Pumas captain axed over tweet ‘atrocities’

Argentina have sensationally stripped Pablo Matera of the captaincy and stood him down from Saturday’s final Tri Nations clash with the Wallabies as they investigate racist social media posts.

Just weeks after becoming a national hero as he inspired the Pumas to their first win over the All Blacks, Matera is under fire for tweets he allegedly made between 2011 and 2013 relating to Bolivian and Paraguayan domestic staff and black people.

The Argentina Rugby Union issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the comments and announcing the sacking of Matera, as well as veteran lock Guido Petti and hooker Santiago Socino, before the Sydney clash with Australia.

“The Argentine Rugby Union strongly repudiates the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Los Pumas team on social media and meeting as an emergency, the Board of Directors resolves:

“In the first place, revoke the captaincy of Pablo Matera and request the staff to propose a new captain to the Board of Directors.

“Second, suspend Pablo Matera, Guido Petti and Santiago Socino from the national team until their disciplinary situation is defined.

“Third, open a disciplinary case to the three players mentioned, which will be handled by the disciplinary commission of the Argentine Rugby Union.”

Matera has closed his Twitter account and made his Instagram account private but issued an apology before he did so.

“I had a tougher time. I am very ashamed. Apologies to all those who were offended by the atrocities I wrote,” Matera posted on Instagram.

“At that moment I did not imagine who I was going to become. Today I have to take charge of what I said 9 years ago.

“I’m also sorry to my team and my family for the moment they are going through my actions and thanks to the people who love me for their support.”

Matera delivered a huge performance at flanker in the Pumas’ historic win over New Zealand, which shocked the rugby world given their limited preparation due to COVID-19.

They backed it up with a 15-15 draw with the Wallabies last month and face the Wallabies again on Saturday night.

Shocked Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa was told of the news at a press conference and said Matera’s absence would be a “huge loss” for Argentina.

While he didn’t know the content of the tweets he predicted the Pumas would rally at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night.

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Kamala Harris slammed for tweet sucking up to small businesses after bailing out rioters

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was widely slammed on Twitter this weekend for committing to helping small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic despite having openly supported protesters at the height of social unrest over the summer.

“Small businesses, especially Black and minority-owned businesses, urgently need relief to survive the effects of coronavirus this winter,” Harris, 56, tweeted on Saturday. “@JoeBiden and I are committed to helping these businesses during this pandemic and get them the support they need to thrive in years to come.”

Twitter users were quick to compare Harris’ post to one she made in June, a tweet in which she threw her support behind protesters “on the ground in Minnesota.”

“If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota,” Harris tweeted on June 1.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, center left, accompanied by Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, right, waves while visiting the Downtown Holiday Market, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Washington.

The date was just one week after George Floyd, a Black man, died while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality, but they were quickly co-opted by incendiary elements that were responsible for widescale rioting and looting of small businesses in major metropolitan areas.


The apparent contradiction in Harris’ call to bail out protesters with her support for small businesses was not lost on the Twittersphere.

“Remember when you were fundraising to bail out criminals who destroyed small businesses during the riots?” one Twitter user quipped in response to her Saturday tweet.

“Maybe you should help the businesses looted and burned by your supporters,” wrote another user.

“Then open the businesses back up!” pleaded another.

Just two days after Harris’ June 1 tweet, Minnesota’s Star Tribune newspaper published a list of over 360 businesses across the Twin Cities that had been “vandalized, looted or had doors and windows smashed” in the wake of the protests.


The paper’s staff wrote: “Some have been reduced to rubble, and at least 66 gave been destroyed completely by fire. Others have reported extensive water damage or severe fire damage.”

Fox News had reached out to Harris’ office with a request for a comment. 

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WA Police Union deletes tweet in NAIDOC Week lauding officer involved in Pinjarra massacre

Western Australia’s police union has come under fire for a social media post commemorating an officer who was involved in one of the state’s bloodiest massacres of Aboriginal people.

The WA Police Union (WAPU) last night took to Twitter, writing: “Today we remember Captain Theophalus Ellis who was murdered in Pinjarra on this day in 1834.”

The tweet was published during NAIDOC Week.

