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Beyoncé breaks social media silence to criticise Trump on transgender rights

Beyonce showed off her baby bump in an Instagram post announcing her pregnancy on February 2, 2017. Photo: Instagram/beyonceBeyoncé has broken her social media silence post-iconic birth announcement, in an apparent denouncement of changes to US federal policy towards bathroom usage for transgender school students.
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The Formation singer, who made headlines earlier this month when she announced she was expecting twins, has directed her fans to support US LGBTQ school advocacy group, GLSEN.

​”LGBTQ students need to know we support them,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Friday to her 64 million followers. “Share your support to protect trans youth.”

Beyoncé posted a link to information about the group’s “100 Days of Kindness” action, a social media campaign which invites people to post messages of support to LGBTQ school students.

The singer’s post came a day after US President Donald Trump announced his team would revoke guidelines created by the Obama administration on the use of bathrooms by transgender students in the country’s public schools.

The guidelines, which threaten to withhold federal funding if schools do not allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as, were developed following a number of state cases sparked by the decision of a Colorado court to allow a six-year-old transgender girl to use the girls’ bathroom at her primary school in 2013.

Under Trump’s changes, the matter will return to the states, potentially to be determined by state courts on an instance-by-instance basis.

The singer was not alone in criticising the US President’s rollback of protections for transgender students using school bathrooms.

A number of celebrities took to social media to express their upset at the changes.

Orange is the New Black star and transgender actress Laverne Cox wrote on Instagram, “Trans people have a right to exist in public space with equal access.”   #protecttranskids #StandwithGavin Trans people have a right to exist in public space with equal access.#TransIsBeautiful #TransRightsAreHumanRights #translivesmatterA post shared by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on Feb 23, 2017 at 6:24am PST

Others drew attention to organisations such as the ACLU and the US and Canada-wide Trans Lifeline, for their fans to support. We need to protect trans youth and stand up against this cruelty that hurts our kids. Support @Translifeline— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 22, 2017THIS IS EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION. @POTUS ACTS OUT OF FEAR AND HATRED OF EVERYTHING HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND. #RESISThttps://t.co/SG9UgSH7R1— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) February 23, 2017Listen. Those of us who believe in justice and dignity FOR ALL will not be silenced. We grow louder the more you try. #protecttranscitizenshttps://t.co/4wcGRACthB— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 23, 2017Just seeing the news about removing laws protecting trans people. This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights, and it’s not okay.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 23, 2017Trans friend, if you are struggling tonight, please reach out to @TrevorProject and @Translifeline. Equality for all! #ISTANDWITHGAVINpic.twitter南京夜网/bgipj0rmqg— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) February 23, 2017

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Lead paint and asbestos being handled by unskilled painters: industry

Get Qualified Australia offers a range of qualifications for the Skills Recognition and Recognition of Prior Learning scheme. Photo: Get Qualified Australia website Industry figures suggest the number of unskilled painters in NSW has grown since painting licensing laws changed in 2015. Photo: Julia Nicholls
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Australia’s peak professional body for the painting industry has expressed serious concerns about tradespeople who have been issued qualifications to handle toxic materials without the requisite training.

The National Institute of Painting and Decorating (NIPD) raised questions about the validity of painting qualifications issued by Get Qualified Australia, a vocational education provider, which was recently stripped of registration for three of its training organisations.

The education consultancy assists job seekers in obtaining qualifications to recognise prior learning in a range of industries, linking them with its own training organisations and others.

“I have spoken to at least three painters who obtained a Certificate III in Painting and Decorating [from GQA] and are not adequately qualified or competent,” said Daniel Wurm, managing director of (NIPD).

“It is a requirement that all painters who do a Certificate III in Painting are trained to identify and handle asbestos and lead paint, both of which are toxic and hazardous to the community.”

Mr Wurm said he had spoken with one painter on a 457 working visa who was granted recognition of prior learning, despite having limited experience.

“He had received no training and did not even know what lead paint was, or how to identify asbestos,” he said.

“This is a tremendous risk…how many painters got their certificates this way?” 

In a telephone call to Get Qualified, Mr Wurm inquired about whether he could obtain a Certificate III in Painting and Decorating, if he had no prior experience with lead paint or asbestos and “did not know” what they were.

Mr Wurm said he was told it would be no issue that he had not “dealt with lead paint” and that he would just need to “do a bit of online research…[to] get a bit of knowledge”.

