Benedict breaks silence to defend his papal record

August 8th, 2018

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has broken his self-imposed silence with a lengthy letter to a prominent atheist in which he defended himself from accusations that he did not do enough to bring to justice sexually abusive priests.
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The former pontiff spoke of his ‘‘profound consternation’’ that ‘‘evil’’ had entered so deeply into the Roman Catholic faith. But he denied that he had, either as pope or previously as head of the Vatican office dealing with abuse cases, tried to cover up the scandals that tarnished the Church’s reputation around the world.

‘‘I never tried to cover these things up,’’ he wrote.

‘‘That the power of evil penetrated so far into the interior world of the faith is a suffering that we must bear, but at the same time must do everything to prevent it from repeating.

‘‘Neither is it comforting to know that, according to research, the percentage of priests who commit these crimes isn’t any higher than the percentage of other similar professions.

‘‘Regardless, one shouldn’t present this deviation as if it were something specific to Catholicism.’’

The letter was sent to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an atheist mathematician, who in 2011 wrote a book titled, ‘Dear Pope, I’m Writing to You’.

In his book, Odifreddi posed a series of polemical arguments about the Catholic faith, including the church’s sex abuse scandal.

The letter was reprinted by the leading Italian newspaper La Repubblica, and was the first published statement from Benedict since he said on retirement that he would live out his years ‘‘hidden from the world’’.

It discussed topics such as the nature of Catholic belief, the conflict between good and evil, and evolution, came two weeks after La Repubblica published a similar letter from his successor Pope Francis on atheism and agnosticism.

The Vatican said the timing of the two documents was a coincidence, rather than a concerted attempt by the two pontiffs to launch a fresh engagement with non-believers.

But the fact that a former pontiff and his successor wrote letters on the same issue within days of each other underlined the peculiarity of a situation in which, for the first time in centuries, two popes live virtually under the same roof.

While Pope Francis lives in a Vatican guesthouse called the Casa Santa Marta, his predecessor is living out his retirement in a former convent a few hundred yards away. It is not known how often the two men meet as they move around within the walls of the tiny sovereign state but they share the same private secretary – Archbishop Georg Ganswein.

Benedict’s assertion that he had done what he could to end sexual abuse by priests was disputed by groups representing the victims of paedophile clergy.

‘‘Over a clerical career that lasted more than six decades, we can’t think of a single child-molesting bishop, priest, nun, brother or seminarian that Benedict ever exposed,’’ said Barbara Dorris of the United States-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

‘‘In the Church’s entire history, no one knew more but did less to protect kids than Benedict. As head of CDF, thousands of cases of predator priests crossed his desk. Did he choose to warn families or call police about even one of those dangerous clerics? No. That, by definition, is a cover-up.’’

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Palmer candidate Jacqui Lambie claims final Senate seat in Tasmania

August 8th, 2018

Federal politics coverageLambie celebrates win, flips on carbon tax
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The Palmer United Party has won its first seat at the election, with its candidate Jacqui Lambie taking out the final Senate seat in Tasmania.

A 42-year-old single mother with two children, Ms Lambie squeezed past the Liberals’ third candidate Sally Chandler and sex industry lobbyist Robbie Swan to win a seat in the new Senate.

In the tightest contest in Tasmanian history, Mr Swan fell just 244 votes short of overtaking Labor senator Lin Thorp at the point where one or other dropped out of the count.

With just another 0.08 per cent of the vote, the Canberra-based co-convenor of the sex industry’s Eros Foundation would have topped her vote, won her preferences and most likely gone on to take the seat.

Instead, Ms Lambie won the seat, winning 6.6 per cent of the vote, in the Palmer United Party’s best performance anywhere outside Queensland.

She was helped over the line by a horde of preferences from other parties, ranging from the libertarian Liberal Democrats to the Greens.

The Palmer United Party is certain to win a second Senate seat in Queensland, where rugby union legend Glenn Lazarus won 10 per cent of the vote, and has a 50/50 chance of winning a third seat in Western Australia, where it is in a fight with the obscure Australian Sports Party.

PUP leader Clive Palmer won the lower house seat of Fairfax by 36 votes but the slender margin means the contest is now subject to a recount, with results not expected until next week.

The Coalition’s loss means it will have only 33 seats in the new 76-member senate, one fewer than now. Labor and the Greens will have 35 seats between them, with a crossbench of eight senators holding the balance of power.

