UK coronavirus LIVE: London’s weekly Covid cases pass 10,000 as Wales confirms ‘firebreak’ lockdown



Jonathan Ashworth said the longer that Prime Minister Boris Johnson “dithers”, the harder it will be to take back control of the virus

He said: “To get the national R below one, more intervention will be needed than is currently proposed. So is it not in the national interest to now follow the advice of Sage and adopt a two to three-week circuit-break?

“Last week, the Prime Minister when asked about a circuit-breaker said, ‘I rule nothing out’ and he said he stands ready to apply those measures if necessary. But yesterday, (Michael Gove) ruled out a circuit-break.

“So for clarity, has the Government now completely ruled out a circuit-breaker in all circumstances? Because the cost of delay could be a deeper, longer, fuller lockdown. Is (Matt Hancock) now ruling that out?

“But can I say to him, we do have a window of opportunity. For much of the country, it’s half-term next week. If it’s politically easier for him, he doesn’t have to call it a circuit-break, he can call it a firewall, he can call it a national moment of reset.

“Whatever he calls it, we need something because the longer the Prime Minister dithers, the harder it becomes to take back control of this virus, protect the NHS and save lives. We urge him to act before it’s too late.”



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NRL 2020: Melbourne Storm, Canberra Raiders, Grand Final, Forward Pass, Referees, Video, Highlights


It was the try that snuffed out Canberra’s hopes of a grand final appearance and sealed Melbourne’s trip to the big dance.

However, replays showed that the Raiders could feel hard done by with footage slowed down to show a blatant forward pass missed in the lead-up.

Dale Finucane surged over shortly after to push Melbourne’s lead out to 24 points and celebrate his 200th game in style.

Stream the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership finals series live & on-demand from overseas on Watch NRL. Grab your finals pass now!

Preliminary Final

Storm score after sus pass!

0:36



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As opposition to Trump’s pandemic approach grows, most voters want Senate to pass stimulus before considering Amy Coney Barrett


As the Senate begins confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, two-thirds of voters say Congress should focus instead on passing more COVID-19 relief for struggling workers and businesses, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

The survey, which was conducted from Oct. 9 to 11, found that large majorities of the public think Congress has its priorities backward. Not only do more than three-quarters (77 percent) of registered voters want legislators to approve another major pandemic relief package; 66 percent want the Senate to vote on it before voting on Barrett’s nomination. A full third of Republicans (33 percent) agree.

In contrast, negotiations over a new round of stimulus funds remain at a partisan impasse while the Republican-controlled Senate plows ahead with its plan to install Barrett on the court before the Nov. 3 election — even though at least two GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Utah’s Mike Lee and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.

President Trump and Amy Coney Barrett
President Trump and Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Alex Brandon/AP, Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Reuters)

In response, a majority of registered voters (54 percent) say in-person hearings should be delayed. Only 36 percent say the opposite. 

The consensus around Congress’s misplaced priorities reflects the deepening influence of COVID-19 on the final days of the 2020 election. While slightly more voters blame Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (43 percent) than President Trump (40 percent) for Washington’s continuing failure to agree on a relief bill, that dynamic has in no way boosted Trump. On the contrary, Trump continues to trail Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 8 percentage points among likely voters (43 percent to 51 percent) in large part because they have taken an even dimmer view of the president’s leadership on COVID-19 in the wake of his own recent hospitalization and the broader White House outbreak that has left dozens infected.

For instance, a clear majority of voters (57 percent) now agree with the following assessment: If those in and around the Trump White House “can’t protect themselves from the virus, how can they protect America?” Most (53 percent) also say they trust the administration less on COVID-19 because of the White House outbreak. And even though 42 percent agree that it “goes to show anyone can get COVID-19 and it’s no big deal” — something that the families of the 215,000 Americans killed by the virus would likely take issue with — a much larger number (58 percent) disagree with that claim.   

