ACT government plans to increase age of criminal responsibility




It’s the only government in the country committed to making the change, aimed at keeping children as young as 10 out of jail. Rosie King reports.

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Inside Pep Guardiola’s Man City legacy and the plans for when he leaves


With 10 trophies in five years, including three Premier League titles, Pep Guardiola’s legendary status at Manchester City is already assured.

Guardiola can write another chapter in his remarkable City success story by beating Chelsea on May 29 to land the club’s first Champions League crown and his third as a manager.

And having committed himself to City until 2023 after signing a new deal last November, there is the tangible prospect of two more years of domination from Guardiola’s formidable squad.

But what then? It might seem churlish and premature to ponder life after Guardiola before City have even held the Premier League trophy aloft following their latest title triumph, but the club hierarchy know that day will come around soon and they must be prepared when it does.



Manchester City's Pep Guardiola in action during training at Manchester City Football Academy on April 20, 2021 in Manchester, England.
Pep Guardiola has won 10 trophies since arriving as Man City manager

One look across the city of Manchester at local rivals United, and the turmoil they have endured since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013, is all it takes to see how not to handle a succession plan when an iconic and hugely successful manager leaves.

Only last month, Guardiola admitted City must get it right and ensure the legacy of success he has built is not allowed to crumble, as it was at United when Ferguson left, when he eventually does call it a day.

“The players and manager that are coming after us have to continue what we have done in this five years together,” said Guardiola.

“The club must not stop and say ‘Pep is not here anymore’. There is no time to wait. The new one has to do it. The players have to do it.”

United are now on their fourth manager of the post-Ferguson era and have gone eight seasons without winning the title, with sporadic success in the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.



Manchester City Training, Abu Dhabi, H.H Sheikh Mansour speaks with Chairman of Manchester City Football Club Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Pep Guardiola and Willy Caballero during their mid season training camp in Abu Dhabi (Photo by Victoria Haydn/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)
Sheikh Mansour and Man City’s bosses are planning for life after Pep Guardiola

City cannot afford a similar fall from grace when Guardiola decides his time is up, with the 50-year-old keen to ensure his legacy of being a serial winner is continued by whoever succeeds him.

When it looked as though this may have been Guardiola’s last season, before he committed to a new deal after a meeting with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak while holidaying in the Maldives with his family during the November international break, City looked at potential successors.

Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, out of work at the time, and Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers were the front-runners, while Julian Nagelsmann, RB Leipzig’s forward-thinking young coach, who will take over at Bayern Munich this summer, was also considered.

But any plans to appoint a successor were put on hold when, after a candid heart-to-heart with Khaldoon, Guardiola penned his new deal, although life after Pep will come around sooner than City want, with Rodgers tipped as the man to take over when that time comes.

For now, at least, City have no such concerns, with Guardiola re-energised after his latest title triumph, which he described as the hardest of his career, and eyeing the one prize to so far elude him in England – the Champions League.

Wrapping up the title with three games to spare was the perfect scenario for Guardiola, allowing him to rest key players ahead of the final and not take any unnecessary risks with them.

As well as the Champions League final, lanning is already under way for City to strengthen their squad this summer, with a striker – to replace Aguero – the priority.

United’s decision to extend Edinson Cavani’s contract is likely to provide City with a free run at signing top target, Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, while Tottenham and England forward Harry Kane is also an option.

Elsewhere, Guardiola is likely to look to address the long-standing issue at left-back, as well as recruiting a holding midfielder to replace Fernandinho, with West Ham’s Declan Rice the first-choice target.

Whatever their business this summer, City will do all they can to stay ahead of the chasing pack in the Premier League and look to cement their status as arguably the best side in Europe right now.

A first Champions League win in 16 days’ time would end any debate about that and elevate Guardiola’s side to a new and exalted level.



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Man who announced murder plans on Facebook sentenced to at least 20 years for killing ex-wife’s boyfriend


Warning: This story contains details that readers may find distressing.

Osmond Roy Greig, 43, was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Supreme Court today for the murder of Daryl Corcoran at Alexandra Hills in 2016.

Greig pleaded guilty to murder, burglary in the night and breaching a court order.

Crown prosecutor Dzenita Balic said it was a “premeditated murder” in which Greig went to the house armed with an axe and two knives.

Ms Balic said he used the axe to break into the house, went straight to the bedroom and started attacking Mr Corcoran with knives.

Mr Corcoran, 37, was stabbed 86 times in the face, throat, abdomen and back and died from blood loss.

