Nick Tana scores role in new Football West charity

Football West has recruited former Perth Glory boss Nick Tana to head a new charity aimed at supporting disadvantaged Western Australians through soccer programs.

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‘Carefully calibrate’ lockdown lift: India

India’s central government has urged states to be careful in reopening from COVID-19 lockdowns to prevent a resurgence of infections in the hard-hit country.

Indian states are easing restrictions as a second wave of coronavirus infections appears to abate.

The country is second only to the United States in confirmed infections at 29.82 million, with 385,137 deaths.

States and territories “must ensure that the whole process is carefully calibrated”, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote in a letter to top provincial bureaucrats.

“A system should be in place at the micro level to ensure that whenever cases are rising in a smaller place it gets checked there itself through local containment measures,” he wrote.

India on Saturday reported 60,753 new COVID-19 cases and 1647 deaths over the previous 24 hours, according to a government statement.

Since the easing of restrictions, crowds and traffic have filled the streets in cities across India, threatening another spike in infections in the world’s second-most populous country.

Bhalla urged states to regularly monitor adherence to COVID-19 guidelines – masks, hand hygiene, social distancing and proper ventilation in closed spaces.

He asked them to continue the country’s ‘test-track-treat’ strategy and step up the pace of vaccinations.

A third wave of infections is likely to hit India by October, and although it will be better controlled than the last outbreak, the pandemic will remain a public health threat for at least another year, a poll of medical experts showed.

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Britain-Australia free trade deal marks UK move away from Europe

LONDON, England: In the wake of the just concluded G7 summit, Britain and Australia announced a trade deal on Tuesday that will both increase and speed trade between the two countries.

Observers note that the agreement is another step in Britain developing an independent trade policy for the first time in decades following its leaving the European Union.

In announcing the agreement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described it as “a new dawn” in British-Australian relations.

The enthusiasm for the trade agreement with Australia reflects the British government seeing the deal as an important move in shifting the country’s economic center away from Europe and towards the higher-growth eastern nations.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Johnson completed the agreement while the Group of Seven was meeting in Britain over the weekend. Australia’s Morrison attended the summit as a guest.

“Today marks a new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values,” Johnson said in a statement.

Britain remains Australia’s eighth-largest trading partner, while Australia is Britain 20th largest, with trade between the two nations valued at $20.7 billion.

“It is a fundamentally liberalizing agreement that removes tariffs on all British goods, opens new opportunities for our services providers and tech firms, and makes it easier for our people to travel and work together,” British trade minister Liz Truss said of the agreement, as quoted by Reuters.

The trade agreement will be carefully reviewed by British farmers to ensure it does not eliminate tariffs on lamb and beef imports from Australia.

The British government, however, said the nation’s farmers would be protected by a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years.

Australian Minister for Trade David Littleproud did not disclose details, but said Australian farmers would benefit from the deal.

“Overall, this is going to be a great win for Australian agriculture,” Littleproud told 4BC Radio.

Australia’s economy is, however, already focused on Asia.

“This free trade agreement is more about symbolism than immediately tangible material benefits,” said Ben Wellings, senior lecturer in politics and international relations at Monash University, according to Reuters.

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Hassell, OMA top architecture awards

The WA Museum Boola Bardip received several accolades for architectural excellence at the latest instalment of the Australian Institute of Architects WA awards.

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Wall St edges higher, inflation fears fade

US stock indexes have risen slightly on gains in technology and growth-exposed sectors after inflation data calmed fears over imminent policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 traded just below a record high of 4249.74, with heavyweight technology stocks serving as the largest boost.

Sectors such as financials and basic resources that stand to benefit from an economic bounceback this year also supported the index.

Investors scaled back expectations for early policy tightening by the Fed after May’s consumer price data suggested a recent spike in inflation would be transitory.

Much of the price surge in May came from items such as commodities and airfares, and it is expected to be temporary.

With recent data also indicating weakness in the labour market, the Fed is widely expected to maintain accommodative policy at its meeting next week, which is positive for stocks and other risk-driven assets.

“The commentary will be that they’re still focusing on the last two employment reports, which were much weaker than anticipated,” Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York, said.

“And so the Fed will have to wait for additional data before even talking about tapering.

“This meeting coming up, plus the meeting in late July, will probably result in no policy changes, or even contemplation of policy changes.”

