Payne’s mistake lesson for all riders: AJA

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne’s mistake in taking a banned appetite suppressant should be a lesson for all riders, the Australian Jockeys Association says.

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An embarrassed Payne says she takes full responsibility and should have investigated further after her doctor prescribed Phentermine to help deal with gastrointestinal problems connected to injuries she sustained in a serious race fall.

AJA chair Des O’Keeffe says Payne accepts it is the rider’s responsibility to know what they are taking and the rules around it, regardless of whether it is prescribed by a doctor or not.

“At the end of the day the buck stops with the rider,” O’Keeffe said.

“There’s plenty of information out there of what they can and can’t take. They need to follow that carefully.”

Payne was banned from riding in races for four weeks, until July 21.

O’Keeffe does not believe it will hurt the reputation of the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

“Michelle Payne’s reputation is as an icon of Australian sport and not just racing.

“I think the manner in which she’s handled this she should be extremely proud of, disappointed that it’s occurred, but proud of the manner in which she’s handled it.

“I don’t believe it will tarnish her reputation in any way whatsoever.”

O’Keeffe said Payne seems well after suffering life-threatening injuries in the fall in May last year, which required extensive surgery.

“I know she’s found winter very difficult this year and hopefully with additional treatment, additional advice now she can get on top of it,” he said.

Payne rode at Royal Ascot last week and has been invited to compete in the Shergar Cup international jockeys’ challenge at Ascot on August 12.

“I look forward to working hard and being in great shape upon my return to racing,” she said.

NZ locks braced for Lions odd couple

The All Blacks locks are expecting plenty from a revamped British and Irish Lions duo at the opposite ends of their career.

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Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick dominated the second row battle in New Zealand’s 30-15 first Test win at Eden Park.

The response of Lions coach Warren Gatland was to replace George Kruis with Maro Itoje and bring a third Englishman, Courtney Lawes, onto the reserves bench.

Veteran Alun Wyn Jones retains his starting spot despite a quiet Test, attracting criticism in some quarters.

Gatland has belief his faithful Welsh servant will respond with the sort of physicality the pack as a whole was missing last week.

“It is a big game for him. He was a bit disappointed with how it went last week,” Gatland said.

“He is pretty focused and motivated. Normally in the past when he has been challenged he has really fronted the next game.”

A 110-cap veteran for Wales, Jones has played in the last seven successive Lions Tests.

At the other end of the scale, Itjoe is the youngest member of Gatland’s tour party at 22.

Arguably the brightest rising star of European forward play, “Super Maro” has been immersed in success from the outset with both England and his all-conquering club Saracens.

His first start against the All Blacks will carry the extra responsibility of calling the lineouts.

“We acknowledge that they’re too good operators, they’re very talented guys,” Itoje said.

“The challenge for us is to surpass them. We haven’t come here to play second best.”

Whitelock has been impressed by Itoje and the impact he has on his teammates.

His impact at the tackle and breakdown provided evidence of why he is regarded as a leading blindside flanker candidate.

“He’s very young. He has the energy and excitement when he’s out there playing,” Whitelock said.

“Both guys are really physical, they love that physical battle and we know they’re going to bring that.”

Mighty Meg inspires Australia to big win

Australia skipper Meg Lanning says she never doubted her side would chase down a record target of 258 to beat Sri Lanka and seal a second successive win at the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

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Lanning scored an imperious 152 not out as Australia raced to 2-262 inside 44 overs to win by eight wickets.

However, her fine innings was overshadowed by a brilliant unbeaten 178 from Sri Lanka’s Chamari Atapattu.

Atapattu was one of only three players in her side to reach double figures, but struck the highest-ever score by a female player against Australia in a record-breaking knock that included six sixes and 22 fours.

It was also the highest proportion of runs scored by an individual in a women’s ODI.

“It was a very special innings from Atapattu,” Lanning said.

“We tried all sorts of different things to slow her down and get her out but she was too good for us today.

“Some of those shots she played were incredible and well done to her. It was one of the great knocks.”

Buoyed by the fireworks of their No.3 batswoman, Sri Lanka dismissed Australia opener Beth Mooney for a duck in the first over.

Nicole Bolton was lucky not to follow her back to the pavilion shortly after as wicketkeeper Prasadani Weerakkody dropped a simple catch when she was on five.