According to the University of Newcastle’s database of colonial frontier massacres, Ellis died after being speared during the Pinjarra Massacre in 1834.

WA’s state heritage register records the massacre as being in response to a group of Noongar men spearing a white servant, who had joined them in searching for an escaped horse.

The incident was historically referred to as the “Battle of Pinjarra” despite the disparity in deaths on each side.(ABC News: Jessica Warriner)

Three months after that killing, Captain James Stirling and John Septimus Roe joined Ellis to search for those responsible.

“An eyewitness account states that Ellis’s party initiated the attack against the retreating [Noongars],” the site’s history statement records.

“Ellis received [a] concussion from either a spear blow or a fall from his horse.”

The exact number of deaths associated with the massacre is not known but is estimated to sit somewhere between 15 and 30, although one account records it as 80.

Tweet deleted and apology issued

The WAPU deleted the tweet overnight and this morning published an apology for “any hurt caused”.

“Yesterday, a tweet was posted which after a number of requests we removed,” the apology read.

“The information contained in the tweet regarding the death of a police officer was taken from the official honour roll.”

The union also posted the same message on the same day in 2019.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said it was not a “good judgement” to tweet the message.

“If it was, they’d still have the tweet up,” he said.

Wording ‘completely wrong’: professor

Whadjuk Ballardong elder and Curtin University Emeritus Professor Simon Forrest said he was “pissed off” when he saw the tweet.

“The wording is completely wrong and inappropriate,” he said.

“I acknowledge Ellis was the first police officer to die while on duty, but he certainly wasn’t murdered.

“It was actually Stirling’s party that was doing all the planning and premeditation to attack the Noongars.

“The Aboriginal group were responding in self-defence to an attack on their camp.”

Professor Forrest stands in front of the Swan River.
Whadjuk Ballardong elder Simon Forrest has criticised the wording of the tweet.(Supplied: Simon Forrest)

Mr Forrest said Australians wanted and needed to be taught more about the history of Aboriginal massacres.

He said a day to commemorate the mass killings could sit alongside occasions like Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.

“We commemorate three days in a calendar year of soldiers going off and fighting overseas,” he said.

On Monday, the WAPU also posted in honour of Constable William Goldwyer and Inspector Frederick Panter, who were supposedly killed by local Yawuru Karajarri people.

The University of Newcastle’s database records that their deaths sparked a “punitive expedition” that led to the deaths of as many as 20 people.

In 1994, a plaque was added to a monument to the men in Fremantle’s Esplanade Park to recognise “the other side of the story”.

On October 31, the union shared a post in memory of Constable William Richardson, who died in 1894 while transporting 16 Bunuba resistance fighters from the Kimberley to Rottnest Island.

All of the officers appear on both the WA Police Union and WA Police honour rolls, without noting the circumstances around their deaths.

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Mark Esper ‘terminated’ as secretary of defense in Trump tweet


President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, an unprecedented move by a president struggling to accept election defeat and angry at a Pentagon leader he believes wasn’t loyal enough.

The decision was widely expected as Mr. Trump had grown increasingly unhappy with Mr. Esper over the summer, including over sharp differences between them on the use of the military during the civil unrest in June. But the move could unsettle international allies and Pentagon leadership, and injects another element of uncertainty to a rocky transition period as Joe Biden prepares to assume the presidency.

Presidents who win reelection often replace Cabinet members, including the secretary of defense, but losing presidents have kept their Pentagon chiefs in place until Inauguration Day to preserve stability in the name of national security.

Mr. Trump announced the news in a tweet, saying that “effective immediately” Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will serve as acting secretary, sidestepping the department’s No.2-ranking official, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist.

“Chris will do a GREAT job!” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”

United States defense officials said Mr. Miller arrived at the Pentagon in the early afternoon to take over the job, and that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows informed Mr. Esper of the firing before Mr. Trump announced the move on Twitter. Other top defense and Pentagon officials, however, were caught by surprise and learned of the decision through the media. The defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.

Mr. Trump’s abrupt move to dump Mr. Esper triggers questions about what the president may try to do in the next few months before he leaves office, including adjustments in the presence of troops overseas or other national security changes.

