China’s famous Ice Town sees annual sculpture festival scaled back amid pandemic


Harbin is known as China’s “Ice Town” due to its famous, annual ice sculpture festival.

This year, the snow-themed events have been scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While Ice and Snow World and the Snow Sculpture Exhibition, two of the most famous festival sites, are open, all mass gatherings have been cancelled.

Han Zhenkun, a Harbin sculptor who participated in the festival’s ice sculpture contest in 2018, says that creating ice sculptures is a magical process.

He misses the festival’s hustle and bustle he felt in previous years.

This year, Han and his colleagues at the Heilongjiang Research Institute of Contemporary Art presented an exhibition of snow sculptures consisting of more than 40 snow blocks of different sizes.

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Lenovo sees a future in hybrid cloud


  • 11% YOY 3Q2020 growth for data centre group
  • Sees customers shifting back to hybrid cloud model


Lenovo sees a future in hybrid cloudSumir Bhatia (pic), Lenovo Data Center Group President, Asia Pacific, says business has been good. The data centre group saw 11% year-on-year growth for Q3 2020, and there was double-digit growth in Software Defined infrastructure (SDI), as well as solutions like high-performance computing (HPC).
For him, this increased demand is a result of companies preparing for the next big Covid-like event – even if they don’t know what it is.
“They have been saying, ‘We definitely want to future proof-this, we want to make sure that we continue our transformation’,” said Sumir. “That has definitely been on top of the minds of all the CIOs.”
Yet, Sumir is adamant that this growth is a continuing trend of the last few years, rather than a sharp uptick in response to the pandemic. “This transformation of providing customers with software defined infrastructure, with multi cloud high performance computing, and edge computing started a few years back. Some of the customers were already on that journey. This (pandemic) actually acted as a catalyst.”

Water-cooled High Performance Computers
One such recent customer is animation leader DreamWorks, with whom Lenovo announced a collaboration in Oct 2020. A typical computer-generated movie needs 200 million compute hours to render, and the studio was looking to upgrade its performance.
Lenovo supplied a system equipped with the Lenovo Neptune liquid cooling technology, resulting in HPC that is cooled by water from existing sources.
This is similar to what is now being used by the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) who needed to upgrade its computing power two years ago in order to be able to support new meteorological modeling requirements.
“Not only did the department need to increase their range of weather forecasts to a week, they also needed to get more accurate results,” recalled Sumir.
The MMD’s old HPC system had reached its end of life, and after consultation, Lenovo proposed a water-cooled HPC system made up of 296 compute nodes with 8,000 cores, which brought its own advantages. “Firstly, being water-cooled saves energy. Secondly, it has a much smaller footprint, which enabled them to save space.”

A shift to cloud hybrid
Indeed, Sumir touted Lenovo’s capability to offer a “complete end-to-end portfolio” in their data center, but he stressed that firstly, the customer needs to decide what they want. “It starts with mindset. How can I be better in these circumstances? How can I adapt to my customer?”
What Sumir believes companies want now are to move back into a hybrid model. “We are finding a lot of companies repatriating back from the cloud. (But) this doesn’t mean that the cloud is not growing,” he said.
One reason is because companies are keeping an eye on regulatory changes. For example, he cites a bank whose employees and customers are now more likely to be working from home, but the government wants to make sure that the same level of security is maintained, and companies are beginning to be cautious where data resides.
Another reason is to improve performance. In a recognition of the rising importance of edge computing, Lenovo recently announced that SAP HANA can now be delivered on-premise, giving customers the option of keeping their SAP applications on premise together with their data.
On top of that, Lenovo also offers it as a pay-as-you-use service called TruScale, sometimes referred to as a Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) model. The hardware is installed on site, but users only pay for what they use.
TruScale was launched in 2019 as a proof-of-concept, and since then it has taken off. “You’d be surprised that Southeast Asia is an area where there’s immense interest,” said Sumir, specifically in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Sumir is hopeful that this is a harbinger of growth to follow. “You will start doing more and more things online,” he said. “This is not a temporary thing.”

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Storm Filomena: Spain sees ‘exceptional’ snowfall


According to local media, the snowfall in Madrid

is the heaviest in at least 40 years. The country’s AEMET weather agency said the snowfall was “exceptional and most likely historic”.

