NRL’s Sam Burgess in court over domestic dispute with Mitchell Hooke in NSW’s Southern Highlands

NRL star Sam Burgess has admitted he and his ex-father-in-law “failed” his two young children during a heated domestic dispute in October 2019.

The former Rabbitohs player and coach gave evidence at Moss Vale Local Court today about the incident, during which he claims his children were “left alone”.

A disagreement broke out when his ex-wife’s father, Mitchell Hooke, asked Burgess to leave Mr Hooke’s Southern Highlands property.

Burgess told the court the verbal argument began when his agreed visitation time with the children was up.

He recalled becoming angry when Mr Hooke said “time’s up, let’s go”.

“I told Mitch I thought this was inhumane,” he said.

“I didn’t want to leave my children with Mitch … I don’t trust him.”

He claims Mr Hooke left the children unattended when he followed Burgess outside as he attempted to leave.

“They were then alone inside the house,” he said.

His ex-wife Phoebe Burgess was on her way home at the time.

Sam Burgess with his former wife Phoebe.(Instagram)

Burgess told the court the argument heated up when Mr Hooke threatened him in saying: “I’m going to ruin your career if it’s the last thing I do.”

“He shouted at me … he said f**k you Sam … I said f**k you Mitch, you’re a piece of shit,” Burgess said.

“He said, ‘Sam, nobody loves you. Your own family doesn’t love you. We love you and you’re throwing it all away’.”

The court heard Mr Hooke’s other daughter, Harriet, intervened and took her father inside.

The prosecution told the court two police officers noted Mr Hooke was “visibly shaken” following the incident.

Burgess admitted he drank four schooners of beer at a local pub before he went to visit his children.

He claimed he was not affected by alcohol and considered himself “sober”.

Sam Burgess in court over argument

Mr Hooke denied suggestions he was the aggressor in the argument by raising infidelity in the marriage and threatening to “destroy” Burgess.

Burgess has pleaded not guilty to charges of intimidation and common assault.

A decision is expected to be handed down on February 5.

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‘Normal People’ star Paul Mescal on set in the Southern Tablelands for new film | Goulburn Post

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The region was starstruck when Hollywood descended upon a small town in the Southern Tablelands yesterday. International stars, including Paul Mescal, were in Breadalbane on January 18 for their first day on set for Carmen. READ ALSO: Carmen, directed by Benjamin Millepied, is set to be a modern take on the classic opera. Paul Mescal, from the television series Normal People, will star as Don José with Melissa Barrera as the titular character. Publicist Tracey Mair for Goalpost Pictures said filming had now ceased at Breadalbane. She said the cast and crew were only in the town for one day. Ms Mair said she was unable to share further information at this stage. Filming is set to continue for eight weeks. More to come.


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Meet the creepy critters of the Southern Ocean’s ‘twilight zone’

They are slimy, some of them are transparent and kind of creepy and you wouldn’t want to encounter one on an ocean swim, but luckily you never will.

These are the creatures of the Southern Ocean’s “twilight zone” — a 200- to 1,000-metre layer of water that lies just beyond the reach of light.

The researchers who collected them have just returned from a six-week trip on the CSIRO’s Investigator research ship.

But the trip was about a lot more than collecting the weird and wacky marine life.

“The voyage focused on creatures that are called micronekton, for example small fish and squid, crustaceans, and jellyfish,” said marine biologist Svenja Halfter.

“Micronekton undertake large vertical migrations through the water column: they swim up to the surface at night to feed and migrate further down during the day to avoid being seen by predators.

Marine biologist Caroline Sutton says these gelatinous plankton, known as siphonophores, are some of the fastest growing organisms.(Supplied: Svenja Halfter)

The voyage, known as the Southern Ocean Large Area Carbon Export (SOLACE), features contributions from CSIRO, the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Australian National University, Curtin University and the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership (AAPP).

The 20 researchers on board have completed what they say is the most extensive study of the Southern Ocean of its kind, and they are hoping it will help them understand how the ocean stores carbon.

“The ocean plays a role in the global carbon cycle that is every bit as important as the forests on land,” said voyage chief scientist Phillip Boyd.

He said the “driving force” were the billions of tiny plankton that capture carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, much like plants.

When these organisms die or are consumed by the creatures that migrate to the upper levels of the ocean, the waste forms something known as a marine snowfall.

“It looks like a snow shake [globe]. You have this material sinking down [to the sea floor] and that’s taking carbon out of circulation for centuries or longer,” he said.

Coloured flat worms that live deep in the ocean.
Pelagic worms were also uncovered from the ocean’s “twilight zone”.(Supplied: Svenja Halfter)

So where do the creepy critters come in?

“We call this the active carbon pump because it injects carbon into the deep sea, where bacterial recycling rates are slower than at the surface,” said Ms Halfter.

Marine biologist Caroline Sutton said they want to know “who’s there, where they are, how they’re moving and who is eating who”.

“We can take a tissue sample and work out where they’re eating,” she said.