A combative former military policewoman, Ms Lambie has warned the government she will be no pushover.

”If he thinks that Pauline Hanson was a pain in the rear end, Tony Abbott better look out,” she told Fairfax Media in an interview after early counting showed she may secure the seat. ”He hasn’t come up against Jacqui Lambie.”

The AEC has also officially announced the Senate results for the Northern Territory. As expected, the Country Liberal Pary’s Nigel Scullion has retained his Senate seat, with Labor’s Nova Peris taking the second spot.

Ms Lambie joined the army at 18 and served for 11 years before a back injury forced her to quit. She then spent years fighting the Department of Veterans Affairs in the courts before it finally gave her a disability pension.

A former member of the Liberal party, she originally sought its preselection for the north-west Tasmanian seat of Braddon. When that failed, she decided to stand for the Senate as an independent, selling her house in Burnie to finance her campaign, but then ran into party leader Clive Palmer at an airport, and agreed to be his lead candidate.

Ms Lambie has already shown an independent streak, telling the ABC she disagreed with her party’s policy to remove the price on carbon. “There still needs to be a carbon tax, but it just needs to be a lot lower,” she said.

However, she appeared to change her mind on the issue after her win was announced on Wednesday, saying ”I just buggered that up”.

She has also sharply attacked both major parties over cuts to welfare payments, and urged the new government to increase the staff of the Veteran Affairs department by 50 per cent.

She will replace Labor senator Lin Thorp when the new Senate takes its place next July.As expected, the other five seats in Tasmania went to sitting Labor senators Carol Brown and Catryna Bilyk, Liberal senators Richard Colbeck and David Bushby, and Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

with Judith Ireland

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Roseville cinema robbery: pair arrested for assaulting police to be questioned

August 8th, 2018

Police are investigating whether two people arrested after allegedly assaulting officers at a Kirrawee fast food outlet are linked to a violent rampage across Sydney on Monday night, during which a hotel and cinema were robbed and an elderly man was carjacked.
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The 22-year-old man and 20-year-old woman will be questioned at Sutherland Police Station on Wednesday over armed robberies at the Roseville Cinemas and the Revesby Pacific Hotel, in which staff and customers were threatened with a sawn-off shotgun. The pair will also be quizzed about a carjacking in Lane Cove on the same night in which an 87-year-old man’s car was stolen.

The pair was arrested at a McDonald’s outlet on the Princes Highway at Kirrawee about 11pm on Tuesday after police were called to investigate reports that they were acting suspiciously.

When police spoke with the couple, the man allegedly punched a constable in the face and the woman kicked another officer twice in the head.

The man then allegedly bit the first officer on the hand before running from the restaurant. He was arrested a short time later in Monroe Avenue.

More officers who were called to the fast food outlet were allegedly assaulted by the woman, before both were taken to Sutherland Police Station.

Police will also allege the woman scratched and punched the custody sergeant at the station.

A total of seven police officers were injured during the incident, police allege.

Officers seized a number of bags that were found with the couple and they are being forensically examined.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said the Metropolitan Robbery Unit, which was investigating the robbery at the Roseville Cinemas and at the Revesby Pacific Hotel on Monday night, was waiting to interview the couple. No charges have been laid.

During Monday night’s rampage, thieves carjacked a vehicle from an 87-year-old man in the driveway of his Lane Cove home before driving to the Roseville Cinemas.

Four thieves ran into the cinema about 8pm and threatened to shoot and kill a number of cinemagoers if they did not hand over their wallets, before stealing about $1000 from the cinema box office.

The thieves then fled in the stolen car, which police say was used in another armed robbery at the hotel in Revesby later that night.

Police have urged anyone with information about the robberies to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Gillard’s first interview: says she’ll pursue education and women’s issues in life after politics

September 11th, 2018

Julia Gillard has given her first known interview since losing the Labor leadership in June, in which she says she will be pursuing education and women’s issues on the global stage.
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Speaking to two representatives from the Laureate International Universities in New York including a student from Malaysia, Ms Gillard has said that she is looking forward to travelling and promoting causes overseas that she has been passionate about in Australia.

”I’m looking forward to doing some international travel and pursing internationally the causes I’ve been so passionate about locally in Australia, particularly education and empowerment for women and girls,” she said.

The interview came as Ms Gillard announced her memoirs will be published next year, and that she will be writing the book herself while events are still “emotionally and intellectually” fresh.

