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  • admin 21:45 on 14/11/2018  

    Ultimate League: It’s not too late to sign up for our Fantasy NRL game 
    Nanjing Night Net

    The NRL’s decision to stop the clock when the ball is out of play in the last five minutes of games has not only resulted in grandstand finishes to matches, but may also spell the end of golden point.

    Wind the clock back to any time before this season and Manly would not have beaten Parramatta on Sunday, Penrith would not have got out of jail against Canterbury on Saturday and Melbourne would not have edged out the Panthers the previous weekend.

    At least not in regular time, as there were two more scoring opportunities after Penrith halfback Peter Wallace kicked a field goal to level the scores at 17-all with 90 seconds left on the clock.

    Storm halfback Cooper Cronk kicked his second field goal soon after, but Wallace still had a chance to win the game for the Panthers with a failed 40 metre penalty goal attempt.

    The time off rule means teams are now going all out to win in regular time rather than conserve their energy for golden point as they know there will be more chances for both sides to score in the last five minutes of matches.

    In doing so, they are also reducing the need for golden point to decide matches, and if the controversial extra-time period is barely used this season the NRL may be encouraged to scrap it.

    The NRL is constantly reviewing data on the impact of this season’s rule changes and if the trend of the last five minutes effectively being played like golden point continues, the rules committee may decide it is not worth keeping an innovation that still polarises players, coaches and fans 11 years after its introduction in 2003.

    While field goals and penalty goals are often the cause of complaint from league fans about rugby union, the contrast between the finish to the Storm-Panthers clash and the last five minutes of the Brumbies-Waratahs match played on the same night was the best endorsement for the new NRL rule.

    After Israel Folau scored to narrow the deficit for the Waratahs to 25-23, Brumbies players spent the remaining five minutes of the match trying to wind down the clock and took more than two minutes to complete a scrum.

    Similar attempts at time wasting in NRL games were common  before this season, with teams being slow to re-start the game from a goal line dropout or kick off after the opposition had scored a try, or an attempt at goal.

    But no longer is that the case and the impact is obvious, with Sea Eagles centre Steve Matai crossing for the match-winning try against the Eels with 49 seconds left after referee Jared Maxwell had stopped the clock at the other end of the field for a goal-line dropout.

    Penrith winger Kevin Naiqama produced a similar feat on Saturday night to enable fullback Matt Moylan to land a sideline conversion after the bell and snatch an 18-16 win over the Bulldogs.

    “When the games are on the line like that and are going down to the wire you want to give teams every chance and you also want to give fans the opportunity to enjoy the spectacle,” NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said.

    “It has done exactly what we had hoped it would do, which is give more opportunities for both teams in that last five minutes. The Storm-Panthers game was a great example of that. The lead changed three times in the last five minutes.

    “The changes we have been able to make are genuinely around the entertainment of the game and giving fans a great spectacle to watch.”

    Despite some criticism of the constant changes and tweaking of the rules, Greenberg said the NRL would continue to consider innovations that make the game more appealing to fans.

    “Over the years the coaches have had a significant say in the way the rules are structures and there is no way in history a coach would have come up with that sort of rule change,” he said.

    “That is why I think we have done the right thing by taking a little bit more control of the game because we are an entertainment product and we have got to make sure that we continue to innovate. That is one of the great strengths of where the game is currently at.”

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

    Continue reading NRL stops the clock
     
  • admin 21:45 on 14/11/2018  

    Paul Howes, National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union. Photo: Alex EllinghausenThis morning I advised the National Executive of my decision to step down as national secretary of our union in July.
    Nanjing Night Net

    It has been a tremendous privilege to serve in this role and I will be eternally grateful for the trust that has been placed in me.

    I have spent half my life as an official in the trade union movement and the last seven years in this position.

    I have always been aware that you never own this job; you only serve as custodian.

    The Australian Workers Union is a remarkable organisation. Our strength and diversity reflects all that is good in our nation.

    Right across this country you will find hard working, intelligent, engaged AWU members – from the oil rigs in the Timor Sea to salmon farms in south-west Tasmania. It’s hard to find a part of the nation that has not been touched by the AWU.

    I have been proud to be a member of the same union as you all. And I will cherish my membership ticket to my last day.

    I know my decision may come as a surprise. But I was elected to this role seven years ago, at 26 years of age. I left school at 14, and commenced full-time work in the union movement at 17.

    I have always said that representing the AWU’s members is the highest honour I can imagine seeking. And so, despite what you may hear, I am not leaving this job to pursue a seat in Parliament.