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Russia Sees U.S. Democracy ‘Limping’ After Capitol Stormed


Russia on Thursday pointed to the storming of the U.S. Capitol building as evidence of America’s decline, with officials saying its out-of-date electoral system and deep divisions had left its democracy “limping on both feet”.

Under banners reading “Storm of the Capitol” and “Chaos in Washington”, Russian state television showed rolling images of mobs of Donald Trump supporters breaking down barricades and swarming the Congress building on Wednesday, as security forces fired tear gas and police drew guns inside.

Congress formally certified Joe Biden as the next president despite the unrest, but many in Moscow said the stunning events had exposed America’s democratic failings. 

“The electoral system in the United States is archaic, it does not meet modern democratic standards … and the American media have become an instrument of political struggle,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russian news agencies.

“This is largely the reason for the split in society now observed in the United States.”

Moscow has long bristled at U.S. criticism of the state of Russian democracy under President Vladimir Putin, accusing Washington of hypocrisy and condescension.

‘Rock bottom’

Often echoing the kind of language used against Russia, officials said on Thursday that the United States was no longer in any position to lecture other countries on freedom and democracy.

“The losing side has more than enough grounds to accuse the winner of falsifications — it is clear that American democracy is limping on both feet,” Konstantin Kosachyov, the chair of the Russian upper house’s foreign affairs committee, said in a post on Facebook.

“The celebration of democracy has ended. It has, unfortunately, hit rock bottom, and I say this without a hint of gloating. 

“America no longer charts the course and so has lost all right to set it. And, even more so, to impose it on others.”

The Kremlin has itself been accused of fostering U.S. divisions with a campaign of interference and disinformation, including alleged attempts to disrupt the 2016 election in Trump’s favour that prompted an FBI investigation.

With Russians celebrating Orthodox Christmas there was no reaction to the events in Washington from the Kremlin.

But pro-Kremlin lawmakers jumped on the unrest.

“The United States certainly cannot now impose electoral standards on other countries and claim to be the world’s ‘beacon of democracy’,” the foreign affairs chief in the lower house, Leonid Slutsky, told Russian news agencies.

He said Washington was suffering after having promoted “color revolutions” around the world, like anti-Moscow uprisings in Ukraine and Georgia and the recent protests in Belarus.

“The boomerang of the colour revolutions is turning back on the United States,” Slutsky said. “All this threatens to turn into a crisis in the American system of power.”

‘Extremists’ jibe 

Others appeared to use the events to justify Moscow’s domestic policies. 

Anton Gorelkin, a lawmaker on the lower house telecommunications committee, praised Twitter and Facebook for suspending Trump’s accounts, saying it showed the need to better control social media.

“Social networks must work under strict rules within a legal framework. Because absolute freedom of information is becoming a weapon in the hands of extremists,” he said in a post on his Telegram channel.

The United States and other Western countries have repeatedly condemned Russia for moves to tighten controls on social media.

Washington has been a fierce critic of moves by Putin to clamp down on dissent, most recently accusing Russia of “intensifying repression of its civil society” with a new law last month expanding rules against NGOs and media considered foreign agents.

Moscow says the United States cynically uses such claims to pursue its agenda and maintain its global position.

Tensions between the Cold War-era rivals have hit new highs in recent years, with a raft of U.S. sanctions imposed on Russian officials, disputes over arms control treaties and American accusations of major Russian hacking attacks.

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Ex-NRL boss sees blue skies ahead for Jets, A-League


“There’s winds of change blowing and the A-League is well positioned,” Mattiske said. “It’s similar to Newcastle [Jets] in a way – it’s got all the right fundamentals [to succeed] and there are now significant structural changes that are going to support growth.

“I think there is a strong future. It will rely heavily on the commitment of the fans and the broader community and that is critical.

“Nothing’s assured – we need people to stand up and get behind the competition, but it has real potential and these changes are going to help us unlock that potential.”

A consortium led by the owners of Sydney FC, Western Sydney and Western United have pooled funds together to save the Jets from oblivion, with Mattiske chosen to spearhead the club’s rehabilitation.

