Trudeau says he still has ‘a lot to do,’ and wants to serve for ‘number of more years’


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, giving a rare insight into his future plans, said he wanted to serve Canadians for a number of years to come, and shied away from saying who he thought should succeed him.

Trudeau, speaking at the Reuters Next conference, also said he was opposed to the idea of obliging people to carry digital proof that they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Trudeau’s ruling Liberals, now in their second term, only have a minority in the House of Commons, which means he relies on the opposition to govern and can be brought down at any time.

Trudeau, 49, has three school-age children. He first took over as prime minister in November 2015 and has at times appeared tired amid the relentless COVID-19 crisis. He admitted dealing with the pandemic had been hard, but made clear he had no plans to quit soon.

“I’ve still got a lot to do in terms of serving this country, so I’m looking forward to a number of more years of serving Canadians,” he said in an interview aired on Thursday.

The comments were the clearest signal he has given that his political ambitions are far from exhausted.

Trudeau came to power promising to focus on causes such as feminism and the environment. But he quickly found himself having to deal with issues such as how to handle U.S. President Donald Trump and then the pandemic.

He has come to rely heavily on Chrystia Freeland, a close ally, who now occupies the positions of both finance minister and deputy prime minister. Liberal insiders say this would give her an advantage in a future leadership race.

Asked whether Freeland might one day become Liberal leader, Trudeau replied: “My responsibility is to bring around me the best possible team I can to serve Canadians … I won’t speculate on what could happen years down the road.”

Vaccine passports

The Liberal government has spent more than $200 billion in direct aid to help people and businesses survive the pandemic. Trudeau reiterated Ottawa planned to spend another $100 billion over the next few years to kickstart an economic recovery.

But he made clear he opposed a vaccine passport for people who had received inoculations, an idea already being developed in Denmark, saying it was fraught with challenges.

“I think the indications that the vast majority of Canadians are looking to be vaccinated will get us to a good place without having to take more extreme measures that could have real divisive impacts on community and country,” he said.

 

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Number of London transport staff dying with Covid-19 increases to 60


T

he number of London transport staff dying with Covid has increased to 60, including 46 bus workers, it was revealed today.

The total figure, up three from 57 revealed earlier this week, includes staff working for the private bus firms contracted by Transport for London to run the capital’s buses, plus Tube and rail staff and TfL head office workers. The death toll includes 37 bus drivers and nine other bus workers, such as bus station staff.

Transport for London commissioner Andy Byford said: “I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of our 60 colleagues who have sadly passed away from coronavirus.

“Their tragic loss is devastating for us all, and I and everyone at Transport for London would like to pay tribute to the critical role they played in London’s fight against this global pandemic. We will never forget them.

“Our heroic frontline staff and colleagues across the transport industry are the beating heart of London and have kept this great city moving through one of the most challenging periods in its history and helped ensure life-saving critical workers were able to do their jobs. I would like to pay tribute to them all.”

The Government’s vaccine delivery plan states that phase two of the roll-out – once over 50s have received the jab – may include “targeted vaccination of those at high risk of exposure and/or those delivering key public services”.

There are high-level concerns among London politicians that teachers, TfL staff and Metropolitan Police officers might be more vulnerable to infection due to the public-facing nature of their work and because they cannot work from home.

More than 3,300 TfL staff are said to be off work sick, shielding or isolating. One in seven London Ambulance staff are currently off sick or isolating.

Nick Hague, headteacher of Marner primary school in Tower Hamlets, died just before Christmas after contracting covid.

Officials leading the Covid response in the capital are trying to secure rapid testing of transport workers and police to free them from self-isolation and enable them to get back to work.

London’s public health chief Professor Kevin Fenton told a City Hall inquiry into covid this week that he supported the principle of distributing jabs based on likely exposure to the virus rather than vulnerability to the disease, once the first priority groups had received their doses.

Professor Fenton said: “I think the evidence on key workers… and other factors which can increase the risk of acquiring severe disease may well be another way of thinking about who gets prioritised.

“Rather than focusing on one characteristic – a person’s job – it may be that it is the combination of risk factors that would help to identify an even better, more sophisticated prioritisation strategy.”

