Phoenix miss Paul’s legs for Olympic test

FULL OF RUNNING: Valentine’s Matt Paul competes for the ball with Jets Youth midfielder Jackson Frendo last week at Cahill Oval. Paul scored the only goal of the game. Picture: Marina Neil Valentine face a test of their progress at home against Hamilton Olympic on Saturday, and they will have to do it without key midfielder Matt Paul.
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The dynamic Paul scored the winner in last week’s 1-0 win over the Jets youth team, but he is competing in the Port Macquarie Ironman on Sunday, the day after his 26th birthday.

Coach Darren Sills, who recruited Paul from Adamstown midway through last season, said the midfielder would be a significant loss for his second-placed team.

“We’ve given him the weekend off. It means a lot to him to do these ironmans and triathlons. That was part of the deal. We knew early days he was going to do this,” Sills said.“He’s been super. He runs out a full 90 minutes, he’s incredibly fit and a very, very good footballer.”

Sills said he would move defender Alec Faulkner into midfieldand fellow American Jalon Brown wouldreturn from injury to start up front. Wilson Edwards will return at right back.

Valentine are chasing a fourth straight win, but Sills expected a tough outing against Olympic, who are two points back in third.

“It’s probably a good test of where we are. I watched Olympic a few weeks ago against Maitland, and they were pretty awesome. They could have been four or five up at half-time.

“We’re playing Edgeworth the following week. If we’re going to be any yardstick, we’ll see how we go against those two teams.”

Rhys Cooper (knee) and captain Kyle Hodges (toe) are still out for Olympic.

Elsewhere, eighth-placed Broadmeadow host Maitland at Magic Park on Sunday looking for their first win in five weeks after two losses, two draws and the bye.

Weston go looking for their first win when they host defending champions Edgeworth, who are slowly finding form and have seven points from their past three games.Eagles striker Daniel McBreen’s suspension is over, but he will miss them match due to Fox Sports commitments at the A-League grand final.

Also on Sunday, Charlestown host winless but improving Adamstownat Lisle Carr Oval, and Lake Macquarie entertain the bottom-placed Jets.

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Drayton highlights big questions on coal

FOR the past decade in particular, as the coal mining boom greatly expanded the number and size of open cut mines in the Hunter region, community and environment groups have asked a big question.
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What happens when the boom ends? Who is responsible for the legacy in the form of massive mine voids and rehabilitated land that the mining industry has made big promises about, but which have not been tested?

The boom has ended. Big mining companies are leaving or reducing their Hunter holdings, and the big question about what happens after the boom is suddenly with us.

Into that frame sits Anglo American’s Drayton mine at Muswellbrook, and the tortured history of attempts by Anglo over the past six years to have its Drayton South mine approved. Those attempts finally ended in February when a NSW Planning Assessment Commission panel issued a fourth refusal, primarily because of an expanded mine’s impact on Coolmore and Darley thoroughbred studs and the thoroughbred industry as a whole.

Confirmation on Friday that Anglo had sold its controlling interest in the Drayton site to Malabar Coal wasa surprise only in terms of timing, coming so quickly after the PAC decision. For a community divided by the “foals v coal” debatethe news of a new mining interest, and talk of a possible underground mine, brought back memories many had hoped could be put behind them.

Malabar is talking about jobs and getting on with its neighbours.

But a Valuer General’s land revaluation of the Drayton site at $1 is a reminder that there are significant legacies of coal mining, and the warnings by community and environment groups for all those years are more relevant now than ever before.

The NSW Government seems to be leaving the market to decide the Hunter region’s fate in a world where financial institutions are openly refusing to fund new coal projects, and climate change is a direct challenge to coal’s social licence.

Throughout the Drayton saga a broad cross-section of the Hunter –from farmers to the tourist industry, thoroughbred breeders to community and environment groups –have called on the NSW Government to take the lead on protecting and promoting the industries that will remain, after coal mining ends. Those calls are getting louder.

The question now is if anyone is listening.

Issue: 38,484.

