Opinion: Rick Santorum needs to go back to school

Opinion: Rick Santorum needs to go back to school | Fortune

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Police SERT officer who shot Rick Maddison tells inquest he had ‘no other choice’

The Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) operator, known only by code number 177, told the court he had “no other choice” than to shoot the man 20 hours into the stand-off.

Maddison earlier shot police officer Senior Constable Brett Forte with an automatic weapon, after a pursuit from Toowoomba to the Lockyer Valley.

Coroner Terry Ryan is investigating both deaths.

Operator 177 said containing Maddison was the focus of the officers.

The court heard the team had disabled a vehicle using a robot to prevent Maddison from leaving the area.

The robot moved toward a motorcycle and the SERT operatives saw Maddison leave the farmhouse where he was holed up and run in their direction.

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Rick Zamperin: Chiefs sit atop NFL playoff power rankings – Hamilton

The NFL‘s regular season wrapped up on Sunday and 14 teams are now left standing in the battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Only one team is going to end up becoming Super Bowl LV champions in Tampa, Florida, but which clubs have the best shot at football immortality?

Here is my NFL playoff power rankings.

14-Washington Football Team. Washington won the NFC East with a 7-9 record and is the only playoff team with a sub.-500 record. QB Alex Smith is a great comeback story but if Washington’s second-ranked defence can’t hold the fort — starting this weekend against Tampa Bay — they will have no chance of extending their season.

13-Chicago Bears. Chicago started the season 5-1, then lost six games in a row, before closing out their campaign with three wins in their last four games. They’re playing their best football of the season but will be hard pressed to make a long playoff run.

Read more:
Brandon Banks re-signs with Hamilton Tiger-Cats for 2021 CFL season

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12-Cleveland Browns. The Browns are playoff bound for the first time since 2002 after going 11-5. Cleveland has the No. 3 ground attack in the NFL, but they are two weeks removed from losing to the New York Jets and nearly lost last Sunday to a Pittsburgh team than rested a number of its starters.

11-Los Angeles Rams. Bolstered by the league’s top-ranked defence, the Rams have shown flashes of excellence on offence but will be hard pressed to make any noise if QB Jared Goff’s thumb injury keeps him on the sideline.

10-Tennessee Titans. Derrick Henry won his second consecutive rushing crown after becoming just the eighth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards in a season (he finished with 2,027) and added a league-high 17 TDs. Tennessee’s downfall will be their 28th ranked defence, by far the worst among all playoff teams.

Canadian NHL teams gear up for north of the border hockey season

Canadian NHL teams gear up for north of the border hockey season

9-Indianapolis Colts. Phillip Rivers and the Colts have been one of the most balanced and consistent teams in the NFL this season. Indy has also benefited from having the second best turnover ratio (+10) in the NFL and will need a few of them to get past Buffalo in the Wild Card round.

8-Seattle Seahawks. At 12-4, the Seahawks are a battle tested unit that can keep up with the best offences and defences in the league. With Russell Wilson at quarterback, Seattle will be a handful this post-season.

7-Pittsburgh Steelers. After starting the season 11-0, Pittsburgh has lost three of their last four games. However, with a dynamite defence and a well-rested Ben Roethlisberger at QB the Steelers are well equipped to make a deep run.

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6-Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs enter the playoffs on a four-game winning streak in which Tom Brady threw 12 TDs and the team averaged 37 points. The knock against the Bucs this season, though, is that of their 11 victories this season only one came against a team with a winning record (Green Bay).

5-Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore finished the season 11-5 after ripping off five straight wins before the finish line. The way that quarterback Lamar Jackson is playing right now, the Ravens are going to be a tough out.

4-New Orleans Saints. Rumours are swirling that soon-to-be 42-year-old QB Drew Brees will retire after this season. The future Hall of Famer remains an important cog in the Saints wheel, but they will rely on the explosiveness of running back Alvin Kamara and their fourth-ranked defence to go all the way.

