Joseph Suaalii signs with Sydney Roosters on two-year deal


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The King’s school will break up for Christmas holidays this week, freeing Suaalii to report for his first day of pre-season training.

“Joseph is a highly-talented young player, and we’re thrilled to have secured his services,” said Roosters recruiter Daniel Anderson.

“This is a terrific opportunity for Joseph to continue his development alongside the established players we have at the club like James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou and Joseph Manu, and we’re looking forward to watching his progress over the next few years.”

Souths will host the Roosters at ANZ Stadium in round three, with Suaalii’s defection adding further spice to an already anticipated fixture.

At one point the Roosters were prepared to pay Suaalii – who was on a South contract of $60,000 for 2021 – not to play just to spite the Roosters. However, they granted a release after a compensation package was agreed to.

Despite not turning 18 until next September – the requisite age to qualify for first grade – Suaalii could be eligible after the NRL indicated it may bend the age qualification rules.

If Suaalii impresses during pre-season training, he may even be considered for the opening round.

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Collingwood Magpies, Western Bulldogs in tense negotiations over Adam Treloar pay; Jordan De Goey to re-sign on two-year deal


Collingwood are also expected to announce Jordan De Goey has been re-signed on a two-year deal within the next fortnight, club sources say, as they continue to reshape their list ahead of a crucial national draft on December 9.

The list reshape follows a tumultuous trade period for the club, when Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson, Tom Phillips and Atu Bosenavulagi were traded.

The Pies are set to announce Jordan De Goey’s re-signing within a fortnight. Credit:Getty Images

The Magpies have picks 14 and 16 in the first round as well as picks 65 and 70 in this year’s draft, but hold a future first-round and two future second-round picks in next year’s draft, where they are likely to gain highly rated father-son prospect Nick Daicos.

Coach Nathan Buckley admitted mistakes were made during the trade period but the course was the right one for the club to take.

On Wednesday the club delisted Rupert Wills and Flynn Appleby while coming to an arrangement with Magpies premiership player and best-and-fairest winner Dayne Beams, which allowed the 30-year-old to formally retire with two years remaining on his contract.

Brody Mihocek has extended for three seasons, while Tom Langdon’s future remains up in the air. The contracted defender admitted at the start of the season he would contemplate retirement if he could not shake a persistent knee injury.

The 24-year-old De Goey is facing an indecent assault charge for an incident that was alleged to have occurred in 2015. He was charged in July this year and was due to appear in the Magistrates Court last month but the matter was administratively adjourned until April next year.

Beams thanked Collingwood for their “understanding, patience and care” as he formalised his retirement before the AFL’s list lodgment deadline.

Dayne Beams has announced his retirement.

Dayne Beams has announced his retirement.Credit:Getty Images

The 30-year-old Beams has not played since round 11, 2019, having been unable to train or play in 2020 due to his physical and mental health issues.

He played 119 games with Collingwood and 58 with the Brisbane Lions.

“Challenges remain. That’s life. But with experience, understanding and the help of many people I am in a stronger position to deal with them,” Beams said.

“I have many teammates and staff at Collingwood to thank for helping me through a particularly tough time. The club’s understanding, patience and care were always there and the fact we were able to come to a mutual agreement is important to me.”

Hawthorn delisted Harry Jones and Mathew Walker while offering Changkuoth Jiath and Keegan Brooksby one-year deals as rookies. The Hawks also delisted Dylan Moore but will add him to their rookie list.

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Richmond signed Ryan Garthwaite and tall Ben Miller for another season but delisted defender Derek Eggmolesse-Smith.

Meanwhile, Melbourne’s Kade Kolodjashnij has decided to retire after battling with concussion since joining the Demons.

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Hawkins earns two-year AFL deal at Cats


Geelong forward Tom Hawkins has the chance to reach the magical 300-game AFL milestone after inking a two-year contract extension.

This year, Hawkins became the first Cat since Gary Ablett Snr in 1995 to win the Coleman medal, booting 42 goals during the 17-game regular season.

The 32-year-old, who debuted for the Cats in 2007 and has since racked up 277 games, has booted 603 goals – the third most in club history.