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Public housing shortage a ‘much bigger problem than people imagine’ but Brisbane Housing Company has big plans


Ms Mitchell is a pensioner and knew finding something suitable they could afford could prove almost impossible.

“The difficulty on the Gold Coast is it’s virtually impossible to get anything at all, certainly for affordable rent,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Some of the things that are affordable rent, you really wouldn’t commit to — the streets would be a better option.

Ms Mitchell recalled the first time they tried to put their names down on the wait list for public housing.

“There were people in there — women who’d been sleeping in cars with their children,” she said.

“On the Gold Coast, it’s impossible to get anything — they said ‘look, you’re better off going to Brisbane’.

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COVID-19 threatens Everest climbing comeback plans


EVEREST BASE CAMP, Nepal: More than 30 sick climbers have been evacuated from the foot of Mount Everest, raising fears that COVID-19 may scupper a hoped-for bumper season on the world’s highest mountain.

Nepal’s tourism industry suffered a devastating blow last year when the pandemic prompted a complete shutdown of its summits, costing millions in lost revenue.

This year, authorities have eased quarantine rules in an effort to lure back foreign adventurers and have issued climbing permits to more than 400 people, a new record.

An Everest permit alone costs US$11,000 and climbers pay upwards of US$40,000 for an expedition.

But the warmer weather that ushers in safer conditions for scaling Nepal’s dangerous snow-capped peaks has coincided with a deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections, with active cases in the country rising by six times in the last two weeks.


More than a thousand people are typically camped at the bustling tent city at the foot of Everest, including foreign climbers and the teams of Nepali guides that escort them to the peak. (Photo: AFP/Prakash Mathema)

Norwegian climber Erlend Ness spent two nights sleeping in his tent at the base camp last month, unsure of what was making him ill.

“I was evacuated to Kathmandu and was tested. My result was positive for COVID,” he told AFP, becoming the first climber with an Everest permit to confirm his infection.

“I think I’m not the only one … Every team at the base camp knows the risk of COVID is there and they have to be careful, they should be careful,” he said.

Fellow climber Gina Marie Han-Lee decided to abandon her expedition last week over fears that the disease was spreading around the base camp.

“I have taken a helicopter out of EBC (Everest Base Camp) back to Kathmandu after one day. The COVID situation at EBC is a total shitstorm. I had no clue what I was flying into,” the United States citizen wrote on her Facebook page on Apr 29.

“It was a heartbreaking decision but I’m putting my health first. COVID at a high altitude does not sound like something I want to play with.”

READ: India’s neighbours close borders over surge in COVID-19 cases

“WE DON’T HAVE TESTS HERE”

Officials at a health clinic catering to the climbers say that more than 30 people have been flown off the camp in recent weeks.

At least two have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to the capital Kathmandu.

But the government has yet to confirm a single case on Everest.

“Some evacuated may have tested positive in Kathmandu. They did not test at the base camp, so we cannot be sure where they got infected,” said Nepal’s tourism department chief Rudra Singh Tamang.

Health professionals at the camp say they do not have the capacity to test for the disease.

“We have permission to only work as a clinic, so we don’t have tests here. We have made requests but nothing has happened yet,” a doctor there said.

The warmer weather that ushers in safer conditions for scaling Nepal's dangerous, snow-capped

The warmer weather that ushers in safer conditions for scaling Nepal’s dangerous snow-capped peaks has coincided with a deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections, with active cases in the country rising by six times in the last two weeks. (Photo: AFP/Prakash Mathema)

More than a thousand people are typically camped at the bustling tent city at the foot of Everest, including foreign climbers and the teams of Nepali guides that escort them to the peak.

But the usual reverie and loud communal parties are absent this year after expedition groups were asked to keep to themselves and avoid socialising with others.

Customary religious ceremonies held before an ascent to pray for a safe expedition have also been turned into quiet and private affairs.

“We are taking all precautions possible to make sure that there are no infections,” said Tashi Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks, the largest climbing agency at Everest.

“We are not visiting other tents, and even groups within the camps are not mixing.”

READ: ‘Human catastrophe’ as India’s COVID-19 surge spreads to Nepal

“WE ARE VERY SCARED”

More than 400 people in Nepal have died over the last two weeks after contracting COVID-19.

The country’s health system has been overwhelmed by the sudden spike, with hospitals filling fast and relatives of patients scrambling for medicine and intensive care beds.

Climbers on peaks elsewhere in the country have also run into problems.

An expedition on Dhaulagiri, the seventh-highest mountain in the world, is in limbo after at least three members tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Nine are being evacuated and others are being tested, the head of their expedition said.