As a result, Biden’s lead on the question of who would do a better job handling the pandemic has doubled from 7 points (45 percent to 38 percent) to 14 points (48 percent to 34 percent) over the last week. Meanwhile, voter approval of Trump’s COVID-19 response has fallen from 43 percent to 40 percent, with 56 percent saying they disapprove.  

Trump’s own behavior since returning from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has contributed to this decline. In last week’s Yahoo News/YouGov poll, which was conducted immediately after the president’s diagnosis, a little more than half (54 percent) of voters believed that his illness would have no effect on his approach to the pandemic, which has been to minimize the need for precautions. Now that Trump has spent his first week back in the White House dismissing the dangers of the virus and proclaiming that he feels better than he did 20 years ago, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) are convinced he won’t change.

The problem is that most voters seem to wish he would. Asked about things Trump has done before and since returning to the White House, sizable majorities disapproved: of his decision to greet supporters outside the hospital by riding in an armored car with Secret Service agents (61 percent inappropriate vs. 29 percent appropriate); of his decision to leave the hospital and return to the White House while still undergoing treatment for COVID-19 (53 percent inappropriate vs. 35 percent appropriate); of his decision to remove his mask in front of TV cameras upon his return to the White House (55 percent inappropriate vs. 34 percent appropriate); and of his decision to immediately hold in-person campaign events (58 percent inappropriate to 28 percent appropriate). 

Overall, 63 percent of registered voters now say Trump has not been wearing a mask and social distancing appropriately, up from 59 percent last week. Similar majorities say the president is endangering those around him (56 percent) and continues to face a very or somewhat serious “risk of severe illness or even death from COVID-19” (55 percent), despite his claims of recovery. With Trump’s first post-COVID-19 rally scheduled for Monday night in Florida, 62 percent say it’s inappropriate for him to hold crowded campaign rallies during the pandemic and 54 percent think he should suspend in-person rallies for the rest of the campaign. 

A Trump comeback is still possible, but time is running out. With Election Day three weeks away, 17 percent of registered voters say they have already cast their ballots — up from 10 percent one week before, 6 percent earlier that same week and just 1 percent in late September. Among these voters, Biden is beating Trump by 47 points (70 percent to 23 percent); Trump leads among those planning to vote on Election Day, but by a smaller margin of 67 percent to 26 percent. And while the former vice president has been banking early votes, the number of Biden and Trump voters who say they could still change their minds fell from 6 percent a week ago to 3 percent today. Including undecideds (6 percent), that leaves just 9 percent of voters up for grabs. Trump would have to win nearly all of America’s few remaining persuadable voters to close the gap with Biden. 

Perhaps reflecting the electoral challenges facing the president, a plurality of registered voters now predict for the first time since July that Biden (44 percent) rather than Trump (40 percent) will win in November.  

_________________

The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,525 U.S. registered voters interviewed online from Oct. 9 to 11. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote, registration status, geographic region and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. registered voters. The margin of error is approximately 4.3 percent.

_____

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Tax cuts pass federal parliament


The federal government’s tax cuts for about 11 million Australians have passed through parliament three days after the Budget was handed down, but not every one is happy about it.

The package, backdated by two years to July 2020 and which equates to almost $50 billion in business and personal income tax cuts, was passed with the support of the Opposition on Friday.

The average income earner with an $80,000 salary will get $2160 cash back this year in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Anyone earning under $90,000 – the majority of Aussie workers – will get $1080 divided up in their pay this year and the other half when they lodge their tax return next year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government had legislated income tax relief, stimulated the economy and brought about initiatives to give businesses the incentive to invest in their future growth.

“This is real change. This is a real budget that is going to have a real impact on Australians as we come out of this COVID-19 recession,” he told reporters.

“This is the budget that Australians needed. This is the plan that Australians have needed.

“This is the plan that has been legislated, made law in our parliament, in three days.”