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Inside Number One Observatory Circle, the often overlooked but stunning residence where Kamala Harris will move when she becomes vice president


Every vice president since 1977 has lived at Number One Observatory Circle. Background: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images. Inlay: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Number One Observatory Circle in Washington, DC, is the official residence of the vice president.

  • Located on the grounds of the Naval Observatory about 2.5 miles north of the White House, it is hidden from public view by shrubbery and doesn’t offer public tours.

  • Every vice president since 1977 has lived in the home.

  • On January 7, Congress certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ 2020 election win.

  • Take a look inside the private complex, where Vice President Mike Pence and his family currently reside and where Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will move this year.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Joe Biden won’t be the only one getting a housing upgrade when he moves into the White House later this month as the 46th president of the United States.

The office of the vice president also comes with an official residence of its own.

Located on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, Number One Observatory Circle has been the official residence of the vice president since 1974. Walter Mondale, who served as the vice president under Jimmy Carter, was the first VP to call it home in 1977. 

Vice President Mike Pence and his family currently live in the private complex, and in just a few weeks, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her family will become the eighth permanent residents of Number One Observatory Circle.

Before Pence, Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan Quayle, and George H.W. Bush lived in the home.

Despite its high-profile occupants, the home has remain shrouded in mystery over the years. There are no public tours of the house, and it is hidden from the street by shrubbery.

“Ask almost any American where the vice president lives, and you’re almost sure to get a look of confusion,” historian Charles Denyer writes in “Number One Observatory Circle,” his definitive book about the the VP’s home.

Here’s a look inside the historic, secluded residence.

Though just over 2.5 miles north of the White House, the vice president’s residence at Number One Observatory Circle feels worlds away.

Number One Observatory Circle - VP Residence - DC
Number One Observatory Circle, the official residence of the vice president of the United States since 1974, pictured on October 28, 2016. Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle

Built in 1893, the three-story hilltop mansion is located on the secluded grounds of the US Naval Observatory, where scientists study the sun, moon, and stars for navigational purposes.

Aerial of the Naval Observatory
A satellite image captured April 2, 2012, shows the 72-acre US Naval Observatory, located within the traffic circle. DigitalGlobe/Getty Images

Source: The White House, “Number One Observatory Circle”

For 30 years, the building served as the home of the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory. Then in 1923, it became the official residence for the chief of naval operations.

vp residence
US Secret Service personnel close the gates to the US Naval Observatory in 2013. Charles Dharapak/AP

Source: The White House

In 1974, Congress designated the house as the home of the vice president.

Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter with Walter Mondale and Joan Mondale for dinner at the Vice-President's residence.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter gather with Walter and Joan Mondale for dinner at the vice president’s residence in January 1977. National Archives Catalog/Jimmy Carter Library (LP-JC)

Source: The White House

But the first vice president didn’t move in until three years later when Walter Mondale was elected second-in-command under President Jimmy Carter, historian Charles Denyer writes in his definitive book about the residence.

Walter Mondale dinner party vice president's residence
Walter Mondale hosts a dinner party for Jimmy Carter and his family in December 1977. National Archives Catalog/Jimmy Carter Library (LP-JC)

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle”

The ground floor of Number One Observatory Circle consists of a reception hall, living room, sitting room, dining room, garden room, lounges, pantry kitchen, and veranda, according to Denyer.

joan mondale vp house
Joan Mondale poses during a tour of the vice president’s residence for members of the media on March 23, 1977. AP

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

On the second floor are the master suite, another bedroom, a study, and a den. The third floor used to be servants’ quarters, but now has four bedrooms for family members.

the observatory VP residence
An exterior shot of the vice president’s residence on April 2, 2012. Official White House Photo by David Lienemann

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

The main kitchen is located in the basement.

VP Walter Mondale in the kitchen of the Vice President's Residence
Walter Mondale lifts his Thanksgiving turkey from the broiler on November 11, 1977 in the kitchen of the vice president’s residence. AP Photo

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

Every vice president has lived there since Mondale, bringing their own unique touch to the home’s 9,150 square feet.

