Russian court fines ventilator-manufacturer for shoddy production. The same company made the devices that were shipped in April to the U.S., which later dumped them in the trash.




An arbitration court in the Sverdlovsk region has fined the Ural Instrument Making Plant 500,000 rubles ($6,500) for manufacturing faulty equipment after federal regulators discovered violations of licensing requirements in the production, maintenance, and circulation of medical devices. 



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All Blacks thrash Wallabies, New Zealand reacts, humiliation, result, score, trash talk, Filipo Daugunu, Caleb Clarke


A campaign that started full of promise ended like so many other things in 2020 — as a complete mess.

A 16-16 draw in Wellington gave Australian rugby fans hope the All Blacks’ 17-year stranglehold on the Bledisloe Cup was weakening, but it proved to be a false dawn as normal service quickly resumed.

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New Zealand outclassed the Wallabies 27-7 at Eden Park before thumping coach Dave Rennie’s men 43-5 in Sydney on Saturday night to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series, wrapping up the trans-Tasman trophy for an 18th straight year.

The 38-point losing margin is the largest in any Bledisloe Cup match in history dating back 117 years, surpassing the Kiwis’ 43-6 win in 1996.

The Wallabies were a rabble, committing far too many unforced errors as ball handling and decision-making let them down badly — and boy didn’t the men and women across the ditch love to see it.

NZ Herald rugby writer Liam Napier said the All Blacks “embarrassed” the Wallabies and delivered “Australian rugby a brutal reality check”.

“It’s one thing to lose at Eden Park, where the Wallabies last won in 1986. It’s another to be spanked on home soil,” Napier wrote.

“Rennie is widely recognised as a superb coach. This result, however, exposed the reality of Australian rugby’s limited depth, and the gulf in class that remains.”

An article by fellow NZ Herald sports writer Gregor Paul said the All Blacks’ “frightening” skill level left the Wallabies “watching on in abject horror”.

Writing for stuff.co.nz, Marc Hinton said the All Blacks played rugby of “the highest order” but tempered his appraisal by acknowledging just how awful the Aussies were.

“The Wallabies were atrocious over the first 40 (minutes) in Sydney and all but handed the Bledisloe to their rivals with an abject display of handling woes and defensive ineptitude,” Hinton said.

“The Wallabies were pretty impressive at the Cake Tin (in Wellington) where they brought all the energy and intent and played most of the match on the front foot. Thereafter they have been sub-par. Awful even.

“At ANZ they simply did not show up in the first 40 and Dave Rennie’s bold gamble of selecting two debutants at 10 and 12 backfired horribly. They have a long, long way to go.”

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Hinton’s colleague Richard Knowler said the Wallabies “looked disjointed and bewildered” as they bumbled their way to another trans-Tasman loss, “with errors contributing to a miserable effort”.

Wallabies winger Filipo Daugunu came in for some special treatment. After new sensation Caleb Clarke terrorised the Aussies in Auckland, Daugunu said ahead of game three his team’s plan was to “kick to him and contest, for him to catch so we can smash him … I can’t wait to hit him”.

Daugunu got his chance to do just that after a couple of minutes when the Wallabies kicked to Clarke, but things didn’t go to plan when he was sin binned for tackling the Kiwi monster in mid-air.

Before the clash in Sydney, New Zealand rugby writer Phil Gifford said Daugunu’s “macho posturing before a game just makes him sound like a d**k”, and the barbs kept coming after the winger’s brain explosion.

The NZ Herald said the “Wallabies’ tough talk spectacularly backfired” and Napier added: “The Wallabies fired plenty of shots off the field but they were then missing in action when the whistle sounded.”

Stuff’s Jackson Thomas wrote “Filipo Daugunu certainly talked the talk in the lead-up to Saturday’s third Bledisloe match — but the only walk he made was to the sidelines for 10 minutes”.

Game four of the Bledisloe Cup is in Brisbane on Saturday November 7.