    For some time now I have been contemplating the next steps in my life. And as such I recognise the right thing to do is to step down.

    Of course this has not been an easy decision to arrive at. But my primary consideration must be what is best for the organisation that has provided me with so much. And I truly believe this is the right move for me, and for our union.

    I leave with a sense of immense pride in what we have achieved together.

    For 127 years our union has led many of the nation’s most important debates and always worked to ensure that we remain the land of the fair go. I’m proud that during my seven years as national secretary we have maintained that legacy.

    We have fought to ensure that our workplaces are safer, endured the anxiety of the Global Financial Crisis, achieved tremendous outcomes for our members under the Labor government and, more recently, seen the painful closure of many once proud manufacturing facilities across the land.

    Together we have taken our place on the stage of the big national debates. We have never shied away from arguing our position with the honesty and forcefulness for which the AWU is legendary.

    My warmest memories will always include standing with many of you during the big moments that have defined our union – toasting our wins, mourning our losses, and preparing for what lies ahead.

    To those of you who have allowed me to share in those pivotal moments in your lives, I will always be grateful.

    When I officially stand down from my role in July, I will be especially proud to be leaving our union in better shape than ever.

    With a growing membership, a bright financial future, a strong and united leadership team and a talented and capable group of officials, we are rightly regarded as the most professional union in this country.

    I know the future of this union is secure and robust.

    I hope that you share that pride in what we have achieved together and what we have built as the current trustees of this magnificent 127-year-old institution.

    If I don’t get the chance in person, I want to thank you now for the faith you have shown in me, and our team, for the past seven years.

    While I am stepping down as an officer of the AWU, I want you all to know it will always be a part of me.

    Thank you.

    Paul Howes

    National Secretary

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

    Continue reading Paul Howes: It is the right time to stand down – his full statement
     
  • admin 21:45 on 14/11/2018  

    Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes is expected to announce that he is leaving the union movement. Photo: Alex EllinghausenPaul Howes’ full statement
    Nanjing Night Net

    Australia’s highest profile unionist, Paul Howes, says his next job will not be as an MP in federal parliament, but he has left the door open to a future career in public life.

    The 32-year-old Mr Howes is the Australian Workers Union’s national secretary and has been widely tipped to enter federal politics as the ALP renews itself following the 2013 election loss.

    But Mr Howes missed out on a casual senate vacancy created by the retirement of Bob Carr last September and NSW Labor sources have told Fairfax Media the union leader was “furious” at being snubbed by his own Right faction, who instead backed former MP Deb O’Neill to take the spot.

    Mr Howes confirmed he had sought the Senate vacancy but played down his failure to secure the  seat on Monday in his decision to quit the labour movement.

    “When it became clear to me that it would be a bruising and messy battle, I said I didn’t want to be cause of that sort of conflict and division,’’ he told Sky News.

    “The party has had too much internal conflict in the last six years.”

    Mr Howes was re-elected as the union’s national secretary only last year and his bid to replace the former senator Mr Carr was met with a hostile reaction from some Labor MPs.

    It also led to him falling out with his key factional ally, former NSW Labor secretary and now senator Sam Dastyari, with the pair having barely spoken for six months.

    Mr Dastyari, current NSW Labor Party secretary Jamie Clement and Shop, Distributive and Allied (SDA) workers union national secretary Joe de Bruyn threw their support behind former lower house MP Deb O’Neill, who re-emerged to take the Senate seat.

    Mr Howes’ relationship with now Labor leader Bill Shorten also soured after Mr Shorten switched support to Mr Rudd before the 2013 federal poll.

    Though Mr Howes and Mr Shorten were said to have patched up their differences, the union leader enraged many in the union movement in February when he called for a ”grand compact” between unions and business in a speech that blindsided Mr Shorten and created a political headache for the opposition leader.

    Mr Howes, a high profile unionist who has worked for the AWU since he was 17, said he would seek new challenges that could include study, work in the corporate sector or a philanthropic role.

    He told the AWU’s national executive of his intention to quit in a meeting in Perth on Monday.

    “I know there has been lots of speculation today about what my motives are. I’m used to that speculation … but I’ve never had the opportunity to study, I’ve never had an opportunity to work outside the movement, I’m not ruling anything out or in but I know I want to do something different for a while,’’ he said.

    Mr Howes said he was not  eliminating the possibility of a career in federal politics, but insisted he was ‘‘not stepping down from this role to pursue a career in parliament”.