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3-Green Bay Packers. MVP favourite Aaron Rodgers, at age 37, enjoyed his most productive season in four years. Coupled with receiver Davante Adams and running back Aaron Jones, they make up the league’s most lethal three-headed monster.

2-Buffalo Bills. The Bills are the team that no one wants to face in the playoffs. Buffalo roared to a 13-3 record on the strength of quarterback Josh Allen, receiver Stefon Diggs and their rock solid defence. Buffalo is a bona fide Super Bowl contender.

1-Kansas City Chiefs. K.C. rested a bunch of players in their final regular season game and so QB Patrick Mahomes and co. will be raring to go in two weeks time. Until a team knocks off the defending champions, who went 14-2 this season, the Chiefs remain the favourite to win it all on Feb. 7.

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Premier League festive predictions: Lawro v singer and Manchester United fan Rick Astley

Liverpool are top of the table this Christmas but the big game on 26 December is second-placed Leicester against third-placed Manchester United.

Will the Foxes or United challenge the Reds for the Premier League title in 2021? Or will it be someone else?

“Along with Manchester City, United seem the most likely team to me to run Liverpool close,” said BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson. “After a slow start to the season, they have just started to get it together.

“United will be a threat to Liverpool, and Manchester City will be there or thereabouts too. They have got too much quality not to be.”

Snapshot of the top of the Premier League: 1st Liverpool, 2nd Leicester, 3rd Man Utd, 4th Everton, 5th Chelsea & 6th Tottenham
Manchester City are eighth, with 23 points from 13 games

Lawro is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches this season, against a variety of guests.

This weekend, he is up against singer Rick Astley, whose new festive single ‘Love this Christmas’ is out now.

Rick Astley
Rick reached number two at Christmas 1987 with a cover of Nat King Cole’s classic ‘When I fall in love’

Astley performed ‘Every One of Us’ at last weekend’s BBC Sport’s Personality of the Year awards – his song was used to launch 2020’s Unsung Hero awards and raise money for Children In Need.

“It was so weird on the one hand, because you are so used to seeing 10,000 people at SPOTY, but it was still a great night and they threw everything they could at it to make it work as well as possible in the circumstances,” he told BBC Sport.

Astley is a Manchester United fan and the last time he took on Lawro, in 2016, he revealed he thought he might be a jinx because his first few visits to Old Trafford saw them lose.

He told BBC Sport: “I don’t think I’m a real jinx, but funnily enough I was talking about that to someone last weekend because [United striker] Marcus Rashford was coming into the building for SPOTY.

“I would have loved to have met him properly – I have spoken to him very briefly before at the club’s training ground in Carrington – and obviously I had see watched him play that day in United’s win over Leeds before he came over, so I thought he’d be in a good mood.

“Then I thought ‘hang on, you are being daft – you can’t just go and say hello to people because everyone is trying to observe social distancing’, which is why we were doing the show that way in the first place.

“So I didn’t talk to him, but it was brilliant to see Marcus recognised for his work to raise awareness of child poverty in the UK with a special award.

“Premier League footballers are usually among the first people in society who are pointed at because of the money they earn, especially when one of them does something stupid.

“But you have to remember a lot of them are very young which can distort your behaviour, I can relate to that a bit with the music industry where you can have a hit record out and a year later your bank manager is saying ‘you’d better sit down’ if it goes really well.

“So I can understand when the money side of it turns players’ heads, but I think it is really good that we have had so many positive role models emerge in football in the past few years and tackling some important topics, not just Marcus but someone like Raheem Sterling at Manchester City as well.

“As professional athletes they are very privileged to earn what they do and are quite sheltered from the realities of life, but listening to Rashford it is clear he can relate to being a kid in a situation where life is not treating you well, and you are not getting the opportunities or – in his case – even getting enough food.

“He’s experienced it, and seen the difference between the haves and the have nots in Manchester, which is quite stark. It’s the same in all big cities of course, but I can relate to it with Manchester because I grew up close by and saw that for myself.

“So it’s important for him to speak out – and I’m really pleased he’s been recognised for what he has done.”

