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Archive for October, 2019

Bird warned over "concerning" tackle

Gold Coast enforcer Greg Bird’s late hit on Newcastle playmaker Jarrod Mullen was deemed a “concerning act” and drew a warning from the match review committee.

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Mullen had to be taken from the field after being struck in the back by Bird’s tackle and coach Rick Stone admitted he was still groggy after Sunday’s game, won 20-18 by the Knights.

The incident came after a week of intense scrutiny over late hits and other targeting of playmakers after North Queensland maestro Johnathan Thurston copped a battering from Newcastle’s Beau Scott.

Match review committee co-ordinator Michael Buettner admitted Bird’s hit was a “concerning act” but the panel did not consider it warranted a judiciary charge.

“We’re concerned it was somewhat late and forceful and in this case we’ve decided that’s a concerning act,” Buettner told NRL广西桑拿, on Tuesday.

“When it comes to a concerning act we provide footage to the club, that gets sent to the coaching staff, also with the particulars of the judicial code.

“We outline exactly what the charge could have been and then it’s a follow up phone call from myself to make sure that message is passed on to the player just so we’re made aware of the points that we’re trying to raise with them.”

Buettner said he doesn’t believe there’s been an escalation in playmakers being targeted, although he added players need to do their best to avoid forceful late contact if possible.

“The defensive player, if given the opportunity and has the chance to pull out, then he’s probably best to do so and not make that forceful contact on a player who is in a vulnerable position,” he said.

Buettner also explained Bird wasn’t charged for a lifting tackle on Newcastle’s Joey Leilua earlier in the game as the incident was deemed accidental and not careless.

“If you look at the footage here you’ll note that we have Greg Bird’s head or body across the front of Joseph Leilua, who then fell over in a hurdle-like action,” he said.

“You can see that the actions of Greg Bird, there was certainly no lifting on his part and (Leilua) almost stumbled over Greg Bird.”

Melbourne Storm prop Jordan McLean talks like he plays rugby league – direct with little fuss.

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The 23-year-old doesn’t like to deviate from the script set by Storm coach Craig Bellamy on the field or off.

It will be 12 months this week since McLean’s involvement in a three-man spear tackle at AAMI Park that left Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon with a fractured neck and in a wheelchair, with his NRL career over and his life changed forever.

McLean was suspended for seven weeks for his role.

While McKinnon has opened up on the anniversary, McLean has preferred to keep his head down, with the Storm warning that any questions about it were off limits.

Understandably, McLean wants to be known for his football rather than his involvement in a tragic accident and he’s doing his best to make that happen.

McLean has been one of Melbourne’s star performers in the opening three rounds since taking over the starting role from the retired Bryan Norrie.

Standing 196cm and weighing 118kg, th 23-year-old’s combination with fellow front-row enforcer Jesse Bromwich has given the Storm a notable physical presence.

“It helps having a bigger pack there but we’re all going along good at the moment,” McLean said.

“I’m enjoying starting – there’s a little bit more weight on my shoulders which I like.”

While New Zealand Test representative Bromwich has the full package, McLean said his job was simple – run hard and make tackles.

“I’m pretty basic and Jesse takes care of the footwork and the skill,” McLean said.

“At the moment, I’m just trying to play a simple game.”

McLean signed a new deal before the start of the season to remain with the club until the end of 2017.

He said he never thought about going anywhere else.

“This is my seventh year now after coming through the under 20s system.

“I’ve got some good mates and I’m really enjoying my time here.

“Melbourne’s been really good to me, especially through some tough times so I’m repaying the favour back to them.”

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has helpfully provided Australians with a list of ways to hide their metadata.

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His tips show how to navigate around the federal government’s latest suite of national security laws which the Greens reckon are an invasion of privacy.

He says if you don’t want the government to spy on you online, don’t sign on to Australian providers and download software that makes you invisible.

The Senate on Tuesday began debating data retention legislation to force telecommunications companies to hold customer metadata for two years to allow access by police and security agencies.

The government believes the changes are crucial to thwart terrorism attacks and prevent serious crime.