“I want to write a book so that in my own words, in my own way I can reflect on my period in politics,” Ms Gillard said on her deal with Penguin Random House.

“This will be my words direct.”

Ms Gillard announced the book deal in a promotion video with the publisher.

In her six-minute interivew with the university network, Ms Gillard said that it had been a mixed bag being Australia’s first female prime minister.

”It’s an experience that’s mixed, I’d have to say.  Endless focus on hair, and clothes and shoes and things that men don’t have to put up with,” she said.

The former prime minister said the only way to shift that focus was for more women to gain leadership positions.

”Once it’s more normal, then all of that chatter will become boring.”

The Clinton Global Initiative meeting is a prestigious annual gathering of global leaders including the likes of Bono, Barack Obama and IMF boss Christine Lagarde, to come up with ”innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges”.

Ms Gillard is in New York attending the Clinton Global Initiative – a prestigious annual meeting of global leaders including the likes of Bono, Barack Obama and IMF boss Christine Lagarde, to come up with ‘‘innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges’’.

The initiative is led by former US president Bill Clinton, together with his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and daughter Chelsea. Mr Clinton also serves as Honorary Chancellor of Laureate International Universities.

Ms Gillard, who has kept a low profile since losing her job to Kevin Rudd, is attending the New York meeting for the first time. The six-minute interview with the university network did not include questioning about the former prime minister losing her job, the federal election or Mr Rudd.

When asked about key highlights of her time in power, she nominates pricing carbon and the National Disability Insurance Scheme along with her education reforms.

She said the ”trickiest” thing about leadership in a 24/7 media cycle was being ”focused on the long-term things that matter”.

A spokesman for Ms Gillard said she had no further comment about her New York trip. Her memoirs will be published in October next year.

Since losing the Labor leadership, Ms Gillard has not done any published interviews. She has written a lengthy essay about the Labor Party and its future, and is due to appear in a Q and A session with Anne Summers in Sydney and Melbourne next week.

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Julia Gillard says she’ll pursue education and women’s issues in life after politics

September 11th, 2018

Memoir of a prime minister
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Julia Gillard has given her first known interview since losing the Labor leadership, in which she says she will be pursuing education and women’s issues on the global stage.

Speaking to two representatives from Laureate International Universities in New York, including a student from Malaysia, Ms Gillard has said that she is looking forward to travelling and promoting causes overseas that she has been passionate about in Australia.

”I’m looking forward to doing some international travel and pursing internationally the causes I’ve been so passionate about locally in Australia, particularly education and empowerment for women and girls,” she said.

The interview came as Ms Gillard announced her memoirs will be published next year, and that she will be writing the book herself while events are still “emotionally and intellectually” fresh.

“I want to write a book so that in my own words, in my own way I can reflect on my period in politics,” Ms Gillard said on her deal with Penguin Random House.

“This will be my words direct.”

Ms Gillard announced the book deal in a promotional video with the publisher.

In her six-minute interivew with the university network, Ms Gillard said that it had been a mixed bag being Australia’s first female prime minister.

”It’s an experience that’s mixed, I’d have to say.  Endless focus on hair, and clothes and shoes and things that men don’t have to put up with,” she said.

The former prime minister said the only way to shift that focus was for more women to gain leadership positions.

”Once it’s more normal, then all of that chatter will become boring.”

Ms Gillard is in New York attending the Clinton Global Initiative – a prestigious annual meeting of global leaders including the likes of Bono, Barack Obama and IMF boss Christine Lagarde, to come up with ‘‘innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges’’.

The initiative is led by former US president Bill Clinton, together with his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and daughter Chelsea. Mr Clinton also serves as Honorary Chancellor of Laureate International Universities.

Ms Gillard, who has kept a low profile since losing her job to Kevin Rudd in June, is attending the New York meeting for the first time. The interview did not include questioning about the Labor leadership, the federal election or Mr Rudd.

When asked about key highlights of her time in power, she nominated pricing carbon and the National Disability Insurance Scheme along with her education reforms.

She said the ”trickiest” thing about leadership in a 24/7 media cycle was being ”focused on the long-term things that matter”.

A spokesman for Ms Gillard said she had no further comment about her New York trip. Her memoirs are due to be published in October next year.

Ms Gillard said that she would be out to promote her book when it was published.

“It will be a big public contact for me in a way that I think I won’t have done since the days of being prime minister.”

