Daniel Ricciardo confidence questioned by Lando Norris, McLaren


Lando Norris has for the first time delved deeper into Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles, suggesting the Australian is more particular about his car set-up than others, and is lacking confidence.

The McLaren prodigy was speaking after practice at the Monaco Grand Prix, where he was sixth fastest in FP2 — and a sizeable eight-tenths quicker than his teammate, Ricciardo.

With the exception of the Spanish Grand Prix, new recruit Ricciardo has been consistently slower than Norris, who this week signed a multi-year extension at McLaren.

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‘WHAT THE F***’: Ricciardo furious amid F1 resurgence that’s ‘too good to believe’

Ricciardo 15th fastest in poor day | 00:47

Driving home the fact that it is seven-time Grand Prix winner who is behind in McLaren’s race to be top dog are comments from Norris, who risked rocking the boat with a gentle criticism on Thursday.

Norris said Ricciardo is “very fast” — but only when everything is exactly how he likes it, otherwise things start to unravel.

“Daniel is very, very fast when he has a car around him, and when everything’s suited,” Norris said.

“But as soon as there’s a couple of problems, just as most drivers do, he tends to lose that bit of confidence.

“Then you just struggle a little bit more. I don’t think that’s just with him.

“That’s just something that some drivers have more than others. It’s a confidence thing.”

The Brit stressed that most drivers would struggle in the same situation, although it was his next comment that suggested his teammate is exceptionally picky.

“From what I’ve seen so far, he wants a car that really suits him, maybe that little bit more,” Norris said.

Ricciardo is known to have been demanding of his teams since taking a gamble to leave Red Bull at the end of 2018 for Renault.

In his debut season in black and yellow he was also slow to adjust, failing to take points in 12 of his first 16 races in 2019, and only finishing higher than sixth once.

F1 returns to Monaco’s glitz & glamour | 03:50

The following season he took points in all but three races and claimed two podium finishes.

Ricciardo is already ahead of that schedule having taken points in all four of his McLaren races to far (seventh, sixth, ninth and sixth), but he’s only once finished ahead of Norris, who leads by 17 points in the driver’s standings.

There lies a big problem for Ricciardo, who is now entering largely uncharted waters, and facing the greatest pressure of his career.

After graduating from HRT and Toro Rosso, the 31-year-old had little to lose as he partnered a four-time world champion in Sebastian Vettel.

During his most difficult stretch at Renault, the pressure didn’t mount to the same level given he was still regularly ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg, and later Esteban Ocon.

The only other comparable scenario was when Max Verstappen stepped into a Red Bull seat; a partnership which swiftly led to Ricciardo’s search for a fresh start.

It’s still early days for Ricciardo’s latest chapter at McLaren but, with a well-settled driver by his side, there’s a greater sense of urgency for him to find his feet.

The Spanish Grand Prix brought a greater sense of familiarity — it’s where pre-season testing occurs — and a stronger result for Ricciardo followed.

Now at Monaco, a track where he won in 2018 and was cruelly denied a victory in 2016 due to a pit stop bungle, he hoped to keep his season on an upwards trend.

Worryingly, the early signs aren’t good after Thursday practice, even if Ricciardo is confident that the team can find out where it’s going wrong for him before the weekend.

“I felt that I had confidence, it was just not translating to lap time,” Ricciardo said

“From behind the wheel it was quite frustrating because I would cross the line and think it had been a decent lap, and it was like you are P12 or P15, and even at one stage P17.

“So frustrating because it is a long way off. There is a lot of time to find. Luckily we have tomorrow off, but right now it is like, yeah, trying to figure out where all the time is.”

If the time isn’t found then the pressure only goes up another notch.

We have no precedent to know what happens next.