Marine biologist Caroline Sutton stands in front of the RV Investigator in Hobart.
Marine biologist Caroline Sutton stands in front of the RV Investigator in Hobart.(ABC News: Lucy MacDonald)

“If they’re eating zooplankton and then moving down then they’re taking that [carbon] with them.

She said scientists will also try and work out how much carbon the creatures store.

“What we’ll do is get the samples, dry them up and burn them up and work out how much energy they’ll give off and that’s how much carbon they’ve got stored in them,” she said.

Ms Sutton said the most abundant animals in their samples were the gelatinous ones.

The question the scientists are also asking is how climate change could affect the ocean’s ability to store carbon.

“As the ocean warms, it actually changes how productive it is, it changes the amount of marine snow going into the deep ocean so it may actually alter some of those processes significantly,” Professor Boyd said.

“It’s more difficult for the plant nutrients that are plentiful in the deep ocean to come to the surface so it may slow up the growth of the plankton and slow down the amount of snow sinking into the deep ocean.”

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AOC: Country will heal with the ‘actual liberation of southern states’ from GOP control

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., took to Instagram on Tuesday night and suggested that the states in the south need to be “liberated.”

During an over hour-long livestream about the Capitol Hill riots and the ongoing efforts to impeach President Trump, the progressive lawmaker reiterated her call for GOP Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to resign or be ousted by Democratic challengers for leading the opposition in the certification of President-elect Biden’s victory.

She then pointed to “multi-racial” and “multi-cultural” grassroots organization in Georgia that led to Democrats taking control of the Senate as a sign that “southern states are not red states, they are suppressed states.”


“Which means the only way that our country’s going to heal is through the actual liberation of southern states, Ocasio-Cortez explained to her 8.3 million Instagram followers, “the actual liberation of the poor, the actual liberation of working people from economic, social, and racial oppression. That’s the only way.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 


Ocasio-Cortez has been in a heated war of words with Cruz since the pro-Trump mob raided the Capitol building, accusing him of attempting to fundraise off his election challenge as the riot was ongoing. 

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Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Southern Tablelands and Southern Highlands | Goulburn Post


A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the Southern Tablelands and Southern Highlands. Read also: New disaster dashboards help manage disaster risk The storm is likely to produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall that may produce flash flooding and large hailstones. Residents are urged to monitor conditions. The State Emergency Service advises that people should: If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue. Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks. After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides. For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500. Read also: NSW records zero new local cases Be inspired by Tayla Harris and the other go-getters in the running to be named 2021 Young Australian of the Year Did you know the Southern Highland News is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.


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Gunmen kidnapped and killed 11 miners in southern Pakistan

Gunmen in southern Pakistan have killed at least 11 workers at a remote coal mine, officials said Sunday.

The victims of the attack in Baluchistan province were from the minority Shiite Hazara community.

“Dead bodies of the 11 miners have been taken to a local hospital,” Khalid Durrani, a government official in the area, told AFP.

Ethnic Hazara make up most of the Shiite population in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan – the country’s largest and poorest region, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.

They are often targeted by Sunni militants, who consider them heretics, though it was unclear why the attackers targeted the coal mine specifically.

The attack, before dawn on Sunday, took place in the far-flung and mountainous Machh area while the miners slept, MR Durrani said, adding that four other miners were injured and were being treated at the local hospital.

A security official told AFP the attackers first separated the miners, tied their hands and feet, took them out into the hills and later killed them. 

Both Mr Durrani and the security official said the victims belonged to the Hazara community.

Mr Durrani said the mine was deep in the mountains.

It was not clear how exactly the miners were killed, he told AFP.

The assailants fled after the attack. Both officials said police and members of the local paramilitary force were on the scene, where a search operation had been launched to trace the attackers.

No group has claimed responsibility.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned “the killing of 11 innocent coal miners in Machh” as a “cowardly inhumane act of terrorism”.

Liaqat Shahwani, a spokesman for the provincial government, confirmed the incident and told private TV channel Geo that it was an act of terrorism.

Though Pakistan’s mines are notorious for poor safety standards, such attacks against miners are rare.

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Bushfire threatens lives, homes in southern Perth suburbs of Postans and Kwinana Beach

A bushfire is threatening lives and homes in the southern Perth suburbs of Postans and Kwinana Beach.

The warning is in place for people in an area bounded by Anketell Road, Rockingham Road, Thomas Road and McLaughlan Road in Postans, and the eastern part of Kwinana Beach in the City of Kwinana.

Authorities are urging people to act immediately to survive.

The alert level was upgraded when the fire jumped Abercrombie Road on Sunday afternoon.

The blaze started near the intersection of Thomas Road and Gilmore Avenue in Orelia.

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Snowy, stormy across southern U.S.