You can still download the charity single ‘Every One of Us’, by Rick Astley featuring The Unsung Heroes, with proceeds going to Children in Need.

Leicester v Man Utdx-x0-22-3
Aston Villa v Crystal Palacex-x2-01-1
Fulham v Southamptonx-x2-10-2
Arsenal v Chelseax-x1-10-3
Man City v Newcastlex-x3-03-1
Sheff Utd v Evertonx-x1-10-2
Leeds v Burnleyx-x2-12-1
West Ham v Brightonx-x2-12-0
Liverpool v West Bromx-x3-05-0
Wolves v Tottenhamx-x1-11-3

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.



Leicester v Man Utd

Leicester v Man Utd (12:30 GMT)

Both of these sides are much better on the road than they are at home – United have won all six of their away league games this season.

Leicester, meanwhile, have got half as many points at the King Power Stadium as they have on their travels – nine at home, compared to 18 away.

The Foxes’ latest excellent away result came against Tottenham last weekend and, although there is a lot more to them than just one player, they are set up to get the best out of Jamie Vardy and they play to his strengths.

An in-form Vardy is hard for anyone to stop, but I look at United and I see a team that is just clicking into gear. I am backing them to make it seven away wins out of seven.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Rick’s prediction: United will go second if we win this game, two points behind a Liverpool team who have been phenomenal for the past couple of years – and I think any United fan would take that at Christmas in any season, including when Sir Alex Ferguson was manager – although he wouldn’t be happy about it!

We obviously don’t like being behind Liverpool under any circumstances but we just have to beat them when we play them and we are above them. So I think we are doing well at the moment, especially considering what a strange season it has been, with no fans and crazy results for every team.

Not having any fans is actually turning into a disadvantage for most people, because you have the pressure of being at home, without any of the usual advantages – which is part of the reason Leicester and ourselves have got such a great away record. There are going to be a lot of goals in this one, and I’m going with United to win again on the road. 2-3

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace (15:00 GMT)

Aston Villa’s results have been up and down all season but they are on a good run at the moment with seven points from their past three games.

In contrast, Palace were taken apart by Liverpool last weekend. Yes, part of the reason for that was that Liverpool were absolutely outstanding in attack, and I’m sure we will see a reaction from the Eagles here, but I still think Villa will be able to open them up.

Jack Grealish is playing well and he is now to Villa what Wilfried Zaha is for Palace – their attacking talisman. On top of that, Villa play like they believe they belong in the Premier League because their results have given them that confidence.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-0

Rick’s prediction: Palace crumbled against Liverpool, which is very unlike them. That won’t happen this time. 1-1

Fulham v Southampton

Fulham v Southampton (15:00 GMT)

Southampton could be without a few key players – Oriol Romeu is definitely missing through suspension and Danny Ings, Jannik Vestergaard and Nathan Redmond are all injury doubts. Collectively, their absence would make a big difference.

I’m going to go with Fulham here, even with manager Scott Parker missing from the dugout. After a poor start to the season they have been improving in recent weeks, with three successive draws.

The Cottagers have become much more difficult to beat, now they need to turn those draws into wins.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Rick’s prediction: I quite like Fulham and have been to a few games at Craven Cottage – a friend of mine, Richard Drummie from Go West, has got season tickets there and phones me up sometimes when his son doesn’t want to go – but unfortunately for them I think Southampton are going to win this one. 0-2

Arsenal v Chelsea

Arsenal v Chelsea (17:30 GMT)

Arsenal aren’t winning games but I would not point the finger at their manager, Mikel Arteta, I think their issues run far deeper that.

Their recruitment has not been good enough – I know it probably wasn’t possible but I honestly think they need their former manager Arsene Wenger in charge of that side of things.

Snapshot of the bottom of the Premier League: 15th Arsenal, 16th Burnley, 17th Brighton, 18th Fulham, 19th West Brom & 20th Sheff Utd

I look at some of the Gunners players, and I don’t think they care enough. Are they particularly bothered if they keep losing games? I don’t get the impression that they are.