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Xenophon and Wilkie take on case of Canberra problem gambler

Tasmanian anti-poker machine Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon have called on the Raiders club and a bank to pay back the money lost by Canberra professor Prof Laurie Brown, amounting to about $230,000 in two gambling sprees.
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“Regardless of any legal liability the bank or Raiders club might have, surely if they’re good corporate citizens they would understand that they have a clear moral responsibility to remedy the situation and to actually pay that money back to Laurie,” Mr Wilkie said on Friday.

Senator Xenophon said safeguards that were supposed to be in place at clubs had failed.

“What happened to Laurie can happen to anyone. The industry will try and portray it as people having a ‘character flaw or a weakness’ but in reality the real flaw here is in the design of the machines which are designed to addict, and it highlights the need for urgent reforms,” he said.

The Greens produced figures on Friday showing the ACT has the highest number of machines of any state or territory – with 16.2 machines for every 1000 adults, slightly higher than NSW at 15.8. Next is the Northern Territory, at 11.9 per 1000 adults. Victoria has 6.1 and Western Australia 1.1.

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury will push next week for limits on eftpos in clubs, after it emerged that Prof Brown exploited the loophole to withdraw as much as $3900 in a night.

Mr Wilkie said Prof Brown’s story showed the addictive design of poker machines.

“This is a remarkable story, it’s simply unbelievable,” he said. “When Laurie first got in touch I didn’t doubt what she was telling me but I still struggled to believe it. Here’s a university professor, an incredibly learned person, and some people would assume the last person who would become a poker machine addict. And she fell as far and landed as hard as anyone . It just went to show how dangerous Australia’s high-intensity poker machines are and how intensely addictive they are.”

The ACT Racing and Gambling Commission is investigating, but the Raiders says it will not compensate Prof Brown for her losses.

Chief executive Simon Hawkins said Prof Brown showed none of the signs of problem gambling, despite her withdrawals of substantial sums to play the pokies for up to six hours at a time.

Prof Brown and her partner John Formby have a spreadsheet of transactions showing that on at least five occasions between July 2016 and January 2017, she withdrew more than $3300 a night from Raiders Belconnen’s eftpos and ATM machines.

On July 5 2016, she withdraw $3990 in eight transactions, including $680 from an ATM machine outside the club, and six eftpos transactions inside the club. Prof Brown insists staff knew she was taking out big sums, because even when she keyed in the amount herself, the machine noisily spat out numerous $20 bills in front of them.

She began the gambling bender in July 2015, initially spending about $250 a night, but escalating from September 2015 when she made her first eftpos withdrawal, of $700.

By February 2016, her withdrawals jumped dramatically again. On February 16, she withdrew $2260 in six transactions, two outside the club. From April, withdrawals in the thousands of dollars a night were the norm, until she was stopped in January 2017 when the bank alerted her partner.

The couple has given the spreadsheet to the Raiders, but Mr Hawkins said given it is the couple’s own compilation, it provides no proof the money was withdrawn at the club, nor that it was spent at the club. Even if that proof was provided, Mr Hawkins does not accept the club should have picked up on Prof Brown’s gambling problem simply by virtue of the amount of money and number of transactions.

A spokeswoman for Gaming Minister Gordon Ramsay said he met Prof Brown in March but could not comment on the case given the investigation. The government was looking for ways to reduce harm, including cutting machine numbers from 4985 to 4000.

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Why David Lynch will never make another movie

David Lynch might be revealing little about the imminent return of TV series Twin Peaks -“some things change, some things remain the same”- but he’s more forthcoming about the state of modern filmmaking. The Montana-born writer, director, producer, painter and composer has not made a film in more than a decade. Inland Empire, his 2006 release about an actress auditioning for a comeback role, contained many of the established motifs of his work, such as surreal visuals and dopplegangers. But it is, he says, likely to be his last.
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“Things changed a lot,” Lynch says. “So many films were not doing well at the box office even though they might have been great films and the things that were doing well at the box office weren’t the things that I would want to do.”

He is uncertain at first, but then appears to make up his mind: he has indeed made his last feature film. That’s a yes? “Yes it is,” he says.