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Tyron Woodley broken rib X-ray, Colby Covington trash talk, Donald Trump, Dana White, Vegas 11


Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has revealed his fight against Colby Covington ended with a gruesome broken rib in the main fight of UFC’s Vegas 11 Fight Night.

While Covington was dominant throughout the fight having won every round on the scorecards, it looked as though it could go the distance when early in the fifth round Woodley had Covington in a standing guillotine hold but Covington took it to the mat when Woodley shouted “I’ve hurt my rib”.

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He laid on the canvas for some time while doctors tended to him and Covington celebrated the win.

He was soon helped out of the octagon and taken to hospital.

He initially told ESPN UFC reporter Ariel Helwani that his rib “popped out” but scans showed that it was more serious that first thought with a clean break.

Woodley said “it was the most pain ever”.

It was a big loss for Woodley who has lost three straight fights with UFC president Dana White even saying he thinks the former champ should retire.

“I think he should start thinking about hanging it up,” White said. “He’s had a great career. He’s made his money.

“We all get old, man. This happens to the best of us. Woodley’s had a good career. He’s been a champion. He’s been around awhile. He had a good run in Strikeforce, too.”

Covington rubbed in the victory as well.

An outspoken fan of US president Donald Trump and proudly sporting a “Make America Great Again” cap, the president even interrupted Covington’s post match press conference to congratulate the 32-year-old fighter.

The war of words between the men also continued after the fight with Covington taking a few more shots at Woodley.

Covington slammed the Black Lives Matter movement, labelling Woodley a “communist”, saying “he hates America” and taking aim at “woke athletes” and calling LeBron James a “spineless coward”.

Of the pre-fight war of words and post fight outburst, White said “I saw it a f***ing mile away” but wouldn’t step in.

“My point in saying that is we’ve never stopped anybody from expressing themselves and saying how they feel,” White explained. “My philosophy is always this is a fight. People are gonna say mean s*** to each other. It’s like, ‘they shouldn’t be allowed to say that.’ They’re gonna f***ing punch each other in the face tomorrow. This is the fight game. I don’t believe in all that.”



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Relax, losing access to China won’t make us the ‘poor white trash of Asia’


In another round of the increasingly bitter exchanges between China and Australia, a columnist for China’s Global Times, Yu Lei, suggested that a further decoupling from China will make former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s famous prediction a reality:

Australia would become the “poor white trash of Asia.”

The “white trash” debate took place 30 to 40 years ago and caused a lot of hand-wringing.

Yet, contrary to predictions at the time, Australian incomes and living standards have remained comfortably above most of our Asian neighbours.

That’s not because we have performed spectacularly well. Australia ranked 12th in the OECD ranking in the early 1980s and it now ranks 10th or 11th.

But growth rates in Asia have slowed as the easy gains from technological progress have been exhausted.

Although the racially charged imagery of white trash attracted attention, much of the angst in the 1980s was about our standing within the group of rich countries.

The key talking point was that while Australia was thought to have had the world’s highest income per person in the late 19th century, it had fallen to 12th in rankings of rich countries.

A further decline was widely predicted in books like Australia, The Worst Is Yet To Come.

I criticised this line of thinking at the time on the grounds that our number one position in the 19th century rested primarily on the demographic structure of what was still a frontier society, dominated by working age males.

In addition, Indigenous workers contributed to output but weren’t counted as part of the population.

Once I adjusted for these factors, Australia turned out to be in the middle of a group of rich countries in the late 19th century, just as it was in the late 20th.

Interestingly, a similar point can be made about Singapore today.

Our ranking hasn’t changed much since the 1980s

While most other Asian countries still have income levels below those in Australia, Singapore appears on lists as one of the richest countries.

This is partly due to the fact that one-third of its workforce is made up of migrant workers, many living in Third World conditions and sending remittances home.