Bushes and Reagans in VP home
Ronald and Nancy Reagan visit George H.W. and Barbara Bush at the vice president’s residence in 1981. David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

George H.W. Bush installed a horseshoe pit on the grounds when he was vice president, Denyer writes.

vp residence
George H.W. Bush answers a phone call in the vice president’s residence circa 1983. David Hume Kennerly/Getty

Source: USA Today

Bush also installed a quarter-mile-long jogging track on the premises, which he used even after he became president in 1988 and moved south to the White House.

George HW Bush jogs at the vice president's residence
George H.W. Bush, along with an unidentified aide and agent, jog at the vice president’s residence on March 27, 1992. Barry Thumma/AP Photo

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

When Al Gore’s family lived there, they would play games like catch, Frisbee, and touch football in the front yard. The residence is set on 12 of the Observatory’s 72 acres.

Al Gore VP residence
Al Gore celebrates scoring a touchdown as his daughters walk away during a touch football game with family members in November 2000 at the vice president’s residence. JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP via Getty Images

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

The house features Queen Anne-style architecture, with an expansive veranda porch that wraps around the front corner.

Wrap-around porch VP residence
A wrap-around porch at the vice president’s residence pictured October 28, 2016. Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle

Since 1991, people have been able to donate to the non-profit Vice President’s Residence Foundation to help pay for decorating expenses.

George and Barbara Bush in VP residence
George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush pose at the vice president’s residence circa 1983. David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Source: The Center for Public Integrity

When Dick Cheney and his family moved in, they decorated the home using a color scheme of creams and greens.

vp residence
Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney, and their daughter Mary, move into their new home in 2001. M. Spencer Green/AP

Source: The Washington Post

Dan Quayle added a swimming pool and exercise room during his tenure. In 2010, Joe Biden told reporters that Quayle was his “favorite vice president” because he helped build the pool.

Prince Charles Dan Quayle at the vice president's residence
Prince Charles talks with Dan Quayle at the vice president’s residence on February 17, 1989. Bettmann/Getty Images

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

Jill Biden, Joe’s wife, was also grateful for past additions. “Each person has added something to make the home better for the next family,” she told The Washington Post in 2017.

Family Heritage Garden - VP Residence
Jill Biden helped create the Family Heritage Garden of the Vice President where all occupants and their family members, including pets, are memorialized on the stone pavers around a fountain. Pictured October 2016. Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: The Washington Post

She was also especially fond of the “serenity” of the place. “When times get tough, and there were some pretty tough times for the Bidens, you could sit outside and reflect. It was very healing,” Jill Biden told the Post.

Joe and Jill Biden plaque, VP residence
Joe Biden surprised Jill with a commemorative plaque on a tree on the grounds of the vice president’s residence on Valentine’s Day in 2010. Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: The Washington Post

In 2009, Biden let it slip that the vice president’s residence was home to a bunker, according to former Newsweek correspondent Eleanor Clift.

Biden at vice president's residence
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a barbeque for wounded service members at the vice president’s residence on May 25, 2010. Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

Source: Newsweek

While Biden’s team refuted the claim, neighbors backed up the story with complaints about mysterious and loud construction sounds in the wake of 9/11 when Cheney lived at the residence, according to Denyer.

Cheney and Biden at Vice President's Residence
Dick Cheney shakes hands with Joe Biden on November 13, 2008, at the vice president’s residence. David Bohrer/White House/AP Photo

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

Numerous leaders and dignitaries have been to the residence over the years. For eight years in a row, Biden hosted Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny on St. Patrick’s Day.

vp residence
Joe Biden talks with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny over breakfast on March 14, 2014. @VP44

Source: Medium

Before moving out, Jill Biden told the Post that the Pences would likely be surprised to find that the Observatory is a respite from the “hectic” nature of Washington life.

Pences and Bidens at VP Residence in 2016
Joe and Bill Biden meet with Mike and Karen Pence following lunch at the vice president’s residence on November 16, 2016. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Source: The Washington Post

The Pences have lived in the Observatory since January 2017. After moving in, they posed for Inauguration Day photos on the front porch.

vp residence
Mike Pence and his family pose for photographs on the front porch of the vice president’s residence on January 20, 2017. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

Just like the White House, Number One Observatory Circle gets decked out for the holidays. The Pences have posed for official Christmas portraits, like the one here, in what appears to be the home’s sitting room.

vp residence
Mike and Karen Pence are pictured on December 9, 2017, in their official Christmas portrait at the vice president’s residence. @SecondLady

Source: “Number One Observatory Circle” 

The Pences have also gone all out for Halloween, decorating the home and greeting trick-or-treaters there.