The decision was quickly condemned by Democratic members of Congress.

“Dismissing politically appointed national security leaders during a transition is a destabilizing move that will only embolden our adversaries and put our country at greater risk,” said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “President Trump’s decision to fire Secretary Esper out of spite is not just childish, it’s also reckless.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, said firing Mr. Esper “in the last weeks of a lame duck Presidency serves no purpose and only demonstrates an instability harmful to American national defense.”

Former military leaders also weighed in. Jim Stavridis, a retired Navy admiral who served as a senior aide to Republican Donald Rumsfeld when Mr. Rumsfeld was defense secretary, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Esper’s firing made no sense.

“Things are already unstable internationally, and this does not help,” he wrote. “We need to try and create stability in transition time – hopefully opponents will not try and take advantage.”

Mr. Biden has not said who he would appoint as defense chief, but is widely rumored to be considering naming the first woman to the post – Michele Flournoy. Ms. Flournoy has served multiple times in the Pentagon, starting in the 1990s and most recently as the undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2012. She is well known on Capitol Hill as a moderate Democrat and is regarded among U.S. allies and partners as a steady hand who favors strong U.S. military cooperation abroad.

Mr. Miller has most recently served as the director of the National Counterterrorism Center and before that was a deputy assistant defense secretary and top adviser to Mr. Trump on counterterrorism issues. He has a long background with the military, having served as an enlisted infantryman in the Army Reserves and after that as a special forces officer. He also served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. After his retirement from the military, Mr. Miller worked as a defense contractor.

Mr. Esper’s strained relationship with Mr. Trump came close to collapse last summer during civil unrest that triggered a debate within the administration over the proper role of the military in combating domestic unrest. Mr. Esper’s opposition to using active duty troops to help quell protests in Washington, D.C., infuriated Mr. Trump, and led to wide speculation that the defense chief was prepared to quit if faced with such an issue again.

During his roughly 16-month tenure, Mr. Esper generally supported Mr. Trump’s policies but more recently he was widely expected to quit or be ousted if Trump won reelection.

Presidents historically have put a high priority on stability at the Pentagon during political transitions. Since the creation of the Defense Department and the position of defense secretary in 1947, the only three presidents to lose election for a second term – Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush – all kept their secretary of defense in place until Inauguration Day.

Mr. Esper, who was the official successor to former Marine Gen. James Mattis, routinely emphasized the importance of keeping the military and the Defense Department out of politics. But it proved to be an uphill struggle as Mr. Trump alternately praised what he called “his generals” and denigrated top Pentagon leaders as war-mongers devoted to drumming up business for the defense industry.

Mr. Trump soured on his first defense secretary, Mr. Mattis, who resigned in December 2018 over Mr. Trump’s abrupt decision – later rescinded – to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria, and then on Mr. Esper. The splits reflected Mr. Trump’s fundamentally different views on America’s place in the world, the value of international defense alliances, and the importance of shielding the military from domestic partisan politics.

During Mr. Trump’s tenure, the Pentagon has often been at the center of the tumult, caught in a persistent and erratic debate over the use of American forces at war in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and on U.S. soil, at the Mexico border and in cities roiled by civil unrest and rocked by the coronavirus.

Mr. Esper’s departure has appeared inevitable ever since he publicly broke with Mr. Trump in June over the president’s push to deploy military troops in the streets of the nation’s capital in response to civil unrest following the police killing of George Floyd. Mr. Esper publicly opposed Mr. Trump’s threats to invoke the two-centuries-old Insurrection Act, which would allow the president to use active-duty troops in a law enforcement role. And Mr. Trump was furious when Mr. Esper told reporters the Insurrection Act should be invoked “only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” and, “We are not in one of those situations now.”

The June civil unrest initially drew Mr. Esper into controversy when he joined a Trump entourage that strolled from the White House to nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op featuring Mr. Trump hoisting a Bible. Critics condemned Mr. Esper, saying he had allowed himself to be used as a political prop.