Again, that’s not Arteta’s fault. Arsenal’s better players this season have been their kids, because some of the older ones do not look like they are playing for Arsenal – I think they are playing for themselves.

Having said all of that, I have a feeling the Gunners will get something here. They are on a poor run, but they still have some quality players in their side, and they are going to show it at some point soon.

I am not totally convinced by Chelsea either. They were on a really good run until the start of December but I don’t think they are consistent enough to challenge Liverpool for the title. The top four is a realistic target for Frank Lampard’s side though.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Rick’s prediction: Arsenal are hopeless at the moment aren’t they? I’ve got to be honest, it does give me a sense of glee to say that. Two of my oldest friends are Arsenal fans, actually, and we are actually pretty civilised about it if they, or United, are having a bad time of it.

There is a rivalry there though, of course, but with the teams you don’t like, the reality is you are just showing respect because the reason you don’t like them is that you sort of fear them a bit, or they have been – as Arsenal were for a long time to United under Arsene Wenger – your main rival. 0-3

Man City v Newcastle

Man City v Newcastle (20:00 GMT)

Newcastle did not play well against Brentford when they went out of the Carabao Cup in midweek, and they only managed a draw at home to Fulham last weekend.

The Magpies will have to do a lot better than that to get anything at Etihad Stadium and I don’t see it happening.

Having Sergio Aguero back fully fit to lead their attack would be a big boost for City but I would expect them to beat Newcastle even if he isn’t ready.

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Rick’s prediction: At some point, City are going to to put their foot on the gas. I don’t think they are far away from being in the mix for the title either. 3-1

Sheff Utd v Everton

Sheff Utd v Everton (20:00 GMT)

This will be physical because both teams can play that way. Everton have got more quality but Sheffield United showed they were up for the scrap against Brighton last weekend, when they almost held on for a win despite going down to 10 men.

Despite only picking up two points from their first 14 games, I don’t think the Blades’ survival chances are all over just yet. Their hopes are fading fast though.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Rick’s prediction: I feel a bit sorry for Sheffield United but I don’t see anything changing for them here. 0-2


Leeds v Burnley

Leeds v Burnley (12:00 GMT)

Burnley are on a good run, with two draws and two wins in their past four games, and this should be a good game.

Leeds are not great defensively in open play or at set-pieces, and their goalkeeper Illan Meslier makes some good saves but doesn’t command the area.

Meslier is just a kid at 20. He looks like he has the makings of a really good keeper, but he isn’t one at the moment. He is still learning, and he is playing behind a porous back four.

Leeds know their strength is going forward, though, and they are not going to change. I think they will win, but there is no way they are getting a clean sheet.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Rick’s prediction: These two sides have very different playing styles. I’d have to say Leeds will win this one. I know we gave them a bit of a lesson last weekend but their attacking approach has been working this season. 2-1

West Ham v Brighton

West Ham v Brighton (14:15 GMT)

This is a tough one to call because you know that Brighton play some good football without really hurting teams. West Ham have been playing some decent stuff too, but have gone a couple of games without winning.

I’m going to go with the Hammers, though, mainly because there is a chance that Michail Antonio could be available after his hamstring injury.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Rick’s prediction: 2-0

Liverpool v West Brom

Liverpool v West Brom (16:30 GMT)

Liverpool’s home record is just unbelievable, fans or no fans. All the time, their young players are getting more and more experience too and, whoever they play at Anfield, they seem to be able to just brush them aside.

It’s hard to make a case for West Brom to get anything out of this one but it would help matters if they can keep 11 players on the pitch this weekend.

I am sure new Baggies boss Sam Allardyce will get that message across to his players pretty quickly but, in terms of results, I am not expecting to see them make much improvement until the January transfer window opens.

Big Sam is the last man to win at Anfield in the Premier League, with Palace in April 2017, but I don’t see a repeat result for him here. I know it has been a strange season, but come on!