Halloween at the Vice President's Residence 2019
Mike and Karen Pence greet trick-or-treaters on October 30, 2019, at the vice president’s residence. Official White House photo by Tia Dufour

Source: The White House

Like their predecessors, the Pences have hosted a broad range of guests, including politicians and world leaders.

Governors Lunch at the Vice President's Residence
Mike and Karen Pence speak with governors and guests on February 7, 2020, at the vice president’s residence. Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen

Source: The White House

Each summer, the Pences have hosted a pool party for veterans.

VP Residence pool
The Quayle family had the pool, pictured here in October 2016, installed when they lived at the vice president’s residence. Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In June 2017, US Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue joined Karen Pence to unveil the addition of beehives to the grounds.

vp residence
Sonny Perdue and his wife Mary joined Karen Pence for a walk on the grounds in June 2017. US Department of Agriculture

Source: US Department of Agriculture

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her family will no doubt add their own touches to the historic residence when they move in this year. Though it remains to be seen whether she will enjoy the pool as much as President-elect Biden did.

Joe Biden Kamala Harris masks DNC
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

Editor’s note: Brennan Weiss contributed to an earlier version of this story.

Read the original article on Insider



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Hot felon number two: Victoria Police release mug shot of wanted man Jess Mabilia


Move over Jeremy Meeks – there’s a new ‘hot mugshot guy’ in town.

When US criminal Jeremy Meeks’ mugshot was posted online by police in California in 2014, the picture went viral – and the man with the razor-sharp cheekbones and distinctive teardrop tattoo became a model.

Now, there’s an Aussie version and his name is Jess Mabilia.

When Victoria Police posted Mabilia’s mugshot and description on their Facebook page – he is wanted on warrant for contravening court orders – the salacious comments came thick and fast.

The post has already racked up more than 6,300 comments and 330 shares.

“The 28-year-old is known to frequent the Mornington Peninsula, Frankston, Bass Coast and Geelong areas,” the post reads.

“I hope I find him on Tinder before authorities find him!”, one woman joked.

“Pretty sure I saw him in the latest David Jones catalogue, check there,” wrote another.

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Hiji hajis – The number of Muslims in Japan is growing fast | Asia


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5 Easy Ways You Can Slash The Number Of Hours You Work


Move one step closer to working four hours a week with these ways.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


As entrepreneurs, we are always told to work smart, not hard, to delegate and that if we’re working more than four hours a week, we’re working too much. However, when the workplace is changing rapidly, time zones are blurring into one and goal posts are moving daily, is it a myth to be able to be productive and still work less? 

These are give things that can help cut the number of hours we work as we chase the elusive four-hour work week. Hammock, palm trees and cocktails not included.

1. Multitask in meetings 

If working from home has done anything, it’s made people want to take their time in meetings and do something else with their camera and microphones off. After all, these things can be a huge waste of time if all you’re doing is barely paying attention. And while yes, it might be nice to get a workout in or make a meal during a meeting, if you end up getting called on that might be problematic. So instead, try thinking about what your light tasks are for the day. Going through your email, editing your to-do list, checking in on your schedule and replying to some quick messages are all easy things you can do that won’t take your mind completely off of the meeting. You can keep your camera and microphone on while still being able to give the occasional nod and smile. Additionally, you’ll be able to cut all of these things out of your schedule later so you can free up time for other things.

Related: 5 Digital Hacks to Make Working from Home Easier and More Productive

2. Ask for an agenda

There’s a common misconception that because people are working at home they have more time to work. The truth is that the average worker has potentially more work to do and less time to do it, and with meetings taking up such significant chunks of time it might not be beneficial to attend every meeting. If you have a project that needs your attention or just need to catch up on some busy work and have a meeting that takes up that valuable time, ask the organizer for the agenda first to see if attending this meeting would really be to your benefit. People will be completely understanding if you can’t make it, and you could even ask someone to record notes on the meeting for you if you want to make sure you didn’t miss anything important.

