Zorko among AFL’s top five: Dayne Beams

Brisbane Lions skipper Dayne Beams reckons Dayne Zorko is a “top five player” but doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he plays outside of Melbourne.

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While the rebuilding Lions are stuck to the bottom of the AFL ladder amid another losing season, Zorko’s stunning form has given them some cause to celebrate.

The 28-year-old has improved on nearly all of his major career statistical averages, picking up nearly 27 possessions, six clearances, two goals and seven tackles per game.

Champion Data’s AFL Player Ratings rank him as the seventh-best player in the competition.

In last week’s 40-point defeat to Port Adelaide, he collected 32 touches, laid 12 tackles and kicked two goals.

Beams believes there is no doubt Zorko has broken into the AFL’s elite bracket.

“I don’t think Zork gets the credit he should,” he said.

“If he was playing at a Melbourne club – and I’ve played at a Melbourne club – and producing the type of footy he’s producing, he’d be talked about a lot.

“I look at the competition now, I watch a bit of footy, and he’s a top five player.

“He’s always been a very talented player but probably maybe lacked a bit of consistency, but he’s producing every week now and is vitally important for us.”

Zorko has won Brisbane’s best and fairest Merrett-Murray Medal for the past two years and at this rate would be in strong contention for All-Australian honours.

“I think he should be in consideration, yeah,” Beams said.

“His form’s as good as anyone’s. Statistically if you look at him, he’s as good as anyone going around.”

The Lions host Greater Western Sydney at the Gabba on Saturday.

Otto Warmbier dies after being released in coma from North Korean prison

Mr Trump made the comments following the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier,  who was returned to the United States on June 13 in a coma.

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“A lot of bad things happened but at least we got him home to be with his parents, where they were so happy to see him even though he was in very tough condition. But, he just passed away a little while ago,” he said.

“It’s a brutal regime and we’ll be able to handle it,” he added.

Earlier, Otto Warmbier’s family released a statement confirming his death.

“Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible,” his family said.

0:00 Otto Warmbier pleads to be returned to US Share Otto Warmbier pleads to be returned to US

Warmbier was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months before being returned home in a coma less than a week ago.

Cincinnati doctors said he had suffered an extensive loss of brain tissue and was in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness”, but it wasn’t clear what caused his injuries.

Secretary Tillerson: We hold #NorthKorea accountable for Otto Warmbier’s unjust imprisonment. 苏州美甲培训学校,长沙SPA,/MwHNCuUjyw

— Department of State (@StateDept) June 19, 2017

Pyongyang said that Warmbier fell into a coma soon after he was sentenced in March last year for stealing a political poster from a North Korean hotel.

Warmbier’s parents were told their son had been in a coma for more than a year, after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.

He was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labour, convicted of subversion tearfully confessing to trying to steal the banner, calling it the “worst mistake” of his life.

Statement issued by the family of #ottowarmbier on his passing pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/0loUSdBmrM

— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) June 19, 2017’No excuse’

Warmbier’s release came amid mounting tensions with Washington following a series of missile tests by Pyongyang, focusing attention on an arms buildup that Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has dubbed “a clear and present danger to all.” 

His father, Fred, lashed out at North Korea last week, telling a news conference, “there is no excuse for any civilised nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top-notch medical care for so long.” 

In their statement Monday, Otto’s family said they believed the young man had found a peace of sorts after being flown home. 

“When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished,” they said. 

“Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace.  He was home and we believe he could sense that,” they added. 

“We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.” 

Three more US citizens are currently being held by North Korea, including two men who taught at a Pyongyang university funded by overseas Christian groups, and a Korean-American pastor who was accused of espionage for the South.

-With AFP

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Gonski 2.0: Education union split on schools deal

Teacher unions have splintered over the Turnbull government’s school funding overhaul, with one state branch saying parliament should now support it.

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The package, dubbed Gonski 2.0, will give a better deal for public schools in Western Australia compared with the status quo, the State School Teachers’ Union of WA says

That stance is at odds with the national Australian Education Union, which has campaigned strongly against the government’s package.

Branch president Pat Byrne told The West Australian newspaper she agreed with the AEU’s position of opposing legislation in its current form.

But it should pass if it ensured states pay 80 per cent of a set per-student funding amount for public schools.

Under the federal government’s plan, it is guaranteeing public schools 20 per cent of that amount.

Mr Byrne would also be unhappy if the bill failed, saying it offered WA public schools an average 6.8 per cent growth each year compared to the 4.7 per cent in the existing system.

It would also lock in overfunding for many private schools.

“I am not comfortable with that at all,” Ms Byrne said.

Cabinet minister Steve Ciobo said it was no surprise “one of the most leftist unions in this country” was fractured.

“They want to do the right thing but they’re also heavily conflicted by their support for the Labor Party and wanting to do the bidding of the Labor Party,” he told Sky News.

The split may influence the Greens to back the package in the Senate.

The minor party already has won big concessions from the government, including measures that ensure the states meet their funding obligations.