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

Rick’s prediction: Oh dear! I fear for West Brom here – this could be literally anything. Mr Allardyce will have had a few more days to organise West Brom, but he’s got to work with what he has got for now. 5-0

Wolves v Tottenham

Wolves v Tottenham (19:15 GMT)

Tottenham have hit a little sticky patch, with two defeats and a draw in their past three matches, and Wolves have not been great either, with three defeats in four games in December.

Goals might be the problem for both teams here, because I can see this being cagey. Both sides really need a win, but they might have to settle for a point apiece.

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Rick’s prediction: Wolves have got some excellent players, but they haven’t really got going this season. 1-3

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Lawro do last time?

Last weekend, Lawro got four correct results from 10 matches, with no exact scores, for a total of 40 points.

He was beaten by singer Becky Hill, who got five correct results, including one exact score, for a total of 90 points.

Lawro's League Table graphic

2Man City13103033+6
3Man Utd131021320
=14West Ham1443715-4
16Crystal Palace1433812-3
17Aston Villa1224610-8
18Sheff Utd1422108+2
20West Brom1402122-1


110Sister Bliss, Amy Macdonald, Steve White
90Adam Devonshire, Becky Hill
75Lawro (average after 14 weeks)
60Celeste, Caroline Weir
50Declan McKenna, Paul Smith, DJ Target
40Gavin ‘Mo’ Edgeley
20Dougie Payne

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Rick Zamperin: Ranking the NHL’s Canadian division

As the National Hockey League and the Players’ Association discuss when, and how, the 2020-21 season will play out during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, fans in Canada are eagerly awaiting confirmation of an all-Canadian division.

Such a division is a necessity, given the current non-essential travel ban at the Canada-U.S. border, as well as coronavirus quarantine regulations.

So that means, in all likelihood, that the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks will be grouped together when the season begins in January or February.

Which team is most likely to come out on top? Here are my rankings.

QMJHL players hope to be back on ice soon after games cancelled

QMJHL players hope to be back on ice soon after games cancelled

7-Ottawa Senators, 2019-20 record: 25-34-12. Ottawa continues to rebuild their lineup and has a solid group of young, up-and-coming players such as Thomas Chabot and Brady Thachuk, but they are still a long ways off from challenging for the title of top team in the Great White North.

6-Vancouver Canucks, 2019-20 record: 36-27-6. Bring on the hate mail! Sorry Canucks fans, but despite all their great talent, losing Vezina Trophy candidate Jacob Markstrom hurts. Until new starting goalie Thatcher Demko proves that he can be a No. 1 goalie for an entire season I can’t rate this team any higher.

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5-Montreal Canadiens, 2019-20 record: 31-31-9. Montreal is bound to be better this season, right? Carey Price is still one of the best goalies in the NHL and adding scoring punch by signing forwards Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli should mean a few more wins for the Habs.

4-Winnipeg Jets, 2019-20 record: 37-28-6. Yes, the Jets have the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Connor Hellebuyck, but the Patrik Laine trade rumours and the health of Mark Sheifele and Bryan Little scare me a little bit and that’s why I have them in this spot.

Read more:
Rick Zamperin: Who are the top 5 centers in the NHL?

3-Edmonton Oilers, 2019-20 record: 37-25-9. They have the best 1-2 punch in the league with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but Edmonton is only going to go as far as goalies Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith take them.

2-Calgary Flames, 2019-20 record: 36-27-7. The addition of Markstrom is huge from a talent standpoint, and it will be a confidence boost. If Markstrom turns in a stellar performance like he did last season and the Flames continue to get production from their go-to guys they will challenge for top spot.

Click to play video 'Sportscaster James Duthie uncovers hockey’s greatest untold stories in new book'

Sportscaster James Duthie uncovers hockey’s greatest untold stories in new book

Sportscaster James Duthie uncovers hockey’s greatest untold stories in new book

1-Toronto Maple Leafs, 2019-20 record: 36-25-9. Aside from the Flames and Habs, the Leafs have made the most noise in addressing their weaknesses — leadership, grit and defence. Adding Joe Thornton, Wayne Simmonds, T.J. Brodie and Zach Bogosian to an already talented roster should push Toronto to the top of Canada’s hockey chart.

