Ex-NRL star Jason Moodie banned for season

PASS: Jason Moodie during his playing days for the Parramatta Eels. Picture: Steve ChristoRetired NRL and Origin wingerJason Moodie was one of three people to cop season-long bans from rugby league following a troublesome fortnight for the code acrossthe Hunter.

The 43-year-old, who represented the Blues three times and played 172 club games between theKnights, Eels and Tigers, has been prohibited from attending all junior matches until the end of 2018.

Thispunishment was handed down on what was a busy night forthe Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League (NHRL) disciplinary panel on Wednesday.

Moodie, aWestern Suburbs junior coach,pleaded guilty to multiple NRL code-of-conduct breaches following his part in a physical altercationat New Lambton’s Kentish Oval on May 12.

The second man, a junior parentat the Dudley-Redhead Magpies, also pleaded guilty to allcharges and received the same sanction.

The incident occurred during an age-group fixture, just two days before the start of Country Rugby League (CRL) endorsed “Shoosh For Kids Week” encouraging positive environments for junior participants at grassroots levels.

In the senior ranks, an 18-month banwas given to a spectator with family links to the Raymond Terrace Magpies following a separate incident at Lenaghan Oval on Saturday.

He is barred from all facets of the sport, outside attending the club’s senior home games at Lakeside Oval, after initiating a physical alteration with an opposition playerpost full-time.

Raymond Terrace won the NHRL A-grade encounter 26-24 over hosts Belmont South.

A third matter,also involving a physical altercation between player and spectator, was originally scheduledfor judiciary this week butwas postponed after being investigated by police.

Both people have already been stood down from all facets of rugby league until the hearing is conducted.

Video of Saturday’s ugly incident, which took place at Coronation Oval duringa D-grade match betweenWoodberryand Maitland United, went viral online.

All parties have the right to appeal, but by Thursday afternoon no correspondence had been received by CRL.

The hearings took place at Newcastle Leagues Club.


Player and spectator stood down after wild rugby league brawlFormer Origin star Jason Moodie involved in alleged altercation at junior game

CBA delayed refund until after HoR hearing

‘s largest bank delayed refunds for customers charged double interest on business overdrafts to avoid the issue becoming public during a parliamentary hearing.

One Commonwealth Bank customer who tearfully queried the interest draining her business account was abruptly told “a bank is a business and that is the price you pay for borrowing money”.

Senior CBA executive Clive van Horen admitted requesting a 10-day delay in sending refund letters to customers so the issue wouldn’t surface at a House of Representatives hearing last year.

“Can we make this all happen (letters and actual refunds) after the House of Reps hearing on 7 March?,” he said in an email revealed at the banking royal commission on Thursday.

“Eliminates the chance of this being brought up in the hearings and a delay of 10 days is immaterial.”

Mr van Horen accepted he made the wrong decision.

“I think it was a poor judgment on my part,” he said on Thursday.

CBA’s executive general manager of retail products said he appreciated it was a “very material” issue for people waiting for refunds, but said it involved 1500 customers out of 10 million.

Mr van Horen said a recent mailout about paper statement fees had caused distress at the time, and was weighing on his mind.

“Personally I was quite bruised by that,” Mr van Horen said.

“These letters would potentially get picked up and reported in a way which, if the previous experience was anything to go by, was factually 100 per cent wrong.”

Counsel assisting the commission Albert Dinelli suggested CBA was more motivated by media and PR than ensuring it did the right thing by its customers.

Mr van Horen ultimately conceded that was the case.

About 2700 customers were affected, with refunds totalling $2.7 million going to more than 1800 people after an average wait of two-and-a-half years.

The error, which meant people with two types of business overdrafts were being charged 33.9 per cent interest instead of 16 per cent, was first identified in 2013.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC suggested the solution was to check whether every overdraft customer was being charged the right interest.

Mr van Horen said CBA’s initial manual correction missed a substantial part of the problem before a system-based fix in 2015 worked in the majority of cases.

There was then an enhanced fix in 2017.

The inquiry heard a customer complained to the Financial Ombudsman Service in late 2015 after getting the “bank is a business” rebuff from CBA.

No breaches on ‘shocking’ live sheep ship

The deaths of 2400 sheep on a live export ship didn’t breach the regulator’s animal welfare standards because it was a heat stress event, a Senate hearing has been told.