FIFA and AFC statutes prohibit any one person from controlling or influencing more than one club in a competition for integrity reasons, but a Football Australia spokesperson told the Herald the arrangement was “compliant” with those rules, adding: “No one person has decisive influence in more than one club in our league.”

Mattiske was confident that conflicts of interest involving the Sky Blues, Wanderers and Western United could be managed with the right governance and management frameworks.

The Newcastle Jets made a grand final in 2017 but have endured a difficult few years since, on and off the field. Credit:Getty

“The governance of the club is going to be really important. It’s why there is an independent chair in place, and we will look to bring on independent directors who have got a connection into the Newcastle and broader region,” he said.

“We will put in place structures – and we’re already putting those in place – around matters like player recruitment and football decisions so that there aren’t conflicts that occur because of the higher-level ownership interest. We’re aware of all that … I don’t see it as an issue moving forward.”

Mattiske stressed that the consortium in place should not be seen merely as “interim owners” but businesspeople who have made a serious commitment towards the club and the region.

Their plan is to re-engage with the Hunter community, find and secure locally-based investors, and then gradually hand the Jets over to a new ownership group.

“We’re in a position where we can move in stages. We’ve got time and we’ll take time,” Mattiske said.

The Jets play their first home game on Friday night against the Wanderers and are offering $10 tickets for adults and $5 for juniors in recognition of the club’s “fresh start”.

Mattiske was non-committal on whether a permanent coach would be appointed to replace caretaker boss Craig Deans, who sources say has strong support from the playing group. Gary van Egmond, who has served as Jets coach in two separate stints, has already been linked to the job.

Arthur Papas, an assistant coach to Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama F. Marinos who is regarded as one of Australia’s brightest young tacticians, had been lined up to coach the Jets in the event of a successful ownership takeover last year. However, the uncertainty surrounding the club prompted him to look at other options and he has since been appointed as the head coach of third-tier Japanese side Kagoshima United.

The Jets have racked up several million dollars in debt over the past 18 months but Mattiske said the club was now being run by a new and entirely separate corporate entity, and that previous liabilities were being addressed by Lee.

“Martin Lee is the owner of the old entity and Martin Lee is working through that at the moment, from our understanding,” he said.

As for Lee’s chief executive Lawrie McKinna, Mattiske said he had “great respect” for the job he had performed under difficult circumstances and wants him to be a part of the club going forward.

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McKinna, who was a director of the previous company that held the Jets’ licence, did not return calls from the Herald on Tuesday.

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Melbourne City fall to Adelaide United as skipper Scott Jamieson sees red


A difficult task became near impossible soon after when the Reds doubled their advantage, their own captain, Stefan Mauk, driving through from midfield and playing a one-two with teenage substitute Mohamed Toure before scuffing a deflected shot past Glover.

Adelaide coach Carl Veart fielded an unchanged line-up to the one that impressed in the season opening goalless draw with Western United in Geelong last Monday.

Melbourne City skipper Scott Jamieson won’t want to recall the match any time soon. Credit:Mark Brake

Rookie City boss Patrick Kisnorbo made two forced changes from the team that won in Brisbane, with Florin Berenguer and new signing and A-League debutant Marco Tilio coming in for the suspended Adrian Luna and the injured Andrew Nabbout.

It was the two City new boys who first combined inside five minutes, with Berengeur getting free to slide a pass across goal which could not find Jamie Maclaren.

Socceroos frontman Maclaren then drew an excellent low save from former City youth keeper James Delianov, who moved to SA this season to pursue first team action after a season as back up at Western United.

Delianov had to dive high to push Tilio’s long-range drive over the bar, after the ball bounced to the teen from a corner in the 13th minute, while at the other end, Adelaide’s youngster Dukuly’s positive run threatened until Jamieson blocked his shot.

Juric went down in the penalty area and the ball fell to Adelaide defender Ryan Strain, whose shot was blocked while Ben Halloran, playing his 100th A-league game, flashed an effort wide.

Tomi Juric, left, and Scott Jamieson, right, in action in Adelaide.