A Get Qualified spokesman said it was seeking a review of its deregistration in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and did not wish to “comment publicly on matters which may come before the Tribunal.”

Get Qualified and its sole director Adam Wadi will next week appear in the Federal Court in an action brought by the  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over alleged misleading and unconscionable conduct.

Mr Wurm said he was most concerned for tradespeople “who think they are qualified…if they haven’t been trained to identify asbestos, imagine what it’s doing to them.”

He said questionable qualifications would only increase the number of unskilled painters working in the industry, a figure he believes has grown since the NSW government relaxed painting licensing laws in 2015.

The changes, which industry bodies have criticised, removed licensing requirements for painting work on home interiors, including work under $5000.

It prompted a coalition between the peak bodies representing employers, contractors, trainers and accredited colleges in the industry; who said they had no say in the decision.

“We didn’t know they were going to make those changes, we were not consulted,” said Therese Lauriola, chief executive of the Master Painters Association NSW.

“There is a significant risk in having unlicensed painters working on properties that contain lead and asbestos. They think they can just sand it, drill it, cut it, because they have not had the training.”

Ms Lauriola said the association was equally concerned about registered training organisations issuing unwarranted qualifications.

“We call it ‘ticking and flicking’, those organisations who are giving people qualifications they really shouldn’t have,” she said. “It’s disastrous for the industry. People think they are getting qualified painters and in some instances they are not.”

Ms Lauriola suggested an additional “continuing professional development” course for painters, which could ensure they were qualified in all requisite areas.

A spokesman for the NSW Fair Trading said the Master Painters Association, and others, were given a lengthy period in which to contribute to the consultation process, however “no concerns were raised”.

“The reforms are intended to remove red tape that may unnecessarily stifle innovation and competition,” he said.

In the 12 months from January 2014, a total of 184 complaints were received about painting and decorating services generally.

Since January 2015 Fair Trading has received 113 complaints about painting and decorating work under the $5000 threshold. Interact with us on Facebook – Savvy ConsumerLatest consumer news

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John Singleton, Geoff Dixon call last drinks on Toxteth pub

Riversdale Group is selling the Toxteth Hotel in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Glebe. Photo: supplied John Singleton and Geoff Dixon, along with Mark Carnegie, have built up the Australian Pub Fund over about six years. Photo: Wolter Peeters
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Business partners and long-time mates, Geoff Dixon and John Singleton, have sold the Toxteth pub to Mitchell Waugh’s Public House Management Group (PHMG) as part of their program to reinvest in new ventures.

The asset is within the Riversdale Group, under the Australian Pub Fund banner, which the two businessmen run with well-known investor Mark Carnegie.

Riversdale was founded by Paddy Coughlan and Rod “Ned” Kelly and bought the Toxteth, in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Glebe for $10 million in early 2011.

PHMG paid about $21 million for the Toxteth.

The Australian Pub Fund (APF), founded by Mr Carnegie, ex-Qantas chief Mr Dixon and ad man and investor Mr Singleton, was built up over six years and was worth about $300 million, before some recent sales. They are also selling The Marlborough Hotel in Newtown.

The sale, the fourth for the group, follows the previously parked float when the IPO landscape shifted sideways in 2014, and had meant the group preferred to consolidate and focus on earnings as opposed to taking on new investors or substantially increasing the size of the portfolio as an ASX listing might have required.

Speaking on behalf of APF, Matthew Beach said the sale of the hotel met divestment criteria previously determined by the group.

“Fundamentally, the sale price achieved represented a material accretion of value when compared to the purchase price, and is consistent on a comparable yield basis to where we have been prepared to sell other hotel properties owned by the fund,” Mr Beach said.

Ray White Group’s Asia-Pacific director, Andrew Jolliffe, is advising on the sale and said the Toxteth was outside Sydney’s lock-out laws area, and had enjoyed a strong trading platform over the past two years.

PHMG also owns Sydney hotel properties including The Woollahra Hotel, Paddington’s Royal and Four in Hand hotels.

“Our philosophy is not complicated. We look for opportunities to acquire A-grade commercial property holdings in destinations underpinned by active patronage fundamentals; and whereby we can apply our deliberate hospitality strategies in order to grow revenue across all income streams,” Mr Waugh said.

