NDIA states the assessments will be free and carried out by Independent Assessors with relevant skills and expertise and therefore aim to save prospective participants time and money in gathering evidence to qualify for the Scheme.

Mental Health Australia’s policy paper points out that Independent Assessors, who do not have an existing relationship with the person, and/or who don’t have the necessary skills and experience in working with someone who has a psychosocial disability may not be best placed to assess their functional capacity. In addition, the use of the designated assessment tools and the process for their use runs the risk of an assessment which doesn’t accurately reflect the complexity of psychosocial disability. While the costfree nature of Independent Assessments addresses a significant financial barrier to NDIS access, it does not address other important barriers faced by people with psychosocial disability.

The policy paper proposes solutions to address these issues, including an offer to collaborate with the NDIA to build flexibility into the assessment process for people with psychosocial disability. Mental Health Australia also makes recommendations around consultation and transparency, embedding a recovery-oriented approach in the assessment process and removing some of the other barriers people with psychosocial disability will face in accessing assessments.

This policy position was developed in collaboration with Mental Health Australia members and consumer and carer representatives through a Members Policy Hub, run in November 2020. Members Policy Hubs are a new Mental Health Australia initiative where short term ‘sprint teams’ are drawn together from Mental Health Australia’s membership to address key current policy issues. 

To read the full policy paper, please click here: https://mhaustralia.org/general/members-policy-hub-ndis-independent-assessments
To read more about Mental Health Australia members policy hubs please click here: https://mhaustralia.org/membership/members-policy-hubs  
  

On Monday we have a Board Finance and Risk Management Meeting.

On Tuesday we will be holding a staff planning day as well participating in a coordination meeting for CALD activities across the sector with the Department of Health. Melanie Cantwell will also be attending a second Carers Advisory Group as part of our tripartite project with Carers Australia and Mental Health Carers Australia.

On Wednesday we have an Alliance meeting for the Embrace Multicultural Mental Health Project, a National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum Meeting and we will further work with the RACGP and Consumer Health Forum on our budget submission for national investment in Social Prescribing.

On Thursday we have a Board meeting, our AGM and the Grace Groom Memorial Oration with Dr Brendan Murphy. You can register for these by emailing governance@mhaustralia.org

On Friday the Mental Health Australia team will be celebrating our year together and marking the Christmas season with a face-to-face lunch in Canberra.
 

The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (the Framework) is a free, nationally available online resource which allows organisations and individual practitioners to evaluate and enhance their cultural responsiveness. It has been mapped against national standards to help you meet your existing requirements, with access to a wide range of support and resources. 

New research has found that over 50% of young people living in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia are worried about their future, however when compared to their city counterparts they are less likely to seek support. In the nationally representative survey of 1000 young people by youth mental health organisation ReachOut, 73% of young people living in metro areas indicated they would talk to someone about their stress about the future, compared to just over 62% of young people in regional, rural and remote areas. 

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Thursday marked International Day of People with Disability, which aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disability. The theme for 2020 is ’Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world.’

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Defence personnel, veterans and their families impacted by the ongoing coverage of the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force’s Afghanistan Inquiry are being encouraged to reach out for support. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the vast majority of men and women who serve in our Defence forces transition well to successful careers, but some require additional assistance.

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Access to mental health services is a particular concern for specialist trainees, analysis by the Australian Medical Association has found. The AMA Specialist Trainee Experience Health Check is based on findings from the 2019 Medical Training Survey (MTS) released in February 2020, the development of which was led by the AMA Council of Doctors in Training.

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Despite the challenges this year due to COVID-19, Grow Local participants have worked hard towards completing their Grow Local Certificate IV in Mental Health, meaning communities throughout Western Australia will have additional mental health support available to those who may be struggling. The program has proven to not only be an effective way of meeting these community needs, but also a popular one, with more than 60 participants graduating in towns throughout the state in the coming weeks.