    “I am not one of those who subscribe to this notion that being a trade union leader or spending your working life fighting for the rights of working people and trying to make this country a better place is somehow a bad thing if you want to go into representational politics. I think it well qualifies you.”’

    Mr Howes’ personal life has also attracted controversy because of his high profile relationship with Qantas executive Olivia Wirth. The pair will marry in April this year.

    Since announcing their relationship, Mr Howes has been unwilling to comment on issues relating to the airline – in which his union has hundreds of members.

    In a statement, Mr Shorten paid tribute to Mr Howes’ service to the AWU.

    ”It was my privilege to work with Paul at the AWU.  When I left, I knew I was leaving the delegates and members in good hands when I supported Paul to replace me,” he said.

    ”The strong working conditions, relatively high wages and benefits like penalty rates we enjoy in Australia can never be taken for granted, especially with a government led by someone like Tony Abbott in Canberra. Paul has helped build these conditions and has fought hard to protect them.”

    Mr de Bruyn also paid tribute to Mr Howes’ work with the union but said the decision to go could dent his future political ambitions.

    ”I regard him as a person of enormous potential and I told him that while he obviously commented on political affairs, if he stayed in the trade union movement he would go a long way,” he said.

    ”It makes it much harder for him to get into the political arena because he will no longer have a union base to launch his career in politics.

    ”There has been speculation around for a while [that he could quit] but it does come as a big surprise to me.”

    Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne on Monday singled out Mr Howes for his policy ideas, saying he would be welcome in the nation’s parliament.

    ”He certainly has a lot more ideas about the future of Australia and what needs to be done about policy than the current crop of people who represent the Labor Party in Canberra,” Mr Pyne told reporters. ”He would be very welcome here, but that is a matter for the Labor Party.”

    Mr Howes has led the union since 2007 when Mr Shorten entered Parliament and is expected to be replaced by assistant national secretary Scott McDine.

    He leaves the union movement as the Abbott government launches a royal commission into union corruption.

    Often touted as a ”faceless man”, his support for former prime minister Julia Gillard was instrumental in her toppling of Kevin Rudd in June 2010. He stayed loyal to Australia’s first female PM in her leadership battles with Mr Rudd.

    In November 2010, Mr Howes wrote Confessions of a Faceless Man: Inside Campaign 2010, an autobiographical analysis of the election and 18 months in Australian politics.

    Apart from his AWU role, Mr Howes is deputy chairman of Australia’s largest industry super fund, AustralianSuper, a member of the Labor Party’s national executive, vice-president of the ACTU, director of the Chifley Research Centre and the McKell Institute and represents the Asia Pacific Region on the executive committee of the IndustriALL Global Union.

    He  is expected to resign from all of his political duties.

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

    Continue reading No plans to enter federal parliament: Paul Howes confirms he is quitting as AWU boss
     
  • admin 21:45 on 14/11/2018  

    Nothing compares to… Ellen: Kimmel and the Clintons. Kimmel
    Nanjing Night Net

    Anything Ellen can do, Jimmy can do better.

    Well, that might not be completely true, but late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was certainly willing to give it a crack by trying to outdo the talk show queen’s famous Oscars selfie.

    “@TheEllenShow- No Brad Cooper but 3 Clintons & a Kimmel @Bill Clinton @HillaryClinton @ChelseaClinton #selfie,” Kimmel tweeted.

    The tweet, which came after an interview with the famous family on Saturday night, was parodying Ellen DeGeneres’s selfie from this year’s Oscars that featured Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey and Bradley Cooper.

    If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscarspic.twitter南京夜网/C9U5NOtGap— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014

    Ellen’s tweet became the most retweeted of all time, with more than 3.4 million retweets, breaking the record previously held by US President Barack Obama.

    Obama’s reign resulted from a photo of himself hugging his wife, Michelle after he was re-elected in November 2012. “Four more years,” said the tweet, that was retweeted around 780,000 times.

    Four more years. pic.twitter南京夜网/bAJE6Vom— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012

    During an interview with Obama last week, Ellen michieviously mentioned her Twitter win.

    “I don’t know if you know this, but I was aiming to break your record of retweets, and I apologise for doing it,” DeGeneres said, “but I broke your retweet record.”

    The first lady of chat shows may have beaten the first family of the United States, but Kimmel, even with the powerful backing of a former president, couldn’t overtake either of them.