Since losing the Labor leadership, she has written a lengthy essay about the Labor Party and its future, and is due to appear in a Q and A session with Anne Summers in Sydney and Melbourne next week.

Ms Gillard will take up an honorary professorship at the University of Adelaide in November.

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Freo fans’ travel diary: day one

September 11th, 2018

Purple haze: Eagles-turned-Fremantle fans Andrew Dean and Frances Finch. Photo: Liam Ducey Not much leg room: Could you sit like this for 44 hours? Photo: Liam Ducey
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Liams-journey_420

Revelations that come to you, stone cold sober, at 1am, are never good. They’re usually along the lines of “oh God, I’ve made a terrible mistake …” I’m not claiming that quite yet. Time will tell.

But let’s backtrack for a second. At 7pm on Tuesday, I boarded one of two buses, full of mad Fremantle Docker’s fans, going across the Nullarbor. Non-stop. A 44+ hour, 3417 kilometre journey for the bargain price of $880 return. Each bus has two drivers, one sleeps while the other drives. They know I’m an Eagles fan and honestly they couldn’t care less. The more support the merrier.

I talk to the couple sitting across from me, Andrew Dean and Frances Finch, 26 and 27 respectively. Frances made the switch to the Dockers from the Eagles in ’95. Andrew, a New South Welshman, had no particular AFL inclination. His parents like rugby so he too liked rugby until he moved to WA. He joined the Dockers because he liked what he saw in the perennial underdogs.

He’s lucky he did. Frances met him at a party and they got along well enough to make plans for coffee. Realising she may have made a terrible mistake the next day, she sent him a text, asking if he was a Dockers fan. The rest, as they say, is history.

Frances, with her hair dyed, well obviously purple, makes a pretty good case for Fremantle as the neglectful boyfriend come good.

“You love this team so much and they just continue and continue to let you down, but every now and then they give you that little bit of magic and that little bit of spark that reminds you why you love them in the first place, then they just stuff it up again and leave you down in the dumps and depressed and crying,” she said.

“Right now, there’s some genuine heartfelt change going on.”

In the seat behind me there’s some heartfelt decision-making going on. Lucy Saracevic and her father Chris only decided on the bus on Tuesday morning. Lucy didn’t think she’d get tickets in the ballot, but the numbers fell her way and when you get the golden ticket, you have to take the ride. She doesn’t have anywhere to stay, and other fans are calling their hotels, frantically, trying to find her a room, any room. Eventually, she finds a place in Essendon with a spare room. It’s not close to the MCG and presumably she’ll have to swim through a wave of peptides, but a bed is a bed.

We make good time. The buses are quiet, most people have done a full day of work and they’re exhausted, as am I. A stop at the Tammin Roadhouse, where the Dockers guernseys are on proud display behind the counter, comes and goes, with steak and onion burgers and fried chicken snapped up by passengers.

After half an hour we’re off again and we’ve got Legends Of The Fall and Brad Pitt’s smouldering good looks to keep us company. It’s a natural anaesthetic, despite a brilliant performance from Bart the Bear, and the vast majority of the bus is asleep. Apart from, it seems, me. My 6’4” inch frame hasn’t been on a bus in a long time, and as I sit up from trying to get to sleep, it dawns on me. It’s not going to happen until I’m completely and utterly exhausted, and we’ve got 42 non-stop hours to go, at least.

Pav had better play his heart out for this.

Finally though, miracle of miracles, I drop off, somewhere between Norseman, where we stopped to refuel, and Balladonia, where we’re now getting breakfast. Only an hour or so, but it’s better than nothing. We’ve got a big stretch ahead of us, from Balladonia to Eucla to Ceduna. Watch out Hawthorn – we’re coming. Slowly.

Tweets by @the_unbrain]]>

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America’s Cup a billionaire’s game: Bertrand

September 11th, 2018

The America’s Cup has come a long way from when Australia II won the Auld Mug in 1983, with the helmet and safety-equipment clad competitors now being akin to “test pilots”, winning skipper John Bertrand said on Wednesday.
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Bertrand told SEN that the technical advancements that made up the new AC-72 boats made the contest a “different game” from 1983 with campaigns now costing $100 million compared with the $1.5 million that was used for Australia II.

Where the Australia II caused controversy with its winged keel, the contests in the 12-metre category yachts now seem almost stately compared to the high-octane battles of the remarkable AC-72’s, which have been likened to formula one racing cars on the water as they reach remarkable speeds.