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The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging Government to help GPs care for patients with mental health issues. It comes following the release of the latest edition of the Australian Journal of General Practice, which is published by the RACGP. The December edition features articles on the psychological consequences of social isolation and quarantine, the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic and the psychiatric impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers.

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The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has commended the Federal Government on the announcement of their intention to make telehealth permanently available to Australians. After strongly advocating for the benefits of telehealth throughout the year, the RANZCP is looking forward to working alongside the government to make this a reality for those seeking mental health treatment, said RANZCP President, Associate Professor John Allan.

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Australian Counselling Association Inc
ACA is Australia’s premier peak body for counsellors and psychotherapists with over 6500 members. Membership to ACA gives members access to private health fund provider numbers, EAPs, NDIS, Insurance, employment portal and much more. ACA resources are dedicated to advocacy work towards better recognition for the profession.


 

Marathon Health
Marathon Health is a not-for-profit, registered charity delivering high quality health and wellbeing services to people in country NSW and the ACT. We are one of the few health organisations based in country Australia with the core purpose to identify, deliver and sustain services to people within these communities. We are passionate advocates for equal access to quality health services for people wherever they choose to live. We are a strong voice for rural health: we live here, we work here, and our future is here.

Women currently working in the health care sector have a final opportunity to register their interest in a scholarship worth up to $5,000 to support participation in an accredited leadership development program.

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The National Digital Mental Health Framework team encourages key stakeholders to participate in one of the upcoming workshops and/or the written submission process for the purpose of scoping and developing a National Digital Mental Health Framework as it is important to capture a diverse perspective in the sector to accurately reflect barriers and opportunities in the digital mental health space.

Further information, including the Consultation Paper click here 

The written submission survey will be open until 11 December 2020 where members of the public and organisations are invited to make an online submission, addressing the questions set out in the Consultation Paper. Survey link

Stakeholders are also invited to participate in one or more of the three remaining sub theme-based workshops. Each workshop will run for 1.5 hours and will address the key questions relevant to a sub-theme as outlined in the Consultation Paper. 

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Relationships Australia is partnering with the University of Worcester and Relate in the United Kingdom, as well as Griffith University Australia, in an independent international long-term research study. The Families Un-locked study aims to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on relationships and family life and the influence it continues to have across the globe. Everyone is encouraged to take part in this research and share the survey across their networks.

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Australia has introduced National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health (NSQDMH) Standards at a time when the delivery of high-quality mental health care has never been more important. Developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the new standards describe the level of care and safeguards that a digital mental health service should provide. They will support the delivery of high quality and safe care including counselling, treatment and peer-to-peer support services via telephone, videoconferencing, websites, SMS, webchat and mobile apps.

Read more


  



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Australia vs India Test cricket 2020: Best Boxing Day test moments, Shane Warne 700, Nathan Lyon Nice Garry wicket


Watch the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India LIVE on Fox Cricket, coverage starts Saturday at 9:30am AEDT!

Ask most Australian cricketers and they’ll tell you the Boxing Day Test is the pinnacle match to play in.

And since the turn of the century, we’ve witnessed many unforgettable moments of brilliance, as well as some that have turned to disaster, at the MCG.

Foxsports.com.au has ranked the 20 most memorable Boxing Day Test performances — good or bad, single moments or an overall innings — of the 21st century.

Watch Australia v India Test Series Live & Ad-Break Free During Play with the Fox Cricket commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >



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Finns are too nice!


I am in Finland for the year working as a researcher at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. Last summer, back home in Canada, I downloaded an app so I could learn some basic Finnish phrases. It must have been a strange sight for my neighbors to see me gardening with my headphones on while pronouncing Finnish words and phrases out loud—especially since the language sounds so foreign.

Finnish is renowned for its difficulty and many folks would not even try to learn unless they were moving here permanently (which I wish I could do—Rakastan Helsinkiä!). I was dutifully learning a bit more every day until I arrived here in mid-August. This was when I found out that Finns may be reserved and shy but they are also way too nice! I am taking a Finnish course for beginners but people will switch to English at the first sign of puzzlement on my part. Even when I indicate that I am trying to learn the language by listening and speaking to others. The Finns either want to save me the effort or embarrassment, or want to save themselves from having to suffer through my extremely poor attempts at speaking.