Lynch’s stories have been described as a negative of the American landscape, where time flows more slowly and people meet (or sometimes become) their double; his darker portrayal of small-town America is not “truer” than the more upbeat version, he says, but it is true.

That landscape is dotted with small towns such as Lumberton, North Carolina, and Twin Peaks, Washington. The latter was the fictional setting for what many consider to be Lynch’s greatest work.

Airing from 1990 to 1991, Twin Peaks followed the investigation by FBI special agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the brutal murder of high school student Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee).

It was a stunning mixture of eccentric characters and long, sensual visuals, set to music that was alternately haunting and heartbreaking. Laura, the too-perfect-to-be-true homecoming queen, is found dead in the opening scene, “wraapped in plaastic,” as reported by fisherman and sawmill manager Pete Martell (Jack Nance).

As confounding as it was compelling, Twin Peaks drew almost universal acclaim – and some 34.6 million viewers – and permanently altered the nature of television storytelling.

Having been asked to consider creating a show in the style of small-town soap opera Peyton Place, what Lynch and his co-creator, Mark Frost, delivered was its antithesis, with Laura and bad girl Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) standing in for Peyton Place’s diametrically opposed teenagers Alison and Betty.

The series almost defied definition. It was a quirkily humorous mystery series that also contained elements of horror, such as the menacing Bob (Frank Silva) and the Black Lodge, an otherworldly place where one’s shadow self dwells.

“It is said if you confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage it will utterly annihilate your soul,” warns Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) in one scene; such Shakespearean observations were a hallmark of the show’s exquisite scripts.

Even now, Lynch is unwilling to box the series into a category. “The word genre is around and some films fall into those but I always say, in life there’s different genres going all the time, and cinema can do that too,” he says.

Though the bubble burst midway through its second season, the series was followed in 1992 by the feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. When the show returns next month, it picks up the story in the present day.

The modern-day exhumation of Twin Peaks began when Lynch and Frost met for lunch at the iconic Hollywood restaurant Musso and Frank Grill in 2011.

“We sat and we talked and it did happen to be not quite 25 years later,” Lynch says. “We started talking and more things started coming out and then, at a certain point, enough came out that we started talking about doing it.”

Speculation about a new series began to emerge in 2013 and the series was formally announced in October 2014. Asked about whether he and Frost weighed up the pros and cons, Lynch smiles.

“There must not have been a lot of cons, because we did it,” he says. “The good things, the pros, were many. It’s the love of that world and the characters and the possibilities, it sucked us in.”

Perhaps the biggest albatross around the show’s neck was the revelation midway through the original series of the identity of Laura Palmer’s killer.

“Let’s say you have a goose and the goose lays golden eggs, it’s a beautiful thing,” says Lynch wryly. “The goose is laying these little golden eggs and pretty soon you’ve got a lot of golden eggs and someone comes along and says it’s time now to kill that goose. Not a good thing.”

The revelation was essentially a decision made by the network, ABC, which felt the question posed by the show’s extraordinarily successful marketing campaign demanded an answer. But Lynch concedes that he and Frost had a choice.

“You always have choice,” he says, an echo of regret in his words. “But I don’t know, there might have been a bunch of things going on. It just happened that we did that, but it’s OK.”

That mystery – who killed Laura Palmer? – seems now to be impossibly formulaic, though Lynch insists it was not.

“There are classes of screenwriting where they reduce things down to formulas but there are no rules, there shouldn’t be any rules,” he says.

“Ideas dictate everything and the ideas are like gifts,” he adds. “You follow the ideas and you don’t worry about a form, you don’t worry about rules and you try to stay true to those ideas. They tell you everything and that’s how it goes.”

In the absence of any plot revelations, much of the focus around the rebirth of Twin Peaks has been on the reassembly of the show’s extraordinary cast, including MacLachlan, Lee, Fenn, Madchen Amick (Shelly Johnson), Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings) and James Marshall (James Hurley). They are joined by an impressive band of newcomers, including Naomi Watts, Jim Belushi, Laura Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The new series also sees the return of the show’s less tangible elements: the acoustic signatures of composer Angelo Badalamenti and singer Julee Cruise and the spectacular setting of Twin Peaks itself, real world location: Snoqualmie and North Bend, in Washington, in America’s lush Pacific northwest.

