Davison banking on Bathurst happy memories

After a tough year and with his own future up in the air, Supercars star Will Davison is banking on some happy memories to turn his team’s fortunes around at Bathurst next month.

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Tekno Autosports celebrated a remarkable Bathurst 1000 win 12 months ago but since that time things haven’t gone to plan for the Queensland-based team.

Davison is yet to achieve a podium finish in 2017 and finds himself languishing 13th on the championship ladder.

Team owner and co-driver Jonathon Webb’s role in a horror smash that destroyed rookie Todd Hazelwood’s Holden during Saturday’s qualifying races ruined the pair’s Sandown 500 weekend, leaving them starting at the back of the grid before an eventual mid-pack finish.

Davison says while times have been tough since last year’s Bathurst glory, he’s hoping the sight of the famous Mount Panorama circuit will be enough to bring morale back up within the garage.

“That’s all we can do is go there with our heads held high as the reigning winners,” the two-time Bathurst winner told AAP.

“Go there determined and focused to forget what has happened in the rest of the year, know that we’re better than the pieces of paper say and just hope we can get it all together.

“It’s a real, cool, special place.”

Davison said while Webb’s Saturday mishap at Sandown had been disappointing, the pair were determined to avoid similar hiccups in their Bathurst defence.

“I know he’ll be going to Bathurst pretty focused, he’s obviously pretty disappointed with last Saturday,” the out-of-contract Davison said.

“I know he’ll be going there pretty determined to be at his best.

“Let’s hope we all lift and rise to the occasion when it counts.”

Cycling fundraiser a deeply personal journey for Adam Goodes

Adam Goodes has climbed to the top of Australian sport.

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In 372 games for the Sydney Swans the South Australian marked the most fearsome opponents AFL had to offer.

The now retired star says his sporting achievements are put in perspective by the stalking presence of depression.

“It is dark and it is scary for those people that face it and they need to know there are people that can help,” he said.

Speaking exclusively to SBS World News on the roadside in Western Australia, Goodes reveals depression and mental health trauma is something he has seen those close to him battle with.

“Too many family members committed suicide. My wife’s mother when she was 14 which was really sad. Cousins, family members all because of mental health problems,” he said.

Goodes is one of 65 riders shining a spotlight on mental health, a number which has an obvious symmetry to the 65,000 people who attempt suicide each year.

The staggering country-wide impact inspiring the former Swan to cycle from Perth to Broome to raise funds for the mental health charity Black Dog Institute.

The group has already raised $290,000 and has opened dialogue about depression in their “Tour X Oz” adventure.

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“This is about doing something positive. About raising awareness, about raising the profile. Especially for us men, Indigenous men and Indigenous community members, that it is okay to talk about our feelings. It is okay to not feel good about yourself as long as you talk about it,” says Goodes.

The Senior Research Fellow at UNSW and the Black Dog Institute, Dr Simon Rosenbaum, is also cycling to Broome and believes exercise is a realistic treatment pathway.

“There is a lot of evidence around the benefits of exercise and physical activity in improving mental health and mental well being. It can be an important part of treatment for people living with mental illness,” says Dr Rosenbaum.

“The challenge is trying to help people that are living with mental illness to actually get active. An event like this can help provide inspiration to those that are struggling to get more active.”

Cycling fundraiser a deeply personal journey for Former Australian of the Year Adam Goodes.SBS

SBS’s Tour de France host Mike Tomalaris has covered 22 editions of the world’s most famous cycling race. Riding for the second time in The Tour X Oz and for the first time alongside Adam Goodes has been immensely rewarding.

“It is very satisfying to know that we can make a difference through cycling. A lot of these people taking part in Tour X Oz are into the activity of cycling and through the growth of the sport in Australia and around the world they can do events like this.

They can jump on a bike for hours on end every day for eight days and in the process visit communities in remote parts of Australia and promote awareness of mental health issues,” says Tomalaris.

“It is a real eye opener. You get to see parts of Australia you have never seen before and chances are will never see again. And the beauty of it all is you can do it on two wheels.”

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Bernardi criticism backfires as school surpasses fundraising target for ‘dress day’

More than $180,000 has been raised by a school in Adelaide’s south after Australian Conservative Senator Cory Bernardi tweeted its fundraising campaign was “absurd gender morphing”.

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Craigburn primary school principal Paul Luke says the school had set out to raise $900 for girls in Africa by allowing students, both male and female, to come wearing a dress for one day, but after Senator Bernardi’s public criticisms of the move the school had raised $180,000 as of Friday morning.