“The purchase of this significant fringe CBD hotel asset is consistent with others made by the very well-credentialled PHMG; and the recent operational improvements made to other hotels recently bought for the stable, such as those made to Mosman’s Buena Vista, are patently available to the group again in respect of this acquisition,” Mr Jolliffe said.

“I believe the market conditions that have provided the fertile base for such prosperous activity will remain for the foreseeable future.

“The confluence of the historically low interest rate cycle, ready availability of senior debt, the low Australian dollar driving inbound revenues and the strength of weekly cash receipts when collectively distilled, render the opportunity to acquire A-grade hospitality property wholly compelling.”

Reflecting the demand for pubs, after 31 years the owners of the Anglers Rest Hotel, Jeff Watts and Mal McKellar, have decided to retire from pub life.

The hotel is near the Hawkesbury river and station.

The hotel is for sale through brokers Greg Haines of John Parsons hotels and John Malone of Central Consulting Sydney.

Mr Malone said the agents were expecting strong interest in the hotel as it had been managed by the same owners for a long period and was close to Sydney in the sought-after Central Coast corridor.

“With the demand for Sydney hotels being so strong, the Anglers Rest – being only 45 mins from Sydney and given the price range being sought – should interest a wide variety of potential buyers,” Mr Malone said.

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Augusta and Margaret River through your eyesPHOTOS

Augusta and Margaret River through your eyes | PHOTOS @myla_the_heeler Maybe if i stick my tongue out while i’m asleep, some food will magically appear in my dreams night night everyone #myla the #dreamy #blueheeler #heelergram #heelerclub #australiancattledog #cattledog #dog #dogs #puppy #puppies #instadog #instagram #instagood #puppydog #instapuppy #puppylove #cute #love #picoftheday #photooftheday #acd_feature #dogstagram #dogsofinsta #dogsofinstgram
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@peppybon Simply stunning evening for James Taylor. #leeuwinestate #leeuwinconcert #margaretriver #justanotherdayinwa #doingitinstyle

@natural_tiarni ‘The sunset, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it’ 梧桐夜网tiarni南京夜网419论坛

@christyisemo Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow. —Mark Manson

@idamikkonen

@ingrid.fjalestad #peacefulplaces

@bec_jenkins Beauty for days ☀️

@catrionamills Big Ass Rock

@anka_712 3 years ago

@l.postlethwaite Big sky over WA. Last year. Almost worth getting up at 4am to chase cows round a field for… #sky #westernaustralia

@meggbr0 Nearly walked right into this bad boy at work today … It’s web literally went from one row of vines to the other #straya #howgrape

@jonomenz Morning mist

@_yeonflower_ #20170222 #australia

@beckyyrad MARGARET RIVER – incredible scenery✨ #WA #travels #roadtrip #MargaretRiver #stunning #wanderlust #last #trip

@dan.m.yates Long, open road Heading out on a spontaneous solo road trip to the Margaret River region about 3 hours south of Perth! Needless to say, the drive was spectacular Margaret River, Perth . . . #perth #australia #westernaustralia #exploringaustralia #margaretriver #nature #park #openroads #instagood #googlepixel #shotbypixel #phonephotography #picoftheday #photooftheday #peaceful #relaxing #beauty #beautiful #travel #naturelovers #best #naturegram #followme #like #roadtrippin #driving #adventures #exploringtheglobe #nofilterneeded #nofilter

@strawny13 Dreaming of places I’d rather be, far away from Melbourne and the bad vibes #westernaustralia #travel #australia #westcoast

@pepper_chow I found another body of water! Yay! #waterdog #escapedagain #exploring #bestholiday #chowchow #chowchow

@nikala_cunningham Down South

@myla_the_heeler Just chilling in my clam shell pool with Hoki today #myla the (sometimes) #chilled #blueheeler #heeler #acd #australiancattledog #cattledog #acd_feature #heelergram #heelerclub #dog #dogs #dogstagram #dogsofinsta #dogsofinstgram #dogsofinstagram #dogsofinstaworld #instadog #instagood #instagram #puppy #puppies #puppydog #puppylove #instapuppy #puppiesofinstagram #cute #love #heelerpuppy #heelernation

@davidhrovatin Dying at work after the weekend down south. ☀️ #westisbest

@nenworthy

@suecopsey1 #kookaburra sits in the old gum tree … #aussiebirds #aussiewildlife #margaretriverregion