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr ‘sickened’ by Afghanistan war crimes inquiry report

The Chief of Army was left “sickened” by the findings of a landmark investigation into allegations of war crimes levelled against Australian Special Forces, which recommended 19 defence personnel be investigated for allegedly illegally killing people in Afghanistan.

The inquiry by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) was released on Thursday, and found “credible information” that 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners had been unlawfully killed, and another two subjected to cruel treatment.

Paul Brereton, a justice of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, found junior troopers were forced to kill Afghans, in a practice known as “blooding”, to allow them to achieve their first kill.

Defence Force Chief Angus Campbell said the ADF accepted all the findings of the Brereton inquiry, and would work to implement its recommendations.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr was at Special Air Service (SAS) headquarters in Perth when the findings were released, and it was announced one of its squadrons would be removed from the order of battle.

“I was sick. I was sickened, particularly by the allegations of blooding,” Lieutenant General Burr told the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes.

“I was shocked by the extent of the alleged unlawful acts that were described in the report.

On Sunday, ADF Chief Angus Campbell told the ABC a recommendation from the Brereton inquiry for soldiers to wear body cameras was a “good idea”.

Soldiers were accused of trying to cover up murders by planting weapons and radios next to their bodies, after they were killed.

Any prosecutions of ADF personnel could take years, as some of the evidence gathered by the IGADF is not admissible in a civilian court. Soldiers were compelled to answer questions in the internal Defence probe, going against the civil principle of the right against self incrimination.

A special investigator has been created within the Australian Federal Police to investigate the allegations from the Brereton inquiry, and a special prosecutor has been appointed within the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to handle any court cases.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Play Video. Duration: 21 minutes 32 seconds

Watch General Angus Campbell’s full speech about the Afghanistan Inquiry

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Convicted child killer Rick Thorburn jailed over sex offences at family day care centre

Convicted child killer Rick Thorburn has been sentenced to five years in jail over more than a dozen child sex offences, including the rape of a young girl at a family day care centre south of Brisbane five years ago.

Last November, Thorburn pleaded guilty to one count of rape, two counts of attempted rape, and 10 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12.

The offences occurred at 60-year-old Thorburn’s home at Chambers Flat, south of Brisbane, where his wife Julene Thorburn ran a home childcare business.

The offences began in 2015 — the same year he murdered his 12-year-old foster daughter Tiahleigh Palmer.

Earlier on Friday, Thorburn applied to have his guilty plea vacated, telling the court that at the time of admitting to the sexual assault charges he was “confused” and “pushed into” it by his lawyers.

“He [his lawyer] said, ‘If I pleaded guilty it would be less time [in custody] — if I went to court it would be longer time’,” Thorburn said.

Thorburn told the District Court at Beenleigh he had not intended to plead guilty but he “trusted” his lawyers.

“I thought the solicitor was there to help me,” he said.

“The way I was at the time, I just felt like I was just being hounded into a corner and being told, ‘Just do what you’re told’.”

Thorburn also told the court that two months before the plea hearing he had suffered memory loss and could no longer read or write “properly” after an incident in prison where he was “held down” and taken to another cell.

The court heard the incident Thorburn had referred to had occurred in September 2019, when he allegedly assaulted another prisoner before he was put into segregation in a detention unit and placed under a safety order for 28 days.

Rick Thorburn carried Tiahleigh Palmer’s coffin at her funeral in 2015 before he was charged.(AAP: Dan Peled)

Thorburn yells tirade in court room

Breaking down while giving evidence, Thorburn cried while telling the court he could remember so little after the incident that he could not recognise his wife when she visited him.

“A lady came and I didn’t know who it was, but it was my wife,” he said.

“I said ‘I don’t know you’.”

His two former lawyers gave evidence and both denied pushing Thorburn into entering the guilty plea.