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Delays in Adelaide as Sydney arrivals questioned whether they have visited NSW COVID hotspots; Borders stay open as other states urge testing following Sydney COVID-19 case


South Australia is now blocking travellers who have been to locations in Greater Sydney visited by the two new local positive COVID-19 cases.
The state joins others which have also banned anyone who visited Sydney exposure sites from entering without quarantining.
At Adelaide airport yesterday, Sydney arrivals saw lengthy delays as passengers were questioned as to whether they had recently been to any of the NSW COVID-19 hotspots.
Returning passengers at Adelaide Airport.
Returning passengers at Adelaide Airport. (AAP)

The South Australian border remains open to most of NSW but anyone who has visited an exposure site in Greater Sydney is not permitted to enter.

The ruling also applies to essential workers and residents of South Australia.

The update comes as the list of Sydney exposure sites grows following two positive mystery cases this week.

Genomic sequencing of the COVID-19 strain has matched it to a returned traveller from the United States who entered hotel quarantine in Sydney on April 26, however the link between the pair and the traveller has not been established raising concerns there is one or more cases moving undetected in the community.

Meanwhile, Queensland now requires anyone entering the state from NSW who has visited any of a growing list of Sydney exposure sites to to go into hotel quarantine.

Anyone already in Queensland who has been to one of the venues of concern is advised to isolate in their home and get tested.

Anyone who has been in Sydney since April 27 who develops symptoms is urged to get tested.

Queensland recorded three new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, all returned travellers in hotel quarantine. The state has 20 active cases.

Australian states and territories have kept their borders open to NSW after the new community cases of COVID-19, but ordered those who have visited one of a growing list of Sydney exposure sites to isolate and get tested.

Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT and NT are directing residents and visitors who visited any of the Sydney venues to isolate, get tested and then quarantine for 14 days. They’re also generally expected to contact local health authorities.

Victoria has reduced the area of concern in Sydney and all of NSW remains a green a zone.

Anyone from a green zone still requires a permit to enter the state.

Authorised Officer presence and spot-checking will be increased for incoming flights from Sydney to check for permits.

In Tasmania, anyone who visited one of the exposure locations at the specified times is directed to call local health authorities, isolate and get tested.

Qantas plane.
Other states are urging people who visited Sydney exposure locations to get tested. (Supplied)

WA Chief Health Officer Dr Andrew Robertson said NSW Health would contact its local counterpart if any close or casual contacts were found to be in WA.

“We believe any risk to WA remains very low, but the situation highlights the importance of remaining vigilant to prevent the chance of any spread of the virus or community transmission in this state,” he said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation in New South Wales very closely and issue updated health advice if required.”

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Toondah Harbour development east of Brisbane puts koala habitat at risk, community groups say as Priority Development Area provision questioned


A plan to upgrade the ferry terminal at Toondah Harbour in Cleveland was given PDA status by the former Newman government in 2013, and then endorsed and expanded under Labor in 2015.

Since then, the Labor government has introduced dozens of PDAs across the state.

There are now 34 PDAs across Queensland, adding up to some 82,572 hectares – or 900 square kilometres – that do not fall under traditional planning legislation.

A PDA can override local planning schemes (zoning), state environment regulation, standard development processes, and remove the appeal rights of the community.

At Toondah Harbour, residents said while the protected wetlands had received much attention, on-shore koala habitat was also at risk.

On the day the ABC visited the site, a juvenile koala could be seen clinging to a gumtree on the development boundary.

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UK police questioned over crackdown on vigil for murdered woman Sarah Everard


Police in London drew widespread criticism after handcuffing mourners at a vigil for a woman who was murdered after setting out to walk home, in a case that has sparked a national debate about violence against women.

Officers scuffled with some members of the hundreds-strong crowd that gathered despite coronavirus restrictions for a candlelit tribute close to the spot where 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard disappeared on March 3.

Reclaim These Streets – who initially organised the event in south London’s Clapham – condemned the actions of officers “physically manhandling women at a vigil against male violence.”

Social media footage showed police restraining and handcuffing some mourners, leading to an outpouring of criticism from across the political spectrum.