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Local Leaders | Southern Tablelands Arts: Eight creative projects receive funding in CASP grants | Goulburn Post

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Many creatives in our region have been developing amazing projects for 2021. Eight of them are set to receive a funding boost from the NSW Government through Create NSW. The Country Arts Support Program (CASP) is a much loved annual funding program that supports excellence in regional arts with a locally determined small grant. Southern Tablelands Arts are thrilled to announce that eight projects have been funded with the total money awarded of $21,902 – a funding record for CASP in our region. READ ALSO: If family violence is a problem this Christmas, there is help History and mystery: Kenmore Hospital history fascinates and infuriates We can’t wait to see the following programs come to life: Goulburn Liedertafel Inc Prophesy ($3,000): The Lieder will engage three professional regional theatre artists to develop and rehearse a new script entitled Prophesy, written by ex-Lieder member, Patrick Russell, and performed as the highlight and focus of the company’s 130th birthday celebrations in July 2021 in their own historic art deco venue built in 1929. Survival: Herstory Collective SURVIVAL: HERSTORY ($2,990): The project is a professionally facilitated weekend workshop exploring regional women’s stories of surviving hardship, through generations. The published/recorded stories will then be integrated as an art installation into PROJECT HERSTORY’s several theatre presentations, and afterwards distributed for future community use. Hilltops Arts Inc Hilltops Arts AiR (Artist-in-Residence) Project ($2,500): Hilltops Arts will tender the position of ‘Artist-in-Residence’ to eligible visual artists within the region administered by Southern Tablelands Arts, the successful applicant will be provided with accommodation, basic necessities, studio space and a budget for art supplies to use within a two-week period in February of 2021. Visual Arts Society of Yass Incorporated Artworks Reconnect – reconnecting artists and engaging new beginners ($1,448): VASY will aim workshops at the arts community while encouraging those ‘beginners’ who would like to try but never game. Reconnecting the community after the isolation of the pandemic is forefront. Attracting new members for VASY and connecting with local teachers in our region after COVID. St Vincent de Paul Society NSW – Creative Space Southern Highlands Creative Space: Drawing Foundations and Colour Theory Workshop Series ($3,000): Two local Art Facilitators will be employed to share their expertise in an inclusive accessible space with makers of all abilities through eight full day workshop sessions. Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company Inc Page to Stage: How to Write A Musical ($2,964): This introductory, 10-week, Term 1 2021, musical writing course will give youth (14-21) experience and knowledge in developing a musical from concept to creation, by addressing written, musical, design and performance requirements. Online, fortnightly lessons with the dramaturg will be supported with fortnightly, practical workshops, live in Goulburn. Goulburn Mulwaree Council Post Pandemic production ($3,000): A production of music to be performed by the choir and supports and performed in a public performance to celebrate International Day of People with disability 3/12/21. The current working title is A Short History of the Best Songs in the World (According to Us!). Goulburn and District Chamber of Commerce Main Street Community Portraits ($3,000): The project will address vacant shop front windows in the main street of Goulburn, and work with existing stores to create a street gallery of local personalities’ portraits, celebrating some of the people in the community over 50 years of age who give back to their community. Nine CASP submissions were received from across our region. The high standard made it very difficult for the panel to make their recommendations of which projects merited support. In fact STA were able to advocate for extra funds to support more of the projects from this year’s applications, raising the allocation from $17,000 to just under $22,000. CASP is a state wide fund from the NSW Government distributed into the community by the Regional Arts Network through Create NSW.


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John O’Shea confident Southern Lad can go straight to the top

“I think he will enjoy the way they race down the straight and he has always been a good hold up and sprint home horse.

“The only worry was barrier one, but they don’t often follow the fence there so he should get the right run and might just be too strong for them late.”

Southern Lad is the winner of five of his 25 starts and nine of those runs came in 2020. His only win came at Randwick on January 11, but he was never more than 1¾ lengths from the winner.

He has also run five further places, mostly in good company. He ran Everest winner Classique Legend to a half-length in the Bob Charley Stakes in June and was also runner-up in the Wagga Town Plate.

Southern Lad is rated an $8.50 chance in an open market where proven straight-trackers Sirius Suspect and Defiant Dancer share favouritism at $3.80.

Meanwhile, the scratching of Southern Lad and early favourite Athiri means Eleven Eleven is the favourite for the Christmas Classic at Canterbury on Friday.

Trainer Greg Hickman is using it as a final lead-up to the Snippets Sprint at the Magic Millions for Eleven Eleven, which has drawn the outside gate.

“He likes a bit of room in his races, so if he can drop in somewhere he will get his chance,” Hickman said. “There looks to be plenty of speed and if he gets the right run he will be coming quickly at the end.

“We are looking to get him back to the Gold Coast and this is the perfect race after his win at Wyong [in the Magic Millions three and four-year-old].”


Eleven Eleven is the $4.60 favourite, but could be challenged for his place at the top of the market by Discharged and Hightail, which are returning from spells.

Joe Pride thinks Easy Eddie, a $10 hope, is fitter for his first run in more than a year and is confident he will perform on his preferred wet surface.

“He is always a horse that takes a run to find his best and the soft ground is in his favour,” Pride said.

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