Tomi Juric, left, and Scott Jamieson, right, in action in Adelaide. Credit:Mark Brake

City then had their best chance of the first half when Connor Metcalfe slid an inch perfect pass through to Maclaren, Delianov getting down quickly to save well.

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It was end to end stuff with neither side prepared to sit deep and surrender possession, so the pattern continued, with Dukuly firing wide after Halloran and Mauk linked up before Berenguer’s shot was easily saved by Delianov.

Strain had to go off with injury, replaced by another ex-City man in veteran defender Michael Marrone.

Delianov gave away the ball a couple of times early in the second period and was lucky when Maclaren did get the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

The tempo of the game slowed as both sides dug in, wanting to win but also wanting to make sure they didn’t lose.

Juric stung Glover’s hands with a shot after he beat off City defender Curtis Good, while Halloran saw another effort off target.

The game was still very much in the balance until Jamieson’s rash challenge gave Adelaide the opportunity, which they took with open hands, inflicting on Kisnorbo the first defeat of his tenure as City’s head coach.

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NYE 2020 sees arrests double as more stay home in Western Australia



Arrests this New Year’s Eve doubled in Western Australia compared with last year, with police saying they had to deal with a large number of disturbances at residential properties as many people chose — or were forced — to ring in the New Year at home.

COVID-19 event restrictions, including the two-square-metre rule and the need for many celebrations to comply with government-approved COVID plans, meant many events that went ahead were forced to cap numbers far lower than usual.

Acting Commander Tony Flack said while the evening was “in the vast majority a peaceful entry to the new year,” arrests were up from last year.

“Whilst we had no serious incidents and no deaths, we saw a large increase in the number of disturbances, mainly on residential properties and private homes,” he said.

“It would appear that people have chosen to stay at home rather than go out.”

Acting Commander Flack said many of those dealt with by police were young people.

“We continue to be plagued by young people and young adults whose whole social being is around alcohol and the violence that goes with alcohol,” he said.

He said those factors meant police attended 88 more disturbances than last year and charged 50 extra people.

Last year, police charged 148 people and arrested 51, while this year it was 236 charged and 101 arrested.

Major nightspots fairly quiet

Police continued to maintain a heavy presence in nightspots like Northbridge and Fremantle, with additional officers on bike and horseback.

Acting Commander Flack said revellers in those areas were generally well behaved.

“Can I … compliment the licensed owners and managers of licensed premises for the way they managed their premises and their functions during the night?” he said.

“It was very well managed and we had very few problems on licensed premises.”

NYE cancelled for recent Victorian arrivals

Celebrations were dampened for thousands of recent arrivals from Victoria though, after yesterday’s decision by the WA Government to reintroduce its hard border with the state.

The reclassification of Victoria from “very low risk” to “medium risk” means people coming from Victoria from today will not be allowed in, unless they are an exempt traveller.

It also means that anyone who had arrived since December 21 would have to go into self-quarantine until 14 days had passed from when they arrived in WA.

For those travellers, it meant New Year’s Eve celebrations were all but cancelled.

“It is really unfortunate, but it is necessary that they stay home. We just cannot afford to take the risk,” Acting Premier and Health Minister Roger Cook said yesterday.

“We share the pain of our friends on the east coast.

“But at the same time, we will take the necessary measures in the interest of the people of Western Australia to keep our community safe.”



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Schebesta sees Finder among fintech royalty


Fred Schebesta is the co-founder of Finder.com.au with a string of entrepreneurial ventures under his belt.Credit:Louise Kennerley

To be clear, Schebesta is no clairvoyant. Nor, in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, did he fully appreciate the depth of chaos that had already taken root.

But the disruption that shook him, the world, and his comparison empire Finder.com.au in 2020 could yet propel his company into the list of Australian tech royalty like Atlassian or Afterpay.

“I think now is the time when Finder goes from being just a comparison service to being that plus a financial technology company,” Schebesta says.

The 39-year-old serial entrepreneur – whose $214 million fortune in November put him on the Australian Financial Review’s Young Rich List for a second year running – says he was forced to reboot himself several times in 2020.

His year kicked off with a frenzied flight from New York to his native Australia, and his arrival home just three days before the declaration of a global pandemic sparked a period of perpetual motion.