Both Home Secretary Priti Patel and London mayor Sadiq Khan said they had asked for explanations from the Metropolitan Police over how the vigil was handled.

And Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey called for Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick to resign, having “lost the confidence of millions of women in London”.

The murder of Everard, who vanished after setting out to walk home from a friend’s flat, has shocked the country and brought discussion around women’s safety to the fore once again.

Organisers had cancelled the vigil after police outlawed it because of Covid-19 restrictions, but hundreds still turned out, with tensions overspilling as Saturday night fell.

Thousands of people have gathered at a vigil to pay respects to Sarah Everard.

AFP

Mourners shouted “shame on you” at police, with tensions running high as a man arrested in connection with Everard’s murder is an officer.

In the hours following the vigil, rage mounted with pressure groups and politicians condemning police actions.

Opposition Labour MP Harriet Harman condemned the “terrible” scenes at Clapham in a tweet, adding: “Met mishandled vigil plan from the outset. They should have reached agreement.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer called the scenes “deeply disturbing” and also criticised the way the vigil was policed.

Caroline Nokes, the conservative chair of the women and equalities committee, said she was “truly shocked at the scenes from Clapham Common -– in this country we police by consent, not by trampling the tributes and dragging women to the ground”.

And feminist direct action group Sister’s Uncut tweeted late Saturday that “Metropolitan Police officers waited for the sun to set before they started grabbing and manhandling women in the crowd.”

‘Unbearable pain’ 

Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared in court earlier on Saturday charged with kidnap and murder following his arrest at his home in Kent, southeast England. The victim’s body was discovered in a nearby wood.

Many more joined in a virtual tribute, including prime minister Boris Johnson and his partner, who lit a candle for Everard.

“I cannot imagine how unbearable their pain and grief is. We must work fast to find all the answers to this horrifying crime,” he tweeted.

“I will do everything I can to make sure the streets are safe and ensure women and girls do not face harassment or abuse.”

The disappearance of Sarah Everard as she walked home on the evening of 3 March triggered a wave of outrage.

The disappearance of Sarah Everard as she walked home on the evening of 3 March triggered a wave of outrage.

AAP

Organisers of the vigil said they hoped to raise A$574,000 (£320,000) for women’s causes.

Earlier on Saturday Prince William’s wife Kate visited the bandstand at Clapham Common, which has turned into a shrine for the victim.

Everard had visited friends in Clapham and was returning home to Brixton, about 50 minutes walk away, when she disappeared around 9:30 pm.

The case has caused a political fallout, with MP Jess Phillips this week reading out the names of 118 women murdered last year.



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Brisbane’s proposed inner-western suburbs primary school location questioned as consultation process starts


St Peters Lutheran College told parents the proposed location on Indooroopilly State High School grounds raised “a number of challenging issues”.

It comes amid mounting criticism of the Education Department’s proposed location for the new inner-west state school on Indooroopilly State High School grounds – within 500 metres of four existing schools.

But the Education Minister Grace Grace and Education Department have insisted the proposed site — up for public consultation until the end of the month — was just “one possible location”.

In a newsletter last week, St Peters Lutheran College Head of College Tim Kotzur said the Education Department began what appeared to be “a very rushed” public consultation period at the start of January until the end of February.

He wrote the proposed location seemed to be “one of convenience and cost savings, rather than a well thought out medium to long-term solution to the needs and growth of the area”.

“It is interesting that no other alternate sites were suggested for the school, as is generally the case with such developments,” the letter said.