    So far his tweet has only been retweeted a comparatively paltry 7424 times.

    His interview with the Clintons covered how the couple first met at Yale Law School as well as the family’s favourite television shows. For good measure, he threw in a few policy questions.

    Asking Hilary whether she would run for president in 2016, she replied:

    “I am very much concerned about the direction of our country,” she said. “And it’s not just who runs for office but what they do when they get there and how we bring people together and particularly empower young people so we can tackle these hard decisions.”

    Fairfax Media

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

    Continue reading Jimmy Kimmel tweets hilarious selfie with Clinton family
     
  • admin 21:45 on 14/11/2018  

    Cardinal George Pell arrives at the child sex abuse Royal Commission in Governor Macquarie Tower today. Photo: Nick MoirRoyal Commission: Full coverage
    Nanjing Night Net

    Cardinal George Pell has told the child sex abuse Royal Commission that the attitude of some people in the Vatican was that accusations against priests “were being made exclusively or at least predominantly by enemies of the church to make trouble and therefore should be dealt with sceptically”.

    Pell has begun his evidence to the commission this morning in its investigation into the handling of the case of John Ellis, a former altar boy who was abused by Father Aidan Duggan from the age of 13.

    Pell admitted in his statement to the commission that he “explicitly endorsed the major strategies of the defence” in the litigation which left Mr Ellis a broken man.

    Pell had not been aware that his lawyers told the court Mr Ellis had no one to sue other than the Archdiocesan trustees or himself, Pell’s statement says.

    The Ellis case established that the trustees could not be sued because they only held the Archdiocese’s assets but were not responsible for the behaviour of priests, and the Archbishop could not be sued because he had not been in charge at the time of the abuse.

    That precedent has protected the church from victims’ damages claims in similar cases. Cardinal Pell said in his statement this was “not his understanding” but he would “welcome clarification on this point”. He said it was his view that the church “should be able to be sued in cases of this kind”.

    “The resources of the Church should be available to the extent necessary to meet any judgment,’’ the statement says.

    The Cardinal also apologises in his statement to Mr Ellis for the “gross violation and abuse committed by Aidan Duggan”, a now dead priest of the Sydney Archdiocese. Pell acknowledged and regretted that “mistakes were made by me and others in the Church that resulted in driving Mr Ellis and the Archdiocese apart rather than bringing healing”.

    Giving evidence the Cardinal said he could not remember “ever being asked my opinion on how much money might be paid for reparation compensation to a Towards Healing victim”.

    The evidence of his then-Archdiocesan Chancellor Brian Rayner that the Cardinal  always made the final decision on offers to victims was not correct, the Cardinal said. He said the suggestion that he had offered Mr Ellis an extra $5000, taking it to $30,000, after Mr Ellis lost his job as a partner of Baker & McKenzie was “grotesque”.

    He also said his private secretary Dr Michael Casey was wrong to assume that the chancellor discussed with him all offers to be made to victims. “That didn’t happen,’’ he said. He said it was “too universal” to assert, as Dr Casey did, that all matters about child sexual abuse would have been discussed with him.

    Mr Ellis’ offer to mediate before suing the Catholic Archdiocese for the sexual abuse he suffered as a boy should not have been rejected, Cardinal Pell said in his statement.

    And once two witnesses had come forward to corroborate Mr Ellis’ account, the church’s “non-admission of the allegation of the abuse should not have been maintained”, he stated.

    The trajectory of the litigation which the Royal Commission has heard caused harm and suffering to Mr  Ellis “would have been different” if an accurate assessment of his case had initially been made, Cardinal Pell said.

    But he said John Davoren, director of the church’s Professional Standards Office responsible for organising such an assessment was a “muddler” and “sometimes not logical” who “didn’t seem to have a scrupulous understanding or commitment” to following the Church’s protocol.

    “Did you take any measures to remove him from the position?” counsel assisting the Commission Gail Furness SC asked.

    “No, but I was very relieved when he retired through ill health”, the Cardinal responded.

    “Of his own volition?” Ms Furness asked.

    “Of his own volition”, the Cardinal confirmed.

    Earlier Cardinal Pell told the commission that up until 1996 Australia was leading the way in the Catholic Church’s treatment of victims of sexual abuse by priests. He said it was “a mighty issue for us because it is so contrary to what we should be about”.

    But “whatever the deficiencies, I think we were ahead of some countries”, he said.

    The commission continues.

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

    Continue reading George Pell: Vatican said enemies of the church made abuse allegations
     
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