“I was waking up at 2am in the US and doing stuff there. I was talking to the UK team… the Australian team. I literally just went 24/7, like non-stop taking naps and it was wild,” Schebesta says.

“No company has avoided the pain, some companies have definitely adapted really well, and they’ve really rode the wave.”

“I think we’ve made some really good adjustments and taken our wins where we can but we’ve also taken some hits as well, I don’t think we’re completely unscathed.”

Finder resembled more of a blog when Schebesta launched it in 2006 with his university pal Frank Restuccia. It now employs more than 400 people and compares more than 100 products – from laser eye surgery to slow cookers.

Much of Schebesta’s plans for the new year revolve around the Finder app, which was launched in March to relatively muted fanfare.

The app combines personal finance management with automated product comparison, connecting users’ bank accounts to find savings across insurance policies, home and car loans, bills, subscriptions, and credit cards.

And Schebesta says that’s just the start. With plans in place for a cryptocurrency wallet to be built into the platform early next year, Schebesta’s ultimate goal is to offer automatic comparison and switching.

Currently, the app uses the consumer data it has been given a right to view and presents comparisons in a read-only format. The hope is that, in the future, the ability to automatically switch between products and policies will also be available.

“That’s where we’re going,” Schebesta says. “We’ve got tech teams that are building towards this.”

Schebesta is steadfast in his view that Australian technology, and Australian tech companies, can be the best in the world. He says the success of Atlassian, Airwallex, and Afterpay is something we could see much more of in a post-pandemic landscape.

“Australia can be a great technology country, it’s very stable, very safe. It’s got a solid economy, it’s recovered well,” he says

“And I think that creates a great environment to build technology.”

“The thing about Australia is that we’re so far away. We’ve been using technology from the start. We can communicate to everyone. We’re just used to it. We have a good leg up.”

Finder a window to disruption

In a year of momentous upheaval and change, Schebesta said the Finder team had a front-row seat to society’s evolution. The escalating stages of lockdown and quarantine during the year brought with them a distinct shift in the retail landscape

First came the rush for personal protective equipment and bulk kitchen supplies.

“Everything around PPE was huge,” he said.

Then came stock trading.

“Retail stock trading was huge, around the world and on our site.

“And it’s huge still. Digital banking, massive. Everyone who didn’t have a digital bank now got into it.”

Bitcoin too proved popular, with increased attention from institutional investors and older Australians with self-managed super funds helping propel cryptocurrency up more than 200 per cent to fresh records during the year.

“I think it’s a great alternative to putting money in the bank,” Schebesta, who first dallied in crypto in 2017, said.

“You know, it’s like, it’s like when the internet wasn’t really that big until email came in.”

“Bitcoin is going to be another one of those ones. People [are figuring out that] another use case for cryptocurrency in that it will help you protect your wealth during a massively inflationary, low-yield environment”.

He says while the stock market has proven a rollercoaster, and stimulus-assisted recovery has made for some dizzying returns, it will be the quality companies that ultimately win out.

“I mean, there’s always speculation, and everyone wants to pick the winner of what happens when we go back to normal.

“[But] I think the markets are now looking for value. And I think you’re looking for good companies that are actually not just having three or four good months, because everyone was in lockdown, but what’s actually going to survive and endure for the future.

“I think that’s the difference right now, like, I want to see an earnings report from March. I wouldn’t judge the company by October.”

When he’s able to, Schebesta plans to head back to the US.

“I get a lot of context, being there in the market and listening and understanding,” he says.

“And I think the UK is actually probably the leader but when it comes to FinTech so I spend a lot of time there as well.

But the sojourn back home to Australia hasn’t been without its benefits

“It actually feels really nice to be in one place for once. You build a routine, it’s really nice.

“And just less suffering when it comes to jetlag.”

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Big Bash big hitting sees Sydney Sixers beat Melbourne Stars, while Sydney Thunder crushes Melbourne Renegades


A sensational innings by Sydney Sixers’ batsman Daniel Hughes has guided his team to a thrilling Boxing Day Big Bash win over the Melbourne Stars.

Hughes stunned the Stars, smashing 96 off just 51 deliveries as the Sixers chased a victory target of 194 with a ball and a wicket to spare at Carrara.