Mr. Esper said he didn’t know he was heading into a photo op, but thought he was going to view damage at the church and see National Guard troops in the area. He was accompanied by Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who later expressed public regret at having been present in uniform.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

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Sam Newman slammed over ‘vile’ Joe Biden tweet

Former AFL star Sam Newman is being torn apart on social media over a disgusting tweet in which he called the US President-elect Joe Biden “mentally retarded”.

The 74-year-old took to Twitter on Sunday after Biden was declared the winner of the US presidential election.

“Great day for inclusion and diversity,” Newman wrote in the tweet which has now been deleted. “Shows someone who is mentally retarded and has special needs, can attain high office. Congratulations, Joe Biden.”

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His comments have been slammed by thousands on social media, who called the post “vile” and called for his account to be deleted.

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US Election 2020 live updates, final results and latest news: Biden projected to win Wisconsin; Republicans hold key Senate seat of Maine; Donald Trump tweet immediately blocked; Results expected in three key states as counting continues

Biden campaign senior adviser Anita Dunn stressed again that the campaign is confident that they will receive 270 electoral votes, saying that Joe Biden will declare victory once the campaign believes they have reached that number, regardless of whether news outlets have called those races.

“I think that at the end of the day we always said that the goal was to get 270 electoral votes and we feel very confident that after the vote’s been counted, that’s where the vote is going to be: above 270. And that’s how you win the presidency,” Dunn said.

Asked if Biden would declare victory even if all the states’ results had not yet been called by the networks, she replied, “If we feel comfortable that he has 270 electoral votes, yeah.”

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Twitter slaps a label on Trump tweet claiming voter fraud

Twitter applied a warning label to a late-election-night tweet from Donald Trump accusing Democrats of trying to “steal” the election through fraudulent means.

The tweet disappeared from Twitter soon after it posted, possibly because the White House wanted to correct a spelling error (Trump had spelled “polls” as “Poles”).

When it reappeared, it carried the following message from Twitter: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” It also added a link to its Civic Integrity policy page.

The White House posted the same message to Facebook, but Facebook only applied a label saying that voting would “continue for days and weeks” and pointed to a page containing updated election results. It didn’t explicitly call the president out for being misleading.

The assertion in Trump’s tweet is hardly surprising. The president declared voter fraud even after winning the election in 2016. But with many mail-in votes still left to be counted, it’s a particularly dangerous time to suggest those votes are invalid.

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Twitter obscures Trump tweet claiming he’s immune to coronavirus

President Donald Trump removes his mask off before speaking from the South Portico of the White House during a rally Saturday.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

A tweet sent by President Donald Trump claiming he’s immune to coronavirus was obscured by Twitter on Sunday, the third time the social network has taken action against the president’s tweets in less than a week. Twitter hid the post behind a warning message that says it violated the site’s rules “about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”

Twitter has rules against coronavirus misinformation that could lead to harm, such as claiming a certain group is immune or promoting drinking bleach as a cure, which can be deadly. Twitter said the tweet was in the public’s interest, so it’ll remain accessible but engagements will be limited. 

“As is standard with this public interest notice, engagements with the Tweet will be significantly limited,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.

The action comes just days after Facebook and Twitter both took action against a Trump post that falsely suggested the seasonal flu is more deadly than COVID-19. Twitter also required Trump to pull down a tweet that contained the email address of a columnist for violating its rules against posting private information.

The social media posts about the coronavirus come after the president was diagnosed with COVID-19. The president returned to the White House on Monday from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after his doctors said his health is improving as he responds to treatment for COVID-19. 

More than 1 million people around the world have died as a result of the novel coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, with more than 214,000 deaths in the US as of Sunday.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Tweet Buster: Stimulus games, valuation of IT stocks, other investing lessons

NEW DELHI: Hopes a US stimulus package, expectations of strong Q2 numbers and FII buying: These are the ingredients behind the relentless stock market rally that has pushed benchmark indices to near their eight-month high levels. But the big question that’s playing on everyone’s minds is if this is the opportune time to book some profits off the table?

In today’s edition of Tweet Buster, top D-Street mavens shine a light on how to tread the market in weeks ahead, some investment mantras and money-making ideas.

Market Outlook

The domestic equity indices have risen for seven days in a row, but that has left some of the top names on Dalal Street unimpressed. The lack of participation by broader markets and the narrow nature of the rally is what they believe is a matter of concern and advise staying on the sidelines.