The usual reverie and loud communal parties at the base camp are absent this year after expedition

The usual reverie and loud communal parties at the Everest Base Camp are absent this year after expedition groups were asked to keep to themselves and avoid socialising with others. (Photo: AFP/Prakash Mathema)

Breathing is already difficult at high altitudes, so any coronavirus outbreak among climbing groups could pose severe health risks.

Evacuating ill climbers from the remote peaks poses a major logistical challenge.

“We are very scared, there are many rumours and we don’t know what is really going on,” said Harshvardhan Joshi, an Indian climber hoping to summit Everest.

“What if someone shows symptoms after reaching a higher camp?”

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

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Plans to make New Zealand capital a Maori language city by 2040


There’s an ill wind and it’s blowing us clear across Wellington’s Whairepo Lagoon. “Tokihi!” roars our crew master, his voice echoing across the water like an ancient war cry. “Haa!” we scream in response, thrusting our white-tipped paddles into the water as one.

“Haa!” We tilt forward, shoulders on fire as we propel the wooden canoe through driving rain.

The lagoon is a tempest; heaving and rolling like a living thing, yet our Maori waka (canoe) holds steady, our chants keeping us in time, like seafarers of old.

We’d started outside the Te Wharewaka o Poneke (waka house) a vast building in the shape of a traditional cloak. “Our vision is to return a strong Maori presence to the waterfront,” says Taupuruariki Brightwell, one of our guides for the two-hour waka tour.

Maori culture is experiencing a revival, but nowhere is it more obvious than in the nation’s capital. The new Te Tauihu te reo Maori policy – named after the ornately carved figurehead of a waka – aims to make Wellington a Maori language city by 2040, the 200th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Tokihi!” comes the command, as we turn into the wind for the gruelling paddle back to the waka house, as a small group of bystanders cheers us on.

And that’s the strength of a tour like this; it elevates Maori art and culture, putting it centre stage, while helping to rekindle Indigenous pride across the entire city.

The following day I head to Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s bold and innovative national museum, where I learn more about Polynesian navigation than a girl needs to know.

“Testicular navigation,” says my guide Pene Kiwi Kiwi, as we pause in front of a voyaging waka. “The early navigators used their testicles to feel the direction of the swell when it was too dark to see the stars.”

I don’t doubt she’s telling the truth; there’s even a signboard to prove it. Whether the technique relied on sensing vibration through the waka’s wooden seats, or if the navigators adopted a commando-style “stand and swing” position, is still open to debate.

Dinner that night at restaurant Hiakai, a fine-dining experience dedicated to the exploration of Maori cooking, is a sure sign that Wellington is leading the Indigenous food movement. Set inside a restored brick kiln on the city-fringe, chef Monique Fiso serves up six, eight and 10-course set-menus, including boundary-pushing dishes such as green-lipped mussel-flavoured ice cream on a base of heirloom potatoes, and ika (fish) paired with parsnip, kowhitiwhiti (a native watercress with a mustard flavour), kawakawa (a native healing herb said to aid digestion) and bone broth.

Over three hours, my eight-course degustation transports me from the heights of New Zealand’s pine forests to the depths of its oceans, from the simple pleasures of beach barbecues to flavours I never knew existed. It’s a dream, a challenge, a celebration of art, nature and culture. No wonder Hiakai made Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2021” list.

One afternoon I visit the Dowse Art Museum where I meet Neke Moa, a contemporary jeweller well known for pounamu (nephrite jade) carvings. “Working with pounamu allows me to channel the knowledge and spirit of my ancestors,” she says. “It provides a direct connection with the people of this land and the land itself.”

Opened in 1971 the museum is currently celebrating “50 years of uplifting ideas”, with a special program of exhibitions, talks and events to be rolled out across 2021. Topics include everything from “Not today…Can you decolonise an art gallery?” to the “Connotation of craft for contemporary Maori artists”.

On my final morning I stroll along the waterfront, now called Ara Moana – “Ocean Pathway”. Overhead the sky is a streaked paua shell, while in the distance a waka pushes through the water, its curved Te Tauihu a symbol of determination and courage. Shielding my eyes against the sun I see a bright, golden city, poised, not just for a new day, but a new era.

THE DETAILS

MORE


traveller.com.au/new-zealand


WellingtonNZ.com

DINE

Hiakai is open for dinner Thursday to Saturday. See hiakai.co.nz

FLY

Qantas operates flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Wellington. See qantas.com

Kerry van der Jagt was a guest of WellingtonNZ. See wellingtonnz.com

Travel to New Zealand from Australian states aside from Western Australia is permitted. A high degree of caution is recommended due to the COVID pandemic. See smartraveller.gov.au



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Federal government to reveal plans for building long overdue heavy icebreaker


The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery on Thursday and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard.