Mr Luke said the feedback of the school’s decision had been positive and the publicity should focus on the cause of supporting the education of girls in Africa not gender issues.

One school in SA now has ‘wear a dress day’. This gender morphing is really getting absurd #auspol南京桑拿,南京SPA,/399EoSQxYz

— Cory Bernardi (@corybernardi) September 20, 2017

Following the Senator’s tweet, the Do It In A Dress campaign gathered momentum.

The original goal to raise enough funds to educate three girls in Africa has been blown out of the water. As it stands, the $180,000 raised will help educate 622 African girls.

Comedian and actor Josh Thomas donated $2,000 for the cause and helped promote the fundraiser on Twitter.

He has been regularly tweeting his support for the “tiny heroes” of Craigburn Primary School, congratulating them on reaching $180,000.

“THEY WERE TRYING TO RAISE $900. What a bunch of tiny heroes,” he tweeted.

“Hey cuties. The #DoItInADress fundraiser is now over $180000,’ he added.

They’re 5X their fundraising goal now. This is the first night in a while I will log of twitter feeling joyous. 南京桑拿,南京SPA,/aDcziX8qVZ 南京桑拿,南京SPA,/ZMPbLnzCaF

— Josh Thomas 🌈 (@JoshThomas87) September 20, 2017Hey cuties. The #DoItInADress fundraiser is now over $180000.

— Josh Thomas 🌈 (@JoshThomas87) September 22, 2017

The Do It In A Dress campaign looks at raising money for young females in Africa who are denied an education.

The challenge encourages groups to don a dress to raise money for the education of young girls in Africa.

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Monster’s death to spark aggro croc battle

The shooting death of a 5.

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2m crocodile has created a void in a central Queensland river that could result in younger males becoming more aggressive as they battle for dominance, wildlife officers say.

Police and the state government are investigating after the reptile was found with a bullet in its head in the Fitzroy River, near Rockhampton, on Thursday.

Department of Environment southern wildlife operations director Michael Joyce said the remaining male crocodiles could act differently and become more hostile as they establish who will rule next.

5.2 metre salt water crocodile shot dead in Queensland.Twitter: Queensland Police

“They don’t necessarily become more aggressive with outsiders,” Mr Joyce told AAP on Friday.

“But we would expect people to be croc-wise in croc country and be extra vigilant.”

Mr Joyce says wildlife officers will monitor the river to see what transpires and who becomes the next dominant male.

“The whole thing could be over in 24 hours; at other times it could take months to see a slight move in the population,” he said.

5.2 metre salt water crocodile shot dead in Queensland.Twitter: Queensland Police

Locals are being urged to notify the department of any crocodiles spotted in the river and elsewhere across Queensland, even if they are seen regularly.

The monster reptile found on Thursday was taken to the nearby Koorana Crocodile Farm, where it will be buried once a necropsy is carried out.

Farm owner John Leaver says a 5m-long crocodile has not been caught in Queensland for 20 to 30 years.

“There may have been some others shot in the wild that we don’t know about, but from my recollection, over the past three decades this would be the largest,” he told AAP on Friday.

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Mr Leaver, who ran a crocodile removal service across the state for 20 years, said the largest reptile he ever caught was 4.95m in the late 1980s.

It is believed the 5.2m reptile had been dead for a few days before a member of the public spotted it floating and notified environmental officers.

Mr Joyce said it was estimated to be between 80 and 100 years old.

“It is on the larger end of the scale, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“There are not a lot of crocodiles over 5m.”

Cassius, a male caught in the Northern Territory three decades ago, is recognised as the world’s largest crocodile in captivity.

He measures 5.48m and lives at a farm on Green Island in far north Queensland.

A 6.16m Philippino crocodile called Lolong previously held the record before it died in 2013.

Who pays for the UN and where does the money go?

The US President is not a renowned fan of the sprawling global network of UN organisations, calling the institution “weak and incompetent” during his campaign.

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But if his first speech as President to the UN General Assembly on September 19 took a more measured tone, he still complained that the United States “bears an unfair cost burden”, and called for major reform, including for other countries to pay more. 

“The United States is one of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 per cent of the entire budget and more,” Trump said.

In this case, a President who has been famously loose with facts, is correct.

Who pays for the UN?

Total revenue by government donor 2016SBS World News

The US is by far the biggest donor to the UN, in 2016 contributing some $10 billion of its $49 billion annual revenue. The next biggest donors were Germany ($3.4 billion) and the UK ($3 billion).