But it proved to be the only alarm for the world champions as Lanning underlined her status as the world’s best batswoman with her 11th ODI ton after putting on 133 for the second wicket with Bolton (60).

After Bolton’s dismissal she was joined at the crease by Elysse Perry, who scored 39 not out, with the skipper smashing a six to seal the win and bring up the biggest score of her international career.

“I thought we were good in patches with the bat and ball but it wasn’t our best performance,” she said.

“At the moment the wickets and the grounds are conducive to scoring runs and as soon as you get any width you feel you can free your hands.

“We were confident of chasing it down and although they got a few more than we would have liked, with our batting line-up and a good wicket we thought we could win.

“Once we set that base, Bolts and I, we knew we’d be able to chase it down.”

Australia’s bowlers shared the wickets between them with Perry, Kristen Beams and Bolton bagging two apiece.

Megan Schutt, Ash Gardner and Elyse Vilani each took a wicket.

New Zealand are Australia’s next opponents on Sunday, again at Bristol.

A look at the new financial year for investors

Investors over the past financial year have had to deal with the Brexit fallout, an OPEC production agreement and numerous local and global elections.

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CommSec chief economist Craig James says the most important election was the presidential race in the United States.

“Basically, Donald Trump was elected on the premise that he’ll be cutting taxes and increasing infrastructure spending. We haven’t seen it yet, but the market certainly has rallied on that expectation.”

That indicates President Trump will continue to sway global shares.

Macquarie analyst Martin Lakos says the US president’s policies have given momentum to global share markets, which have outperformed the local index.

“The Aussie market in the last financial year is up about 9 per cent, not bad, but that compares with, say, the US markets are up about 15, and we’ve got the Hong Kong market up 24, the German market up 30 per cent. So, in that context, we’ve underperformed.”

Also important in the new financial year is what the US Federal Reserve will do with interest rates in that country.

Craig James says Australian interest rates look set to stay low, bad news for retirees reliant on fixed-income returns.

“Well, I think we’re going to continue to see an environment of low inflation and low interest rates, so I think there’s still a focus on the dividend payers — the utilities, the property trusts — as well as other sectors across the market such as the banks and telcos.”

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver says he expects the Australian share market to rise in the new year, but modestly.

“So the bottom line is, yes, the Aussie economy keeps growing but it’s relatively constrained growth. And, therefore, profits grow, but at a relatively constrained growth. Share market goes up, but not dramatically.”

Macquarie’s Martin Lakos says the real opportunity for investors is overseas, amid signs global growth is picking up.

“So whether it’s investing directly or investing via Australian companies that have a good proportion of their businesses in overseas markets and economies, we certainly still like that theme.”

AMP’s Shane Oliver says he agrees.

“If you want to see good returns, you’ve probably got to have a decent exposure to global shares, particularly eurozone shares, Japanese shares, emerging market. That’s where I think the growth will be.”

Meanwhile, new superannuation rules will come into effect on Saturday. (July 1)

The before-tax contributions cap will fall to $25,000, regardless of a person’s age.

The after-tax cap declines from $180,000 to $100,000.

And the bring-forward rule, which allows people to combine three years of caps in a single year, will also be reduced, from $540,000 to $300,000.

 

 

 

 

 

More deaths as migrants try to cross the Mediterranean

When an Italian navy boat brought 700 migrants to the port of Pozzallo on Wednesday, medics had to carry some migrants off on stretchers.

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Pozallo Port Doctor, Angelo Gugliotta says some of those rescued off the coast of Libya were severely malnourished.

He says others had physical injuries, including gunshot wounds.

“In regards to the situation in general when it comes to migration internationally, it is not my job to comment, but I am a medic and I have taken the Hippocratic Oath to respond in a time of need in the role of a medic, and this is a situation that has become ever more dramatic over the years, with incredibly high numbers of people arriving. The last arrival we assisted to was on Sunday and already, just three days later we have 700 more arriving today and I am certain we have more people arriving before next Sunday.”

He says one boy born on a migrant boat, died from respiratory problems soon after he and his mother were rescued.

“For the first time I have had to ask the emergency services to intervene because we had a “code red” patient already at the time of arrival. The medical needs are the same as usual, gunshot wounds, hypothermia, cases of asthenia, dehydration and so on.”

Rescue workers have also recovered five bodies off the Libyan coast on.