At 9.45am Eastern Time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 87.44 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 34,553.68; the S&P 500 was up 6.54 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 4245.72; and the Nasdaq Composite was up 19.12 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 14,039.46.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set for mild weekly gains, as a lack of major catalysts and a summer lull in trading saw them move in a tight range.

But weakness in major industrial stocks saw the Dow Jones set for a weekly loss amid doubts over whether President Joe Biden’s $US2.3 trillion infrastructure spending plan would pass.

The S&P industrials sector rose 0.4 per cent on Friday, but was set to lose for the week.

Cruise operators fell in early trade, with Royal Caribbean Group shedding 1.6 per cent after two guests on its Celebrity Millennium ship tested positive for COVID-19.

Stocks favoured by small-time retail investors that have dominated trading volumes in recent weeks were set to close higher for the week, even as a rally appeared to be running out of steam on Thursday.

Most of the so-called ‘meme’ stocks rose on Friday.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.17-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.90-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 18 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 50 new highs and six new lows.

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$840,000 fine for media violating court order in Australia

  • An Australian court has ordered 12 media outlets to pay $842,270 for breaching a gag order when reporting on former Vatican treasurer George Pell’s since-overturned conviction for child sexual assault
  • Most of the media outlets are owned by Nine Entertainment and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp
  • After he was found guilty by a jury, Pell – the most senior Catholic church official to be convicted of child sexual assault – spent over a year in prison before his conviction was overturned in April last year

MELBOURNE, Australia: An Australian court has ordered 12 media outlets, most of them owned by Nine Entertainment and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, to pay $842,270 in fines for breaching a gag order when reporting on former Vatican treasurer George Pell’s since-overturned conviction for child sexual assault in 2018.

The media outlets had pleaded guilty to breaching the suppression order in February after the state agreed to drop charges against journalists and editors, Reuters reported.

The County Court of Victoria had gagged coverage of Pell’s trial and verdict in 2018 to ensure a fair trial for the cardinal, who was accused of abusing two choirboys.

After he was found guilty by a jury, Pell – the most senior Catholic church official to be convicted of child sexual assault – spent over a year in prison before his conviction was overturned in April last year.

Despite the gag order, foreign media had published the 2018 verdict, naming Pell and the charges filed against him.

The Australian news outlets, on their part, had made references to Pell’s conviction, and directed readers to online coverage of it, saying they were prevented from publishing this important news.

Fining the media outlets for the breach, Supreme Court of Victoria Justice John Dixon said they had “frustrated the suppression order, as they diminished its purpose or efficacy by reporting information contrary to the terms of the order”.

Dixon fined Nine Entertainment’s The Age newspaper $345,000 and News Corp’s website $306,000, saying they “deliberately took a risk by intentionally publishing information derived from the trial to advance a particular purpose – a collateral attack on the role of suppression orders in Victoria’s criminal justice system – that was obviously in conflict with the purpose of the suppression order”.

Dixon said he had taken into account the media’s “sincere and unreserved apology” to the courts while deciding on the penalties.

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Australia’s Christmas holiday spots booking out in June

The winter holiday period has only just begun, but experts are warning that if Aussies don’t act quickly – they may be left out in the cold by the time summer rolls around.

With international borders slammed shut and interstate borders still proving unpredictable amid snap lockdowns, more people are looking to holiday within their own state this year – and especially over the always busy Christmas period.

The demand for bookings across the silly season has already been seen in Western Australia, with popular Rottnest Island selling out in minutes for the festive period.

Despite going on sale more than eight months in advance, bookings to stay anywhere on the island over the Christmas and New Year period sold out in minutes with holiday-makers desperate to visit the idyllic location.

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While the island always experiences high demand during the peak season, this coming Christmas saw more bookings than normal.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the week of December 27 to 31 were all booked and paid for by travellers, with the official booking authority listing early May as the next available date to book accommodation for New Year’s Eve.

By the time bookings opened again on May 3, thousands of desperate travellers jumped on to the island’s website with many banked up in the queue and ultimately unable to book.

According to the Rottnest Island Authority, more than 9000 were stuck in online queues during the May sale, while a further 3000 dialled into the call centre and another 300 lined up in person on Rottnest Island as well as in Fremantle.

Now, experts predict popular places along the east coast will face a similar rush in bookings ahead of the silly season.