“The mood and atmosphere … is important for every film and to make a world,” Lynch says.

“Angelo brings heart and you know, before Twin Peaks I worked with Angelo on an album with Julee Cruise,” he says. One of the tracks from the album, Falling, became the Twin Peaks theme.

“The combination of the three of us working together comes up with this kind of feel in the music. [It] is definitely a huge part of Twin Peaks,” Lynch says.

Brilliantly, for an era in which film and television marketing is driven by predigestion of character details and plot points, nothing has been revealed about the upcoming series.

At a programming showcase in Los Angeles in January, Lynch was almost comically brief when pressed for details. Speaking to Fairfax Media, he is equally to the point: “It’s 25 years later, some things change, some things remain the same.”

It raises an interesting question about the consumption of art, and whether the predigestion required by modern marketing is actually damaging.

“Completely ruins it,” Lynch says candidly. “People want to know up until the time they know, then they don’t care. So, speaking for myself, I don’t want to know anything before I see something. I want to experience it without any purification, pure; [I want to] go into a world and let it happen.”

So the last word, perhaps, should go to someone who has seen the new Twin Peaks, David Nevins, the chief executive of the cable channel Showtime, which commissioned the revival.

It is, Nevins says, a “pure, heroin version of David Lynch.”

The description makes Lynch smile. “I don’t know why he says that, but I will answer that by saying, well, that’s OK because heroin is a very popular drug these days.”

Twin Peaks premieres on Stan, May 22.

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Owls and Whites pause to remember lost clubmen

News. Canberra lawyer and Labor Party member,?? Jayson Hinder, outside the ACT Legislative Assembly building. He is likely to take?? over the reins when ACT Labor MLA Mary Porter retires from politics due to ill health.?? December?? 7th.?? 2015 The Canberra Times photograph by Graham Tidy.– ?????? Graham TidyPhotographer – The Canberra Times9 Pirie Street, Fyshwick, ACT, 2609T (02) 6280 2331 | M 0434 016 503 | [email protected]南京夜网419论坛The information contained in this e-mail message and any accompanying files is or may be confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, dissemination, reliance, forwarding, printing or copying of this e-mail or any attached files is unauthorised. This e-mail is subject to copyright. No part of it should be reproduced, adapted or communicated without the written consent of the copyright owner. If you have received this e-mail in error please advise the sender immediately by return e-mail or telephone and delete all copies. Fairfax Media does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in this e-mail or attached files. Internet communications are not secure, therefore Fairfax Media does not accept legal responsibility for the contents of this message or attached files.ZGT_0121.JPG Photo: Graham TidyThe Uni-Norths Owls and Queanbeyan Whites will pause before their games on Saturday to remember two men who poured their rugby passion into the respective clubs.
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The Owls are mourning the loss former ACT parliamentarian and Labor Member for Ginninderra Jayson Hinder, who died in a motorcycle crash in California earlier this week.

There will be a moment of silence before the third-grade clash between the Owls and Whites to remember his contribution to Uni-Norths.

“He was a coach and player with the club who still loved pulling on the boots when he could,” said Owls president Jason Smith.

“He loved sharing his passion for the game and in doing so was a close mentor and friend to many at the club. The Owls are pleased to be able to show the respect we have for him in a small way.”

The tributes will continue when the Owls play the Whites in the John I Dent Cup at 3pm, with the Queanbeyan club paying their respects to former player Pat Matthews.

The Whites and Owls will play for the Pat Matthews Cup, which was established after club legend Matthews died from a heart attack after a fourth-grade match against the Owls in 2009.

Matthews started his career at the Whites in 1973 and played more than 600 games for Queanbeyan, including more than 100 in first grade.