Now, I truly admire the Finns’ capacity to express themselves almost perfectly in English. I admire anyone that is open to bilingualism or even plurilingualism. I grew up in Montreal, Québec, at the peak of separatism and at the time when the Charter of the French Language, Bill 101, was implemented. French was declared the official language of the province and measures were put in place to guarantee its preeminence in Quebec society. However, I was also a French-speaking little girl living in the Italian neighborhood of Saint Léonard, and I would hear a mix of Italian, English, and French on a daily basis. Given the increasing number of folks of Haitian origins, I would also occasionally hear some Creole. Our landlords, who were practicing Catholics, were dismayed that my parents did not look after my religious education, so they took me to Italian mass. Every weekend when visiting the public library, I would also borrow books in Italian. My father was interested in the history of Germany and I would listen in awe to his language LPs teaching German. So, one can say that from a young age I had an interest, and perhaps even some talent, for foreign languages. When the time came to choose a university, I deliberately enrolled in an English-speaking university so I could become proficient in the language. That earned me the title of a traitor among my people because I was studying in English when my discipline was also offered at all the French-speaking universities! Folks think of Canada and Quebec as bilingual, but they are not. Most Canadians are unilingual. While Canada is bilingual on paper, the only province that is officially bilingual is New Brunswick. The existence of two separate sides is all too real and the two groups often show hostility toward each other. This is especially true in Quebec where there is a high level of anxiety regarding the protection and future of francophone culture and language. That is very unfortunate.    

My previous experience of a long stay abroad was when I was studying for my Ph.D. in Salzburg, Austria. Before going, I took every German course I could and this included a very thorough year-long “Reading German” course that focused on grammar. I certainly had a good command of the language by the time I arrived there. However, being able to read Nietzsche and attend a lecture in German is very different from having an everyday conversation. Also, the Austrians were not so nice. They would let me fumble through a sentence without batting an eye and they would make me suffer through the effort of finding the right words to communicate. They offered no help except in German. I had this experience at school, in stores, in restaurants, and with friends. In fact, it was only in the last week of my two and a half years stay that I found out that a friend spoke perfect French. I was stunned when we were out on the street and someone started talking with her in French. She had never switched to French to help me. That was not nice at all, but it did force me to learn.  

Finns are at the other end of the spectrum on this matter. Finns are too nice! However, in wanting to help me communicate they actually make it harder for me to learn the language. In fact, there are very few incentives to learn when everyone automatically switches to English to help you out. I feel terrible when I am in a group of Finnish speakers and everyone uses English for my sake. This would be a frowned-upon situation in Canada and in many other places. But here in Finland, it is the norm. It also makes me think that Finns must have a great deal of confidence in the strength of their culture, language, and future if they are such fervent bilinguals. Their openness to other languages also surprises me after learning more about Finland’s history with Sweden and Russia. Having declared its independence only a little over a century ago, one would expect that Finland’s national sentiment would be expressed through a more unilingual approach. But Finns are not only too nice, they are also smart: being open to the world is a key to success for Finland and if this means using a lingua franca—usually English these days—then so be it. Meanwhile, please let me fumble in Finnish…Don’t be so nice! 




Christine Daigle is a Professor of Philosophy at Brock University (Canada) and currently working as Research Director at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. 


This is an Expat View Column. If you want to share your story and experiences with other ex-pats in Finland please send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



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Four more in custody over last week’s attack in French city of Nice: BFM/AFP



FILE PHOTO: Security forces guard the area after a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice, France, October 29, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

November 3, 2020

PARIS (Reuters) – Another four people have been placed in custody over last week’s fatal knife attack in the French city of Nice, BFM TV and Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Tuesday.