On two occasions while being cross-examined on Friday morning, Thorburn erupted into an expletive-laden verbal tirade against the prosecutor, judge and the media.

While in the dock, Thorburn yelled: “Let’s f****** go home — I’m finished, I’m done”, before being removed from the court room.

“I know I will never see the outside of a jail again — I’m going to die in jail,” he said.

“Guilty, guilty, guilty to everything … I’m never getting out — who gives a s***.”

Judge dismisses application from ‘appalling’ witness

District Court Judge Craig Chowdhury dismissed Thorburn’s application to vacate the plea, labelling him a “poor” and “appalling” witness, who he did not believe was “bullied” into admitting to the crimes.

“Mr Thorburn was not truthful, and this seems to me an attempt to try and avoid a decision he made back in November,” Judge Chowdhury said.

When handing down his sentence, Judge Chowdury described Thorburn’s offending as “really serious”.

“You were in a position of trust,” he said.

Thorburn is serving a life sentence for the murder of Tiahleigh, whose body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River, south of Brisbane, six days after she was reported missing.

During his sentencing hearing in 2018, the Supreme Court in Brisbane heard Thorburn killed the schoolgirl after discovering his son had sex with her and feared she was pregnant.

Thorburn has already spent more than 600 days in custody and will now be eligible for parole in 2038.

Smiling Tiahleigh Palmer on a boat wearing a life jacket, date and location unknown.
Tiahleigh Palmer’s body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River six days after she was reported missing in 2015.(Supplied)

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Supercars veteran Rick Kelly retires

Supercars veteran Rick Kelly has called time on his full-time driving career after 19 years.

The one-time series champion is unsure of what the future holds but has left the door open to return as a co-driver in enduro events.

Kelly bows out after a disappointing 2020, in which he switched to driving a Ford after seven seasons with Nissan.

But it was in a Holden Commodore where Kelly made his name in Supercars, winning the Bathurst 1000 twice (2003 and 2004) with Greg Murphy and taking out the drivers’ title in 2006.

“There were many challenges put forward in 2020 with COVID and the Mustang program in its infancy at Kelly Racing,” the 37-year-old said.

“It hasn’t been the fairytale ending that I would love to have gone out with, but I have to step off the merry-go-round at some point.

“I have had a solid hustle over the past 20 years in motorsport, never really sitting still.

“I’ll firstly take some time to reflect on my decision and then go about planning a solid attack on the next chapter of my life, whatever that might be.”

Kelly’s last win came at Winton in 2018.

He finished 17th driving with Dale Wood at this year’s Bathurst 1000.

He is the second driver to step away from Supercars in recent days after three-time series champion Scott McLaughlin confirmed he will move to America to drive an IndyCar for Team Penske next year.

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Rick Zamperin: Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke would rather play without fans

Back in March, when the NBA first announced that it was contemplating a plan to finish the 2019-20 season in a bubble with no fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic, I recall Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James being asked what he thought about it.

His answer was direct and to the point.

“We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible,” James said. “I ain’t playing if I ain’t got fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates, and I play for the fans.”

James did end up playing and led the Lakers to their 17th NBA championship while winning his fourth NBA Finals MVP award.

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But what would happen if the NBA, or NHL, or every other sports league on the planet isn’t able to play in full stadiums and arenas for another year, or two, or longer?

Despite having lucrative television contracts, the financial structure of numerous leagues would have to change, and as a fan of sports, that would really stink.

And like James, I would suspect that other pro athletes wouldn’t like it either because whether they are playing in front of the cheering masses at home, or a raucous crowd on the road, athletes get a charge from the crowd.

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Unless you’re Zack Greinke.

The Houston Astros pitcher admitted before Tuesday night’s Game 3 of the American League Championship Series that he’d rather not have fans in the stands.

“It’s nice not having fans in the stands,” said Greinke, who is Houston’s scheduled starting pitcher for Game 4. “Because then there’s no one there to talk to you and ask for autographs and want pictures and all that stuff. I don’t like to do that stuff. It’s nice not having them, for me. Most people like it. I don’t like it.”