Saturday: Easts v Tuggeranong Vikings at Griffith Oval, 3.05pm; Queanbeyan Whites v Uni-Norths Owls at David Campese Field, 3.05pm; Wests v Royals at Jamison, 3.15pm. Gungahlin Eagles – bye.

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Testing time for our pupils sitting NAPLAN

Ready to roll: Blake Koubouchian, Tiarna Van Leeuwarden and Amelia Bishop-Hellyer will sit papers for language conventions and writing on Tuesday, reading on Wednesday and numeracy on Thursday. Picture: Simone De PeakHUNTER students preparing to sit the NAPLAN national literacy and numeracy tests say they are feeling “nervous”, but well prepared for the four papers.
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Glendale Technology High School year nine studentsTiarna Van Leeuwarden, Blake Koubouchian and Amelia Bishop-Hellyer, all 14, said sitting the tests every 24 months since they were in year three meant they were familiar with the structure–but that hadn’t made the questions any easier.

“I’m not stressing for it any more than in other years, but the stakes are a bit higher,” Amelia said.

Their cohort is the first to have to achieve at least a band 8 in the year 9 NAPLAN reading, writing and numeracy tests to automatically be eligible for the Higher School Certificate.

Students who do not achieve theminimum standards will need to pass an online test later to meet the requirements.

“There’s also a bit more relief in there too, because this is the last NAPLANwe’ll do.”

The students said theysat a trial NAPLAN paper in the hall under test conditions a few weeks ago and had worked on past papers in class and for homework.

“The teachers keep enforcing that NAPLAN is important for our HSC –they say they can’t make us finish papers, but it is beneficial,” Blake said.

“It allows you to focus on things you need to find out before the test.”

Tiarna said her parents were positive and encouraging.

“They know I will do my best and how to calm me down.”

The trio said they would balance revision with relaxation and exercise this weekend.

They have planned to have an early night and stay calm before the morning of each test.

Acting deputy principal Peter Henson said NAPLAN complemented the literacy and numeracy assessments that the school’s year 7, 8 and 9 students sat at the start and end of every year.

“NAPLAN is a point in time test, it’s not a judgement on schools,” Mr Henson said.

“It’s an important tool in showing us our students’ strengths and weaknesses and identifying things we need to improve on.

“It also helps us target individual students who need additional support.”

A total of 44,962 Hunter and Central Coast students will sit the NAPLAN papers next week, including11,592 in year three,11,613 in year five,11,007 in year seven and10,750 in year nine.

A spokesperson for Dymocks Charlestown said the store hada 35 per centuplift on sales of NAPLAN titles this year compared to last year.

It had to restock its core range twice this year.

Resources for secondary students are outperforming those for primary students.

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‘We really love Australia’: Trump, Turnbull hang up on ‘testy’ phone call

An American trio might have made road kill of Waltzing Matilda, but nothing could diminish a mutual lovefest as Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea in New York on Thursday evening.
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To tumultuous applause from a celebrity-studded audience paying as much as $US150,000-a-table in a cavernous dining room, deep in the bowels of an aircraft carrier moored on the Hudson River, the leaders used a century of shared military adventures to celebrate values and mateship which, they claimed, set their countries apart in the world.

Time will tell, but they seemed to leapfrog diplomatic discomfort that has lingered since that January phone call, in which an irate Trump gave Turnbull the rounds of the kitchen, over a deal struck between Canberra and the outgoing Obama administration for refugees from Nauru and Manus Island to be resettled in the US – by the simple expedient of jointly declaring it to have been fake news.

After such a bleak start to dealings between Trump’s Washington and Turnbull’s Canberra, the leaders’ speeches to the New York gathering even complimented each other.

Turnbull was all historical and scholarly, tracing an arc from the Coral Sea, where more than 600 Australians and Americans died turning back a 1942 push towards Australia by Japan, to shared US-Australian coalition efforts in the Middle East today. Trump, often incoherent at the lectern, had the audience spellbound with gritty accounts of pilots and their derring-do.