‘These boats are now sailing three times the speed of the wind, so in 10 knots of breeze they’re sailing 30 knots so it’s amazing what they’re achieving,” Bertrand said.

“They’re test pilots, these sailors now, because these things are airborne vehicles.

“They’re sailing on hydrofoils but the bottom line is it’s a young man’s sport, it’s a super athletic environment … the power on these boats that’s required is massive, the aerobic ability and also the smarts, so it’s a different game.”

Bertrand said he believed Australia would again compete in the America’s Cup, which he regarded as still “very, very prestigious around the world”.

“We’ve got a lot of guys the question is the cash,” Bertrand said.

“I think the multibillionaire coming out of Western Australian or Queensland who wants to become a global trader, that’s the sort of vehicle that could be of interest to him. The America’s Cup is still very, very prestigious around the world.”

As for the current series, Team America on Wednesday levelled at 8-8 after winning seven races in a row and leaving the series to be decided by a sudden-death race this week. Bertrand said it appeared that the American’s had benefited from intensive out-of-water testing during the series, which New Zealand had led 8-1.

“The bottom line is that the Americans have found another gear,” he said.

“They’ve done a lot of work with the technology at night with all the super computers and so on and they are sailing, I suspect, a shade faster in these conditions.”

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New Lions coach Justin Leppitsch to call disgruntled players

September 11th, 2018

Justin Leppitsch with Brisbane Lions Chairman Angus Johnson. Photo: Angela Wylie Angus Johnson has more on his mind than a new coach. Photo: Angela Wylie
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Justin Leppitsch’s immediate priority as Brisbane’s new coach is to hit the phones to persuade the club’s band of disgruntled young players to stay at the club.

Leppitsch, 38 next week, was unveiled as the successor to Michael Voss – both were teammates during the Lions’ stunning triple-premiership stint just over a decade ago – in Melbourne on Wednesday morning. He said he was “very comfortable” in taking the position on a three-year contract, despite the turmoil engulfing the Lions’ board, centred on the tenure of chairman Angus Johnson.

“My job is to coach the team but I still understand within that you need a stable organisation and the club’s very aware of that – and that’s going to happen,” Leppitsch said. “Things will sort out, and we’ll strive to win this premiership.”

Johnson attended the unveiling but was steadfast in refusing to comment on the turmoil – which prompted the AFL to summon warring Lions directors to Melbourne for mediation – and whether he would be leading the club next season.

“The club made a statement yesterday – other than that [there is nothing more to say]. Today is about Justin Leppitsch,” Johnson said.

“We’re two years into a five-year strategic plan. That strategic plan has been embraced by all of our stakeholders, it’s been embraced by the AFL, our corporate sponsors. We’re achieving what we want to achieve – I’d say after two years we’re actually slightly ahead, and very confident with where the club is going, very very comfortable about where we are going to end up. Having Justin on board is going to ensure that we get there.”

Leppitsch has been recruited from Richmond, where he was the assistant coach in charge of defence. He was hailed by Johnson for his “outstanding references, experience, knowledge of the game and a desire to ensure he gets the absolute best out of everyone… players and staff”.

“It was an easy decision for the selection committee and the board… he’s just an outstanding individual. We couldn’t have hoped to get a better senior coach,” the chairman said of Leppitsch.

General manager of football operations Dean Warren, who chaired the coach selection committee, said Leppitsch’s status as a respected premiership defender for the Lions was not a key factor in his appointment but was instead “an added bonus”. He would not, however, detail how he thought Leppitsch would be superior to Voss, who was sacked late in the season.

“It’s an inappropriate question. Justin has been selected as our senior coach. Technically he’s very good, he’s an innovator of the game, understands what a competitive game plan looks like, has got very good presentation skills and can articulate his game plan,” Warren said.

Leppitsch confirmed his immediate priority was resolving the Lions’ “list issues”, and that he would contact out-of-contract players – Elliott Yeo, Patrick Karnezis, Jared Polec, Billy Longer, Sam Docherty, James Polkinghorne, Aaron Cornelius and also veteran Brent Staker – to sell his vision for the club.

“I’ll do that today, no doubt. It’s critically important we get started on that. I’d love to keep every one of the players, let’s be honest. They’re draft picks over the past few seasons and we need to get them on board. They’re a very important part of the future,” he said.