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The 36-year-old Greinke earns the fourth-highest annual salary in Major League Baseball, at $35 million (tied with Washington’s Stephen Strasburg and Colorado’s Nolan Arenado), and has been paid more than $282 million during his 17 year career.

I hope Greinke understands that if there weren’t any fans around to purchase tickets, merchandise and concession stand goodies he would be, more or less, playing for pride and perhaps some beer money.

To each their own, and I appreciate Greinke’s honesty, but it doesn’t look good on him.

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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After a Toronto Raptors player became the target of racist comments online, this Ontario couple stepped in

After a Toronto Raptors player became the target of racist comments online, this Ontario couple stepped in

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Gen. Rick Hillier calls Trump adviser Peter Navarro an ‘idiot’ for belittling Canada’s role in Afghanistan

Canada’s former top soldier Rick Hillier lashed out today at U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, calling Peter Navarro an “idiot” for dismissing Canada’s contribution to the war on terror as nothing more than an effort to curry favour with the U.S. 

“My first reaction, honestly, was, ‘What an idiot,'” Hillier told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics Tuesday. 

“I mean, even if you believe those things, I’m not sure why you would make them, or why you would disrespect the service and sacrifice in this spilling of blood and the loss of lives by Canada’s sons and daughters who soldiered alongside our American battle brothers and sisters.”

Hillier was reacting to comments Navarro made in a new book by CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto. In the book — The Madman Theory: Trump Takes on the World — Navarro is quoted speaking dismissively about Canada’s role in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Navarro suggests Canada’s decade-long mission, which cost the lives of 158 Canadian soldiers, was motivated more by a desire to curry favour with the U.S. than to support the global fight against terrorism.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro speaks with reporters at the White House June 18, 2020, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

CTV obtained audio recordings of Navarro’s interviews with Sciutto, who was questioning the trade adviser about the Trump administration’s often-caustic approach to foreign relations when the subject of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan came up.

“Were they doing us a favour, or were they brought into the idea they needed to do that as part of the global effort against terrorists?” Navarro responds.

“I mean, if they were just doing us a favour, maybe their government should have been thrown out of office. I mean, every time that a Canadian shows up in a uniform, it’s doing us a favour? How’s that work?”

Disrespecting sacrifice

As commander of the NATO-led multinational Afghanistan mission in 2004, Hillier had a great deal of contact with U.S. forces on the ground and with the leadership of the U.S. military. He said that in all his years serving with U.S. troops, under multiple administrations, he has never heard anyone suggest Canada sent men and women into harm’s way just to score political points. 

“Do you send your sons and daughters to make this great sacrifice so far away from home simply because you want to make points with an ally? No, you do not. You do it because it’s the right thing to do,” Hillier told Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos. 

“I heard from so many friends in the United States today who said, ‘This doesn’t represent at all what we believe. We don’t know where this came from. Our relationships are incredible and we served together. We’re proud to do so. We’re proud to serve next to Canadian soldiers.'”

Former Canadian Forces lieut.-gen. Rick Hillier shown here speaking to the troops following Remembrance Day ceremonies at Camp Julien in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2003. (Canadian Press/Terry Pedwell)

Hillier said that Navarro isn’t qualified to speak on military matters.

“First, I thought he must be a military genius and knew this stuff. Then I realize he’s a trade adviser, so I’m not sure why he’s commenting upon this,” he said. “He obviously doesn’t understand the Article 5 of NATO that an attack on one is an attack on all.

“We believed in that here in Canada. And that’s why Canada stepped up to take part in that mission and try and make the world a better place.”

Hillier said he hopes that the Trudeau government and the ambassador in Washington are making that argument to U.S. officials.

He added that the White House has demonstrated a willingness to denigrate Canada and many of its other allies since Trump came to office.

“I don’t think it is unique to Canada,” he said. “I think it reflects a nastiness in the relationships around the world now internationally involving the United States of America. And it’s not something that I did experience.”

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