@jose_perez_perianez

@aurelie.rbt La tête dans les nuages #clouds #nuages #sky #skyporn #ciel #chill #chilling

@opticelevation_ Canal rocks, Margaret River, WA #canalrocks#canal#rocks#clouds#australian#australia#westernaustralia#happy

@elsiebee64 The main street in the little town of Margaret River, at the heart of the famous region that shares its name in south-west Western Australia. #margaretriver #westaustralia #mainstreet #sleepytown

@kardigan_jones Spent the afternoon at the vet. Molly had a run in with a tiger snake. Lucky not bite to my favourite girl. #bordercollie #bordercollies #bordercolliesofinstagram #workingdogs #harvest #grapevines

@bernardofava

@moosethe_puppy i’m officially 3 months old!!!

@the_zesty_travellers The endangered short billed (Carnaby’s) black cockatoo stopping to smell the flowers. #wildlife #wildlife_perfection #wildlifephotography #nature #naturephotography #nature_perfection #wildlife_supreme #naturephotography #australiangeographic #ig_australia #wildlifeplanet #eye_spy_birds #pocket_birds #bird_brilliance #your_best_birds #birds #birdsofaustralia #bestbirdshots #fridayfowl

@sianto2092 Trip the road … #Australia #DolananKeAussie #MargarethRiver #TripTheRoad #WesternAustralia #200217

@sinserene #view #bridge #pretty #scenic #blackbrewingco #brewery #lake #australia #travel #traveller #backpacker #margaretriver

@sinserene Margaret River, you’ve been a babe. #margaretriver #nocarbsbeforemargs #australia #backpacker #travel #traveller #australia #westernaustralia

@rizzo593 ..beautiful end to a great day #funfriendsandwine

@_rebeccaholt_ Weekend views #campingcrew #camping #downsouth #secretspot #downbytheriver #weekend #weekendwarriors #funtimes #summertime #summer

@theodore_the_cavalier Road trippin’ to Margaret river

@awonderling Breath Taking.

@brittojjj Sweet Baby James

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@honey_thelabrador Coffee stop! #dogsofinstagram #labradors_ #yellowlab #labradorretriever #labradorpuppy #labrador #instadog #instapuppy #lovedogs #yellowlaboftheday #talesofalab #justlabradors #dog_features #worldoflabs #puppyoftheday #dogstagram #dogphotography #dogsofaustralia #JustLabradors #dogs_of_instagram #love #puppy_tales #mydogiscutest #labradorofficial #dailybarker #dogsofinstaworld #labradoroftheday #fab_labs_ #labs_of_insta #snapwagdogs

@jojiblossom

@jojiblossom

@anaisgg

@charlieedwardw Even in the rain my mom @carissasunshine and dad @toby_wearne walk me. They know I love an open path and lots of sniffs, and so do we Charlie. You bring us out in all the elements, and we love that! #happyboy #nature #sniffs #rainorshine #weimlove #weimaraner

@lyudon all about Margaret River ❤️️ #LyudonSurf at #Australia

@giuliozzii

@darcysymington what a view

@potoroo_land Be kind to animals, they are friends, not food! ❤ #kangaroolife

@bitterfunnylife Margaret River #bitterfunnylife #australia #margaretriver #wanderlust #lifewelltravelled #intenselyalive #travel #perth #travelblog #travelling #beachlover #ocean #oceanbreeze #runningaround

@enao.mala Always in summer ☉ #australia #wa #margaretriver #travel #traveler #summer #beach #indianocean #turquoise #love #f4f #l4l #folow4folow #folow #love #life #beauty

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Winx appears to have Chipping Norton at her mercy

In Sydney on Saturday, the all-conquering Winx will again go through the motions to secure yet another major race victory.
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At unbackable odds, Winx appears  to have the group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes at her mercy, and will embark on an exercise gallop around Randwick to underline her dominance of world racing.

Shooting for three straight Cox Plates later in the year, Winx’s drawing power is also getting stronger with more than 6000 racing enthusiast’s getting to Randwick last Monday week, a working day in the Harbour City, to watch one of the world’s best race mares demolish the field in a group 1 event.

And with good weather at Randwick on Saturday the numbers are again sure to be strong.

Weight of numbers

Saturday’s meeting at Caulfield finds punters in an immediate quandary in races such as the Oakleigh Plate and Blue Diamond Stakes.