“I’ll do my very best to… present to them in a way that shows a very bright and clear future, and a pathway for them. I’m looking forward to starting and making those calls.”

While Leppitsch reiterated his goal to “keep the kids and ratify the issues they may have” he also said it was “more important for the club that we’re not in this position again, that we put parameters in place that our players want to stay and play for longer-term deals”.

Leppitsch did not give any clear indication on whether he wanted veterans Jonathan Brown and Simon Black, both former teammates of his, to play on in 2014. His only response was that it was crucial that any decision was made “in the right way”, and that if one or both were to depart if would have to be done “jointly and respectfully”.

The new coach also declined to say whether he would ask the Lions to pursue out-of-contract midfielder Dustin Martin, who he has worked with at Richmond.

“Obviously I know ‘Dusty’ well… I do have my views but I won’t share them here today,” he said.

“Every player is a package… you see that with what’s going on now at Collingwood with Heath Shaw.

“I won’t touch on Dustin’s particular issue, but… we have positives and negatives, or ticks and crosses. You have a lot of ticks and limited crosses [and you’re secure], or if they start evening up you may find your way out the door.”

Leppitsch said he would refrain from making “bold statements” regarding the timeframe for the Lions to be challenging for a premiership.

“I don’t think [first-year Port Adelaide coach] Ken Hinkley would have sat here last year and said ‘We’re going to play in the second week of finals’. Sometimes you get an immediate response, sometimes it takes a bit longer,” he said.

Leppitsch said he would demand competitiveness from his team, but also stressed the importance of creating a consistently enjoyable atmosphere for the players.

“If you don’t actually have fun along the journey you don’t perform, you’ll never actually enjoy turning up to training every day and giving your best. My goal really is to create an enjoyable working environment that… expects hard work,” he said.

Leppitsch also said he was not daunted by the requirement for him to not only coach the team but also promote the Lions in a region that also boasts rugby league, rugby union and soccer teams.

“I understand the Queensland marketplace. We don’t understand how good we’ve got it in Melbourne sometimes. In my time at Richmond you’ve not had to worry about building the game, but I understand that’s a very big component up there in Queensland,” he said.

Leppitsch said he was confident the board would give him sufficient money to properly equip the football depart. He said he has begun to his plan his panel of assistants, suggesting “a number of additions” could be made, but would not give any names as he admitted some were under contract.

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Corletto slams NBL’s soft ‘netball’ rules

August 8th, 2018

Veteran Breakers guard Daryl Corletto is no fan of the NBL’s new refereeing interpretations, fearing they risk turning the game into netball and labelling them a backlash to last year’s rugged finals series.
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But Corletto is also smart enough to understand that the Breakers have no choice but to make the necessary adjustments, even if the league does appear to be blunting one of the key attributes of the three-time champions from Auckland.

There have been no rule changes as such, but this season referees have been told to take a stricter stance on physical defending. The hope is that by freeing up offensive players the game will become higher scoring and more free-flowing.

But the new interpretations have met near total disapproval around the league, with a predictable adjustment period playing out where games are becoming dominated by fouls and free-throws.

The Breakers have headed the queue of teams struggling to adjust to the new interpretations as they’ve lost all four pre-season games and been mired in foul trouble throughout.

“It’s a massive change,” Corletto said yesterday.

“You’re basically not allowed to put any hands on an offensive player when they get the ball, and without the ball you’re only allowed to put one arm-bar on.

“It makes it difficult to fight through screens and put pressure on the ball, and it’s tough for the big guys in the post, because as soon as someone gets it and turns and faces you’re allowed no contact whatsoever.”

The NBL says it wants to make games more fan-friendly, higher scoring and in line with the international style. It has long been renowned as one of the more physical competitions.

But Corletto, into his 13th NBL season, has his theories.

“It’s been made I think because of the physical nature of last year’s finals series. But they’ve gone to another extreme where it’s basically netball.”

Corletto understands the intent, which is to generate more layups, dunks and open looks for gifted offensive players, but said for now that was not the end result.

“Games are going for nearly three hours and with 50, 60 or 70 free-throws taken. I’ve got a lot of friends who are basketball fans, and they’re telling me it’s not exciting.”

Corletto is hoping for a compromise, with referees softening their stance a little and players dialling back their physical defending.

“There’s got to be some physicality,” he said. “That’s one of the strengths of us and Perth over the last couple of years, and opposition teams have been drilled for the past few months on how to compete with that.