Mr Morrison said businesses affected by COVID-19 would now not need to wait “for years and years” before getting back into profitability.

“They can offset those losses, those COVID losses, against the taxes they paid out of their profits before they came into this COVID crisis,” he said.

“(That) means they can get back on their feet quicker … they can keep more people employed … they can invest in their business … (and) importantly they can create more jobs.”

But not every one is happy. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson -Young said the cuts will only benefit the rich and meant “jobs for the boys”.

“These tax cuts predominantly go to high-income earners,” Hanson-Young said on Friday.

“Who does that mean? Men. This government has made choices today that prioritise the rich over the poor, men over women and millionaires over the unemployed.

“Tax cuts today means service cuts tomorrow. What does that mean in reality? Less health care, less funding for education, less supported funding for aged care.”

In his budget reply speech, Labor leader Anthony Albanese promised he would cut costs for childcare, aiming to boost women’s workforce participation and reduce costs for middle income earners.

But the Prime Minister said Mr Albanese still had many questions to answer and had not released the detailed costings of his policies or explained what the changes were to the activity test.

“What I do know is that someone who is in the top 10 per cent of income earning in this country are the big beneficiaries of that plan,” Mr Morrison said.

“When we announced our childcare changes, it was focused on those on low- and middle-income earners.

“There are many unanswered questions about what the Leader of the Opposition said the other night.

“For the most part, we’ll file it under fiction. What this is, is law — our plan’s law.”

Asked about Western Australia posting a $1.2 billion surplus when the McGowan Government handed down its budget on Thursday, Mr Morrison said he wished the Labor government well.

“I wished them well some years ago when we put the GST reforms in place,” the Prime Minister said.

“The top-up payment for GST, as result of the GST reforms that the Finance Minister and I worked together on as treasurer, means that the WA budget is in surplus, and so you’re welcome, Mark.”

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt was quick to hit back, tweeting: “But for the WA mining sector, the Commonwealth debt will be punching well through $1 trillion. You’re welcome, Prime Minister.”



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We’re back to politics as usual as the Budget’s tax cuts pass Parliament


The Coalition’s income tax cuts are coming to your pay packet with record speed.

Announced in the Federal Budget on Tuesday night, backed in writing by the Opposition 24 hours later, and passed by Parliament on Friday morning, it was a painless political delivery of a $17.8 billion baby.

But don’t be fooled — this is not a continuation of the COVID-19 crisis-induced political consensus.

It is the end of it.

This week, and this Budget, will come to mark to the limit of the ceasefire and the resumption of hostilities.

Tuesday night’s Budget marks the end of political concensus.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

It is not so much a snap-back as a slide back to the more comfortable and familiar grounds of political battle.

There has been an inevitability about this moment, but mark it here: conventional politics is back.

Budget week sees a retreat to safe spaces

The arrival of the coronavirus pandemic on Australia’s shores saw the departure of all political norms.

The Federal Government contemplated measures it would have previously considered unthinkable, and the Opposition gave it free rein to act with the urgency the situation demanded.

But that time has officially passed.

The Coalition’s Budget has seen the radical ideas COVID-19 prompted — wage subsidies! free childcare! — sidelined in favour of more prosaic policies.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced cash incentives for businesses to hire young, unemployed people, which builds on existing programs that already do just that.

Immediate depreciation for all business investments simply lifts the limits on the current policy of accelerated depreciation.

The income tax cuts ushered through Parliament this week were already legislated to happen in a few years, this Budget merely brought them forward.

And next on the agenda? The Coalition’s standard-bearer policy: industrial relations reform.

It is a retreat to policy safe spaces by the Coalition, but they’re not alone.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s budget-in-reply speech likewise wandered back to customary territory.

Identifying two of the Coalition’s political weaknesses, Labor narrowed its focus to childcare and energy policy.

The other ideas floated by Mr Albanese — apprenticeship quotas on major projects, local defence procurement policies — were rehashed from their last election promises.