Rescue Worker, Hossam Al-Tabouny says the makeshift rubber dingy used for their journey washed up damaged on rocks.

But he says the other four people believed to be on board have not been found.

“Of course the recovery of bodies from Tajura is ongoing. Today’s search recovered five bodies but because of limited time there still remain other bodies around but they will be removed in the coming days to clean up our shores”

Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi says migration needs to be seen as an opportunity.

Speaking at an international conference on migration in Berlin, Mr Grandi urged Germany and other countries to do more to save refugee lives at sea

“Regardless of status, refugee or migrant, saving lives including through rescue at sea and protecting them from these threats are compelling humanitarian imperatives. We must also work to reduce those risks in the first place. Regular pathways must urgently and substantially be expanded to prevent migrants and refugees from having to resort to dangerous and exploitative mechanisms.”

The Berlin conference also heard the German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel suggest Germany and other nations need to change the way they think about migration policy, on an international scale and on a societal level.

European vessels are pulling hundreds of migrants from surrounding seas daily, often carrying those fleeing war, persecution or poverty.

 

 

 

Cardinal George Pell to face child sex abuse charges

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s finance chief, has repeatedly denied the allegations that date back to his time as a Ballarat priest and Melbourne archbishop.

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Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton says a summons has been served on Dr Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne.

Deputy Commissioner Patton stressed that Cardinal Pell has been treated the same as anyone else would be in an investigation of this nature.

“Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect to historical sexual offences and there are multiple complainants relating to those charges. During the course of the investigation in relation to Cardinal Pell there has been a lot of reporting in the media and a lot of speculation of the process that has been involved in this investigation and also the charging. So for clarity I want to be perfectly clear: the process and the procedures that have been followed in the charging of Cardinal Pell have been the same that have been applied in a whole range of historical sex offences whenever we investigate them.”

He says Cardinal Pell was charged on summons due to advice that was received and sought from the Office of Public Prosecutions but that the final decision to charge Cardinal Pell was made by Victoria Police.

Deputy Commissioner Patton says Cardinal Pell has a right to due process.

“It is important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have obviously been tested in any court yet. Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process and so therefore it is important that the process is allowed to run its natural course. Preserving the integrity of that process is essential to us all and so for Victoria Police, it is important that it is allowed to go through unhindered and allowed to see natural justice is afforded to all the parties involved, including Cardinal Pell and the complainants in this matter.”

Cardinal Pell has repeatedly denied the allegations that date back to his time as a Ballarat priest and Melbourne archbishop.

The allegations were repeated in a book published in May, which Cardinal Pell’s office in Rome labelled “an exercise in character assassination”.

Melbourne University Press has confirmed it is removing author Louise Milligan’s book from sale after Victoria Police charged Cardinal Pell.

In July last year, Cardinal Pell denied sex-abuse allegations made against him, adding he would cooperate with any civil action against him.

“I deny them absolutely. I’ve got no intention of adding to the discomfort or the harm of the people who made the allegations, but they’re not true. I’m like any other Australian: I’m entitled to a fair go. Untested allegations should be put through the proper procedures. I’m quite prepared to cooperate with appropriate civil … uh, appropriate procedures. I won’t cooperate with trial by the media. I think it’s unjust and inappropriate. Thank you very much.”

It is so far unclear what the charges are against Cardinal Pell and his lawyers have applied to have the details of the charges suppressed.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney says Cardinal Pell strenuously denies all allegations and will return to Australia as soon as possible to clear his name following advice and approval by his doctors, who will also advise him on his travel arrangements.

He says he is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously.

Victoria Police say Cardinal Pell will appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 for a filing hearing.

 

 

 

 

US announces plan to sell arms to Taiwan

The United States plans to sell Taiwan $US1.

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42 billion ($A1.85 billion) in arms, the first such sale under the administration of Donald Trump and a move sure to anger China, whose help the president has been seeking to rein in North Korea.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has told reporters the administration had told Congress of the seven proposed sales on Thursday.

“It’s now valued about $1.42 billion,” she said.

The State Department said the package included technical support for early warning radar, high Speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.

Nauert said the sales showed US “support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defence capability,” but there was no change to the United States’ long-standing “one China” policy.

The sale, which requires congressional approval, would be the first to Taiwan under Trump and the first since a $US1.83 billion sale that former President Barack Obama announced in December 2015, to China’s dismay.