In both events it’s the case of the weight of numbers.  Australia’s two most accomplished stables have a number runners to sift through.

In the Blue Diamond Stakes, David Hayes has six runners and in the Oakleigh Plate, Darren Weir has four competitors.

While bookmakers lean to the Hayes’ family registering their ninth Blue Diamond Stakes success with Catchy, the lead-up performances of stablemate Tulip give that filly a compelling argument in Victoria’s most important two-year-old race.

In the Oakleigh Plate, Weir can find no fault with his veteran sprinter Flamberge, who is at the attractive odds of $16.00.

“He battled on well in the Lightning Stakes, he’s eaten well and was bouncing when he came off the track the other morning.

“His two runs in this time have been excellent,” Weir said.

Star turn

While Black Heart Bart is understandably all the rage in the group 1 Futurity Stakes, the former West Australian is poised to give the Weir stable another major race win.

And the stable also looks poised to win with the in-form Stratum Star in the Peter Young Stakes.

Stratum Star, one of the most improved horses in Australasia, will get the run of the race from gate three.

Silent progress

And those punters who burnt their fingers on the fast-finishing Silent Sedition two weeks ago at Caulfield should certainly follow up this week on the mare.

Silent Sedition was backed for a fortune but narrowly went down over 1200 metres but the extra 200 metres should be the telling difference.

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South Sydney Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds sidelined with appendicitis

South Sydney’s seemingly perfect pre-season has had its first hiccup with halfback Adam Reynolds set to miss the first month of the season with appendicitis.
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The Rabbitohs playmaker arrived at training on Wednesday complaining of some discomfort, and was later taken to hospital under the advice of the club doctor.

The 26-year-old spent the night on a drip before undergoing surgery on Thursday to treat the appendicitis that will keep him out for the best part of four weeks.

He required stitches around the abdomen region but was expected to be discharged from hospital on Friday night.

Former Parramatta pivot Luke Kelly firms as his likely replacement, however John Sutton is no stranger to the halves position and could force Cody Walker into the No.7 jersey if Maguire opts to go with his former captain.

At the NRL launch on Thursday Greg Inglis said he and the rest of the Rabbitohs’ spine would encourage Walker to take an ad-lib approach to his football this season.

“We want him to play pretty much off the top of his head,” Inglis said. “He’s an instinctive player and we don’t want to give him too much structure.

“I think it’s just tapping into the skill. He’s obviously got the ability … We keep telling him how much he does have.”

Kelly played in the Auckland Nines and in both trials for the Bunnies, impressing in his maiden season at the club after being used as a stop-gap solution by Parramatta since 2012.

The bad news comes just a week out from South Sydney’s first round match against the Wests Tigers, who have problems of their own in the halves.

Luke Brooks had his wisdom teeth removed a fortnight ago and missed last week’s trial against the Cowboys, while Mitchell Moses has battled bone bruising in his ankle that he picked up playing in the All Stars game earlier this month.

Both Brooks and Moses are expected to be fully fit in time for what will be a mouth-watering Friday night showdown against former Tigers captain Robbie Farah and his new club.

Meanwhile, Billy Slater’s return from a chronic shoulder problem has been put on ice once again.

The Storm fullback hasn’t fully recovered from the season-ending injury he picked up in round one last year, with Storm coach Craig Bellamy in no rush to bring back his superstar No.1.

Melbourne are reluctant to risk Slater by bringing him back prematurely and will miss the opening rounds of their new campaign, which begins against Canterbury at Belmore on Friday night.

“We’re really happy with the way it’s progressing but I’m pretty sure he won’t be playing the first couple of rounds,” Bellamy said at the Storm’s season launch.

“We’ve waited a long time so we’re not going to take any risks with him physically or mentally.”

With Cameron Munster moving from fullback to five-eighth in the off-season to cover for the departure of Blake Green to Manly, Bellamy will have to decide whether to tinker with his new playmaker combination or throw Young Tonumaipea into the No.1 jersey.

“Obviously Cameron has trained mostly in the halves in the pre-season so to put him back there would be a big call but having said that we’ve got to do what we think is best thing for the team,” Bellamy said.