The permanent members of the Security Council that most often oppose American agendas in the UN, China ($1.3 billion) and Russia ($562 million), are ranked 6th and 15th respectively in terms of the magnitude of their contributions.

Australia was the UN’s 13th biggest national donor in 2016, contributing $748 million. 

Countries’ relative contributions are decided by a complex series of formulas for different aspects of the UN’s wide-ranging operations, which are supposed to broadly reflect each country’s capacity to pay. The payments, known as “assessed contributions”, are recalculated every few years to adjust for changing circumstances. 

There are also significant non-government donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which donated just under $300 million to the UN last year. 

RELATED READINGWhere is the money spent? 

Total revenue by UN Agency 2016SBS World News

The biggest drain on the UN budget is its peacekeeping operations, which cost $8.7 billion last year. There are currently 15 peacekeeping missions worldwide, and most of the soldiers involved are from African countries. The UN pays nations for their troops’ peacekeeping service meaning it can be quite lucrative for poor countries.

The World Food Programme had a budget of $5.9 billion last year, followed by the United Nations secretariat itself and the United Nations Development Programme at about $5 billion each.

Support for UN reform

Secretary-General António Guterres said 128 countries had pledged to back a 10-point plan for UN reform that would improve the member states’ “value for money”. 

“Our shared objective is a 21st century UN focused more on people and less on process, more on delivery and less on bureaucracy,” he said, following Trump’s speech on September 19.

“Value for money while advancing shared values – this is our common goal.”

Mr Guterres said the organisational problems of the UN kept him awake at night. “Fragmented structures. Byzantine procedures. Endless red tape,” he said.

UN structure and agencies 

The UN was formed by 51 countries in 1945 after the Second World War, with a global mission to promote peace and security.

Today it has 193 member states and runs programmes worldwide covering peace and security, climate change, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, gender equality, food production and more.

The main bureaucratic organs of the United Nations, headquartered in New York, are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat and the International Court of Justice.

The UN also runs several agencies to tackle specific issues including the UN Development Programme which works to eradicate poverty; UNICEF, the children’s fund; and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Some autonomous agencies under the UN such as the World Health Organisation and UNESCO (the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) are also partly funded through contributions of member states. 

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Sprucing up Middle East military camp

When Michal Samoraj isn’t busy guarding $1 billion worth of Australian military aircraft in the Middle East he has an artist’s paintbrush in his hand.

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The 27-year-old corporal has been painting his unit’s special concrete mural to brighten up the desert dust-coated beige camp at Australia’s main air operating base.

So far six Australian flying and four operational support squadrons have painted vertical concrete slabs called T-walls, because they’re shaped like upside-down Ts.

Samoraj, with mother and grandmother as artists, was the obvious man for the job.

“It runs in the blood,” he told AAP in the Middle East.

“I don’t do much art generally, only when duty calls.”

His unit – the Expeditionary Airbase Operations Unit – has a miscellaneous role on the base covering medical care, supplies such as fuel and food, camp maintenance and 24/7 security of aircraft.

His mural is a Vickers Vimy – a World War I era biplane bomber – piloted by a kangaroo wearing goggles.

It’s a tribute to Adelaide’s Smith brothers – Ross and Keith – who made a record-breaking 18,500 kilometre journey from Britain to Australia as part of a national competition launched by then prime minister Billy Hughes after the war.

The pair made the journey in 28 days – two days ahead of a deadline – winning the PS10,000 prize.

The second placed team took seven months.

The Smith plane carried the registration G-EAOU, which Ross joked stood for “God Elp All of Us”.

So far, Samoraj has spent 10 hours on the mural.

“It brightens the place up a bit and it looks a lot better than just dust and rocks… all of them have a unique flare,” he said.

The T-wall art murals are also an opportunity for puns.

“No comms, no bombs” – reads the No.1 combat communications squadron’s T-wall.

American military personnel have also shown artistic spirit on base.

A T-wall for an F-15 unit reads “Keep calm and strike on”.

CBA sale could yield buyback: analysts

Commonwealth Bank could launch a share buyback in the next financial year to redistribute capital raised by the sale of its life insurance and global asset management businesses, according to UBS analysts.

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UBS analysts Jon Mott and Rachel Bentvelzen described CBA’s $3.8 billion sale of its Australian and New Zealand life insurance businesses – and the potential IPO of Colonial First State Global Asset Management – as strategically important but financially immaterial given the operations only contribute about two per cent of net profit.