The previous package included two Navy frigates in addition to anti-tank missiles and amphibious attack vehicles.

US officials said in March the administration was crafting a big arms sale to Taiwan, but such talk died down as Trump sought to persuade Beijing to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, an increasing threat to the United States.

Earlier on Thursday, China responded angrily and said it had protested to Washington after a US Senate committee approved a bill calling for the resumption of port visits to Taiwan by the US Navy for the first time since the United States adopted a one-China policy in 1979.

Meet Australia’s 16 year old CEO

School holidays are usually a time for students to relax or catch up on studies.

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But for Ali Kitinas she also has a business to run.

“It can be a little bit of a challenge at times to find the right balance, but I think that, really, happens with anything. My work hours are kind of in the evening, and so, often, I get really excited about something and I want to keep working but I know that I have to wake up for school the next day. And I also want to make sure I have some quality of life as well, and that I do get to be a teenager.”

The 16-year-old Sydney girl makes and sells body-scrub powder with the help of two humanitarian groups.

One raises money to rehabilitate women in Rwanda and child soldiers, while the other funds medical services for a group of children in India.

Ms Kitinas says she decided to start her business after visiting the Indian city of Kolkata.

“A lot of these girls were my age that needed the services of the hospital. I had already been making coffee scrubs and body scrubs as gifts for people, and I saw that as a great collaboration, where I could be making body scrubs that are sustainable and using recycled coffee grinds and then have a bigger purpose.”

Ms Kitinas’s entrepreneurial skills recently led to her participating in an international mentoring program alongside the founder of the Virgin empire, Richard Branson.

Upon returning home, she became the youngest person to ever participate in the annual CEO Sleepout.

Under the initiative by the charity group Saint Vincent de Paul, some of the country’s most successful business leaders sleep on the streets to raise awareness about homelessness.

It is an issue close to Ali Kitinas’s heart — particularly after discovering her mother Lynne lived on the streets when she was a teenager.

“Sleeping in a cardboard box, staying over at friends, sleeping in church halls … It was cold. It was scary. There was a lot of violence. There were a lot of incidents where kids were taken advantage of. They are human beings, they have an identity, and, the longer that you’re in the despair situation, the harder it is to get out of that.”

Saint Vincent de Paul’s New South Wales chief executive, Jack de Groot, says more than 105,000 Australians sleep in such situations every night.

He says more than 2-and-a-half million are living below the poverty line.

A major factor, he says, is a lack of action by state governments to address Australia’s ongoing housing-affordability crisis.

“People still can spend in excess of five, and sometimes 10, years on the public-housing waitlists. So, we have a real crisis. The Commonwealth can put funding arrangements forward to the states, but we know, in different states, there is not enough public, social or affordable housing being made available.”

So far, Ali Kitinas and her fellow chief executives have raised more than $5 million for Saint Vincent de Paul this year, giving some short-term relief to those less fortunate.

 

 

 

Cardinal Pell vows to fight historical sexual assault charges

Cardinal George Pell has vowed to return to Australia to fight historical sexual assault allegations, saying: “I’m innocent of these charges – they are false”.

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Speaking from the Vatican after Victoria Police announced Cardinal Pell would be summonsed on multiple charges, Australia’s most senior Catholic said he was the victim of a “relentless character assassination”.

He revealed he has been granted a leave of absence by Pope Francis from his duties within the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy to return to Australia in an attempt to clear his name.

“These matters have been under investigation now for two years. There have been leaks to the media. There’s been relentless character assassination,” Cardinal Pell said.

“For more than a month (there have been) claims that a decision about whether to lay charges was imminent. I’m looking forward to having my day in court. I’m innocent of these charges – they are false.

“The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me. I’ve kept Pope Francis – the Holy Father – regularly informed during these long months and I have spoken to him on a number of occasions in the last week, most recently a day or so ago.

“We talked about the need to take leave and clear my name. I am very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia. I’ve spoken to my lawyers about when this will be necessary and I’ve spoken to my doctors about the best way to achieve this.

“All along I have been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations. News of these charges strengthens my resolve and court proceedings now offer me an opportunity to clear my name and then return here back to Rome to work.”

Earlier Victoria Police confirmed Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges for historical sexual assault offences. The charges relate to multiple claims and multiple complainants.