Billionaires and stars of sport and film were at the tables on board the USS Intrepid. But outshining them all and winning multiple standing ovations were seven old men – five Aussies and two Americans who actually fought on the Coral Sea. Billed as “heroes of the greatest generation”, they included Australians Gordon Johnson, Norm Tame, Derek Holyoake, Bill White and Andrew Robertson.

Imagery and optics for the celebrity bash to mark that first joint US-Australian air and sea effort, were in the eye of the beholder – as an early American aircraft carrier, the decks of the Intrepid are replete with lethal weapons and powerful aircraft; but these days, it’s a decommissioned museum piece, firing blanks from fixed moorings on the Hudson River, on the West Side of Manhattan.

But more worrisome for the Turnbull entourage was a risk that his first sit-down with the new president might get bumped from Trump’s agenda by a healthcare political drama unfolding in Washington. To have been berated by Trump in January might have been excused as accidental; but then to have their first face-to-face meeting shunted would have been judged in some quarters as recklessness.

So it was a relieved looking Turnbull who sat next to Trump when a press pack was allowed in for five minutes of banter at the start of their meeting – of course, Trump loved Australia; yes, Turnbull understood only too well the challenge Trump faces in getting the numbers to carry his legislation in Congress.

Yup – Trump had come through for Turnbull. Time and venue had been moving feasts through the day, but shortly after 7pm, they sat together for more than 40 minutes, alone save for the last few minutes when instead of the usual army of advisers, they were joined by – their wives!

In the way of such encounters that go well, the talks were described as “very warm, lengthy and productive,” but not in the sense that they produced anything more substantial than a Woodstock-ish feeling of mutual love and affection.

They talked security – national, regional and global; North Korea – a threat; and enhanced cooperation – on trade, immigration and their economies. But what they celebrated as they emerged from their tryst was “the extraordinary friendship between their countries and the vital importance of their alliance.”

And their welcome of Melania Trump and Lucy Turnbull to the tail end of their meeting was parsed as proof that the bilateral relationship was “family, not just formal”.

To the extent that Turnbull disagreed with Trump, it was confined to the subtext of his dinner speech – these are two New World countries whose rich histories go well beyond shared military adventures; and that as a new president of the US, Trump can’t afford to indulge his global scepticism in the face of a relationship that is fundamental to the economic and national security of both countries.

Outlining how World War Two had turned on the allied victory on the Coral Sea and weeks later at Midway, Turnbull described “dark days” for Australia: “Japan’s next inexorable advance was to seize Port Moresby in New Guinea, from which it would isolate Australia, take us out of the war, to be invaded as and when it suited the convenience of the new masters of the Pacific.”

“But with unity of purpose, unity of command, shared and collaborative signals intelligence, the Battle of the Coral Sea took to the water and the sky, [with] the mateship that had fought and won the [WWI] Battle of Hamel 99 years ago.”

Turnbull then explained that in their pre-dinner talks, he and Trump had discussed “the bond our great nations forged in freedom’s cause – from the battlefield of Hamel ??? to our forces fighting side-by-side in the Middle East at this very moment.”

Here, he argued, was a reminder of how Australia’s regional stability and prosperity had been secured for decades and was secured today by the US – “a commitment to the peace stability, the rule of law in our region renewed by President Trump, for which we thank you, sir.”

Citing shared values and a shared destiny for the two countries, Turnbull said: “Each of our great nations defines its national identity, not by race or religion or ethnicity as so many others do, but by a commitment to shared political values, as timeless as they are inclusive – freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Fiercely competitive, we always want to win, but we know we are always more assured of winning when we are fighting together.

“We are confident and we trust each other – that is why the United States is the largest foreign investor in Australia and the United States is our largest overseas investment destination.”

In reply, Trump ladled on similar sentiment – after an effusive introduction by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. But on the night it was all Australians, not just Rupert, who Trump loved.

Describing Australia and the US as the “rebellious children of the same parent,” the President said of his meeting with the Prime Minister: “We reaffirmed the tremendous friendship between the US and Australia and the vital importance of our security and our alliance. The armed forces of our two nations are operating side-by-side almost every day, fighting to defeat ISIS and the scourge of terrorism.