The Stars would have felt safe after Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran combined to smash 125 runs for the fifth wicket, featuring 13 sixes, as the Stars made 5-193 in their innings.

West Indian left-hander Pooran, batting for the first time this summer for the Stars, smashed 65 off just 26 balls to delight the small crowd on the Gold Coast.

Maxwell finished the innings with his fifth six to end on 71 not out off 47 balls in a typically destructive display from the Australian all-rounder.

Nicholas Pooran (left) and Glenn Maxwell (right) hit 13 sixes between them for the Melbourne Stars against the Sixers.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

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That partnership looked a match-winner as the Sixers struggled to keep wickets in hand but Hughes’s knock, which included six fours and seven sixes, delivered them an unlikely win.

The Sixers’ hopes appeared shot when Maxwell caught big-hitting West Indian Carlos Brathwaite (21 off 12) on the boundary in the penultimate over.

That meant Sydney had to score 20 runs off the final over with just two wickets in hand but Hughes made the most of Nathan Coulter-Nile being off the field with a calf injury, leaving Maxwell to bowl the final over.

Hughes belted a six, a four and a six before holing out but four leg-byes off the penultimate ball to Steve O’Keefe then sealed the win for the Sixers.

“I did something like that in a trial game so I actually didn’t know I had that in me until DC [Dan Christian] and there’s a few other guys that have just given me the confidence in the middle order to just go out there and play shots,” the 31-year-old said.

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“Swing easy. Be calm when you need to be and it came off today.

“Now that I know that it’s there, it’s just trying to repeat it over and over again.”

All up, there were 26 sixes hit in the match, providing plenty of entertainment for a game that finished at midnight local time.

Stars coach David Hussey said Coulter-Nile had suffered a calf strain and, despite putting his hand up to bowl the final over, was talked out of it for fear he would make his injury worse.

“20 to win, yeah you’d like to think so,” Hussey said when asked if it would have been a different outcome with Coulter-Nile available for the last over.

“He’s one of the world’s best T20 players … but the way Daniel Hughes was hitting them, like anything could have happened.

“I honestly believed we were still going to pinch the game when Cartwright took his catch and I thought, ‘right, yeah, we’re going to win this,’ but it wasn’t to be.”

The Sixers next play the Melbourne Renegades at Carrara on Tuesday while the Stars travel to Canberra on the same day to play the Sydney Thunder.

Davies hits Renegades for six in Canberra

A Big Bash batsman hits a sweep shot for six as the wicketkeeper watches.
The Thunder’s Oliver Davies enhanced his reputation as a big hitter with five straight sixes against the Renegades.(AAP: Lukas Coch)

In the earlier game, young gun Oliver Davies hit the headlines with five straight sixes, as the Thunder beat the struggling Renegades by 129 runs in Canberra.

Davies caught the eye in the under-19 championships two years ago when he scored a double hundred for NSW against the Northern Territory, hitting 17 sixes including six off a single over.

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He had an impressive Big Bash debut with 36 off 21 balls for the Thunder against the Perth Scorchers, then backed it up with 48 off 23 balls at Manuka Oval on Saturday night.

He was going at a run a ball before facing Afghanistan spinner Mohammad Nabi — Davies smashed four sixes in a row, including three over mid-wicket, then deposited Will Sutherland into the stand square on the leg side from the next ball he faced.

Sutherland bounced back by bowling the 20-year-old off the next delivery, but Davies’ quickfire innings helped the Thunder to 8-209 from 20 overs, before the Renegades were blasted out for just 80 off 12.2 overs.

The Renegades, who are the defending Big Bash champions, had the worst loss in the competition’s history earlier this month when they were thrashed by 145 runs by the Sydney Sixers.

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Rep.-elect Blake Moore sees ‘aspirational, pro-growth and inclusive’ GOP ‘bursting’ with diversity for future


The Republican party, according to some, faces an uncertain and concerning future after President Trump lost the election.

Not according to Rep.-elect Blake Moore, R-Utah.

In an interview with Fox News, the incoming congressman said he’s “excited to be a part” of where the GOP is headed and lauded the caliber of the other members of his freshman class of Republican representatives. 