The high number of migrant workers results in a high ratio of employment to measured population (since the families aren’t counted). As well, because migrant worker wages are so low, Singapore’s citizens can afford to hire migrants as domestic servants and for other purposes.

After correcting for these biases, Singapore has about the same income per person as Australia, but with a massively-unequal distribution.

How much does all this matter to the typical Australian family? Hardly at all.

Read more: China’s leaders are strong and emboldened. It’s wrong to see them as weak and insecure

For any given family, living standards depend more on the distribution of income, and on the ups and downs of the labour market, than on variations in Australia’s performance relative to other developed countries, or relative to our Asian neighbours.

Getting domestic policy right on issues like employment and health care is far more important than “international competitiveness” – even more so during the pandemic.

Now let’s turn to the suggestion that, in the absence of more compromise with China on trade and policy issues, we will indeed end up as poor white trash.

We need China, but we’d manage without it

The obvious threat is to our exports and, in particular, iron ore which is our biggest single export and goes mostly to China.

On the face of it, it’s a big deal. Australia exports just over A$100 billion a year worth or iron ore, mostly to China, but only a fraction of this money represents income for ordinary Australians.

The mining industry in Western Australia employs about 100,000 people – less than 1% of Australia’s workforce. Their wages amount to about $10 billion a year.

In addition, major iron ore mining companies pay around $15 billion a year in royalties and company taxes. The combined income flow is about 1% of Australia’s national income.

Iron ore adds just a few percent to our national income

Most of the rest of the industry’s income flows overseas, to pay for imported equipment or as returns to overseas bondholders and shareholders.

And even if the China’s market was closed to Australia, there would be offsets.

Iron ore is a commodity, meaning that if China bought more of it from other producers such as Brazil, there would be less Brazilian iron ore in the market for other customers who would have a greater need for Australian iron ore.

And to the extent that Australian iron ore exports did fall, the Australian dollar would depreciate, making other Australian exports more attractive.

Read more: Why the Australia-China relationship is unravelling faster than we could have imagined

Similar points can be made about other exports to China including Australian tourism and education services.

That’s not to say that we should be complacent about the risks of a breakdown in our trading relationship with China. A loss of 2% of 3 % of national income is comparable to the impact of a standard recession and would entail plenty of economic disruption with accompanying unemployment.

But, as the founder of modern economics Adam Smith ironically observed, there is “a great deal of ruin in a nation“.

Losing access to China’s market would make us a little poorer, but it wouldn’t make us the poor white trash of Asia, not now, or any time soon.

Author: John Quiggin – Professor, School of Economics, The University of Queensland



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How to Get Your Resume Noticed (And Out of the Trash Bin)


Antony Nagelmann/Getty Images

How long does it take a recruiter to decide if you’re right for a job? It’s actually around seven seconds, according to eye-tracking research. To put that into perspective, close your eyes and take two deep breaths. That’s the time, on average, hiring managers spend skimming your resume, sizing up your history, hopes, and dreams before either tossing it into the trash or moving you to the next round of the application process.

For those of us just entering the workforce or looking to make a career transition, one thing is clear: We need find ways to stand out — and fast. While there is a plethora of guidance on the Internet surrounding how to be a “great” candidate, it can be contradictory or confusing depending on where and when you look.

I’ve spent the past few weeks catching up with recruitment experts who specialize in remote work, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), in attempt to decode the most up-to-date advice when it comes to applying for a new job — especially during this pandemic. I’ve asked them to weigh in on everything from how resumes are screened to how candidates can make connections that might help them land an actual interview.

Here is what I’ve learned:

Outsmart the Robots

According to Sulaiman Rahman, CEO of DiverseForce, recruiters may not be the only ones you need to impress. “Organizations are increasingly using automation to screen resumes, so it’s important for job seekers to use keywords that are also found in the actual job description,” he told me. In short, more and more artificial intelligence (AI) tools are being used to match the language in your resume to the language in the job posting.

