Star Melbourne midfielder signs contract extension


Clayton Oliver has signed a two-year contract extension, tying him to the club until at least the end of 2023.

The new contract will see Oliver become a restricted free agent at the end of the deal, which will expire after his eighth season at the Demons.

Oliver said it was an easy decision to make, praising the culture under head coach Simon Goodwin.

“The club’s running unbelievable at the moment – 4-0, couldn’t be in a better place,” Oliver said in a club statement.

“I was always going to sign on – I love all the boys here, love the staff, so it was an easy decision.”

The Demons take on Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday, where they’ll be looking to make it five wins from five to start the 2021 season.





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Central Australia sees first signs of recovery as tourists flock to the Red Centre




The area is becoming such a popular destination there’s concern there may not be enough staff to cater for the influx of travellers. Isabel Moussalli reports.

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Duterte signs EO lowering tariffs on pork imports for one year


Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday signed an executive order (EO) temporarily lowering tariffs on imported pork meat for one year, in order to address the current supply shortage due to the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

“There is an urgent need to temporarily reduce the Most Favored Nation tariff rates on fresh, chilled or frozen meat of swine to address the existing pork supply shortage, stabilize prices of pork meat, and minimize inflation rates,” Mr. Duterte said in EO No. 128, which was signed on April 7.

This, after the President asked Congress last month to increase the minimum access volume (MAV) for pork imports this year by 350,000 metric tons (MT) on top of the 54,210 MT under the current limit.

The EO temporarily lowered the import duties on fresh, chilled or frozen pork to 5% from 30% under the MAV quota for three months after order takes effect. The rate will be increased to 10% for the succeeding nine months.

The tariff rate for imported meat outside the existing quota, on the other hand, is reduced to 15% from 40% for the first three months. It will then be raised to 20% for the next nine months.

The order will take effect for one year as soon as it is published in the Official Gazette or a newspaper.

The prices of pure pork rose to 20.9% in March, according to the statistics authority.

Pork prices in the country’s capital region averaged P329 per kilo in March from P323 per kilo a month earlier, it said.

The 60-day price ceiling on selected pork and chicken products in Metro Manila is set to end on April 8.








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Illinois’ Pritzker signs firefighter pension bill that Lightfoot slams as ‘backroom’ deal


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a firefighter pension bill into law this week that both Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Republicans in the state have called a “fiscally irresponsible” bill that will increase property taxes.

The new law removes an age restriction on a 3% cost-of-living increase that affects about 2,200 current and retired firefighters born after 1966, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The governor said the law assures “fair treatment,” adding that he believes “hardworking men and women who have earned their pension shouldn’t pay the price for local or state budget challenges.”

Lightfoot had asked for the governor to veto the bill, which she said would create a “deeper financial burden” for Chicagoans already struggling during the pandemic.

CHICAGO MAYOR VOWS TO FIND ADULTS WHO SUPPLIED ADAM TOLEDO, 13, WITH GUN BEFORE HE WAS FATALLY SHOT BY POLICE

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker are seen in Chicago on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

She added that firefighters need to be “appropriately compensated” but stressed that an “unfunded” bill is the “exact wrong way to accomplish this goal.”

Republican House Deputy Minority Leader Tom Demmer agreed with Lightfoot that the law will make a “property tax increase inevitable.”

ILLINOIS DEM GOVERNOR COMMUTES SENTENCE OF CONVICTED DOUBLE MURDER DEFENDANT: REPORTS

“Chicago taxpayers are on the hook for an additional $850 million thanks to Governor Pritzker signing HB2451 into law today,” Demmer said in a statement.

He added that Pritzker “continues his bad habit of spending hypothetical revenue” by bringing up the potential sale of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago as a way to pay for the pension increases.

Lightfoot said the bill is “fiscally irresponsible and validates a Springfield practice of cutting backroom deals without full transparency and debate,” agreeing with Republicans that it would add an $18-30 million financial obligation that will necessitate another property tax increase.

The legislation was introduced by state Sen. Robert Martwick, a Democrat, and passed in January.

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Martwick told the Sun-Times it makes the city “confront necessary, albeit really difficult, decisions about what they need to do with their finances, so that they can live up to the commitment to fund their pensions properly.” 

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Robbo: Signs the ‘forever ­rebuild’ has taken a step forward



It was a welcome return to the rhythm of Melbourne on Thursday night.

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Izack Rodda signs with Western Force until 2022 as Waratahs lose race


This means Rodda could effectively be picked for Wallabies Tests as early as July, provided he is released from his French club in time. Australia are set to take on France in a three-Test series.

RA has given Rodda no guarantee that he will involved with the Wallabies this year.