They have assumed CBA will return capital via a buyback during the 2018/19 financial year, leading them to downgrade their earnings per share estimates for the lender that year by 0.4 per cent.

“We see this as a rational strategic decision by CBA, which should enable it to be more focused on its core banking businesses,” the UBS analysts wrote in a note to investors.

“The financial impact is largely immaterial.”

They said CBA is still one of the world’s premium banking franchises, but said the AUSTRAC money-laundering allegations that forced the exit of chief executive Ian Narev are a major concern.

“However, we believe the anti money-laundering allegations and upcoming change in CEO are likely to be an ongoing distraction,” they wrote.

“As a result, despite its business momentum and its share price correction, we believe it will be challenging for CBA to outperform.”

CBA shares fell about 15 per cent in a little more than a month following the AUSTRAC allegations in July.

They have recovered some ground since and, at 1130 AEST on Friday, were up 71 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $76.78.

CBA said on Thursday that the life insurance sale will be recorded as a loss of about $300 million, but will release approximately $3 billion of common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital.

That will lift CBA’s CET1 ratio above the 10.5 per cent benchmark the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has instructed the big banks to reach by January 2020.

Global ratings agency Moody’s said the sale was credit positive but was similarly wary about the money-laundering accusations.

“The outcome of these proceedings could result in a financial penalty which, depending on its size, could have implications for the bank’s capital position,” Moody’s said in a note.

‘I held out my hand’: Abbott speaks out after alleged headbutt by same-sex marriage supporter

Mr Abbott says he was assaulted by a same-sex marriage supporter on Thursday afternoon while walking to his waterside hotel after a meeting at the office of The Mercury newspaper.

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Tasmanian police on Friday appealed for the man, who is believed to be aged in his 40s, to turn himself in.

They say he has short spiky sandy strawberry coloured hair and facial piercings and was wearing a leather jacket with a ‘yes’ badge at the time.

Investigators are working through CCTV footage from the area and have spoken to a number of witnesses.

0:00 Police comment on Abbott’s alleged headbutt Share Police comment on Abbott’s alleged headbutt

But Mr Cerritelli wouldn’t confirm whether Mr Abbott and his alleged attacker exchanged words outside Customs House Hotel.

“We will not get involved in any political matters of yes or no,” he said.

Police say the former prime minister suffered minor injuries but didn’t require medical assistance.

Mr Abbott made a formal complaint on Thursday night after being contacted by police but was “quite calm” when talking to investigators.

Mr Cerritelli was confident the matter will come to a quick resolution and has urged members of the public with information to come forward.

0:00 Tony Abbott speaks about the moment he was ‘headbutted’ by man wearing a same-sex marriage badge Share Tony Abbott speaks about the moment he was ‘headbutted’ by man wearing a same-sex marriage badge

Mr Abbott commented on the incident on Friday morning

“He said, ‘I want to shake your hand’. I saw him coming towards me,” he told reporters.

“I held out my hand, he grabbed my hand and it turned into a head butt. Now, it wasn’t a very effective head-butt, obviously, but it certainly was a head-butt. I pushed him away.

“A staff member of mine grappled with him briefly and he scar perked off saying F this, F that ‘You deserve it because of what you’ve said'”

‘Disgraceful’

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has condemned the alleged headbutt attack Mr Abbott, labelling it “disgraceful”.

The prime minister rang his predecessor after the alleged incident in Hobart on Thursday evening and was in in touch, via text, again on Friday.

0:00 Prime Minister Turnbull speaks to 3AW radio about Abbott ‘headbutt’ Share Prime Minister Turnbull speaks to 3AW radio about Abbott ‘headbutt’

“This is a disgraceful incident and I condemn this assault on Tony,” Mr Turnbull told Neil Mitchell on 3AW radio.

Mr Turnbull, who also spoke to the Australian Federal Police commissioner, hopes the assailant will be identified and charged.

“It’s just a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting,” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott was in Tasmania campaigning for the ‘no’ vote in the national same-sex marriage survey along with Liberal colleague Eric Abetz.

Senator Abetz had dinner with Mr Abbott after the incident and described the former prime minister as being in “fine form”.

“He was stirred, but not shaken,” the senator told Sky News.

He agreed the incident was out of character for the broader ‘yes’ campaign but said ugliness on social media showed some would be empowered if the vote was successful.

“This is just a bit of a harbinger of what is likely to occur, and it’s not the sort of Australia I want,” Senator Abetz told ABC TV.