But some of its nine senators are yet to be swayed by the arguments of leader Richard Di Natale and education spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young who support an amended package.

In-language videos to help new arrivals with renting

Just over two years ago, the Shashy family fled Iraq with just the clothes on their back when IS arrived in their home city of Mosul.

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They spent time as refugees in Jordan before seeking refuge in Australia.

Nurse and mother-of-three Eman Shashy says the prospect of finding a house was intimidating.

“I know some conversation of English, but I don’t know how I find a house, how I speak with anyone. How I find a house so big difficult for me.”

AMES Australia housing worker Law Baw Doe helped the family find a three-bedroom home in Melbourne’s north.

She says the challenges confronting newly arrived renters are many and varied.

“No rental history, language barrier … of course, the market as well. And the price, actually.”

It has prompted the Victorian Government to launch a series of online videos in four languages, now available through the state’s Consumer Affairs website.

AIMS’ Catharine O’Grady helped create the short animations.

She says they outline tenants’ rights and responsibilities and even the steps required to request maintenance and repairs.

“They can access it repeatedly in their own language and understand simple steps that they can take to ensure they meet their obligations and the landlord’s meeting theirs as well.”

Property lawyer Denis Nelthorpe says the videos will also help migrants deal with unscrupulous agents and landlords who often view ill-informed tenants as a “soft target.”

“And then when they start to ask for repairs, they’re threatened with eviction, so they can be mistreated right from the beginning. They’re often very scared to challenge authority.”

For some migrants, like Say Htoo Eh Moero, (say too MOR-o) who came to Australia via a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border, even living in a brick home was foreign.

“Give the bamboo and leaves for the roof and the walls to make a very small house, and they don’t have to worry about signing contract or anything. They just build their own house.”

For the Shashy family, and many like them, securing a simple rental property represents the first step in their new lives.

And 25-year-old Eman Shashy says she feels truly at home now for the first time in as long as she cares to remember.

“I feel safe, in first thing, and I feel I am happy, because I can start my life with my family.”

 

 

 

 

Macron seals large majority in final round of voting

The result, based on official figures and poll projections, fully redraws France’s political landscape, sidelining the Socialists and Republicans who have alternated in power for decades.

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French President Emmanuel Macron’s parliamentary majority comes just weeks after his own presidential victory.

His La Republique en Marche party has won well over 300 seats in the 577-seat national assembly.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe addressed the country after the result.

“This Sunday, you have given a clear majority to the President of the Republic and to the Government. This majority will have a mission, to act for France. By their votes, the French people have, in their large majority, preferred hope over anger, optimism over pessimism, confidence over retreat.”

Many of the party’s new recruits are political unknowns, and Mr Philippe has attributed their election to a public appetite for new faces in parliament.

Polls project President Macron’s party and its Modem allies will win between 355 and 365 seats in the 577-seat lower house, fewer than previously forecast.

Macron wins massive majority in parliament

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The conservative Republicans and their allies would form the largest opposition bloc, with 125 to 131 seats.

The Socialist Party, which has been in power for the past five years, and its partners would secure 41 to 49 seats, their lowest ever in the postwar Fifth Republic.

The interim president of the Republic on the Move party, Catherina Barbaroux, has hailed the election result as historic.

“For the first time in the Fifth Republic, there will be a profound renewal of the National Assembly. It will be more diverse, younger, strengthened with diverse professional, voluntary and political experience. But, above all, and let me be personally very delighted, it’s a historic moment for the representation of women in the National Assembly,” she said.

Mr Macron’s party has filled the political space created by the disarray within the Socialists and the Republicans.

Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, the leader of the French Socialist Party, has resigned after he was knocked out of the running for parliament in last week’s first round of voting.

He said the party will have to rebuild from the top down, suggesting what he terms “the left” needs to change radically if it still wants to be a strong force in French politics.

“Emmanuel Macron’s triumph is unquestionable. The left’s defeat is unavoidable. The rout of the Socialist Party is irrevocable. The right is facing real failure. And the populists from all sides are pushed to the margins,” he said.

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Nationalist leader Marine Le Pen has won a seat in the National Assembly for the first time.

Her National Front party clinched at least eight seats in total, a result she has celebrated, but it may disappoint supporters, who were dreaming of her winning the presidency a month ago.

Ms Le Pen has cited record low levels of voter participation – less than half of the eligible voters – minimised the significance of Mr Macron’s victory.

“Abstention has today broken new records. The low turnout shows that mistrust towards politics has reached a peak. The election of Mr Macron to the presidency of the Republic seems to have sent the country into a state of indifference and weariness vis-a-vis the Republic, which is very worrying. Massive abstention considerably weakens the legitimacy of the new National Assembly.” 

The scale of the victory gives the president a strong platform, though, for enacting campaign promises to revive France’s fortunes.

He has promised to clean up politics and relax regulations which, investors say, shackle the eurozone’s second-biggest economy.

But the abstention rate shows he must go carefully in a country with strong trade unions and a history of street protests that have forced past governments to dilute new legislation.