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Wyangala Dam: True costs questioned across catchment | Goulburn Post


news, local-news, Wyangala, Dam, cost, The Land, Nationals, birds, siltation, Lachlan

THE prospect of raising the Wyangala Dam wall has left Reids Flat farmers David and Sue Webster frustrated and deeply worried about the future of a property farmed by five generations of the family. The property stands to lose 500 hectares of prime river flats currently used for cropping. READ MORE: Wyangala could cost more than $2bn Coronavirus pandemic won’t slow Wyangala Dam wall raising Conservation and ecosystems on the edge at Wyangala Dam Wyangala Dam wall raising: construction could take four years before it fills The Websters, who witnessed the 1971 extension of the wall, which was first built in 1936, reckon the dam will have to be limited to about 30 per cent capacity for the duration of the build. And with that comes not only reduced water allocations for irrigators, but compromised flood mitigation capacity, they say. THE Department of Planning, Industry and Environment acknowledges, “as with all major infrastructure projects, there will be many challenges during construction. “The level of Wyangala Dam storage during some stages of the wall-raising project is potentially one of these challenges,” a department spokesperson said. “Specialists teams are undertaking work to find the best solution to these challenges in close consultation with all water users.” The spokesman said planned state government dam enlargements would increase the amount of storage “at both Wyangala and Dungowan creating a triple bottom-line benefit to all water users”. STANDING at the base of the dam wall Mrs Webster said of her son John’s export lamb operation: “We did the right thing, we went through a succession plan and look at what we’ve left them, a can of worms.” Mr Webster said a senior National Party MP late last year dismissed his concerns and described the project as a “done deal”. After such a standoff, Mr Webster said he would never vote for the National Party again. “That is just politics from the National Party, the Nats don’t really represent country people anymore, they just represent themselves.” There is a growing chorus of discontent across the Lachlan River catchment about possibly raising the Wyangala Dam wall. ALSO READ: Good drop and know-how steer beef prices sky high Above the existing dam, Upper Lachlan NSW Farmers branch chairman Robyn Alders says landholders are deeply concerned. Dr Alders – who currently runs 571 ewes and lambs and 120 wethers on the 200-hectare Toledo on the Fullerton Road – said the manner in which the Wyangala project was shaping up promised no positive return on investment. THE immediate concern among Upper Lachlan farmers is that if Wyangala ever filled, one significant rainfall event on the back of that would result in the loss of superb grazing land, killing pastures and ancient river red gums. “And once trees like that die, there’s no return for trees of that age.” Dr Alders said there needed to be a cohesive, catchment-wide approach to soil health to address both loss of topsoil and siltation. “National water security is incredibly important,” said Dr Alders, “and the agricultural sector is incredibly important”. ALSO READ: Microsoft buys carbon credits from Aussie cattle operation She said more efficient use of the dam’s current capacity would better serve all water users and such a large amount of money could be better spent supporting transition to more efficient water use. “There are water-use efficiency technologies available and they are being used in the United States, Israel and the European Union, but those countries support their farmers,” she said. Dr Alders said one of the major issues the government had so far been silent on was siltation. Mr Webster said already below Cowra there was a sand ‘slug’ 150 kilometres long in the Lachlan. “You can see trees growing in the river,” he said. Dr Alders said that suggested there were already major siltation problems caused by the dam in its existing state. She said sustainable management of siltation had been recognised as a ‘significant threat’ to the longevity, usefulness and sustainable operations of dams by the World Bank. It is not only above the dam that farmers are concerned. ALSO READ: Woman seriously hurt after car plunges down Kings Hwy embankment The years needed to construct a new wall and the consequent reduced capacity at Wyangala Dam would cast downstream irrigators into a new millenium drought, says Booligal irrigator Gordon Turner. There would be no general security water available in that time and Water NSW would have difficulty delivering even high-security allocations, he said. “It’s a terrible investment for the taxpayer.” Mr Turner also said reduced flooding or spill events would effectively threaten internationally significant wetlands, the Great Cumbung Swamp and the Booligal Wetlands. AUSTRALIA has signed agreements with Japan, China and South Korea to protect migratory birds that use territory in both countries – they include both wetlands. “We don’t think the public would think it a benefit to destroy the breeding opportunities of millions of Australia’s water birds and damage hundreds of thousands of hectares of nationally significant wetlands and flood plains,” he said. Mr Turner said after 40 years of National Party membership this year he flicked his renewal form in the bin on Australia Day. INLAND Rivers Network president Bev Smiles says the entire system would be severely disrupted by raising the dam wall. She insists there are significant water-saving measures that are more cost-effective to be had by maintaining existing infrastructure. “The Jemalong Irrigation system is a case in point. Similar water savings and improved yield could be had repairing Jemalong,” she said. Ms Smiles said the amount of conveyance water currently needed to deliver orders made within the scheme would match an enlarged Wyangala’s yield. ALSO READ: Maggie Dent shares tips for students on how to handle stress She questioned why such possibilities were not included in the Regional Water Strategy. “It seems there’s an attitude that regional water strategies involve building dams.” Ms SMILES said a larger dam would take more water out of the system and that meant less flows downstream. “The true cost to both economy and environment of less natural flows downstream is enormous, for instance losing wetlands, how is that assessed as a cost?” Ms Smiles said it was yet to be seen whether the business case for the dam fully assessed whole-of-system costs. “The business case must be released as a public document because an unknown amount of public money would be needed for the project,” she said. We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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‘Someone knows’: Mum questioned in hunt for baby’s killer