RELATED: Road trip every Australian should do

Speaking to, Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said a clear surge in interest for the summer period had emerged across the country – with majority seeking coastal and country escapes over city stays.

“After an extremely busy summer last year, it’s clear savvy travellers are getting in early to avoid disappointment. Six months out from summer, many local destinations are already seeing a surge in interest,” Mr Finch explained.

“Queensland is once again the most popular option for travellers, as well as the NSW north and south coast, followed by summer favourite Margaret River in Western Australia.

“However, we’re also seeing growing interest for regional destinations like Albury in NSW, The Murray in Victoria, and Gladstone in Queensland, as Aussies look to take their summer adventure inland and venture beyond the typical holiday hot spots, which is fantastic to see.”

Accommodation provider Expedia had also recorded a surge in searches ahead of the Christmas period, with online searches recorded in April and May for booking in December and January having doubled compared to the same period in 2020.

“With the international travel ban likely to be in place for the remainder of the year, travellers may be looking to lock in holidays far in advance to avoid missing out on their preferred destinations,” a spokesperson said.

Some of the most popular searches, according to their data, include the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, the Sunshine Coast and the Whitsundays.

Heading into Christmas last year, three-in-four Australians planned to travel over the summer period by car with just 15 per cent of respondents nationally said they intended to fly.

While Australian border restrictions remain somewhat unpredictable, intrastate travel will likely remain a popular choice over the holiday period to eliminate the risk of any travel plan disruptions.

Rental car companies struggling to meet demand

But with the increase in road trip adventures across the country, Australians have been warned to get a vehicle locked in early given many rental car companies have sold off part of their fleet amid the pandemic.

Now, with the surge of interest in self-drive holidays – many providers were struggling to buy replacements mainly due to strong private sales and a shortage of new car stocks from manufacturers overseas.

During the Easter holiday period, a spokesperson for Hertz said the demand in the lead up to holidays had seen fleets in some areas – including Perth, Cairns and the entire state of Tasmania – “fully booked”.

“It’s a national problem,” said a spokesperson for the NRMA, which owns national rental car agency Thrifty.

“When the pandemic hit at its worst last year, demand for hire vehicles dropped by about 95 per cent, so rental companies had to reduce their fleets. Hertz reduced its fleet by about 40 per cent.

Post-pandemic, however, demand for domestic tourism increased dramatically – but rental car companies were unable to replenish their fleets accordingly due to a shortage of new and used cars.

“Factors driving demand include the state borders opening up and governments encouraging people to travel through measures such as the federal government’s $1 billion in airfare subsidies to encourage interstate travel,” the Hertz spokesperson told CarAdvice.

Speaking to, NRMA Parks and Resorts’ chief operating officer Matt Bruckner said demand was 30 per cent greater than what they’ve seen previously for the busy silly season.

“We’re seeing a lot of demand for the drive market. People are hopping in their cars … reconnecting with family and friends,” Mr Bruckner said.

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State to fund new children’s hospice

The state government has announced that it will fund the planning and operation of a Perth Children’s Hospice, to be built at Swanbourne.

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West Coast Eagles failed finals-like test against Essendon, says Dom Sheed

Dom Sheed has lamented West Coast’s inability to handle Essendon’s “finals-like pressure” and failure to maintain their momentum when on top as the keys to their first loss at Optus Stadium this season.

Fresh from a career-high and ground-record 43 disposals, Sheed said Essendon’s manic pressure contributed to the Eagles surrendering their 29-point advantage on the way to a 16-point defeat on Saturday night.

“We were five goals up with a couple of minutes to go in the second term and we blew it,” he said.

It was West Coast’s first regular season loss at Burswood since 2019 and left them two games and substantial percentage out of the top four. Sheed said the loss of Tim Kelly to a knee injury did not excuse West Coast’s midfield division being beaten but admitted the Essendon pressure proved difficult to counter.

“It felt like a finals game with their pressure,” Sheed said.

“That is what we wanted to bring to the game but they were better than us at it.

“When they put on heat like that when you have the footy, it is very hard to find a composed possession. Credit to them, they deserved the win because they were tougher for longer and brought good heat.”


Speaking on ABC radio after the match, Sheed said West Coast had been able to score heavily this season when armed with strong momentum but several times had yielded that advantage to their opponents.