“But security also requires friends that you can truly count on, that is why I was pleased to meet with Prime Minister Turnbull ???America and Australia are old friend and really natural partners and with your help, we will remain so for a very, very long time.

“We are proudly and profoundly grateful for Australia’s contributions in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and their help in the fight against terrorism following the terrible attacks of September 11. On behalf of the US, I thank the Australian people tonight. Believe me, I have so many friends here from this country and we love Australia, all of us, we really love Australia, thank you very much.”

Claiming that few peoples shared ties in history, affection and culture, as did Americans and Australians, Trump said: “Those ties were sealed with the blood of our fathers and grandfathers and those same ties are now the priceless heritage we celebrate so beautifully tonight.

“With love for our two nations, with pride in our shared history and with faith in almighty God, we renew our old friendship and we pledge our lasting partnership in the search for prosperity and ever lasting peace. Mr Prime Minister ??? God bless you, God bless our fallen heroes, God bless the Australian people and God bless the United States of America. Thank you, all.”

Turnbull was thought unlikely to mention the January phone call before an audience that include the likes of Murdoch, who Trump described as “my great friend”; packaging billionaire Anthony Pratt, who announced a proposed $US2 billion investment which he said would create thousands of jobs in the US Midwest; mall magnate Frank Lowy; former Dow Chemical boss Andrew Liviris; Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford; golfer Greg Norman – on crutches after a mishap on the tennis court; and former prime minister Kevin Rudd, dishing out advice on how Turnbull should handle North Korea and other crises.

Trump did make mention of the January phone call in his speech – conceding after his earlier denials, “It got a little bit testy.” Turnbull made no mention of the exchange in his dinner speech, but when both leaders spoke of the call in the banter ahead of their private chat, the Australian leader was quick in identifying by example, a new shared-value.

Asked by Fairfax Media if telephone relations would improve in the future, following a claim by Trump that the Obama refugee deal was “behind us”, the leaders had this exchange:

Trump: We had a good telephone call, a great call – you guys exaggerated it. We had a great call – I mean, we’re not babies. We had a great call, right?

Turnbull: Young at heart, Donald.

Trump: It was a bit of fake news.

Turnbull: That’s exactly right.

Pragmatism and a love-in? As Rick tells the bent cop Renault, as they fade into fog in the closing scene of the movie Casablanca: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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Tilse leading Pickers from front

Player of the year leader Dane Tilse has taken the captaincy on board according to Maitland Pickers coach Trevor Ott and helped them off the bottom of the Newcastle Rugby League ladder.
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The former NRL and English Super League prop has collected five points from his two appearances in 2017, including a man-of-the-match performance first up, and Ott said this hadinspired a squad coming off back-to-back wooden spoons.

DOMINANT: Maitland Pickers captain Dane Tilse (right) making a tackle against South Newcastle at Townson Oval in round one. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

“He’s a very humble person and player, but Tilsey has just led by his actions,” Ott said.“Even his little words at training the guys pick up on that and try even harder, so it’s been great how he’s hit the ground running for our club.”

So far Maitland have defeated title holders South Newcastle (36-16) and were narrowly beaten by runner’s up Macquarie (28-26).

They now meet fellow improved squad Central Newcastle on Saturday at Coronation Oval, an alternate venue while renovations at Maitland Sportsground nearcompletion.

The Pickers lose forward Rob Mason (sternum) but arebolstered byKnights’ NSW Cup trio Tyrone Amey, Joe Morris and Jayden Butterfield.Central coach Craig Miller said the unbeaten Butcher Boys were largely unchanged but waiting for second-rower Dan Metcalf (back) to undergo a fitness test on Friday night.

Elsewhere,Cessnock host Kurri Kurri in a Coalfields derby on Saturday while ladder leaders Western Suburbs are at home toLakes at Harker Oval on Sunday.