On the morning of November 16 at King Street, Annerley, a 32-year-old mother made a triple-0 call to paramedics and reported her infant daughter was unconscious and not breathing. Despite paramedics’ best attempts, the youngster was declared dead a short time later.According to police, the baby’s death was initially treated as a heartbreaking tragedy, until an autopsy and forensic pathology reports days later led detectives to believe the incident was suspicious.

Police say the baby had no physical signs of injury or distress, however “as a result of investigations and now with medical evidence, (police) are treating the death of this baby as suspicious”.Security camera footage (inset) of the little girl’s last public outing, taken at 5pm at the Buranda shopping centre on November 15, revealed the girl was “happy and healthy”, police said.Queensland Police Service Detective Inspector Rod Watts made a public appeal for information yesterday.“Someone knows something,” he said. “Between 5pm on the 15th of November and 8am on the 16th (of November), something has happened to that child which is suspicious.“Something happened between then … (and) when the baby was found unresponsive.

“This appeal goes out to people who might have seen the family at Buranda, neighbours of King Street, Annerley, and even family and relatives that may be able to assist with information.”He said there was a “very small circle of people involved”, and said the family were a “tight knit community family”.

The Courier-Mailunderstands both the baby’s parents work in the medical research field and had been living at the King Street unit complex for about six months before moving out about one week ago.The young girl did not have any siblings and the family was not previously known to police or child services.One man who lives at the unit complex said he had not known his neighbours well, but said he was shocked to learn of the baby’s death.“We’d hear the baby cry, but kids cry, so it seemed normal to me when we would hear it was upset,” the man, who did not want to be named said.The baby’s mother was released from the Morningside police station without charge yesterday while police continue to piece together the final hours of the infant’s life.
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Former Japan PM Abe questioned Monday by prosecutors, NHK says


December 22, 2020

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe submitted to voluntary questioning by Tokyo prosecutors on Monday in a case against his secretary over unreported political funds, public broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified sources.

Abe, who stepped down citing ill health in September, is under fire on suspicion his office helped cover the costs of dinner parties for supporters, a possible violation of funding laws that he denied when questioned in parliament last year.

Prosecutors have been building a case against Abe’s secretary over unreported funds involving as much as 40 million yen ($386,922) and had asked Abe to appear for voluntary questioning about the issue, domestic media reported this month.

Tokyo prosecutors said they do not comment on investigations. Abe’s office declined to comment and requested that questions be sent by facsimile.

The issue also risks hurting current Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who was Abe’s right-hand man during his 2012-2020 tenure and defended him in parliament.

Suga has already seen his approval ratings tumble over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He drew fire for joining year-end social gatherings despite asking Japanese citizens to avoid such parties amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

($1 = 103.3800 yen)

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher and Elaine Lies; Editing by David Dolan and Lincoln Feast.)