“We’re already seeing our freshman class being just bursting at the seams with females, minorities and veterans,” Moore said of the group that’s been hailed as a triumph of candidate recruitment. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., dubbed 2020 “the year of Republican women.”

Rep.-elect Blake Moore told Fox News he’s “excited” for the future of the GOP. (Blake Moore)

Earlier this year, Republicans were crowing about their new class of candidates, including Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., Rep.-elect Maria Salazar, R-Fla., and Rep-elect Mary Miller, R-Ill. Nevertheless, many predicted a bloodbath for down-ballot Republicans on Election Day. Instead, the GOP picked up a slew of seats across the country and slimmed down the Democratic House majority significantly.

DEMOCRATIC REP.-ELECT KAI KAHELE, COMBAT VETERAN, SAYS TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE ‘A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH’

“It’s exciting to kind of be a part of that and making sure that what I believe, you know, that conservative principles are big tent ideas, that a strong economy leads to progress for everyone… that’s what I envision for the Republican party going forward,” he said. “I think we’ve already started to see some of that momentum.”

Moore is in what could be seen as an awkward position – he was endorsed by Trump but is also a member of the Utah congressional delegation with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah., who the president has made very clear he dislikes. But Moore, at least politically, sees the future of the GOP as something greater than any “individuals.”

“No one person makes up a party,” Moore said. 

Instead, he believes that the GOP is in a position to rally around “aspirational, pro-growth and inclusive policies” in the coming years. He said he wants the GOP to be “focused heavily” on “what I believe conservative principles do for our country.”

Rep.-elect Blake Moore, R-Utah, is part of a class of freshman GOP lawmakers that's much larger than anticipated after the party outperformed expectations in down-ballot races on Nov. 3. (Blake Moore)

Rep.-elect Blake Moore, R-Utah, is part of a class of freshman GOP lawmakers that’s much larger than anticipated after the party outperformed expectations in down-ballot races on Nov. 3. (Blake Moore)

HOW DO YOU CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT? REP.-ELECT MATT ROSENDALE, PLAYING LONG GAME, SAYS ‘ONE BITE AT A TIME’

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Moore advocates “supporting families” and is both “pro-life” and “pro-adoption.” He also supports the Second Amendment and securing the southern border. 

Moore’s a management consultant and says that background could help him if he ends up on the Financial Services Committee. Moore in his campaign prioritized efforts to strengthen the economy, including by cutting regulations. 

Moore also was previously a foreign service officer in the State Department and says he’d be interested in the work of the Foreign Affairs Committee. In his interview with Fox News, he said the U.S. relationship with China needs to be addressed. 

“We need to encourage transparency. We need to make sure that… China is a good actor,” Moore said. “I’m always somebody that says a strong relationship with China benefits both countries, but that relationship has to be built on trust, has to be built on transparency. And in a lot of things, we’re not seeing that with China.”

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He added that “intellectual property rights… are constantly under attack” from China and that the U.S. needs to be “heavily focused on” the South China Sea. 

“We need to make sure that our Southeast Asia allies… that we’ve got a strong relationship and we make sure that they have what they need to be able to thrive and what’s rightfully theirs,” Moore said. 

Moore represents Utah’s 1st Congressional District, which includes the northern part of the state. He says he’ll aim to represent the agriculture and tourism industries there in Congress, but added that among his top priorities will be the military. Hill Air Force Base, one of the largest Air Force bases in the U.S., is in his district. 

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“It’s obviously got an enormously important military installation, Hill Air Force Base. It’s kind of been a beacon for Northern Utah for decades and kind of a piece of pride for the whole community,” Moore said. “The defense industry in Utah is very strong.”

To serve his constituents in a diverse district, Moore says he’ll emphasize his work in Utah as much as he does his work in D.C. 

“I’m really excited about digging in and creating really good relationships with our local leaders back in the district. And I think some of the best policies that ever would bubble up to the floor of Congress are going to be generated from that base of support,” Moore said. “From mayors to county commissioners to local legislators to community activists… leaders across the nonprofit world.”

Moore added: “Being a conservative means looking out for the economy and your neighbor.”



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