“Now that physical nature is being taken away. It’s an adjustment period and something we all need to get used to. It’s going to change the style, and we’ll see a lot of teams play zone defence because they don’t want to get guys in foul trouble.”

Small forward Tom Abercrombie said it was up to the Breakers to play smarter.

“We’ve been pretty stubborn so far and failed to adjust as much as other teams,” he said.

“It’s pretty hard to get any momentum when you’re stopping the game and giving the other team free-throws every possession. We need to make changes in the way we’re playing defence, and it’s things you feel like you’ve done your whole career.”

The Tall Black said there was a fine line between maintaining a defensive identity and being practical.

“We’ve always been a physical, aggressive team, and we still want to play that way. But we’ve just got to play a little smarter and know what times we can do that and when we’ve got to back it off a little bit.”

The Breakers continue their pre-season preparations with a three-game series against China’s Dongguan Leopards in New Plymouth on Sunday, Hamilton next Tuesday and Auckland two days later.

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Anglicans keep the faith in archbishop’s grand residence

August 8th, 2018

The 0.8ha Bishopscourt must ‘be up there with the best landholdings in Melbourne’, a real estate agent says. Photo: Simon Schluter Dr Phillip and Joy Freier. Photo: Simon Schluter
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Real estate agents can stop salivating because the Anglican church has ruled out selling or subdividing the Archbishop’s stunning East Melbourne residence, Bishopscourt.

Last year the church voted to sell Sydney’s Bishopscourt, in exclusive Darling Point, estimated to be worth more than $25 million.

One local agent valued Melbourne’s equivalent at $20 million to $25 million. He said the 0.8ha overlooking Fitzroy Gardens with its grand 18-room, combined Italianate and arts and crafts house, ”has got to be up there with the best landholdings in Melbourne, or anywhere really, with its location and garden”.

But despite Anglican factions pushing in the 1990s to offload such an asset to fund church ministries, Melbourne Archbishop Dr Philip Freier says the place isn’t for sale.

”There’d undoubtedly be a wealthy person who’d be very happy to have it,” he said, but like St Paul’s Cathedral in the centre of town, ”the value isn’t just the monetised value”.

Aside from heritage overlays that would make development difficult, it had been purpose-built for the diocese’s first head, Bishop Charles Perry, in 1853, and was still a physical and spiritual centre.

”It’s very helpful to have a place with some flexibility for a range of interactions and a range of hospitality and a place where people can be welcomed,” Dr Freier said.

Since arriving with her husband in 2006, Dr Freier’s wife Joy was curious about past occupants of the residence behind the high fence on Clarendon Street – the 12 other bishops and archbishops of Melbourne and their families.

She initiated a social history book – Bishopscourt Melbourne: Official Residence and Family Home – to be launched by historian Geoffrey Blainey on October 7.

”You live in a place like this and you cannot help but think about the people who’ve lived here,” said Mrs Freier, singling out Bishop Perry’s social justice advocate wife Frances Perry, a founder of today’s Royal Women’s Hospital.

The book, funded by grants and donors including Professor Blainey, a local resident, details tragedies including the suicide of two daughters of 1940s archbishop Joseph Booth.

Written by historian Elizabeth Rushen, the book has few scandals but in 1928, handsome Archbishop Harrington Lees received a frosty welcome home to Melbourne.

While visiting his native England, he had married the much-younger Joanna Linnell, 15 months after his first (older) wife, the popular Winifred, died. Eyebrows were raised that Ms Linnell had visited the Lees at Bishopscourt twice while Winifred was alive.

A recurring theme is archbishops’ heavy workloads. In 1941, the day Japan invaded Pearl Harbour, Archbishop Frederick Head died when his car crashed into a telegraph pole en route to a confirmation in Mt Eliza squeezed between two city services. He was a former World War I army chaplain prone to depression, and there was talk that it wasn’t an accident.

In 1989, Archbishop David Penman revealed in an interview he worked 16-hour days and advocated relaxation. Within days he had a heart attack, and died 10 weeks later.

The book dispels the idea that Bishopscourt is awash with servants: at present the Freiers have one employee two days a week to cook and clean, and hire caterers for large events.

They expect 2000 members of the public for an open garden weekend on November 9 and 10. Mrs Freier once called for an endowment for the upkeep of Bishopscourt, otherwise, it could ”become a burden to the church”.

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