An assailant shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a church in Nice on Thursday, in France’s second deadly knife attack in two weeks with a suspected Islamist motive.

The suspected attacker, a 21-year-old from Tunisia, was shot by police and is now in critical condition in a hospital.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Heavens)





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Third suspect arrested after Nice terror attack


A

third suspect has been arrested in France following an Islamic extremist knife attack at a church in Nice in which three people were killed.

Meanwhile, the family of the suspected Tunisian assailant Ibrahim Issaoui demanded to see video footage of what happened.

Two men who met with Issaoui shortly before he allegedly beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a church in the city of Nice on Thursday have been arrested.

A 35-year-old man who met Issaoui in Nice was arrested overnight, a judicial official said on Saturday.

A 47-year-old man who met Issaoui the night before the attack was already in custody, taking the number of detained suspects to three. Their connection to the attack remains unclear.

A previously unknown Tunisian extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, and Tunisian and French authorities are investigating whether the claim is legitimate.

Church regular Nadine Devillers, 60, was the third victim to be named after she was killed inside the Notre Dame basilica in what was described as a  terror attack by local authorities.

Simone Barreto Silva, 44, Vincent Loquès, 54, also lost their lives in the stabbings.

Nadine’s friend of 30 years, Joëlle Guichard said she lived near the Notre Dame and would visit the church regularly.

She told local newspaper Nice-Matin: “She often went to pray for the people she loved. From time to time she would burn a candle. She was a woman who loved others. She gave everything for others. 

“She would go to pray for her husband, for me… To be happy. She was doing good around her. It was just love, this woman. It was just kindness, love and kindness, all the time. It was Nadine.”

Issaoui, who transited through Italy last month en route to France, is in a critical condition in a French hospital after being wounded by police as they arrested him.

Armed officers were seen storming the church before he was cornered and shot in the shoulder.

He allegedly shouted “Allahu akbar” – Arabic for “God is greater” – as paramedics treated him before he was taken to hospital.

Investigators in France, Tunisia and Italy are trying to determine the motive of chief suspect Ibrahim Issaoui and whether he acted alone and whether his attack on Notre Dame Church on Thursday was premeditated.

Authorities have labelled the attack, which took place amid growing tensions around cartoons published by a French newspaper mocking the Prophet Muhammad, an act of Islamist terrorism.

( A man armed with a knife fatally attacked people in the church / Getty Images )

A 35-year-old man who met Issaoui in Nice was arrested overnight, a judicial official said on Saturday.

A 47-year-old man who met Issaoui the night before the attack was already in custody, taking the number of detained suspects to three. Their connection to the attack remains unclear.

A previously unknown Tunisian extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, and Tunisian and French authorities are investigating whether the claim is legitimate.

In Issaoui’s hometown of Sfax, his family expressed shock and appealed for peace. But they also expressed bewilderment that the young man who drank alcohol and showed no outward signs of radicalism would flee to France and attack a church.

“We want the truth about how my son carried out this terrorist attack. I want to see what the surveillance cameras showed. I will not give up my son’s rights outside the country. I want my son, dead or alive,” his mother, Gamra, told the Associated Press, her words often interrupted by tears.

Issaoui’s father and brother Wissem said that if he did indeed carry out the attack, he should face justice.

“We are Muslims, we are against terrorism, we are poor. Show me that my brother committed the attack and judge him as a terrorist,” Wissem said. “If he was the attacker, he will take his responsibility.”

(

Simone Barreto Silva managed to escape but died from her injuries

/ Unknown )

Simone Barreto Silva was stabbed several times inside Nice’s Notre Dame basilica as the Tunisian attacker Brahim Aouissaoui went on a rampage, “virtually beheading” another woman and also killing the 55-year-old sacristan Vincent Loquès.

Ms Barreto, 44, a mother of three, managed to run to a nearby burger bar but died there from her injuries, using her last words to ask parademics: “Tell my children that I love them.”

Additonal reporting from AP.