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Berejiklian questioned about Covid test; Victoria to spend billions on recovery – follow live


The NSW premier is facing accusations that she failed to isolate after a Covid test, while Victoria will release its state budget with big investments to pull the state out of recession – follow latest updates

  • Victoria ends mandatory mask-wearing outdoors
  • Follow our global live blog
  • Are masks still needed to combat coronavirus in NSW and Victoria?
  • Australia’s restrictions explained: state by state

9.08pm GMT

After containing Australia’s largest outbreak, there are now no active cases of Covid-19 in Victoria.

A Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman told Guardian Australia on Tuesday morning the last Covid-19 patient was cleared of the virus on Monday.

#BREAKING: There are officially ZERO active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria. @VicGovDHHS has confirmed the state’s last coronavirus patient was cleared of the virus and discharged from hospital yesterday. @abcnews

8.59pm GMT

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has acknowledged she breached state health requirements by failing to self-isolate while waiting to receive the results of a Covid-19 test she took on the state’s budget day last week.

Berejiklian fronted ABC News this morning to address the claims, saying she had no symptoms and only took the test out of an “abundance of caution” last Tuesday afternoon, so that she could reassure people asking why she was losing her voice that she had tested negative to Covid-19.

I didn’t have any symptoms, no scratchy throat, no(ne) of the symptoms listed on the NSW Health website, but in an abundance of caution I had the test done that afternoon and was told I’d have a result within 90 minutes to two hours.

I didn’t change my schedule, perhaps I should have. But the facts were an ordinary person probably wouldn’t have needed the test at all,”

I still haven’t hugged my parents, that is really hard, since February. I haven’t let anyone touch me, even though people run up to you in the middle of the street, and I’ve put my elbow out which is rude for me but I do that.

It’s only because I am so vigorous against fighting against complacency that I took the test because I didn’t have a symptom.

8.31pm GMT

Good morning, Elias Visontay here to take you through all the day’s news in Australia.

Mathias Cormann’s travel around Europe to campaign for the top OECD job may be costing Australian taxpayers as much as $4,300 an hour. The Morrison government is supporting the former finance minister, who quit the Senate this month, in his bid for the job with the use of an RAAF Falcon.

Continue reading…



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St. Petersburg Opposition Official Questioned By Police After Ripping Putin Portrait


St. Petersburg police have questioned an opposition official after he tore up a portrait of President Vladimir Putin that replaced one of poet Alexander Pushkin, Russian media reported Thursday.

Five officers arrived at the Smolninskoye municipal district session Wednesday to investigate reports that deputy Nikita Yuferev ripped Putin’s portrait, according to the St. Petersburg-based Fontanka.ru news website.

It reported that Yuferev told police he was “angered” to discover that someone had replaced Pushkin’s portrait, which he had hung earlier this week, with the portrait of “an unidentified man resembling” Putin.

Yuferev is a member of the Yabloko opposition party, which last year unseated pro-Kremlin deputies from the United Russia party in central St. Petersburg’s Smolninskoye district. The reports did not indicate whether Yuferev would face criminal or other punishment.

Fellow municipal deputy Diana Seraya told the Znak.com news website that the tug-of-war over the Putin and Pushkin portraits was part of an ongoing confrontation with the local administration.

“Every time we leave, they hang a portrait of Putin. When we get back, we hang a portrait of Pushkin in its place,” she was quoted as saying.

Video shared by Seraya on social media showed the arriving officers telling the deputies “we got a message that the commander-in-chief’s photograph was ripped.”

She later posted a photo showing one of the officers filing a protocol with pieces of the Putin portrait scattered on the table.

Russian government and court buildings normally display Putin’s official portrait.

Russia made the “blatant disrespect” of government institutions including Putin a criminal offense in 2019, with dozens of citizens prosecuted under the law. Critics condemn the law as a form of censorship.





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