Policy wedges and political sledges

But it is the political dogfight as much as the policies that are a return to form.

Before and after the Budget, Prime Minister Scott Morrison sought to use the Coalition’s latest iteration of energy policy to wedge Labor.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese speaks in Parliament with Richard Marles and Tanya Plibersek behind him.
The Coalition’s energy policies have stoked internal debate in Labor.(AAP: Mick Tsikas)

“If you’re not for gas, you’re not for manufacturing and heavy industry in this country and the jobs that they support in this country,” he said, stoking the internal debate within Labor about the speed of transition to renewable energy.

The remarkable co-operation between the Coalition and the union movement during the pandemic has also come to a close.

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter flagged a return to rancour, declaring “sometimes … consensus looks like an absence of violent disagreement” before round-table discussions between government, business and unions have had a chance to conclude.

The personal insults have resumed, too.

Even before the Coalition handed down its Budget, Anthony Albanese had condemned Scott Morrison for missing the mark because of his “small-minded obsession with his own image”.

They are by no means the only examples, but they highlight this moment in time.

The politicking and name-calling is back and politics is politics once again.

It’s back to the bunfight.



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Tax cuts giving 11million Australians more money in their pockets pass parliament


The government’s tax cuts have passed Parliament, giving 11 million Australians more money in their pockets.  

The Greens tried to amend the plan, claiming it mostly benefitted the rich, but Labor supported the changes which sailed through the senate on Friday morning.

The tax office will now update the Pay As You Go tables, meaning employees will get more money in their paypackets ‘before the end of the year’, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday. 

The tax cuts, originally due in 2022, have been backdated to July this year as part of the government’s coronavirus budget announced on Tuesday. 

Whether you get your tax cut by paying less each month or in the form of a refund depends on how much you earn.

Aussies earning $130,000 or more will get $2,430 more in their paypackets over the course of the year.

Workers will, by the end of the financial year, receive the above amount of tax relief on 2017-18 levels. Some will come through in their pay, some will be refunded at tax time

But Australians earning under $100,000 will have to wait until their tax return to get about half of their cash this year.

This is because an extra $1,080 due to workers in this group will come in the form of a one-off tax offset.

The low and middle income tax offset, which was due to be scrapped under the changes, will be kept for this year only as the government attempts to stimulate the economy.

This means middle-income Aussies will pay more tax in 2022 than in 2021. 

They will get the other half of their deductions by paying less tax in each paypacket, taking the total deduction for those earning between $50,000 and $90,000 to $2,160 compared with 2017-18 levels. 

There will also be an extra $225 boost for low-income workers as the changes increase the low income tax offset from $445 to $700.

The changes permanently lift threshold for the 32.5 per cent tax bracket from $41,000 to $45,000 and raise the threshold for the 37 per cent bracket from $90,000 to $120,000.    

Those on $40,000 will be $1,060 better off a year, Aussies on $120,000 will be $2,745 better off and those earning more than $140,000 will keep $2,565 more.  

Tax cut winners: Life insurer Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones, a business analyst, will be among those benefiting directly from the income tax cuts, which have been moved forward from 2022 (Mr and Mrs Jones with son Daniel, nine, and daughter Stephanie, two, above)

Tax cut winners: Life insurer Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones, a business analyst, will be among those benefiting directly from the income tax cuts, which have been moved forward from 2022 (Mr and Mrs Jones with son Daniel, nine, and daughter Stephanie, two, above)

In what form will you get your tax back in 2020-21?
Income Permanent relief One-off payment this year only Total  
$30,000 $255  $255 $510 
$40,000  $580  $480 $1,060 
$50,000-$80,000  $1,080  $1,080  $2,160 
$90,000  $1,215  $1,080  $2,295 
$100,000  $1,665  $780  $2,445 
$110,000  $2,115  $480  $2,595 
$120,000  $2,565 $180  $2,745 
$130,000+  $2,565  $0  $2,565 

‘Australians will have more of their own money to spend on what matters to them, generating billions of dollars of economic activity and creating 50,000 new jobs,’ Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Tuesday.