He led the AFL in both goals and goal assists in 2020, en route to his first Coleman medal and third All-Australian selection.

Only four other players in Geelong’s history have made it to 300 games and Hawkins is on track to become the fifth.

“Tom’s form line is ascending and we believe he will continue to improve as a player,” Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said.

“Tom is a team-first player who looks to bring his teammates into the game and create opportunities for others as well as himself.

“He is a leader both on and off the field and cares deeply about his teammates and all at the club.”

Hawkins helped the Cats win premierships in 2009 and 2011, and won the club’s best and fairest award in 2012.

His father, Jack, played 182 games with Geelong. His grandfather Fred Le Deux played 18 matches while his uncles Michael (two games) and Robb (three games) also featured for Geelong.





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Wests Tigers sign former South Sydney star James Roberts on two-year NRL contract



Former New South Wales State of Origin representative James Roberts will play for his fifth NRL club after signing a two-year deal with Wests Tigers.

Roberts links up with the Tigers after being given an early release from his South Sydney contract on compassionate grounds earlier this month.

The 27-year-old centre, who possesses blistering speed, had two stints at the Rabbitohs, while he has also played with Brisbane, Gold Coast and Penrith during his turbulent NRL career.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire said the club signed Roberts as it believed he could recapture the form that saw him take part in the Blues’ 2018 State of Origin series triumph.

“James is clearly an exceptional footballer who will add a lot to our side and I’m very pleased to see him continue his rugby league career with Wests Tigers,” Maguire said in a statement.

“I’ve worked closely with James before and know that he has a good team around him to help get back to the player that we know he can be.”

Roberts said the work the Tigers conduct with Indigenous communities was among the reasons he signed with the club.

“I’m also really impressed with the work Wests Tigers are doing in creating pathways for Aboriginal people and it’s something I’m really passionate about,” he said.

Roberts made his first grade debut for the Rabbitohs in 2011 as an 18-year-old.

He has scored 74 tries across 149 first grade matches and has represented the Indigenous All Stars alongside his three State of Origin appearances.

Roberts was named Dally M Centre of the Year in 2015 during his final season at the Titans.



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100m world champion Christian Coleman handed two-year ban for missed drug tests, will miss Olympics


Men’s 100-metre world champion Christian Coleman was banned for two years on Tuesday and lost his chance to succeed Usain Bolt as the fastest man at the Olympic Games.

Track and field’s Athletics Integrity Unit said it banned the American sprinter for two years, until May 13, 2022, because of three violations of doping control rules.

Coleman missed two visits by sample collection officials and failed to file correct information on another occasion, all in 2019 — the year he won his first world title.

“We see this case as involving behaviour by the athlete as very careless at best, and reckless at worst,” the three-person judging panel said in its published ruling.

Coleman can appeal against his ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 24-year-old had been provisionally suspended from competition since May. Weeks later, details of his three so-called “whereabouts failures” were revealed.

Athletes face a two-year ban if they have three violations in a 12-month period.

A previous similar case against Coleman was dropped weeks before the 2019 world championships in Doha, Qatar.

That cleared him to take gold in the individual 100m and 4x100m relay and established him as favourite to win titles at the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed to next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jamaican icon Bolt won the marquee 100m dash at the past three Summer Games.

Christian Coleman (second from right), finished behind Justin Gatlin in the 2017 world championships, ahead of Usain Bolt.(Reuters: Matthew Child)

The judges said there was no suggestion Coleman ever took a banned substance.

However, even the panel noted Coleman was in a pool of top-level athletes targeted for no-notice testing since 2016, and “has received anti-doping education for a number of years”.

“The evidence indicated a complete failure to [comply with the rules] by the athlete,” the judges said.

Coleman previously wrote in his blog that his third and decisive whereabouts failure — on December 9 last year — occurred when drug testers showed up at his residence while he was Christmas shopping.

Elite athletes are required to fill out a “whereabouts form” to make it possible for anti-doping authorities to carry out surprise testing outside of competition.

A violation means an athlete either did not fill out forms telling authorities where they could be found, or that they weren’t where they said they would be when testers arrived.