In a statement the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney said Cardinal Pell “strenuously denied all allegations”.

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‘Cardinal Pell has been treated the same as anyone else’

The charges were served on Cardinal Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne and lodged at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton stressed that none of the allegations had been tested in court yet. Cardinal Pell is due to face a Melbourne court on July 18.

“Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process and so therefore, it is important that the process is allowed to run its natural course.”

Commissioner Patton said Cardinal Pell has been treated the same as any other defendant in the process.

“During the course of the investigation in relation to Cardinal Pell, there has been a lot of reporting in the media and speculation about the process that has been involved in the investigation and also the charging.

“I want to be perfectly clear, the process and procedures that are being followed in the charging of Cardinal Pell have been the same that have been applied in a whole range of historical sex offences whenever we investigate them.”

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No extradition treaty with the Vatican

Cardinal Pell is currently at the Vatican overseeing its finances within the Secretariat for the Economy.

Australia does not have an extradition treaty with the Vatican, potentially complicating matters.

It is so far unclear just which allegations Cardinal Pell has been charged with.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Patton did not detail the abuse allegations at his press conference earlier on Thursday.

“I am not in a position to provide further details on the charges,” he said, adding that Victoria Police would not be providing further comment.

Church abuse victims welcome court case

Victims’ rights group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said the outcome of the Victoria Police investigation is an important development.

“SNAP, the Survivors Network, wants to thank the Victoria Police, who took the time to listen to those who came forward with allegations,” the group said in a statement.

The group said it looked forward to seeing Pope Francis’ response as the head of the Catholic Church.

The Blue Knot Foundation, which represents Australian adults who experienced childhood trauma, said the charges against Cardinal Pell were a powerful message to victims of abuse.

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“It upholds that no one is above the law, no matter how high their office, qualifications, or standing,” spokeswoman Dr Pam Stavropoulos said.

“As well as the impacts of the abuse itself, countless survivors of child sexual abuse have struggled with the silence and disbelief of society that adults and respected public figures can be perpetrators of the criminal act of sexual abuse of children.

“The charging of George Pell is an enormously important step for community awareness which has been hard fought for and which cannot now be lost.”

Victorian Minister: We can’t pre-judge any individual case

Victorian government minister Martin Foley said Cardinal George Pell deserves the presumption of innocence.

“We know that the Catholic Church in particular has a sorry record and needs to overcome this,” he said.

“We can’t pre-judge any individual case. We need to make sure that anyone facing charges is given the presumption of innocence.”

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has said Cardinal Pell, who has co-operated with multiple police, parliamentary and royal commission investigations, is the victim of relentless character attacks.

Last year, three members of Victoria Police travelled to Rome and interviewed Cardinal Pell regarding allegations of sexual assault.

Abbott told to ‘stop rewriting history’

Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s coalition colleagues are urging him to stop trying to rewrite history and be a team player after he sparked another outbreak of internal coalition infighting.

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International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells reprimanded Mr Abbott after he released an alternative election manifesto and criticised the Turnbull government’s submarines program.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells – once considered an ally of Mr Abbott’s – seized on his claim earlier in June that the Paris Climate Agreement targets he devised as prime minister were “aspirational”.

“The renewable energy target came in under Tony, Paris was signed under Tony, he gave these commitments,” she told ABC Radio on Friday.

“To actually now say it was an aspiration when clearly his words, the documentation and everything clearly demonstrate it was an iron-clad commitment. You can’t rewrite history.”

As a backbencher, Mr Abbott was entitled to air his opinions, but as a former prime minister he carried a certain responsibility.

“If now he says that he was wrong when he was prime minister, well that’s a matter for him, but he had the opportunity to do a lot of things,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“But I would urge Tony not to try and rewrite history, because all it’s doing is damaging his credibility.”

Defence Minister Marise Payne, a moderate and Turnbull backer, also took a swipe at Mr Abbott, insisting there was no “I” in “team”.

“You’re either on it or you’re off it,” she told ABC radio.

“We all need to be on it to make sure Australia is governed by the coalition.”

Senator Payne rebuked Mr Abbott’s call for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, insisting he had never raised the matter with her.

“We want to ensure that we have sovereign capability over this extraordinarily important strategic military capability,” she said.

“To lease that, or to trade that out to another entity as has been suggested, I think would be very, very deleterious to our own sovereign capability.”