However, Rodda won’t take part in Super Rugby AU or Super Rugby Trans-Tasman this year and will have to wait until next season to go head-to-head with the Reds in what will no doubt be a spicy encounter.

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“It’s fantastic to be heading home and getting back to Super Rugby,” Rodda said in a statement.

“The Force is a very ambitious club that are looking to become the best in the competition, so this is an opportunity that I’m very excited to make the most of.”

Force coach Tim Sampson praised the signing. “Izack has a great level of Super Rugby and international experience, which is important when playing in the tight five,” he said.

“It’s fantastic for us and Australian rugby to have players like Izack return and he is genuinely excited to be a part of our club moving forward.”

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Reds coach Brad Thorn is still bitter about the circumstances of Rodda’s exit, which stemmed from he and two other players – Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas –not accepting a reduction of their salaries and nominate for the federal government’s JobKeeper subsidy as part of widespread pay cuts during the height of COVID-19.

RA and the QRU terminated the contracts of the trio, who all wanted to explore their overseas options.

“You don’t dislike that person or anything, but the whole game suffered here,” said Thorn last week, possibly with the impression Rodda was in line for an RA top-up in his newest deal. “All the players ended up on 40 per cent of their wage and it was hard yakka around the future of rugby in Australia. A lot of people persevered and made sacrifices. With our values here, that doesn’t align with those.”

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Majak Daw signs with Melbourne Demons, Oscar McDonald with Carlton Blues, Collingwood Magpies to go to mid-season draft


The Demons also added Deakyn Smith to the list. Smith, a member of the club’s Next Genaration Academy, filled Melbourne’s last list spot. The Demons opted not to list Kobe Farmer, the son of former star Jeff Farmer. The younger Farmer had been training with the Demons.

The Magpies will have the option of picking two players in the mid-season draft, which some clubs believe will have more talent available due to the players who were overlooked in a COVID-19 compromised 2020 draft.

Oscar McDonald has been signed by Carlton.Credit:Getty Images

The Magpies had been considering Jack Briskey, a key position prospect from Queensland who had trained with them, under the supplentary selection rule, before deciding to hold two spots on the playing list.

Carlton confirmed on Tuesday that they were signing ex-Demon Oscar McDonald as a supplentary list recruit.

Known as a key defender, McDonald has predominantly trained in the backline for the Blues, although he impressed when swung forward against St Kilda on Thursday night and combined six marks with two goals.

Carlton head of list management said McDonald, who was delisted by Melbourne at the end of the last season, will add flexibility to the Blues’ key-position stocks.

“Oscar has fit in really well with our backline group over the pre-season and we look forward to seeing him continue to strengthen those connections as the year evolves,” Austin said.

“Also we saw on Thursday night, Oscar is able to play other roles across the ground which gives us some flexibility across the board.”

McDonald beat Callum Moore, Ben Crocker and Zavier Maher for the final spot on Carlton’s list.

As it stood early on Tuesday afternoon, nine players had been signed as pre-season recruits in 2021, with Essendon and St Kilda having added two players – Alec Waterman (ex-West Coast) and South Australian forward Kaine Baldwin joining the Bombers, the Saints signing Mason Wood, the former Kangaroo forward, and ex-Crows ruckman Paul Hunter.

PRE-SEASON RECRUITS SO FAR

  • Essendon: Alec Waterman (West Coast); Kaine Baldwin (Glenelg)
  • St Kilda: Mason Wood (North Melbourne); Paul Hunter (Adelaide)
  • Carlton: Oscar McDonald (Melbourne)
  • Richmond: Rhyan Mansell (Woodville-West Torrens, North Launceston)
  • Hawthorn: Lachie Bramble (Box Hill, Williamstown VFL)
  • Western Bulldogs: Anthony Scott (Footscray VFL)
  • Adelaide: Nicholas Murray (Williamstown VFL)
  • Melbourne: Majak Daw (North Melbourne)

Richmond have signed Rhyan Mansell, a Tasmanian, to their list, the Bulldogs have added Footscray VFL player Anthony Scott and Hawthorn also have given a list spot to a VFL player under their direction in Box Hill’s Lachie Bramble.

The Crows have signed Nicholas Murray, the brother of Collingwood’s ex-defender Sam Murray, who had been playing for Williamstown.

Sidebottom in doubt for round one

Meanwhile, Collingwood’s gun midfielder and vice-captain Steele Sidebottom suffered minor damage to his calf in last Friday’s pre-season game against Richmond and is in doubt for round one.

Collingwood sources said scans on Saturday had shown Sidebottom had incurred slight damage to the calf, which put him in some doubt for the Pies’ season opener against the Bulldogs, with the veteran midfielder, 30, rated a 50-50 chance to play on Friday next week.