Coleman also got silver in the 100m and relay at the 2017 world championships in London.

AP



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North Melbourne’s Majak Daw to make AFL return after almost two-year absence


North Melbourne’s Majak Daw will cap off a remarkable comeback when he plays his first AFL match after an almost two-year absence this weekend.

The Kangaroos have confirmed the defender will be picked for Saturday’s round-nine match with Adelaide in Carrara.

Daw has had to overcome serious setbacks since his last AFL appearance in round 23, 2018, most notably hip and pelvic injuries suffered in a fall from the Bolte Bridge in December of that year.

He had two 15-centimetre-long metal rods inserted in each of his hips and his rehabilitation involved him learning how to walk and run again.

He made his return to playing duties last July when the Kangaroos’ VFL team faced Sandringham in the second-tier competition.

After North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell announced Daw’s inclusion at training on Wednesday, the Kangaroos players mobbed the 29-year-old to celebrate.

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“One of our own has been through a pretty substantial period in his life,” Ziebell said.

“This feat that’s he’s going to achieve this weekend is going to be one of the great stories in AFL footy.”

Daw was on track to play in round one against St Kilda, but was ruled out with a minor cold as a precaution because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were fears Daw’s season might be over when he tore a pectoral muscle in May in a gym accident.

But he was lucky to avoid surgery and has impressed since at training and during scratch matches in Queensland.

Selected by North Melbourne in the 2010 rookie draft, Daw has played 50 AFL matches and kicked 40 goals.

Majak Daw (L) and Nathan Vardy await a throw in in the Kangaroos versus Eagles match in Hobart.
Daw (left) produced solid form for the Kangaroos during the 2018 AFL season.(AAP: Rob Blakers)

He was used as a permanent defender in 2018 and enjoyed a career-best season in which he made 18 senior appearances.

Daw moved with his family to Australia in 2003 and became the first Sudanese-born player to play in the AFL when he made his debut with the Kangaroos in 2013.

The Kangaroos’ encounter with the Crows on Saturday is part of the AFL’s compressed schedule, which will see 33 matches played across 20 consecutive days.

Meanwhile, the AFL confirmed the Kangaroos’ round-11 fixture against Melbourne on August 9 will be moved to Adelaide.

The AFL was forced to shift the match from Hobart after the Tasmanian Government announced an extension of its border restrictions last Friday.

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Beth Mooney signs two-year deal with Perth Scorchers


Perth [Australia], July 29 (ANI): The world number one ranked women’s T20 batter Beth Mooney has signed a two-year deal with Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) club Perth Scorchers on Wednesday.

The left-handed opener had played a crucial role in Australia’s recent T20 World Cup campaign, being crowned as the Player of the Tournament.

“I’m really happy with my decision to join the Scorchers for the next few seasons. I have heard great things about the people and culture at the WACA and I love the way Perth has gone about their cricket over the years,” said Mooney in an official statement.

“The move to the West is a really exciting opportunity for me to work with Christina Matthews and Shelley, two very highly regarded women and leaders of our great game, and reunite with Nicole Bolton and Heather Graham who have both been part of the Australian set-up,” she added.

Mooney also registered a new record for most runs scored by a single player in a women’s T20 World Cup, with 259 runs at 64.75 across six innings.

“Beth is one of the best T20 batters in the world at the moment and has experienced great success at both the domestic and international levels,” said Shelley Nitschke, Scorchers Women’s head coach.

“Her T20 statistics over the past 12 months are phenomenal, but what is really impressive is her ability to deliver on the big stage and under pressure,” the coach added.

The Scorchers open their WBBL 2020 campaign at home on October 17 when they take on the Sydney Thunder. (ANI)



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The two-year fight to stop Amazon from selling face recognition to the police


But on Wednesday, June 10, Amazon shocked civil rights activists and researchers when it announced that it would place a one-year moratorium on police use of Rekognition. The move followed IBM’s decision to discontinue its general-purpose face recognition system. The next day, Microsoft announced that it would stop selling its system to police departments until federal law regulates the technology. While Amazon made the smallest concession of the three companies, it is also the largest provider of the technology to law enforcement. The decision is the culmination of two years of research and external pressure to demonstrate Rekognition’s technical flaws and its potential for abuse.