The announcement has been highly anticipated by shipyards in Vancouver and Quebec that have been fighting tooth and nail for the coveted contract since it was taken from the Vancouver yard nearly two years ago.

First announced by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in 2008 and awarded to Seaspan Shipyards in October 2011, the CCGS John G. Diefenbaker was one of seven ships to be built by the Vancouver shipyard through Ottawa’s multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan.

The plan at the time was for the entire deal, valued at $8 billion for all seven ships, to usher in a new era of stability and prosperity for shipbuilding on Canada’s West Coast while delivering much-needed vessels for the coast guard and navy.

The Diefenbaker was arguably the crown jewel of the package. Originally budgeted at $721 million, the polar icebreaker was supposed to be delivered by 2017 and replace the coast guard’s flagship, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.

But scheduling conflicts, technical problems and other issues scuttled the timeline and budget — which was increased to $1.3 billion in 2013 and is now under review again — before the Trudeau government quietly lifted the ship from Seaspan’s order book in August 2019.

Fierce competition

The government has not provided much of an explanation for why it took the Diefenbaker away from Seaspan, substituting in 16 smaller vessels that the Vancouver shipyard argues were already promised to it by the previous Conservative government.

Ottawa has only said it wants to make sure the icebreaker is built “in the most efficient manner,” noting the increasing age of the coast guard’s entire icebreaker fleet.

Seaspan has said it is determined to win the work back.

Ottawa asked shipyards in March to explain how and why they should get the contract. Seaspan and Quebec rival Chantier Davie, which lost out of the competition that saw Seaspan get the Diefenbaker in 2011, were among the respondents.

Davie is considered Seaspan’s chief competitor for the Diefenbaker. After losing out of the competition for work in 2011, the rival yard has since charged back and is now in line to build six medium icebreakers for the coast guard.

The Quebec company insists it — not Seaspan — is best placed to build the Diefenbaker, particularly given it is already in line to build the other six icebreakers.

The two have since engaged in a fierce lobbying campaign to win the deal.

Davie launched a campaign to brand itself Canada’s National Icebreaker Centre while Seaspan has teamed up with several companies across Canada to tout the jobs that would be created in different communities if it was awarded the contract.

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Exclusive: Novavax plans to ship COVID-19 vaccines to Europe from late 2021 – EU source


FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled
FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled “COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine” and sryinge are seen in front of displayed Novavax logo in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

May 3, 2021

By Francesco Guarascio

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Novavax has told the European Union it plans to begin delivering its COVID-19 vaccine to the bloc towards the end of this year, new guidance that could lead to a formal contract being signed as early as this week, an EU official told Reuters.

A deal would see Novavax supply a total of up to 200 million doses of the vaccine, providing the EU with booster shots to help contain the coronavirus and potentially guard against new variants, according to the official, who has direct knowledge of the discussions.

Novavax reached a preliminary deal with the bloc in December, but a final agreement has been delayed because the U.S. company has struggled to source some raw materials, Reuters reported in March.

The EU official, who declined to be identified because the matter is confidential, said Novavax still had production problems, but what had changed is that “now they have a delivery schedule”.

Novavax told the EU in meetings over the last two weeks that it planned to send the first small shipments towards the end of this year, with the bulk to be delivered in 2022, according to the official, who said the shots would complement a huge planned supply of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech.

A spokesman for the EU Commission, which co-leads talks with vaccine makers together with governments of the 27-nation bloc, declined to comment because the matter is confidential.

Novavax said its negotiations with the EU were continuing. It declined to comment about the deliveries timeline, production problems or whether a formal deal was imminent.

Regardless of a possible deal, the EU’s purchases remain conditional on the regulatory approval of the Novavax vaccine, which has been assessed under a rolling review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since February.

The EMA has not set a date for its decision on the vaccine, which has not yet been approved anywhere in the world.

ALTERNATIVE TO PFIZER

The European Commission has repeatedly expressed confidence that it has secured enough doses to reach its goal of vaccinating at least 70% of its adult population by the end of July. The World Health Organization says about 70% of a population needs to be immunized to break transmission.

The EU is therefore now making plans for the coming years, to make sure the bloc will have enough boosters if they are needed to help keep COVID-19 in check and fight variants.

As part of this strategy the EU has already pencilled a huge deal with Pfizer-BioNTech for the supply of up to 1.8 billion doses of their vaccine in 2022 and 2023, the largest contract ever signed worldwide with a maker of COVID-19 shots.