Sidebottom has played with similar issues in the past without incident, but the decision on whether he plays – it would be a two week recovery for a small nick to the calf – will be based on medical advice and how he progresses. Collingwood also have to consider that they face a six-day break between that March 19 Friday night game versus the Dogs and the next game against Carlton, on the following Thursday night.

Steele Sidebottom (left) is in doubt for round one.

Steele Sidebottom (left) is in doubt for round one.Credit:Getty Images

But Taylor Adams, Collingwood’s 2020 best and fairest, has recovered from a hamstring injury and, unless there is a mishap, the Magpies expect their tough vice-captain to return and play in the round one game at the MCG against the Bulldogs, who will have ex-Magpie Adam Treloar suiting up against his old side.

Adams is set to join in full training on Tuesday.

In other injury news, scans have confirmed the worst for Lion Cam Rayner, who ruptured his ACL on Monday night.

A distressed Rayner clutched at his right knee after an awkward landing while attempting to intercept a handball during Brisbane’s pre-season win over Gold Coast.

The ACL tear puts an early end to Rayner’s 2021 campaign, with recovery from a knee reconstruction typically taking 12 months.

The 2017 No.1 pick has played 63 games for the Lions since debuting in 2018 and was set for more midfield minutes this season.

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Post-match, Lions coach Chris Fagan said it was “a bit of a sad night”.

“It’s not great, he’s a fine young man Cam Rayner,” he said. “When I saw what happened, I thought, I think that’s an ACL. That’s what our physios think. Obviously, we have to get scans and all that done, but that’s the way it’s looking.

“It’s a real pity, I reckon he was about to take off, he was having such a good pre-season. It’s disappointing for him that this has happened [but] it will build his character.”

with Owen Leonard

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SMEs still facing revenue decline despite signs of recovery


A new report reveals that 57 per cent of SMEs are still reporting lower revenues than they were recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the average SME turnover down by 22 per cent. In addition, most SMEs also reported a weak holiday trading period compared to 2019 in the wake of the current pandemic.

The COVID-19 SME Tracker report by market research firm ACA Research, in partnership with TEG Insights, also noted that JobKeeper payments in January may have been a factor as 33 per cent of SMEs report a decline in employee numbers, compared to 26 per cent in December. One-fifth of SMEs continue to receive JobKeeper payments but 71 per cent of decision-makers are unable to guarantee job security for their staff with the measure set to end this month.

Also noted in the research is that while working from home remains a popular option for Australian SMEs, the proportion of employees working remotely has fallen to 25 per cent in February from 33 per cent in October 2020. And despite expectations remaining positive about the Australian economy’s recovery, SMEs predict a decline in global conditions over the next three months and are, therefore, cautious regarding capital investment and wage growth.

“Market conditions continue to be challenging for SMEs,” ACA Research Managing Director, James Organ, said. “Despite some green shoots as restrictions and border closures are lifted, revenue and jobs data remain relatively weak.

“Notwithstanding a level of confidence regarding the Australian economy, SMEs are uncertain about their short-term prospects with the impending conclusion of JobKeeper and concerns about global economic conditions,” Organ added. “Accordingly, capital investment and wage growth are predicted to be flat over the next three months as SMEs look for more clarity in relation to the vaccination program, economic conditions, and ongoing Government support.”



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5 unusual headaches: Signs to watch for and what to do



Headaches come in lots of varieties, and some are easily recognizable. A migraine classically causes throbbing, pounding pain that lasts for hours — sometimes even days — on one side of the head. A tension headache usually feels like a tight band squeezing around your noggin. And a sinus headache shows up as pressure on one side of the face, behind the nose, or above one eye when you have a sinus infection.

Some headaches, however, aren’t as well-known.

What’s happening to me?

When less familiar headache pain strikes, the symptoms or patterns may be puzzling, or even frightening.

For example, a thunderclap headache (also called “the worst headache of your life”) causes sudden, intense, debilitating pain that can last for an hour or a week.

Here are five other unusual headaches.

  1. Orgasmic headache. Some people experience the sudden onset of a severe head pain similar to that of a thunderclap headache just before or at the time of sexual orgasm. Although usually no underlying problem is found, it should prompt a call to your doctor to be sure.
  2. Ice-pick headache. The vivid image of this headache identifies its main characteristic: sudden, brief, and severe stabs of pain to the head. Ice-pick headaches are so fleeting that they’re over long before any medication could take effect. This type of headache generally affects people who already suffer from migraines or cluster headaches.
  3. New daily persistent headache. Doctors call this headache “new” because it develops in a person who has not had problems with headaches before. The onset is sudden enough that you’ll often remember exactly when it began. It is “daily” and “persistent” because it then lingers indefinitely, and can mimic either a migraine or tension headache.
  4. Paroxysmal hemicrania. Like cluster headaches, paroxysmal hemicranias last for a while. But the periods are shorter (10 to 30 minutes) and more frequent (five to 15 times per day). The condition is considered different from cluster headache, as each headache type responds differently to various medications.
  5. Weekend headache. These are often caused by caffeine withdrawal, which leads to the dilation of blood vessels. This type of headache often begins 12 to 24 hours after your last sip of coffee and is likely to develop on weekends, when you delay your first cup of the day or skip coffee entirely. You can easily identify this type of headache by comparing your weekend caffeine intake with your weekday consumption.