This means that, when you apply for any job, you should pay attention to what the company has written about it — everything from the general description to the qualifications. The language they use has been intentionally crafted to highlight the skills and experiences they seek, so weave that language into your CV. If you do, you have a better chance of outsmarting AI and moving your application through the initial screening process.

Rahman also cautioned against overly cluttered or involved design layouts. “Unconventionally formatted resumes may be catchy to the human eye,” he said, “but it can be challenging for automated systems to find keywords on those resumes, and this can backfire on the candidate.”

Pro tip: If you want to show off your creative side, consider making an online portfolio instead of showcasing it on your resume. This is a great way to highlight your career and experience through colorful, eye-catching content. Include a link to your profile on your resume. Another option is to use a cloud-based recording platform like Loom to make a personalized video that can be linked to on your resume. 

Show Off Your Skills

Your resume should tell a story about why you are the best fit for this role. And like all great narratives, it should begin with a hook. Underneath your name and title, include a summary about what you have to offer and who you are as a professional, as well as a key skills section highlighting your strengths — focusing on the ones that are most relevant to the job.

Here is an example of what a this might look like:

An aspiring project manager who thrives on creating order out of chaos, I am energized by “wicked” challenges and am comfortable with ambiguity, having served in multiple internship roles with distributed SaaS start-ups. I keep teams on track and have a knack for identifying blind spots and finding elegant solutions to unforeseen problems. Playing a key role in remote product launches has been exciting, but what drives me continues to be the opportunity to forge a path for others as part of an underrepresented group in tech.

“The top of your resume should be a forward-leaning section that shares what you have to offer and who you want to be as a professional,” Brie Reynolds, career development manager at FlexJobs, said. “It’s very different from the rest of the resume, which is backward-leaning and shows what you’ve accomplished thus far.”

For the key skills section, Reynolds also recommends highlighting any remote-work skills. “Because so many roles are becoming at least partially, if not fully remote, a technology skills section showcases your ability to work with and through various platforms.”

Pro tip: Be sure to include any business-related programs you’re familiar with (Microsoft Word and Excel, Salesforce, WordPress) and any remote collaboration tools you’re comfortable using, like IM/chat programs (Slack, Teams, Google Chat), file sharing (Dropbox), document collaboration (Box, Google Drive), or video conferencing technologies (GoToMeeting, Skype, Zoom).

Don’t Restrict Work Experience to “Work”

Recently out of college with little work experience? Consider including major projects and papers you worked on as a student. “Group projects and large research papers can involve the types of skills that many employers are after: communication, writing skills, time management, focus, project management, teamwork and research — just to name a few,” Reynolds said.

It can be tricky to decide where to place this kind of experience on your resume, but if the work you’ve done has largely occurred in an academic setting, the experts recommend listing it separately under a “Relevant Experience” section. Use titles like research partner, strategy lead, or project manager, and make clear any time restrictions you were bound by to emphasize that you are comfortable working on a deadline.

Prospective employers will be impressed by your ability to connect the dots from the classroom to the real world and communicate value beyond an assignment’s scope.

Pro tip: Only highlight projects that are relevant to a potential role.

Let the Numbers Do the Talking

Which of these statements sounds more impressive?

  • “In my past role, I led the team to increase revenue by 20%.”
  • “In my past role, I increased annual revenue from $5 million to $6 million, a gain of 20%, while leading a global team of six employees spread across four time zones.”

Most recruiters would probably say the second. Not only does the second sentence talk about the candidate’s accomplishment, it also shows the depth of their success by citing cold, hard facts.

Like facts, no one can really argue with numbers. “They help us understand just how successful a candidate has been,” Lance Robbins, director of economic and workforce development at Distribute Consulting, explained. “Metrics are essential to telling the story of previous successes.” So keep track of any quantifiable milestones you’re hitting in your current role, project, or internship. You never know when you’ll need to pull data together to bolster a job application or interview.