Related: The 4 Types of Meetings You Should Not Attend

3. Find someone better than you

One of the biggest lessons you can learn running a business is that not every fire should be put out by you. Research has shown that leaders who delegate often have teams that have higher job satisfaction, innovative behavior and task performance. It might feel like every decision is equally important, but that shouldn’t be the case. When you’re working in a company with a team of people, there are going to have to be different strengths divided amongst the members, so oftentimes there will be someone who is better equipped to deal with a certain issue. Take the time to figure out which of your team members are best at what and use that knowledge to improve and balance out your workflow. Doing this will not only ensure that you’re using your time wisely, but it will also make sure your team is using their time wisely.

4. Work while on the go

One of the most important things we can do in the current work environment is find opportunities to work outside while we’re at home. After all, spending time outside has been scientifically proven to have several key health benefits, and it significantly lowers stress and anxiety. Routines that we all once had for when we left the house have now changed and sometimes even disappeared from our schedules. But now more than ever it’s important to find time to get out of your home even while you’re on the clock. That could mean taking a call while you’re walking the dog or working on something outside at a local park if the weather is nice enough. Doing little things like this will allow you to take advantage of the online nature of work, take it on the go and still get it done while also getting some fresh air.

5. Set up software 

The true path to automation is through software. Although not all of us are equipped to completely automate our presence in Zoom meetings, there are little things that we can do with software that we already have to make the work we do more productive. Just look at Gmail and its ability to schedule an email to send. At first, this tool didn’t seem like it could be super useful, but all you have to do is consider how other people’s schedules work. For example, say you are working with an international business and you need to send them an email but they’re currently asleep. Why not schedule to send that email when their workday starts your time to ensure that it’s at the top of their inbox? Or consider transitioning your company onto a smarter project management software that will help keep everyone organized and on task.

Related: Market Smarter, Not Harder, with Automated Messaging

Working from home especially can be incredibly difficult at the best of times. Being stuck in your house for hours a day while working can really damper what you’re doing and make you feel like you’re not being nearly as productive as you could. But with these five tips you will be able to cut down on busy work and give you to the time to do what you truly want — like master the art of cocktail-making.

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At nearly 60,000, India records highest number of babies born on New Year’s Day


In total, an estimated 140 million children will be born in 2021 and their average life expectancy is expected to be 84 years, UNICEF said

United Nations: More than 371,500 babies were born worldwide on New Year’s Day and India is estimated to have recorded the highest number of births at around 60,000, according to the UN’s children’s agency.

UNICEF said that an estimated 371,504 babies were born around the world on New Year’s Day. Fiji in the Pacific was projected to have welcomed 2021’s first baby while the United States would welcome its last.

 

Globally, over half of these births are estimated to have taken place in 10 countries: India (59,995), China (35,615), Nigeria (21,439), Pakistan (14,161), Indonesia (12,336), Ethiopia (12,006), the United States (10,312), Egypt (9,455), Bangladesh (9,236) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (8,640), it said.

In total, an estimated 140 million children will be born in 2021 and their average life expectancy is expected to be 84 years, the UN agency said.

“The children born today enter a world far different than even a year ago, and a New Year brings a new opportunity to reimagine it,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said, calling on nations to make 2021 the year they start to build a fairer, safer, healthier world for children.

 

The year 2021 will also mark the 75th anniversary of UNICEF. Over the course of the year, UNICEF and its partners will be commemorating the anniversary with events and announcements celebrating three-quarters of a century of protecting children from conflict, disease and exclusion and championing their right to survival, health and education.

“Today, as the world faces a global pandemic, economic slowdown, rising poverty and deepening inequality, the need for UNICEF’s work is as great as ever,” said Fore.

“For the last 75 years, throughout conflicts, displacements, natural disasters and crises, UNICEF has been there for the world’s children. As a New Year dawns, we renew our commitment to protect children, to speak up for their rights, and to make sure their voices are heard, no matter where they live,” Fore said.

 

In response to the global pandemic, UNICEF launched the Reimagine campaign, a global effort to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis for children.