“It’s incredible that Amazon’s actually responding within this current conversation around racism,” said Deborah Raji, an AI accountability researcher who coauthored a foundational study on the racial biases and inaccuracies built into the company’s technology. “It just speaks to the power of this current moment.”

“A year is a start,” says Kade Crockford, the director of the technology liberty program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. “It is absolutely an admission on the company’s part, at least implicitly, that what racial justice advocates have been telling them for two years is correct: face surveillance technology endangers Black and brown people in the United States. That’s a remarkable admission.”

Two years in the making

In February of 2018, MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gebru, then a Microsoft researcher, published a groundbreaking study called Gender Shades on the gender and racial biases embedded in commercial face recognition systems. At the time, the study included the systems sold by Microsoft, IBM, and Megvii, one of China’s largest face recognition providers. It did not encompass Amazon’s Rekognition.

Nevertheless, it was the first study of its kind, and the results were shocking: the worst system, IBM’s, was 34.4 percentage points worse at classifying gender for dark-skinned women than light-skinned men. The findings immediately debunked the accuracy claims that the companies had been using to sell their products and sparked a debate about face recognition in general.

As the debate raged, it soon became apparent that the problem was also deeper than skewed training data or imperfect algorithms. Even if the systems reached 100% accuracy, they could still be deployed in dangerous ways, many researchers and activists warned.

A still shot from Joy Buolamwini’s video poem “AI, Ain’t I A Woman?” showcasing some of the egregious errors made by Rekognition.

COURTESY OF ALGORITHMIC JUSTICE LEAGUE

“There are two ways that this technology can hurt people,” says Raji who worked with Buolamwini and Gebru on Gender Shades. “One way is by not working: by virtue of having higher error rates for people of color, it puts them at greater risk. The second situation is when it does work—where you have the perfect facial recognition system, but it’s easily weaponized against communities to harass them. It’s a separate and connected conversation.”

“The work of Gender Shades was to expose the first situation,” she says. In doing so, it created an opening to expose the second.

Amazon tried to discredit their research; it tried to undermine them as Black women who led this research.

Meredith Whittaker

This is what happened with IBM. After Gender Shades was published, IBM was one of the first companies that reached out to the researchers to figure out how to fix its bias problems. In January of 2019, it released a data set called Diversity in Faces, containing over 1 million annotated face images, in an effort to make such systems better. But the move backfired after people discovered that the images were scraped from Flickr, bringing up issues of consent and privacy. It triggered another series of internal discussions about how to ethically train face recognition. “It led them down the rabbit hole of discovering the multitude of issues that exist with this technology,” Raji says.

So ultimately, it was no surprise when the company finally pulled the plug. (Critics point out that its system didn’t have much of a foothold in the market anyway.) IBM “just realized that the ‘benefits’ were in no way proportional to the harm,” says Raji. “And in this particular moment, it was the right time for them to go public about it.”

But while IBM was responsive to external feedback, Amazon had the opposite reaction. In June of 2018, in the midst of all the other letters demanding that the company stop police use of Rekognition, Raji and Buolamwini expanded the Gender Shades audit to encompass its performance. The results, published half a year later in a peer-reviewed paper, once again found huge technical inaccuracies. Rekognition was classifying the gender of dark-skinned women 31.4 percentage points less accurately than that of light-skinned men.

In July, the ACLU of Northern California also conducted its own study, finding that the system falsely matched photos of 28 members of the US Congress with mugshots. The false matches were disproportionately people of color.

Rather than acknowledge the results, however, Amazon published two blog posts claiming that Raji and Buolamwini’s work was misleading. In response, nearly 80 AI researchers, including Turing Award winner Yoshua Bengio, defended the work and yet again called for the company to stop selling face recognition to the police.

“It was such an emotional experience at the time,” Raji recalls. “We had done so much due diligence with respect to our results. And then the initial response was so directly confrontational and aggressively defensive.”

“Amazon tried to discredit their research; it tried to undermine them as Black women who led this research,” says Meredith Whittaker, cofounder and director of the AI Now Institute, which studies the social impacts of AI. “It tried to spin up a narrative that they had gotten it wrong—that anyone who understood the tech clearly would know this wasn’t a problem.”