* Go totheherald南京夜网419论坛for the Bar-TV video livestream of Wests v Lakes at3pmon Sunday. –JOSH CALLINANIn team changes, Cessnock’s Cal Orchard returnson the wing forCalEdwards (concussion) while Kurri are without Jonah Lisiua (pectoral).

Uti Baker (Cook Islands), James Elias (Lebanon) and Ben Stone (Malta) hope to back up for Wests after international appearances24 hours earlier in Sydney while forthe second straight matchRosellas pivot Jade Porter (broken wrist) willtake a place on the bench returning from a two-month injury lay-off.

The Seagulls have skipper Chris Adams (wrist) at hooker again after a game sidelined with injury andCasey Burgess remainsafter escaping one-weeksuspension for disputing a referee’s decisionwith an early guilty plea on Tuesday.

All matches kick-off at 3pm.

The grand final replay between defending premiersSouthsand Macquarie has been re-scheduled to July 16 with the Scorpions featuring in the NSW Challenge Cup final at Mudgee on Sunday.

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Macquarie has Country edge

EXPERIENCE: Macquarie Scorpions forward Daniel Abraham, playing for the Newcastle Knights a decade ago in 2007, will line up in the NSW Challenge Cup final at Mudgee on Sunday. Picture: Getty Images For the first time in over a decade Daniel Abraham will return to the City-Country Origin stage, but in a slightly different role for the Macquarie Scorpions.
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The 36-year-old Belmont-born forward has been cleared of injury andwill be part of the Scorpionsextended bench for the NSW Challenge Cup final against the Concord-Burwood-Glebe Wolves at Mudgee on Sunday.

It comes after the Newcastle Knights premiership winner represented Country in 2003 and 2004, a memory Abraham still holds dear.

“That was the highest representative level I played at so it was special to me,” he said.“You don’t get a lot of individual achievements in rugby league, but to get jerseys in rep sides was one of them so I was pretty proud.”

Now he gets the chance to write another piece of history –playing the inaugural NSW Challenge Cup decider as a curtain-raiser to the last City-Country fixture.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

“It will be a great crowd, Mudgee love their footy, and the venue is picture perfect. It will be a big day and a real eye opener for the boys. A great experience for the players and great exposure for the club. There’s plenty of positives to come out of it.”

This game will mark Abraham’s return from a quadriceps complaint suffered in a pre-season trial.

The Scorpions, who have won both of their NSW Rugby League knockout encounters, will be without Ryan Pywell and Brendan Worth.

Macquarie’s third round Newcastle Rugby League fixture with Souths has been re-scheduled toJuly 16.

Grand mufti hopes defamation win ‘first step towards improved harmony’ between Muslims and media

Australia’s grand mufti hopes his defamation win against two News Corp articles on Friday becomes “the first step towards improved harmony between Muslims and the media”.
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Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed took legal action in the NSW Supreme Court last year over two stories published in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, which attacked his response to the terrorist attacks in France 18 months ago.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks around Paris in November 2015, killing more than 130 people.

The grand mufti alleged two stories, including a front page depiction of him as three “unwise” monkeys, wrongly implied he was an apologist for the incidents, and had sought to shift blame away from the perpetrators.

One of the articles in question included a front page depiction of Dr Mohammed with his ears, eyes and mouth covered. The accompanying words included “sees no problems, hears no concerns, speaks no English”.

???The second article was headlined: “Even Hamas condemn the Paris attacks so why won’t Australia’s Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed?”

Initial court appearances indicated News Corp was defending the publications as “substantially true”, and they had argued some of the defamatory imputations were opinion honestly held.

But as the case returned to court on Friday, Justice Lucy McCallum was told the matter had been settled, in confidential terms. A verdict was recorded for the grand mufti, with no order as to costs. The case was otherwise settled confidentially.

In a statement released after the verdict, the National Imams Council welcomed the result.

“The Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed holds the highest religious post for an Islamic scholar in Australia,” the statement said.

“He has dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge, justice and peace, and is proud to continue to represent the religious views of the vast majority of Australian Muslims.

“It is hoped that the outcome of the proceedings is the first step towards improved harmony between Australian Muslims and the media in the future.”

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

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