Novavax’s protein-based vaccine represents an “alternative or a complement” to the mRNA shot produced by Pfizer, the EU official said, although it will be available in much smaller amounts. Of the 200 million doses planned, half are optional and can be bought by the EU at a later date if desired.

“We will certainly add other potential vaccines, for example protein-based vaccines have also quite a potential,” European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in late April when she announced the deal with Pfizer was about to be signed.

French drugmaker Sanofi, in partnership with British firm GlaxoSmithKline, is also trying to produce a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine and has already signed a supply deal with the EU. But their trials suffered a setback in December, delaying development.

($1 = 0.8305 euros)

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Josephine Mason and Pravin Char)

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Victorian government plans to dramatically boost the sale of electric cars by 2030


The state government wants half of all new cars sold in Victoria by 2030 to be zero-emission vehicles, and is offering subsidies of up to $3,000 to help kickstart ownership.

The Andrews government will provide 20,000 subsidies of up to $3,000 for new electric vehicle purchases under $69,000, as part of a $100-million plan to encourage electric vehicle use.

The first 4,000 subsidies will be available from Sunday.

“When people get an EV (electric vehicle) they are starting to save significant dollars off their bills,” Climate Change Minister Lily D ‘Ambrosio told the ABC.

“It’s almost up to $1,600 that is saved off fuel and maintenance costs, each and every year, so we want to make it easier for Victorians.”

As part of the package, the state will also spend $19 million on new charging stations and $10 million to expand the government EV fleet by 400 cars over the next two years.

The government will establish an expert advisory panel to advise it on the policies and infrastructure needed to meet the 50 per cent target by 2030.

There are fewer than 7,000 electric vehicles registered in Victoria and only 20,000 on Australian roads.

The 2030 target and subsidies are part of the Andrews government’s strategy for Victoria to have net zero emissions by 2050, with interim targets for 2025 and 2030 to be announced on Sunday.

Last year, the government failed to meet its own deadlines to set the interim emission reduction targets for 2025 and 2030.

Part of the interim targets policy are “sector pledges”: policies and payments to help industries — including agriculture and transport — move towards net zero emissions.

The new electric car subsidy is part of the transport sector pledge. Transport is the second-largest emitter behind energy.

The take-up of electric vehicles in Australia has been slow compared to other developed nations, according to the Electric Vehicle Council, which said Australia lacked the type of incentives, including subsidies, available around the world.

The cheapest electric vehicle on the market is still more than $44,000.

In some countries, subsidies of up to $15,000 are available.

The council also said Australia was well behind other nations by not having tough fuel efficiency standards for cars.

Wodonga retiree Rod Clutterbuck has been looking to buy an electric vehicle for some time, to do his bit to “save the planet”.

He said subsidies would help others view electric vehicles as a viable alternative.

“We’ve been wondering why we haven’t had one [subsidy] in Australia. Now it sounds like we might be on the march to a better system,” Mr Clutterbuck said.

The announcement of the Victorian subsidy followed a coalition of car companies and environment groups slamming the Andrews government for having “the worst electric vehicle policy in the world” because of a new road tax on electric vehicles.

The new charge is 2.5 cent/km charge for electric and other zero-emission vehicles, including hydrogen vehicles, and a 2.0 cent/km for plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.

The state argues the tax is an electric vehicle user’s contribution to the road network, which is paid by other motorists through fuel excise.

Ben Warren, national manager of electrification and mobility for Nissan, said the subsidy and 2030 targets were a good “first step” to encouraging people to make the switch to electric vehicles.

“The challenge with a road user charge is, in isolation, it seems like a penalty to electric vehicle owners and drivers, ” Mr Warren said.

“But when you offset that with incentives and different measures it will at least get back to a neutral starting point.” 

Opposition MP Georgie Crozier accused the government of coming up with incosistent policies on the spot.

“It just demonstrates that the government has really misjudged this policy again. It’s another demonstration of policy on the run.”

Treasurer Tim Pallas has previously said the revenue raised from the new charge would be “more than offset” by measures to encourage electric car use, such as creating new charging stations.

The road users charge was expected to raise about $12 million per year, with $45 million set aside for electric vehicle incentives in the state budget.

Mr Pallas said the subsidy would “encourage more drivers to consider purchasing a zero-emissions vehicle – and ensure Victoria leads the nation in zero-emissions vehicle uptake.”

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Moderna has big plans for its mRNA technology






Moderna has big plans for its mRNA technology | Fortune



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