Horrific footage emerged last month of sheep dying in their own filth on a Middle East-bound ship in August last year.

On day 15 of the voyage, temperatures soared, killing 900 sheep.

A further 1000 died in the two days following.

Narelle Clegg, who heads the agriculture department’s live animal export branch, said there were no breaches found on the Emanuel Exports-chartered Awassi Express.

“What this episode shows, particularly the video footage, it shows the inadequacy of the information we’re asking the vets to provide,” Ms Clegg told a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday.

Bur Labor senator Lisa Singh believed it showed more than that.

“I think it shows the inadequacy of the department as an independent regulator,” Ms Singh said.

Ms Clegg responded: “It may well, that’s your view”.

The department is considering if more than one of its observers need to be on ships to observe animals and their onboard treatment.

Ms Clegg broke down as she thought about conditions on the Awassi.

“There was so much footage of empty troughs – it was dreadful,” she said.

LiveCorp chair and West n farmer Terry Enright said he had never seen anything comparable to the vision.

“We’re shocked because that footage represented the reverse of everything we work for,” Mr Enright said.

Department head Daryl Quinlivan admitted the compliance regime had been inadequate with a focus on death rates rather than conditions on ships.

“We now think mortality outcomes are not a sufficient measure of the performance of the trade,” he said.

The department’s culture and capability is under review following the controversy, as part of Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s push to clean up the under-fire trade.

Mr Littleproud introduced a bill to parliament on Thursday to punish dodgy exporters with up to 10 years’ jail and multimillion-dollar fines.

He has also announced a separate review of the n Standards for the Export of Livestock will be brought forward to the end of the year.

Middle Eastern sheep importers raised concerns costs would rise because of a new regulatory regime imposed on the industry during a ministerial visit earlier in the week, officials said.

Major importer Al Mawashi has opened talks with other countries after NSW MP Sussan Ley introduced a private bill to end live sheep exports.

A pool of independent observers, who are department officers and qualified vets, will be sent on voyages in the future.

They will ensure the animals are properly fed, watered, treated if ill and euthanased if necessary.

There were 272 live export voyages last year.

Live exports have been in decline in recent years from 2.2 million head in 2014-15 to 1.8 million head in 2016-17.

MH17 probe names Russian missile unit

Prosecutors investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 say they have identified the missile used to shoot down the plane as coming from a Russian military unit.

The airliner with 298 people aboard was hit by a Russian-made missile on July 17, 2014, over territory held by pro-Russian separatists.

All aboard died, two thirds of them Dutch and 38 of them n residents.

Wilbert Paulissen, head of the crime squad of the Netherlands’ national police, said the missile had been fired from a carrier belonging to Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade.

“All the vehicles in a convoy carrying the missile were part of the Russian armed forces,” he told a televised news conference.

Russia’s defence ministry said on Thursday it had nothing to do with the downing of the MH17, Interfax news agency reported.

n Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said , Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine were now “considering options” towards prosecution as they remained united to pursue justice for those who lost their lives and their families.

“That a sophisticated weapon belonging to the Russian Army was dispatched and used to shoot down a civilian aircraft should be of grave international concern,” Ms Bishop said in response to the latest report.

In an interim update on their investigation, prosecutors on Thursday said they had trimmed their list of possible suspects from more than a hundred to several dozen.

“We have a lot of proof and a lot of evidence, but we are not finished,” said chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke. “There is still a lot of work to do.”

He said investigators were not yet ready to identify individual suspects publicly or to issue indictments. The question of whether members of the 53rd Brigade were actively involved in the downing of the plane remains under investigation, he said.

Westerbeke called on witnesses, including members of the public, to help identify members of the crew that was operating the missile system. He also asked for tip-offs in determining what their orders were and in identifying the officials in charge of the brigade.

A Joint Investigation Team, drawn from , Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, is gathering evidence for a criminal prosecution in the downing of the plane.

The Dutch Safety Board concluded in an October 2015 report that the Boeing 777 was struck by a Russian-made Buk missile.

Eventual suspects are likely to be tried in absentia in the Netherlands after Russia used its veto to block a UN Security Council resolution seeking to create an international tribunal to oversee criminal complaints stemming from the incident.