Senator Ludlam acknowledged his party’s fierce opposition to the scheme was futile due to political bipartisanship and used his speech to help Australians hide their metadata.

Using overseas email providers, encryption and software to block online behaviour were some examples.

“They leave no trace,” he said of encryption phone apps, accusing Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull of using them to orchestrate a takeover of the prime minister’s office.

“They will be completely beyond the reach of this data retention scheme.”

Senator Ludlam assured the Senate none of his tips were illegal under the government’s draft laws.

He implored Australians to take back their power, but conceded his solution would spell bad news for domestic online providers.

He also accused federal Labor of rolling over as soon as Prime Minister Tony Abbott wrapped himself in an Australian flag and uttered the words “national security”.

Labor will support the bill after the government agreed to a number of amendments, including better protection for journalists.

SENATOR LUDLAM’S TIPS TO AVOID DATA RETENTION:

* Use Facebook messenger, Twitter private messages, Gmail or another overseas email provider.

* Download programs like Tor that promise anonymity.

* Use private-key cryptography, available as phone apps.

* Sign on to a virtual private network.

The largest impact zone from a meteorite ever discovered on Earth has been found in central Australia.

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But the exact ecological impact of the meteorite – which broke in two before slamming into the planet over 300 million years ago – remains a mystery.

A team of geophysicists found the “twin scars” during drilling for geothermal research in the Warburton Basin, near the borders of Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

While the crater from the impact has long since disappeared, evidence of the 400 kilometre-wide impact zone was hidden deep within the earth’s crust.

The two asteroids would have been more than 10km wide, said Dr Andrew Glikson from the Australian National University’s School of Archaeology and Anthropology.

“Large impacts like these may have had a far more significant role in the Earth’s evolution than previously thought,” he said.

While the exact date of the strike is unclear, Dr Glikson said it was likely to have signalled the end for many species of the time.

The surrounding rocks are between 300 and 600 million years old.

Researchers have previously been able to estimate the time of meteor strikes based on other evidence such as sediment in rock – the result of a huge plume of ash.

One such plume in Mexico, estimated to have been made 66 million years ago, is believed to have wiped out many species, including dinosaurs.

But Dr Glikson said there was no such evidence associated with the Warburton Basin site.

“It’s a mystery – we can’t find an extinction event that matches these collisions,” he said.

“I have a suspicion the impact could be older than 300 million years.”

The discovery could fuel new theories about the Earth’s history, academics say.

A new pay deal for retail workers shows the existing workplace system is flexible, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.

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The deal struck by Business SA and the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association means up to 40,000 employees can accept lower penalty rates on Sundays and public holidays in return for higher base pay, guaranteed annual pay rises, and other benefits.

Penalty rates paid by small retailers will also be abolished on Saturdays and weekday evenings.

The system is voluntary for workers and employers, who will use the template developed by the two groups to negotiate a mutually acceptable deal.

The Fair Work Commission is examining penalty rates as part of its review of the workplace relations system.

Mr Shorten said the move showed the Fair Work system worked.

“They say that the Fair Work system is a brake on productivity,” he told reporters in Canberra, shortly after setting up a new caucus task force on industrial relations.

“(This decision) demonstrates the strength of the current system of unions and employer groups working together.”

Labor’s approach to workplace laws was about seeking the right balance, but upholding the “better-off overall” test for workers.

Junior government minister Jamie Briggs said the deal vindicated the coalition’s position that penalty rates were a matter for the Fair Work Commission.

“If employers and employees work together for their best interests then we’ll get a better result,” he aid.

Independent SA Senator Nick Xenophon, who has campaigned for lower penalty rates, said too many young people had been losing their jobs, and he was hoping for a jobs bounce on the back of the deal.

“It’s always been my position that there needs to be greater flexibility for small employers,” he said.

Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm said Australians who wanted to work weekends had been priced out of the market by penalty rates.

He also described South Australia as an economic basket case.

“Maybe somebody there has finally woken up to the fact that they do need to change if they’re going to turn it around.”