Melbourne’s Kiwi Test backrower Tohu Harris is also sidelined for the opening weeks of the season with a stress fracture in his foot.

with AAP

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Fallen Southern Stars hope to shine in Rose Bowl defence

Ready to return: Ellyse Perry. Photo: Rohan ThomsonThe Southern Stars will seek redemption for their shock Twenty20 series defeat to the White Ferns when the two nations begin a three-match one-day series in New Zealand on Sunday.
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Australia has made a late inclusion for the Rose Bowl series, drafting veteran batter Rachael Haynes, 30, into the squad.

Haynes has played 33 one-day internationals, averaging 31.28 and could boost a batting line-up which struggled in games two and three of the T20 series against the White Ferns. The left-hander from Victoria was also part of the winning squad which claimed the 2013 women’s World Cup.

Haynes’ return comes amid injury worries, with vice-captain Alex Blackwell straining a hamstring in the heavy loss on Wednesday.

Champion allrounder Ellyse​ Perry is due to return to the side, having missed the T20 series because of a hamstring injury she suffered during the Women’s Big Bash League. Perry’s one-day form has been superb in recent times, notching 17 half-centuries in her past 24 innings.

Australian selector Shawn​ Flegler​ said Perry and Blackwell were expected to be fit for the one-day series.

“We expect both Alex and Ellyse to feature throughout the upcoming series against New Zealand. However, we want to ensure both players are 100 per cent fit on their return,” he said.

“Rachael is a proven performer at this level with a wealth of knowledge and experience, so we are looking forward to having her around the group and know she will be ready to go if called upon.”

The Stars were fired out for 66 – their lowest score in T20 cricket – by the White Ferns in Adelaide, having been 5-9 after a superb opening spell from Lea Tahuhu and Holly Huddleston. They had also limped to 9-61 in a rain-marred loss in Geelong on Sunday.

This could prompt a shake-up in the top order, with a call to be made on No.3 Ashleigh Gardner, who had scores of 0, 5 and 0 on her international debut in the T20 series.

Skipper Meg Lanning has demanded more of her team, with the Ferns determined to regain the Rose Bowl for the first time in 17 years.

“We move into one-day cricket now which is a nice shift for us but we’ve got to learn from it and see what we can do better, because we’re going to come up against the same (bowlers),” she said.

“There’s plenty for us to think about. We need to come up with a few different plans and really think our way through more than we have.”

The Stars were beaten 2-1 in the Twenty20 series by the White Ferns last summer but rebounded to win the one-day campaign in New Zealand.

Rose Bowl series:

26 February: First ODI, Eden Park No.2, Auckland

2 March: Second ODI, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

5 March: Third ODI, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

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What do we want? Old footy ground names. When do we want it? Now!

It’s an embarrassing thing to confess. First week of January and Cricket Australia was still days away from giving up the rest of the summer to rugby codes to the power of seven, nine and 10. Six-hole golf and four-game tennis were light bulbs yet to go off. Football was being played around the country, but fans that week were workshopping their next brilliant tifo​. It was Test cricket’s time to shine.
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And yet, entering the Sydney Cricket Ground precinct, Fairfax Media’s legs were drawing it inexorably towards the footy stadium. The Philip Cox-designed roof, the phantom sniff of liniment, the ghosts of Chicka Ferguson and Joey Johns and the Mark Coyne try. Or just a bog-standard Sunday afternoon in winter, sitting in the rain with both of Easts’ fans. The siren song of rugby league! Fairfax Media’s brain was saying one thing, but the legs were doing another.

As an impulse to civil disobedience, the moment passed. Ultimately, the visceral hunger for rugby league is not satisfied by trying to break into an empty stadium. Nor is it quite satisfied by the Auckland Nines, the Indigenous All Stars Game or the Charity Shield. Nor – and this is the curious part – is it really satisfied by the start of the season proper, or the playing of that season.

Taunted and tantalised, league hunger is sometimes only satisfied in that moment after a grand final when the last minute of the season has been the most gut-wrenching minute of anything Fairfax Media has ever seen. And then the hunger starts up again …

But if Fairfax Media had to toe the line and stay with the cricket, there was another act of personal civil disobedience that would have to do. The cricket was at the Sydney Cricket Ground: Sydney’s big ground where cricket is played. Easy to understand. Right next to it is a big ground where football is played, and Fairfax Media refuses to call the sister ground anything other than the footy stadium.