Through the campaign, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to governments, the public, donors and the private sector to join UNICEF as it seeks to respond, recover and reimagine a better, post-pandemic world.

For the estimates, UNICEF used vital registration and nationally representative household survey data to estimate the monthly and daily fractions of births in countries.

UNICEF used the annual live births numbers and period life expectancy from the latest revision of the UN’s World Population Prospects (2019) to estimate the babies born on January 1, 2021 and their cohort life expectancy.

 

end-of

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Australian batting woes, New Zealand, Kiwi’s sledge, bats for sale, Number one


A fan at the Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan has delivered a brutal sledge across the Tasman that hits just a little too close to home.

But it also shows the Kiwis are getting just a little bit cocky as the side is set to overtake Australia for the world No. 1 team on the Test rankings.

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New Zealand appear destined to put the hurt on Pakistan after stumps on day 2 of the Test match with Kane Williamson — the recently crowned number one Test batsman in the world — hitting another century to finish not out on 112 with Henry Nicholls adding 89.

Just three wickets down, New Zealand are just 11 runs short of Pakistan’s first innings score of 297 at 3/286.

But cameras found a supporter that may have been getting too far ahead of themselves.

With a smug smirk, the supporter held a sign reading “Cricket bats for sale. Barely used. Call: S. Smith, J. Burns @ Cricket Australia.

New Zealand appear set to claim the world’s number one Test team ranking and are provisionally ahead of Australia at the moment. The ICC only officially update the rankings at the end of a series.

A win for Australia in Sydney would return the Aussies to the top of the provisional rankings while India can snatch the World No. 1 with a 3-1 win. A drawn series between Australia and India would mean New Zealand stay on top of the rankings.

Kiwi fans have a bit of a short memory as Australia hasn’t lost to New Zealand in a Test match on either side of the Tasman since 2011, the only time in the past 27 years in Test matches, including a 3-0 drubbing in the series between the teams last year in Australia.

Steve Smith only averaged 42.8 in that series.

And Smith was also named the Test player of the decade just last week after scoring more than 7000 runs at an average of more than 65, the best since Bradman.

But the fan may have a point.

It was revealed that Australia’s current dire batting performances are the sides worst in 133-years with scores of just 191, 194 and 200 in completed innings’ against India.

AAP reporter Scott Bailey revealed the team’s average runs per wicket this season (21.50) is the lowest in any home summer since way back in 1887/88.

It also saw Burns dropped after a horror run of outs saw him under fire.

Smith is averaging just 3.33 having scored just 10 runs and he dropped down to third in the Test batting rankings behind Williamson and India’s Virat Kohli.

Williamson hit 251 against the West Indies and 129 in the first Test against Pakistan, as well as the 112 not out in the second Test to take the number one ranking.

Australia have been talking up how Smith can get out of his funk with all the Aussie batsmen looking to bounce back.

“It’s more about the method now,” assistant coach Andrew McDonald said.

“He’s working hard. He’s clearly hitting the ball well.

“Technically (both Smith and Marnus Labuschagne) are ready to go.

“It’s about how they are going to score their runs and how they’re going to combat these tactics from Indian bowlers and captains.

“There’s a challenge there for Steve to rebound, the world’s best players usually rebound and I think he’s in a really good space to perform come Sydney.”

Australia and New Zealand are set to play a five-match T20 series in late February and early March.



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What the Adelaide Crows’ number one focus should be in 2021


AFL great Glen Jakovich believes Adelaide’s major focus in 2021 should be to rebuild the brand that has been damaged by off-field indiscretions since the 2017 Grand Final.

The Crows have been rocked by ongoing off-field issues for multiple years now, the latest of which being a trio of incidents attached to young forward Tyson Stengle and a drink-driving offence charged to Josh Worrell.

Jakovich believes above all else, Adelaide needs to get their house in order.

“They’ve got to rebuild their brand. Their brand has still been decimated from that infamous camp they had after the 2017 Grand Final,” he told Sportsday WA.

“There were still issues lingering last year and surely as a club they’ve put it to bed, brought out a report on it and hopefully the football world can put it to bed.

“But they need to rebuild their brand as a football club and it doesn’t take long. They’re a proud club, they’re a big football club, well supported both on and off the field, but they need to rebuild their brand.”