Pro tip: Continue this practice even after landing a job. You can use numbers to make a case for why you deserve a promotion or a raise down the line.

Keep Your Cover Letter Personal

Last but not least, let’s talk about cover letters. For these, you want to capture the reader’s attention right away. One foolproof way to do this is to address the reader by their actual title. (Put yourself in their shoes — if you got a letter from a recruiter that began with “To whom this may concern” or “Dear potential job candidate,” would you be enthused? Probably not.)

You can usually find this information through a professional networking site like LinkedIn. Robbins recommended identifying a shortlist of 15 to 25 target employers. “Reach out to current employees in similar roles. Remember, though, that online networking is not unlike real-life networking, so pitching yourself early isn’t usually a good idea,” she said. “Take time to build trust and engage with others in a supportive way. Let people know you’re available and would love to be considered for a current (or future) opening.”

A few suggestions:

  • “I noticed from your LinkedIn profile that you’ve been at the company for X years. What do you love most about being there? What has kept you from pursuing work somewhere else?”
  • “On the company careers page, I read that X is one of your company values. What does that look like for someone in your role? How do you see it in practice?”
  • “Are there any skills or practices that you’d recommend I brush up on to find a role like yours at your company?”

As you begin to actually draft your cover letter, think about what your reader is likely to care about. Scan the company’s website, and view their mission statement. Research the company so that you are up to date on any recent news or media mentions. Check out their social media accounts to see what they are talking about. Review publications in your field of interest, noting any industry shifts that may be relevant to mention. All of this will help you better understand the organization’s needs, values, and interests.

Now ask yourself, “Knowing this, how can I contribute to those areas if I were hired for the role? What makes my contribution unique?” Write that in your cover letter.

Pro Tip: Making personal connections, finding out who the hiring manager is, and reaching out personally with your application materials could be the single most important action you take — the one that lands your resume on or nearer to the top of the virtual pile.





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Nescafe eyes Brad Scott’s Precious Plastic creations, as he turns trash into homewares


While most people are looking to get rid of their plastic waste, Brad Scott cannot get enough of the stuff.

“We want as many bread tags and polystyrene as you can give us… that’s our limiting thing at the moment,” he said.

It takes Mr Scott roughly two hours and 1,870 bread tags to make one bowl. On a good day he will make 18 bowls.

In a week, that is upward of 150,000 used bread tags going into homeware, not the landscape.

From humble beginnings, experimenting in his studio in the South Australian seaside town of Robe, the former corporate boss from Queensland is now being targeted by major companies around the country looking to repurpose their waste.

“I can’t make enough, demand’s so high,” Mr Scott said.

The original space Brad Scott worked out of when he started the business in 2018 was a third the size of his new workspace (pictured).(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

He said the first to come calling was Country Road, at the end of 2019. Then it was Nescafe.

“If it goes ahead the idea is that [Nescafe] have all the pods they’ve made out of plastic collected, send them to me, I recycle and make them into a box, and they send them back out to customers or cafes to put their pods in,” Mr Scott said.

While melting down plastic waste and recycling it into everyday items may seem like common sense, Mr Scott is one of few in the country actually doing it.

Precious Plastics and the Dutch connection

The machine Mr Scott uses is inspired by the Precious Plastic project, the brainchild of Dutch industrial design student Dave Hakkens.

Mr Hakkens started the open-source project in 2012 with the mission of giving people around the world the tools and resources to reduce plastic on a local scale.

“He basically wants everyone to make their own plastic recycling machines and start recycling plastic,” Mr Scott said.

A blackboard with a tally of bowls and boards sits above a sink with work gloves, a sander and a stack of bowls on it.
Brad Scott has had to be up front with companies about what he can realistically produce.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

“If you see the plastic as a resource and not a waste and a problem then it’s a completely different thing.”

Mr Scott used the free information, codes and drawings to build his own recycling station in 2018.