The move really put Amazon in political danger.

Mutale Nkonde

In fact, as it was publicly dismissing the study, Amazon was starting to invest in researching fixes behind the scenes. It hired a fairness lead, invested in an NSF research grant to mitigate the issues, and released a new version of Rekognition a few months later, responding directly to the study’s concerns, Raji says. At the same time, it beat back shareholder efforts to suspend sales of the technology and conduct an independent human rights assessment. It also spent millions lobbying Congress to avoid regulation.

But then everything changed. On May 25, 2020, Officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, sparking a historic movement in the US to fight institutional racism and end police brutality. In response, House and Senate Democrats introduced a police reform bill that includes a proposal to limit face recognition in a law enforcement context, marking the largest federal effort ever to regulate the technology. When IBM announced that it would discontinue its face recognition system, it also sent a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, urging “a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

“I think that IBM’s decision to send that letter, at the time that same legislative body is considering a police reform bill, really shifted the landscape,” says Mutale Nkonde, an AI policy advisor and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center. “Even though they weren’t a big player in facial recognition, the move really put Amazon in political danger.” It established a clear link between the technology and the ongoing national conversation, in a way that was difficult for regulators to ignore.

A cautious optimism

But while activists and researchers see Amazon’s concession as a major victory, they also recognize that the war isn’t over. For one thing, Amazon’s 102-word announcement was vague on details about whether its moratorium would encompass law enforcement agencies beyond the police, such as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security. (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.) For another, the one-year expiration is also a red flag.

“The cynical part of me says Amazon is going to wait until the protests die down—until the national conversation shifts to something else—to revert to its prior position,” says the ACLU’s Crockford. “We will be watching closely to make sure that these companies aren’t effectively getting good press for these recent announcements while simultaneously working behind the scenes to thwart our efforts in legislatures.”

This is why activists and researchers also believe regulation will play a critical role moving forward. “The lesson here isn’t that companies should self-govern,” says Whittaker. “The lesson is that we need more pressure, and that we need regulations that ensure we’re not just looking at a one-year ban.”

The cynical part of me says Amazon is going to wait until the protests die down…to revert to its prior position.

Kade Crockford

Critics say the stipulations on face recognition in the current police reform bill, which only bans its real-time use in body cameras, aren’t nearly broad enough to hold the tech giants fully accountable. But Nkonde is optimistic: she sees this first set of recommendations as a seed for additional regulation to come. Once passed into law, they will become an important reference point for other bills written to ban face recognition in other applications and contexts.

There’s “really a larger legislative movement” at both the federal and local levels, she says. And the spotlight that Floyd’s death has shined on racist policing practices has accelerated its widespread support.

“It really should not have taken the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far too many other Black people—and hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets across the country—for these companies to realize that the demands from Black- and brown-led organizations and scholars, from the ACLU, and from many other groups were morally correct,” Crockford says. “But here we are. Better late than never.”





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Reports: Patriots sign Chung to two-year extension



FILE PHOTO: Dec 1, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) warms up before playing against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

May 20, 2020

New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung agreed to a two-year extension with the club, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

The extension would keep Chung, 32, signed through 2023. He received an extra $1.6 million in 2020 as part of the extension, NFL Network and ESPN reported, pushing his total compensation to $5 million for the upcoming season.

Head coach Bill Belichick said Chung has been an unquestioned leader of his multi-faceted defense, winning three Super Bowls with the Patriots. He was named to New England’s all-decade team for the 2010s.

The Patriots selected Chung, who turns 33 in August, in the second round out of Oregon in 2009. After four seasons in New England, Chung signed as a free agent with Philadelphia in 2013. But after one season the Eagles released Chung, setting him up for his return to the Patriots. Since then his career has blossomed, with Chung missing only five games in the last six seasons (compared to 14 missed games in his first four seasons with the Patriots).

In 11 seasons, Chung has 778 tackles, 11 interceptions, 57 passes defended and 4.5 sacks in 153 games (122 starts).

–Field Level Media





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