West Coast have sustained losses despite leads over Western Bulldogs (seven points), St Kilda (20), Greater Western Sydney (five) and now Essendon (29).

“When it is going our way we seem to capitalise and kick goals and hurt them on the scoreboard but when momentum is not going our way, we seem to be giving up far too many easy goals,” Sheed said.

“It is something we need to address and find ways to shut the game down when momentum is not going our way.

“We missed TK but that is not an excuse. We just got beaten as a midfield group today and it is just not good enough.”

Dom Sheed looks to get a kick away.
Camera IconDom Sheed looks to get a kick away. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Meanwhile, Essendon forward Alec Waterman squared his personal ledger with brother Jake after being on the winning side during their second on-field meeting.

Waterman kicked the sealer on his return to Perth during a handy contribution in the Essendon forward line.

A nervous earlier shot was off-line but travelled nearly 70m into the crowd.

His first match against his younger brother came early in 2019 when he was making a comeback for Claremont after a long battle with chronic fatigue that cost him his place on the West Coast list after being a father-son draft selection.

He took on Jake who was playing for West Coast’s WAFL team in a game the Eagles won.

Alec received a knee in the back that broke several ribs, punctured his lung and forced him to miss two months of football.

But he produced a superb 2020 season for Claremont that prompted Essendon to sign him during this year’s supplementary selection period.

Jake Waterman was West Coast’s medical sub on Saturday but had an immediate impact when he came onto the ground after Kelly was injured at the opening bounce of the second quarter.

Waterman ran from the interchange bench directly into the forward pocket where he collected a loose ball and kicked accurately from about 25m.

He added West Coast’s only goal in the last quarter during a lively effort in attack.

The loss of the versatile Oscar Allen (concussion) means that Jake Waterman is likely to return to the starting 22 against Carlton next week.

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Aussies preparing for battle with West Indies in St Lucia and Barbados

MELBOURNE, Australia – Australia and the West Indies are set to lock horns in five T20Is and three ODIs in July this year. Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, David Warner, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey, and Pat Cummins return to the squad after missing the recent white-ball tour of New Zealand.

Hard-hitting batsman Matthew Wade, Marcus Stoinis, and Mitchell Marsh join D’Arcy Short in the mix for the final batting places. They all add the flexibility of being able to play in the top or middle-order. Highly rated bat Josh Phillipe adds another top-order option with captain Aaron Finch and David Warner and as an additional backup wicketkeeper/batsman to Alex Carey and Matthew Wade.

Experienced all-rounders Stoinis, Moises Henriques, and Marsh are joined by the in-form Maxwell in the preliminary squad. Daniel Sams advised the NSP he was unavailable for selection for the tour of the West Indies on health and wellbeing grounds. CA says it supports Sams’s decision. Pacemen Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson, and Andrew Tye join Cummins, Hazlewood, and Starc as the primary pace strike weapons. They are joined by gun speedster Riley Meredith and left-armer Jason Behrendorff.

National selector Trevor Hohns said: “This preliminary list gives selectors a solid base from which to choose a final touring party in the coming weeks while allowing players to prepare.”

“The Australian men’s T20 squad has the ability to match it with any team in the world and the competition for places will be fierce, which is exactly what we are looking for. The West Indies men’s team has won two of the six ICC T20 World Cups played, including the most recent tournament in India and 2016, and this series will provide us with excellent preparation ahead of the 2021 edition in October and November.” Australia’s 23-member preliminary squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Tanveer Sangh, D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

The West Indies announced the whistle-stop schedule for the Australian men’s team’s first visit to the Caribbean in five years, two weeks ago. It will be just their third overseas tour since the pandemic began.

The Aussies will play eight games in two weeks against the West Indies in St Lucia and Barbados from July 9-24 in what shapes as vital preparation for the T20 World Cup to be played later this year, a Cricket Australia statement said.

The importance of the five T20s against the reigning world champions in that format, all to be played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, could be heightened for Australia if a mooted tour of Bangladesh does not go ahead amid the subcontinent’s concerns with coronavirus.

The St Lucia ground, which is being used as a COVID vaccination centre for the island, is the venue where 11 years ago this month Mike Hussey smashed an incredible 60 not out from 24 balls in a 2010 T20 World Cup classic against Pakistan, CA said. (Big News Network/ANI)

(Photo credit: Cricket Australia).

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