Or SFS in a nod to modernity. Or Sydney Sports Ground when Fairfax Media is feeling ornery. Whatever used-car dealer or major bank’s insurance division has the naming rights to it now, it was not called Whatsie Fluffers Field when Chicka stepped, stepped again, and stepped a third defender to tie the 1989 grand final. It was not called Punters’ Park when Coyne scored that try in the 1994 Origin. It was the SFS, and in Fairfax Media’s heart it remains sacred ground. It’s the Sydney Sports Ground, where Laurie Monaghan kicked that field goal from the sideline to sink mighty Wales.

When names disappear, so does the past. If the past is not another country and not even the past, then nor are the true names of football grounds. It is not just history that is flogged off when a sponsor buys naming rights to a ground; it is the present, too, because in sport, where so many of us live in the past, there is no difference.

More and more, that humble fan is the custodian of that past-in-the-present, because every other interest is ganging up against us. T.G. Millner Field, site of the immortal “Up The Jumper” try by NSW Country in 1975 amongst a zillion blood-soaked Saturday afternoons, is being sold off. It’s bad enough when the actual territory passes into the hands of property developers, but the so-called compromise of flogging naming rights sales is little better.

For round one of this year’s NRL competition, Parramatta will be visiting Manly at a place that sounds like a cross between a theme park, a bingo hall and a 1920s Los Angeles land speculation. For the rest of us, it’s Brookvale Oval, aka Brookie. The jokes that will stem from Brookie’s new name, which Fairfax Media refuses to utter, are predictable. Like Brookie’s most recent nickname – “The Fortress”, in direct contradiction of the Sea Eagles’ porous recent record there – the new name is not a masterpiece of irony (for which rugby league is little known), but an act of soulless expediency (with which rugby league is synonymous).

For fellow conscientious objectors, here is a guide to the real names of other NRL grounds:

Cronulla: Endeavour Field or, if you must, Shark Park.

Penrith: Penrith Park or, if you must, Panthers Stadium.

Parramatta: Parramatta Stadium, funeral pyre of Cumberland Oval.

Canberra: Bruce Stadium.

Brisbane: Lang Park.

South Sydney, Canterbury, St George-Illawarra, Wests-Balmain: Olympic Stadium, or just Homebush, albeit risking confusion about what train station to get off at.

Newcastle: Hunter International Sports Centre.

Eastern Suburbs: Footy Stadium, SFS or Sydney Sports Ground.

Auckland: Mount Smart Stadium.

Melbourne, North Queensland, Gold Coast: Don’t know, let them decide.

Returning to grounds their true, old-school names is not just a matter of giving voice to your inner curmudgeon. Or, in Fairfax Media’s case, their outer curmudgeon. The footy ground is a battleground, in the struggle between communities and corporations, and it needs the fans’ voices. Or, to be precise, their silence.

There is an alternative view: that he who pays the piper calls the tune, and if someone stumps up the money they can call whatever they want whatever they like. It’s not culture, it’s commerce.

But not even the corporations, who use the language of community and people, will own up to that brute fact. They can only feel good by disguising it. They haven’t bought out team names that are off limits in Australia, if not elsewhere. Fairfax Media can remember, as a child, imagining the exotic glamour of the great Zaheer Abbas amassing runs for Pakistan International Airways against the poor bowlers of Habib Bank in domestic cricket.

You could even see Zaheer in a PIA pilot’s uniform. Companies owning and naming cricket teams seemed less of a concern than the possibility that Zaheer, with his bulletproof-thickness glasses, could have passed the seeing test to fly a passenger aircraft. It seemed snazzy and jetset in those days, but eventually, the Indian Premier League having teams named after a whiskey and a newspaper took the gloss off, and made the whole racket as classy as Geelong footballer Garry Hocking renaming himself as cat food.

Grounds have never been offered the same protection as clubs and players, which, after all, instead of selling their names to corporations, turn themselves into corporations. People can look after themselves. Why should the turf, the soil, the sacred earth, have no right of self-defence?

Only because it, unlike the clubs and the individuals, has no voice? It’s up to the fan to take up the cause of that voiceless soil, and call it by its true name. Fairfax Media – oh hell, you see how annoying it is for the piper to take the name of he who pays – I reject the corporate dispossession of our land and refuse to yield.