Value investor Nooresh Merani in a tweet said the rally in Nifty was quite narrow and lacked participation by stocks other than those from the banking or the IT sector. Moreover, the absence of any upmove in the midcap and smallcap also perturbed Merani.

Merani’s views resonated with Aveek Mitra of Aveksat Financial Advisory who also believes that the overall market looks hesitant and the best strategy would be to either invest slowly or stay on the sidelines. Mitra said invest only if you have a long-term view on the market.

Stimulus: Is it coming?

While a large chunk of market gains are driven by the hopes of a stimulus package by the US government, behavioural finance expert Morgan Housel had an interesting observation to share. Housel retweeted one of his old tweets where he explained how it was very easy to manipulate stock markets by saying something like the trade deal was on and then off and then back on and off again and repeating that over and over. He believes that the same is now happening with the stimulus package.

Meanwhile, back home Helios Capital founder Samir Arora took a dig at the Indian government on stimulus package. Here’s what he said:

Investing lessons

The stimulus might come or not, but here are some investing gems by top names on Dalal Street that can help make you money in all kinds of market.

Kalpen Parekh of DSP Mutual Fund shared some of his investing hacks. You might want to bookmark this one.

PMS fund manager Basant Maheshwari in a tweet highlighted the need for quick thinking and recognition of one’s mistakes in the stock market. He said while smart investors take 10 seconds to change their wrong view, the fool keeps looking for reasons to justify the investment decision even after 10 years.

Value investor Arun Mukherjee believes that investing cannot be taught via books, classroom teaching, social media, etc. The only way investment education begins is when you start investing.

Market veteran Shankar Sharma presents a clear-cut idea of the right investment management skill – the ability to protect capital in a troublesome market from a major loss.

Lastly, here are two investment ideas from independent market expert Sandip Sabharwal.

He sees opportunity in the Indian IT companies and also believes their valuations are fair.

But he believes the time has come to bid adieu to momentum stocks and focus on value stocks that have growth triggers.

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US election 2020: Trump’s coronavirus tweet hidden and branded ‘potentially harmful information’ | US News

Twitter has flagged a tweet written by Donald Trump for “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19”.

In one post, the US president falsely claimed that coronavirus is less deadly than the seasonal flu “in most populations”.

The tweet – which can still be viewed but has been hidden on Mr Trump’s page – said: “We have learned to live with it (the flu) just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”

The post has also been removed from Facebook, according to CNN.

Experts agree that COVID, which has killed more than 200,000 people in America and more than one million worldwide, is more lethal than the seasonal flu.

In other tweets, Mr Trump wrote that he was “feeling great” as he continues to recover from coronavirus.

He added that he was “looking forward” to the next presidential debate against his Democratic rival Joe Biden on 15 October in Miami.

There have been concerns the remaining debates might not be able to go ahead if Mr Trump is still suffering from coronavirus.

Donald Trump removes his mask upon return to the White House on Monday night

Mr Trump returned to the White House on Monday after he was treated in hospital for COVID-19 for three nights.

Shortly after his return, the US president released two videos – one with footage of his journey accompanied by sweeping orchestral music, the other of him speaking on a balcony flanked by US flags.

In the videos, he told Americans to “get out there” and “don’t be afraid” of COVID-19 – despite the 210,000 coronavirus-related deaths recorded so far in the US.

“We’re going back to work, we’re going to be out front… I know there is a risk, there is a danger, but that’s ok,” he said.

He also suggested he could now be “immune” to the virus after feeling “better”.

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‘Get out there!’: Trump’s defiant COVID message

But some experts, including America’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, have warned the president could face a relapse in symptoms.

Lung specialist Professor Stephen Holgate told Sky News Mr Trump could become seriously ill with a “second wave” of COVID-19 within days.

“He is still in the first wave. The second is yet to come, when the immune system goes into overdrive. It will probably hit him in two to three days’ time,” he said.

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Mr Trump appeared breathless as he returned to the White House after his hospital stay.

His illness has come just weeks ahead of Election Day, when Americans will choose either Mr Trump or Joe Biden for their next president.

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