‘It will help local businesses to keep their doors open and hire more staff.’

A third stage of tax cuts that abolishes the 37 per cent tax bracket and creates a 30 per cent tax bracket for those earning $45,001 and $200,000 will commence in 2024 as planned.

The slashing of tax brackets, from five to four for the first time since 1984, will see those at the top end on $200,000 receive a tax cut of $11,640 compared with the 2017-18 financial year. 

The personal income tax cuts will cost the government $17.8billion over the next three years. 

The law passed on Friday also changed tax laws for businesses.

Companies that turn over less than $5billion a year (virtually every business in the country) can buy a new asset of unlimited value– such as a truck or piece of machinery – and expense the whole cost to the taxman for one year.

Companies that turn over less than $5billion year (virtually all businesses, no doubt including this cafe) can buy a new asset of unlimited value – such as a truck or piece of machinery – and expense the whole cost to the taxman for one year

Companies that turn over less than $5billion year (virtually all businesses, no doubt including this cafe) can buy a new asset of unlimited value – such as a truck or piece of machinery – and expense the whole cost to the taxman for one year 

The measure will apply to assets purchased from 7.30pm on Tuesday and first used or installed by 30 June 2022.

Around 3.5 million businesses – more than 99 per cent of businesses, employing around 11.5 million workers – will be eligible for this measure, which builds on the enhanced $150,000 instant asset write-off announced in March.

Companies with turnover up to $5billion will also be able to temporarily offset tax losses against previous profits and tax paid.

This will help companies that were profitable and tax-paying but now find themselves in a loss position due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Companies can apply tax losses incurred during the 2019-20, 2020-21 and/or 2021-22 income years to offset tax paid in 2018-19 or later income years. 

The tax refund will be available for eligible businesses when they lodge their 2020-21 and 2021-22 tax returns.

Those two measures will provide $31.6billion of tax relief, create 50,000 jobs and boost the economy by around $10billion in 2021-22.

The budget also includes 10 tax concessions to small and medium businesses that make between $10million and $50million per year.

The budget blowout will see Australia's debt mountain increase to more than $1trillion by 2022

The budget blowout will see Australia’s debt mountain increase to more than $1trillion by 2022

The huge tax changes coming to small businesses in 2020 budget 

Businesses with an aggregated annual turnover between $10million and $50million will have access to up to ten small business tax concessions. The changes are estimated to support about 20,000 businesses and 1.7million employees. 

Immediate deduction for certain start-up expenses

From 1 July 2020, eligible businesses can immediately deduct a range of professional expenses and Australian government agency payments associated with starting a new business, such as professional, legal and accounting advice. Currently, these costs are usually deducted over a five year period.

Immediate deduction for certain prepaid expenditure

From 1 July 2020, eligible businesses can immediately deduct certain prepaid expenditure where the payment covers a period of 12 months or less that ends in the next income year. Currently, business expenditure that relates to multiple income years is generally not immediately deductible.

Fringe benefits tax (FBT): small business car parking exemption

From 1 April 2021, eligible businesses would be exempt from FBT on car parking benefits provided to employees if the parking is not provided in a commercial car park.

FBT: multiple work-related portable electronic devices exemption

From 1 April 2021, eligible businesses would be exempt from FBT on multiple work-related portable electronic devices provided to employees – even if the devices have substantially identical functions.

Simplified trading stock rules

From 1 July 2021, eligible businesses can choose to use a simplified trading stock regime. Under this regime, eligible businesses may choose not to conduct a stocktake (and account for changes in the value of trading stock) for an income year, if the difference between the opening value of stock on hand and a reasonable estimate of stock on hand at the end of the year does not exceed $5,000.

Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments based on GDP-adjusted notional tax

From 1 July 2021, eligible businesses would have the option to have their PAYG instalments calculated for them by the ATO (based on previously reported information).

Currently, they are required to calculate their actual income for the period, as the basis for their PAYG instalment calculation.

Small business excise concession

From 1 July 2021, eligible businesses would be able to apply to defer settlement of excise duty to a monthly reporting cycle, instead of the current weekly reporting cycle. This only applies to eligible goods under the current small business entity concession.

Small business excise-equivalent customs duty concession

From 1 July 2021, eligible businesses would be able to apply to defer settlement of excise-equivalent customs duty from a weekly to monthly reporting cycle. This only applies to eligible goods under the current small business entity concession.

Two-year amendment period

From 1 July 2021 eligible businesses (excluding entities with significant international tax dealings or particularly complex affairs) will have a two year amendment period apply to income tax assessments for income years. The current exceptions, including for fraud or evasion, would continue to apply. Businesses can lodge an amendment application before the time limit and the ATO may extend the time limit to give effect to the application. Currently, they are subject to a four-year amendment period.

Simplified accounting methods

From 1 July 2021, the Commissioner of Taxation’s power to create a simplified accounting method determination for eligible businesses for GST purposes will be expanded to apply to businesses below the $50 million aggregated annual turnover threshold.

Remove fringe benefits tax for retraining (applies to all companies)

From 2 October 2020 the government will remove the 47 per cent fringe benefits tax on retraining provided by employers to redundant, or soon to be redundant, employees. 

This will encourage employers to help workers transition to new employment opportunities within or outside their business.



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Coronavirus Australia news: university reforms pass Senate as NSW records 12 new Covid cases and Victoria 11 – question time live | Australia news


In the early ‘90s, there was a program called Job Start, which was introduced follow the Keating recession, Mr Speaker. The Keating recession, Mr Speaker. Not a recession produced by a global pandemic today, Mr Speaker. This recession has been produced by the global pandemic. Australians know that. Those opposite, Mr Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition seems to be the only person in the country who doesn’t know there’s been a global pandemic.

But back in that time, Mr Speaker, the former prime minister said, with that program, that it was about supporting young people. Now, I don’t know what the Leader of the Opposition has got against getting young people back into jobs, Mr Speaker, in opposing the programs that we’re putting forward and characterising them in the way he does.



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Commentators in disbelief over forward pass bunker call, Henry Perenara, Eels Vs Broncos


Another day, another baffling referees decision has left the NRL stunned.

With 10 minutes left in the Eels match against the Brisbane Broncos, Parramatta spread the ball wide, with captain Clint Gutherson batting the ball on to Blake Ferguson who seemed to run across the line.

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But referee Henry Perenara incredibly called it a knock on, despite the ball not touching the ground.

Luckily the scoreline was 26-12 so it didn‘t play too much of a part.

But it meant the Eels could challenge the call as a knock on.

An uncertain Fox League commentary team of Andrew Voss and Michael Ennis were baffled by the call.

“So they challenge the knock on, but it‘s a pass isn’t it, it’s a tip on,” Voss said. “Can you call that a knock on, he’s tipped that on deliberately. But he can’t rule it. How can the bunker even describe that as a knock on? The bunker, if they’re following protocol have to throw it back, we can’t rule on that, it’s a pass.”

Perenara explained the issue.

“It‘s my mistake,” he said. “I’ve called a knock on, but that’s why it’s was challenged because it was a tip on so we can challenge that because it’s not a pass.

“It‘s not a try because I’ve blown my whistle so it’s my mistake.”

Gutherson blew up saying: “Why are you blowing it?”

Voss said he was in disbelief about it but accepted that it was just a mistake.

But the rugby league world also learned that a tip on is not a pass.

“We are two weeks out from our finals series …” Ennis said.