Someone please plant me a gum tree on T.G. Millner so that I may chain myself to it. And someone please link arms with me and march on Brookvale where we can, in the spirit of Reagan’s plea to Gorbachev, “Tear down that sign”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Alleged armed robbers arrested after wandering near Victoria Police Academy

The robbers were found wandering just blocks from the Victoria Police Academy in Glen Waverley. Photo: Craig AbrahamA trio of alleged armed robbers have been picked up just blocks from the Victoria Police Academy after they were spotted strolling down a suburban road minutes after a string of robberies in the area.
Nanjing Night Net

The Dandenong North men aged 18, 19 and 21 were nabbed on Thursday at 4.45am after allegedly robbing a Narre Warren North service station and a Mount Waverley newsagency.

The men were armed with machetes and a shotgun, which were discovered dumped in a suburban garden bed at a nearby residence. Their getaway vehicle was located a short distance away.

The alleged perpetrators started their spree of robberies at 12.55am on Thursday at a service station on Heatherton Road which they burgled twice, the first time unsuccessfully.

They returned at 3.45am, successfully robbing the service station before turning their attention to a news agency on Centreway, Mount Waverley, more than 17 kilometres away, at about 4.30am.

But the string of robberies ended uneventfully with police nabbing the trio while they were wandering in Glen Waverley at 4.45am, just kilometres from the Victoria Police Academy.

All three men were arrested after being spotted by police on Waverley Road, just east of Blackburn Road. The Victoria Police academy is located a few blocks away, on the corner of Waverley and View Mount roads.

Police have charged the men who are assisting with inquiries. They will face court at a later date.

It is unclear whether the crime spree is gang related. Anyone who witnessed the robberies or has more information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. \n”,colour:”green”, title:”12.55AM & 3.45AM: Men rob service station”, maxWidth:200, open:0},{lat:-37.89108, lon:145.14309, text:”

Centreway, Mount Waverley, Victoria, Australia\n”,colour:”orange”, title:”4.45AM: Police arrest the three men”, maxWidth:200, open:0}] );}if (!window.googleMaps_Icons) window.googleMaps_Icons = {};window.googleMaps_Icons[“purple”] = {“marker”:{“image”:”http://maps.gstatic南京夜网/mapfiles/ms2/micons/purple-pushpin.png”},”shadow”:{“image”:”http://maps.gstatic南京夜网/mapfiles/ms2/micons/pushpin_shadow.png”}};if (!window.gmapsLoaders) window.gmapsLoaders = [];window.gmapsLoaders.push(CreateGMapgmap201712485545);window.gmapsAutoload=true;/*]]>*/]]>

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Anti-bikie Echo taskforce investigating drive-by shooting at Airport West gym

The man injured in the Airport West shooting. Photo: Courtesy of Nine News The scene of the reported shooting in Airport West. Photo: Courtesy of Seven News
Nanjing Night Net

Anti-bikie police are investigating a drive-by shooting at an Airport West gym, with the car suspected of being used in the shooting found burnt-out in Melbourne’s north.

Police confirmed a black Audi SUV was found burnt-out in a reserve in Pascoe Value shortly before 10pm and is suspected of being the same vehicle two people used in the shooting on Thursday evening.

The Echo taskforce is now investigating the matter and has called for members of the public with further information to come forward.

A 31-year-old Hillside man received a gunshot wound to the stomach in the carpark of the Derrimut 24:7 Gym on Louis Street in Airport West at 5.30pm on Thursday and was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

The black SUV pulled up as the man was entering the gym and the occupant of the vehicle reportedly produced a firearm before they fled the scene.

One person in the gym told Fairfax Media they heard two shots.

The Audi Q7 was later seen driving erratically on the Western Ring Road, including the emergency lane prior to Keilor Park Drive in Keilor East after the shooting. It was later found at Gavan Park on the corner of Arndt and Cornwall roads.

Investigators are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the Audi or captured vision of the vehicle on their dash cam.

A witness who saw the drive-by shooting told the Herald Sun the men were wearing masks.

“Two guys pulled up in a black Merc and they were both wearing masks,” he said.

“They waited for the guy to come out and as soon as they did the passenger shot him twice in the back.”

The anti-bikie Echo Taskforce division has been responsible for a string of raids across Melbourne in the past 12 months, arresting members of rival bikie gangs the Rebels and Comancheros and seizing cars, military-style firearms and drugs. \n”,colour:”green”, title:”5.30PM: Shooting outside Derrimut 24:7 gym”, maxWidth:200, open:0},{lat:-37.72115, lon:144.93646, text:”

Audi SUV found burnt-out in Pascoe Vale.*/]]>

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