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Nice pays tribute to victims of deadly knife attack


Mourners lit candles and prayed outside Nice’s Notre Dame basilica to honour the three churchgoers were killed in a suspected terrorist attack.

It comes as France heightened security nationwide amid religious and geopolitical tensions around cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

Four soldiers with rifles periodically walked past the church as people came to pay their respects to the victims.

They included 55-year-old Vincent Loques, a father of two who was the church’s sacristan, in charge of its holy objects, according to local broadcaster France-Bleu.

Another was a 44-year-old mother of three from Brazil, according to Brazil’s Foreign Ministry.

The attack suspect was seriously wounded by police and hospitalised in a life-threatening condition, authorities said.

French authorities called the attack “Islamist terrorism” and prosecutors in France and Tunisia are investigating.



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‘Very nice’ holidays and fun in general – POLITICO


Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics.

Sometimes, you’ve just got to roll with the punches. So fair play to Kazakhstan for adopting Borat’s catchphrase — “Very nice!” — for a new tourism campaign.

When the first film featuring the mustachioed character — 2006’s “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” — came out, the Kazakh government was furious and went as far as placing adverts in American newspapers disputing some of the film’s claims. But now, as “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” hits the screens (if there are any cinema screens to watch films on anymore), they are much calmer in Nur-Sultan (what used to be called Astana). That’s despite Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie depicting the country as misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic.

Kairat Sadvakassov, deputy chairman of Kazakh Tourism, told Huffington Post that using Borat’s catchphrase “offers the perfect description of Kazakhstan’s vast tourism potential in a short, memorable way.” There’s even a promotional video for the country and it certainly looks, er, very nice — which is more than can be said for its record on human rights.

Maybe other countries should adopt similar low-key tourism slogans.

“Britain: Not as good as it used to be, but Scotland’s nice.”

“China: We’re listening.”

“Slovakia: Not Slovenia.”

“Belgium: If you like paperwork, we’ve got you covered.”

Of course it doesn’t matter how cool your slogan is, no one can go on holiday or do much of anything these days.

For example, there will be no trick-or-treating at Halloween in Brussels this year because of tougher measures to curb surging coronavirus cases. “Of course, there will be no door-to-door, no processions at Halloween — all of that, clearly, is … forbidden,” Rudi Vervoort, premier of the Brussels region, said as he announced the measures, which is rather an extreme way of covering up the fact that he hasn’t bought any Haribo.

Meanwhile in the U.K., the police will intervene if too many people get together for Christmas. West Midlands crime commissioner David Jamieson said it’s “not the police’s job to stop people enjoying their Christmas” and then went on to outline how officers would do just that by breaking up large gatherings. There could be a new answer to the question “What did you get for Christmas this year?” “A night in the cells and a fine because granny came round for dinner.”

CAPTION COMPETITION

“Thin-skinned and what’s inside is extremely dubious. But enough about me, would you like some sausages?”

Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

Last week we gave you this photo:

Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag (there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).

“I’ve heard many people want to see the back of me. So … do you like it?” by Giovanni Cellini.

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.





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Standing with France, EU leaders condemn deadly attack in Nice – POLITICO



EU heads of state and government opened their videoconference meeting on Thursday evening by issuing a collective statement in support of France following the knife attack at a church in Nice.

The leaders convened virtually to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, including the reimposition of lockdown measures in many countries in Europe, France among them, in a bid to slow the second wave of infections.

The attack Thursday morning, in which three people were killed, only deepened the somber mood.

“We, European Leaders, are shocked and saddened by the terrorist attacks in France,” the leaders said in their statement. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms these attacks which represent attacks on our shared values. We stand united and firm in our solidarity with France, with the French people and the Government of France — in our common and continued fight against terrorism and violent extremism.”

Thursday’s attack came two weeks after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty, who was killed near Paris by a man of Chechen origin days after he used cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a class discussion about freedom of speech.

The EU leaders added, “We call on Leaders around the world to work towards dialogue and understanding among communities and religions rather than division.”





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