“Since then I’ve taken it to a different place, and that’s really what (Precious Plastic) want you to do — they want you to get the general gist of your recycling and go whatever way you want,” he said.

Mr Scott said it was worth remembering he was one man in a shed operating home-modified machines made of donated kitchen ovens and car jacks.

Board mould
Each mould for a Precious Plastic product takes a lot of time and effort to design and develop. Here is Brad Scott in the final stages of assembling a chopping board made with 5,500 old bread tags.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

He said it was something he’d had to be very open about with the major companies wanting to collaborate.

That he knew of, he said, he was the first to build a machine in Australia, and the first to make a business out of one.

There are now 10 or so that he knows of in the country, including this Maragaret River start-up turning bottle lids into surfboard fins.

While Mr Scott built a bigger shed and hired an extra employee (his wife) last year to help keep up with business, there was only so much he could do with the technology available, he said.

A man in safety glasses and a high vis vest holds a metal mould in a workshop.
Mount Gambier’s Whitty Engineering was approached by Brad Scott late last year. Aaron Hill and Hamish Hopgood have since helped Mr Scott design and build five different product moulds.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

Monash Uni makes its own Precious Plastic

While it is easy to use a lot of plastic quickly, it takes time to create safe, quality products.

At the same time Mr Scott was getting started in his shed, Monash University was establishing its Precious Plastic program.

Project leader David Butler said until recently the machines could not take the volume of plastic required to establish a sustainable business.

Monash guitar
The products that can be made from plastic waste are endless. Precious Plastic Monash put this guitar together.(Supplied: Precious Plastic Monash)

“As far as people developing these machines into something that works for their business…(it’s) not something we’ve seen an awful lot, but we have seen a lot of people express interest in wanting to implement it.”

Before melting down the plastic, it has to be cleaned and sorted by colour.

“If you start with a very large batch of unsorted, uncleaned plastic, then most of your work would come in at the sorting and cleaning stage,” Mr Butler said.

Clear bags of bottle lids, coordinated by colour - green, white, orange and blue - stacked on top of each other.
Cleaning and sorting the plastic is a job in itself.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

Australia’s plastic waste opportunity

Another thing stopping businesses from jumping onboard could be the country’s dependency on offshore recycling, Mr Butler said, although he added this was changing as Australia limited the amount of plastic waste it processed overseas.

Thousands of small and colourful pieces of broken down plastic in a white bucket.
“In Australia we’re pretty much picking out number one and number two type plastics and sometimes number five…all the other stuff is basically going to landfill,” Mr Scott said.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

Mr Scott believes it is a matter of time before more start-ups take the leap.

“We can actually start small-scale manufacturing, we can de-centralise a lot of our industries out of cities and make them into small country towns and provide small businesses for country towns, revive the whole place,” Mr Scott said.

As far as the technology went, Mr Butler said, the capacity for recycling was developing.

“The machines that are coming out (now) have a great capacity so that means we’re able to process more of the plastic that’s getting dropped off,” Mr Butler said.

Plastic recycling hubs in every town?

Mr Butler can imagine a future where Australians drop off their waste at local recycling hubs, from where it is transformed into products.

A white ute parked on a gravel drive in front of a sandstone work shed with an open roller door.
Robe locals drop their used bread taps and coffee cup lids to Mr Scott’s workshed.(ABC South East: Bec Whetham)

“Instead of having to put their waste in their bins they can take it (to a hub) and kind of see a newly realised product there and then.”

He said the next challenge and opportunity was creating food-safe products with the recycled plastics, finding ways to ensure the quality of the plastic.

“Currently we can’t really say exactly where the plastic is coming from, so we can’t make a new product and say that it’s food safe,” Mr Butler said.

“I think that would unlock a new range of potential.”

A large ornamental fish made from colourful recycled materials such as wire, fishing ropes and CDs sits on a shed roof.
Not all the plastic goes into a mould. This “waste” creation sits outside Mr Scott’s shed.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)



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