What you should do about headaches

Take note of your symptoms when a headache occurs. If it’s sudden and intense, like a thunderclap headache, it could signal bleeding inside the head. Seek emergency medical attention.

If a headache is less severe, an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be enough to ease your pain.

But if headaches recur or you need to take pain relievers frequently, talk to your doctor. You may not be familiar with the particular pattern of pain, but your doctor likely will be, or can refer you to a headache specialist.

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signs a celebrity marriage is over


The couple begin to explore extracurricular projects separately, often two or three years before they announce their separation. Take, for example, the great conscious uncoupling between Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin in 2014. Three years earlier, Paltrow was motivated, by a force no one understood at the time, to take up singing in public, with the coaching, not of her musician husband, but Beyonce. And in February 2011, she performed at the Grammys. It was a bewildering act. That was, until, Paltrow admitted in an essay for British Vogue in September that she knew in her “bones” her marriage was over just months earlier.

Then there are Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Before they announced their separation in 2015, before the alleged affair with the nanny, Affleck threw himself into his most ambitious project yet: directing the Oscar-winning film, Argo. And when he won best director in 2013, he dropped this clanger, that echoed around the world as an awkward warning bell banging against the sanctuary of their marriage: “I want to thank my wife … for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good. It is work but it’s the best kind of work.”

Garner maintained she loved the sentiment, but by 2013, she had returned to acting after a decade hiatus minding the kids – roaring back with an Oscar-winning movie of her own, The Dallas Buyers Club.

Another sign of celebrity break-up: the double-down. Take Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who announced their acrimonious separation in 2016 and divorce in 2019. What happened two years before 2016? Pitt married Jolie, though they’d already seemed content as a couple for nine years without incident. An act of desperation perhaps? Jolie started working on the script for By the Sea about the same time, a movie in which she and Pitt starred as a couple on the verge of a breakdown in 2015. Jolie later admitted it was an attempt to save their marriage.

So, what was happening in the Kardashian-West household two to three years ago?

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Well, 2018 was the first time their mansion, completely remodelled, was made public. West tweeted first-look photos of it, and Kardashian West later showcased it to Vogue, describing it as a “minimal monastery”. Social media users called the defiantly odd and empty residence “terrifying” with its stark walls, blank rooms with no furniture and bathroom sinks with no discernible basins or drains. One journalist went so far as to describe it as looking like a morgue.

If the family home is a metaphor for marriage, then their relationship might have been on the rocks three years ago.

Which is why, it now makes sense in retrospect, that three years ago, West became increasingly vocal of his support for former president Donald Trump, at one point even visiting him in the Oval Office.

Kardashian West met Trump in 2018 too, but for a different reason — in a bid to shorten the life sentence of Alice Johnson, 63, who was jailed for 20 years for a first-time drug offence. That successful pardon was just the beginning of Kardashian West’s foray into prison reform. In the same year, she began studying criminal law and has since assisted in the pardons of several prisoners.

West, meanwhile, not content just to fraternise with Trump, announced his 2021 presidential bid via Twitter in July. Two weeks later, he held a now-infamous campaign event during which he delivered an emotional, hour-long speech about race, abortion and the presidency. In it, he disclosed private details about his family including how the couple considered an abortion when they fell pregnant with their first child, North West.

The rambling speech prompted Kardashian West to release a rare statement asking for compassion, saying that West suffered from bipolar disorder and, despite it being a private matter, she wanted to comment “because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health”.

Seven months later, and after seven years of marriage, Kardashian West filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Meanwhile, her social media feed remains business as usual; duck-face selfies, kids, new product launches for her various fashion and beauty businesses and just a sprinkling of family throwbacks.

This avoidance of the issue at hand, unusual for most celebrity divorcees, is in fact de rigueur for the Kardashians. Indeed, it points, not to an old fashioned stoicism, or desire for privacy, but their almost preternatural ability to spin their private life into a bonanza of gossip and publicity. Though the signs are at this moment, unclear, rumours abound that we will get the full story soon — on the curiously well-timed final season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians starting in three weeks.

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