Post by Tony Abbott.

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said no one should be attacked for having a different view on marriage and it must have come as a nasty shock for Mr Abbott.

“It is an un-Australian thing to do and I hope that Tony is okay,” he told the Nine Network.

Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop echoed that sentiment.

“Violence of any form is never acceptable,” she told reporters in New York.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the attack as unacceptable.

“I’m glad Mr Abbott isn’t seriously injured and I’ve rung him to say so,” he said on Twitter.

Great to have @TonyAbbottMHR in Tas over last few days. Disappointed a yes campaigner would try to assault fmr PM. Must be condemned by all.

— Eric Abetz (@SenatorAbetz) September 21, 2017There is absolutely no place for violence in the marriage equality debate. This is about treating people fairly and with respect & dignity.

— Alex Greenwich MP (@AlexGreenwich) September 21, 2017This is the statement of respect that all staff and volunteers of The Equality Campaign must abide by. pic南京夜生活,/liYUVBknYI

— AU Marriage Equality (@AMEquality) September 21, 2017

0:00 Same-sex marriage around the world Share Same-sex marriage around the world

 

Victims of Victorian teen crime ungagged

Victims of teenage criminals will be allowed to share their stories in the media thanks to Victoria’s proposed changes allowing journalists to identify Children’s Court witnesses.

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Journalists were warned in August they faced potential jail time if they identified witnesses to a Children’s Court case, but Attorney-General Martin Pakula says the law wasn’t intended to prevent victims from speaking out.

“It’s not appropriate for victims of crime, even victims of crime committed by young people, to not be able to tell their stories in the public domain,” Mr Pakula told reporters on Friday.

“In the criminal law, if someone is the victim of a crime by a young person, they should be able to tell that story with no legal impediment and no hesitation from media outlets to be able to report it.”

Children’s Court president Judge Amanda Chambers sent a letter to media outlets in August, warning journalists they could face jail if they identified witnesses to cases.

But Mr Pakula said it’s an old piece of legislation and it needs to be changed, “so there is no doubt about it in the future”.

None of the proposed changes will allow young offenders to be identified and they will only apply to the criminal division of the Children’s Court, not family law cases.

Victims of Crime Commissioner Greg Davies says the change will be a victory for victims and for common sense.

“Victims overwhelmingly say they want to tell their story for the sole purpose of preventing other people from becoming victims,” Mr Davies said.

“There are many victims either through this legislation or suppression orders that haven’t been able to talk about being a victim for decades.

“This gives them the right of free speech.”

Mr Pakula said the proposed changes are consistent with recommendations from Justice Frank Vincent, who is currently finalising his Open Courts Act review, due at the end of September.

The government says it will work with the Children’s Court as it prepares to bring changes to legislation by the end of the year.

Kremlin slams ‘stressed’ Morgan Freeman after he appeared in anti-Russia video

Russia’s media has unleashed on Morgan Freeman following his public call for an investigation into Russian interference in US affairs, suggesting the actor is ‘emotionally stressed’.

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In the video produced by The Committee to Investigate Russia (CIR) the Hollywood actor claimed the Kremlin unleashed an attack on the US during the 2016 presidential election.

It shows Freeman accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of launching cyber-attacks and spreading false information.

Freeman urged President Donald Trump to inform the US that “during this past election, we came under attack by the Russian government”.

“We have been attacked. We are at war,” Freeman said in the video, adding: “This is no movie script.”

“We need our president to speak directly to us and tell us the truth” about Russia’s election meddling, Freeman said.

Morgan Freeman appearing in the CIR video. CIR

The CIR group was set up by Hollywood director Rob Reiner and included a mix of Hollywood stars and Washington security VIPs.

Their goal was to highlight Moscow’s alleged interference in last year’s election.

“I don’t know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do… They are trying to undermine our democracy,” Rob Reiner told CNN.

Former US national intelligence chief James Clapper was also involved in the group.

Clapper was one of four top security and intelligence officials who put their names behind a January 6 report that said Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind a complex effort of hacking and misinformation to influence the 2016 election in Trump’s favour.

The Kremlin responded to the video campaign, suggesting Freeman is suffering “emotional stress”.

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Russia was not taking the film seriously.

“Many creative people easily fall victim to emotional strain, and don’t have real information about the actual state of affairs,” he said.

But the Russian media has been less sympathetic, a panel appearing on Russia-24 suggested Freeman had a ‘god complex’ and history of drug abuse.

Russia has responded to the video. CIR