Jakovich is somewhat confident the reigning wooden spoon holders can bounce back in 2021 and believes in their mix of veterans and youngsters.

“They won three of their last five games and they’ve still got some players there. Matt Crouch, Taylor Walker on his last legs, Rory Sloane, David Mackay,” he said.

“I like their defenders. They’ve got some All-Australian defenders still running around there.

“Rory Laird, Brodie Smith, Daniel Talia, who’s been a premier defender for them.

“A bit of confidence, a healthy list, but for me their focus should be to build their brand up again.

“They’re going to play their kids, but the opportunity is there to grind it out and climb the ladder, I think they’ve drafted quite well.”

Jakovich adds that their coaching staff has the skills necessary to fast-track their next generation, which is important given they’ve just entered a rebuild.

“They’ve just settled on their match committee and James Rahilly who’s now the forwards coach, he was head of development at Geelong for 10 years under Chris Scott, he brings a wealth of experience,” Jakovich said.

“Add Scott Burns, Nathan Van Berlo comes back, there’s some real warheads there that can really get their development on track and fast-track their kids and I think that’s really important.

“I like Adelaide, I think they can do a few things in 2021. Do they make the eight? No they don’t, but I’ll keep saying it, they’ve got to rebuild their brand.

“They can win anywhere between six to eight games next year. They’ve got a good draw early on in the piece. As long as their top end players play well.”





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No change in Queensland border controls as state boosts number of coronavirus testing clinics


Queensland Health has opened more coronavirus testing clinics to shorten long queues as authorities maintain a watch on virus outbreaks in southern states.

No change has been made to border restrictions even as more cases were reported on Monday in New South Wales and Victoria.

Five new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Queensland overnight — all in hotel quarantine, which Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said highlighted the importance of maintaining strict quarantine measures.

She said authorities would continue to “keep a very close eye” on outbreaks further south, but for now there would be no change in Queensland’s border controls.

Meanwhile, Queensland authorities have boosted the number of fever clinics to cope with rising demand for tests.

On the weekend, health authorities urged anyone who’d been in Victoria since December 21 to get tested and quarantine until they received a negative result.

The call led to long queues at testing clinics, but Acting Premier Cameron Dick said on Monday that extra facilities had been added on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

“There’ll always be some delays from time to time in getting testing, but we’re seeing those queues being reduced and we’re also getting test results back to people on average within 24 hours,” Mr Dick said.

There are now 83 public fever clinics operating in Queensland, with longer operating hours and more staff, he said.

“We’ve got many more in the private sector that are operating,” he added.

Dr Young thanked people for “persevering” amid lines at some fever clinics on Sunday, when more than 6,200 tests were conducted.

While there’s been no change to border rules, new restrictions came into effect on Monday limiting access to “vulnerable” facilities in Queensland.

From 1am Monday, anyone who was in Victoria on or after December 21 is no longer allowed to visit hospitals, aged care, disability accommodation and correctional facilities.

Police poised to act on any border orders

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said authorities were monitoring the interstate COVID-19 situation “day by day” and were ready to enforce any border changes if required.

“We’ve been shown to be very flexible and agile at putting together border closures very quickly,” she said.

A police officer stops a driver at a checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Queensland - New South Wales border
Anyone entering Queensland must fill out a Queensland Border Declaration Pass.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

She also said she was disappointed to see a tweet from Lyle Shelton, the former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, stating he had done a “sneaky run across the border and back”.

“He has been spoken to. He can cross the border, I understand he has a G Pass,” she said.

“It was a funny tweet, which in the end is not really that funny because what you’re doing is taking away resources that need to be in other places.”

Police minister Mark Ryan added it was “smart Alec behaviour,” which sidetracked officers’ time and created a sense of confusion in the community.

He was also asked whether Queensland authorities would consider easing COVID hotel quarantine restrictions for the Indian Cricket team.

“Whether you’re playing for India, or whether you’re coming back from visiting family in another state, the rules apply equally,” he said.

“The Chief Health Officer will be monitoring this situation; if she recommends a certain course of action then of course we will support that, but it is her call and we’ll be waiting to hear her advice.”

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