“So are you telling me from now in a try scoring situation the bunker can rule on a tip on, which we all call a pass,” Voss said. “So they can actually rule on a tip on forward pass if it‘s a tip on, because it’s not a pass. I’m blown away by that.”

Asked about the incident, Eels coach Brad Arthur said it was just a mistake and that the team had accepted Perenara’s apology.

It appears to have the NRL world rethinking the rule book with the bunker unable to rule on a forward pass.

Perenara had already been criticised for a decision to put Junior Paulo on report after an incident that saw David Fifita limp from the field.

Channel 9‘s Andrew Johns blew up over the decision to put Paulo on report, with the Broncos getting the penalty as the star was bent back in the tackle of three Eels as the prop went low around the legs.

“They‘re penalising this?” Johns said. “What?! it was accident in the act of making a tackle. Unfortunately for David Fifita he gets caught under Junior Paulo and he’s on report for that?”

Arthur was blunt in his assessment, flat out disagreeing with Perenara‘s assessment.

“There‘s nothing in that is there?” he said. “It shouldn’t have even been a penalty. From that penalty there we were defending three or four sets on their line. That’s not a penalty, what’s he supposed to do?”

Asked about what the issue of officials looking for acts of illegality, Arthur said “I think they need to stay out of it, just get the ruling right on the tries.”

The result ended up being 26-12 to the Eels, far from convincing for Parramatta but enough to claim the points.



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Would you pass the new ‘Aussie test’?


There’s a new section in the citizenship test that all would-be Australians must get 100 per cent correct before they can become citizens. Can you pass it?

In the new test, would-be Aussies will be asked things like: “Should people in Australia make an effort to learn English?” and “In Australia, do religious laws override Australian law?”

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said he wanted would-be citizens to have a better understanding of the nation’s values before they were declared Australian.

“The updated citizenship test will have new and more meaningful questions that require potential citizens to understand and commit to our values like freedom of speech, mutual respect, equality of opportunity, the importance of democracy and the rule of law,” he said.

“We are asking those who apply for citizenship to understand our values more deeply before they make the ultimate commitment to our nation.”

The updated citizenship test will have 20 multiple-choice questions, including five questions on Australian values.

Applicants will be required to correctly answer all five of the questions on Australian values, with a mark of at least 75 per cent overall, to pass the test.

There will be no changes to the English language or residency requirements for citizenship.

Camera IconThe Australian citizenship test will have a new section on values come November 15, which would-be Aussies must pass to attain citizenship. Credit: News Corp Australia, Evan Morgan

EXAMPLE QUESTIONS

– Why is it important that all Australian citizens vote to elect the state and federal parliament?

– Should people in Australia make an effort to learn English?

– In Australia, can you encourage violence against a person or group of people if you have been insulted?

– Should people tolerate one another where they find that they disagree?

– In Australia, are people free to choose who they marry or not marry?

– In Australia, is it acceptable for a husband to be violent towards his wife if she has disobeyed or disrespected him?

– In Australia, do religious laws override Australian law?

– Do you agree that men and women should be provided equality of opportunity when pursuing their goals and interests?

– Should people’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression be respected in Australia?

The change to the citizenship test is being announced on Thursday to coincide with Australian Citizenship Day, when more than 2500 people will become citizens at more than 100 ceremonies across the country.

Since March 31, despite the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 85,000 people have become Australian citizens in online ceremonies, and testing has now resumed in all states and territories across Australia except Victoria.

While changes to the citizenship test won’t come into effect until November 15, new visa and citizenship applicants will be required to affirm the new Australian Values Statement from October 30.

The statement has been amended to better reflect the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association and equality of opportunity for everyone in Australia.

From October 30, new visa and citizenship applicants will be required to affirm the new Australian Values Statement.
Camera IconFrom October 30, new visa and citizenship applicants will be required to affirm the new Australian Values Statement. Credit: News Limited



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