Blues rule out Murphy for Geelong AFL game

Carlton skipper Marc Murphy will be sidelined for the second time suffering another foot injury.Carlton have ruled out skipper Marc Murphy for Saturday’s AFL clash with Geelong, and the Blues skipper could face several weeks on the sidelines as a result of his latest foot injury.

Murphy missed five games with a plantar fasciitis injury and disrupted scar tissue in the same foot in his return to action last weekend.

The 30-year-old was on crutches at Princes Park on Thursday and will have scans on Friday, admitting the issue could be more serious than initially thought.

“At the moment I’m not really too sure what’s going on with it,” he told the Seven Network.

“It could be scar tissue, it could be a re-rupture, so not too sure yet.”

In better news for bottom-placed Carlton, brothers Charlie and Ed Curnow will return for Saturday’s game at Kardinia Park along with swingman Jacob Weitering and David Cuningham.

Jarrod Garlett is among three omissions for the Blues, who copped a 109-point drubbing from Melbourne last weekend.

Geelong have also swung the axe following their 34-point loss to Essendon.

Ruckman Rhys Stanley returns with Zac Smith one of four players omitted.

Struggling St Kilda will welcome back Jake Carlisle and Paddy McCartin for Saturday’s clash with Richmond at the MCG.

The reigning premiers have dropped Sam Lloyd and Jacob Townsend while Jason Castagna has been rested with general soreness.

Both Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs have named key inclusions for Friday night’s clash at Etihad Stadium.

Ben Reid, Josh Daicos and Levi Greenwood return for the Pies while star recruit Josh Schache will make his Bulldogs debut.

Brisbane will line up unchanged against Sydney while a freak injury means the Swans will be without Callum Mills for the rest of the season.

The Swans say Mills was throwing an American football with teammates on the way back from a cafe on Thursday when he tripped and fell, breaking his foot.

Big guns Josh Kelly and Jonathon Patton are back for Greater Western Sydney’s game against Essendon, who will welcome back young star Andrew McGrath.

Hawthorn’s Jaeger O’Meara and Fremantle’s Stephen Hill are among the inclusions for Sunday’s games.

O’Meara returns along with James Frawley to face ladder-leaders West Coast, who have been bolstered by prime mover Elliot Yeo being declared fit to play.

Hill is set to face North Melbourne, minus rested big man Majak Daw, at Optus Stadium.

Melbourne have named Tom McDonald at full-forward for their match against Adelaide in Alice Springs despite the swingman hurting his foot at training on Thursday.

Prolific midfielder Matt Crouch returns for the Crows, having missed last week’s game with hamstring soreness.

Gold Coast and Port Adelaide have the bye after playing in Shanghai last week.

Convicted archbishop asks: ‘pray for me’

Convicted Archbishop Philip Wilson has asked Catholics to “pray for me”.Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson has asked the Catholic faithful to “pray for me” in a letter distributed after his conviction for covering up child sexual abuse during the 1970s.

The letter was distributed across the Archdiocese of Adelaide, including to parents of students in Catholic schools, drawing criticism from some.

It confirmed his intention to stand aside from his role on Friday after putting in place the “necessary administrative arrangements” to ensure the affairs of the archdiocese are managed responsibly.

“I know we are a united community of believers, a people of hope, and we will continue to be the disciples of Jesus,” the 67-year-old wrote.

“We have achieved great things in all facets of the life of the archdiocese, including in our parishes, schools, social services, health and in aged care.”

Wilson said he wanted to assure the Catholic faithful of his “continued prayers and best wishes”.

“Please continue to pray for me,” he wrote.

Some people took to social media to criticise the letter, particularly its failing to mention the victims of abuse.

On Tuesday, Wilson was found guilty at Newcastle Local Court of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two altar boys by pedophile priest James Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region.

He is the most senior Catholic official in the world to be charged with concealing child sexual abuse and faces a maximum two years’ jail.

In a statement issued by the Catholic Church on Wednesday, Wilson said it was appropriate to stand down in light of Magistrate Robert Stone’s findings.

“If at any point in time it becomes necessary or appropriate for me to take more formal steps, including by resigning as Archbishop, then I will do so,” he said.

He is still considering Mr Stone’s reasons alongside his legal advisors.

“In the meantime, while the remainder of the legal process runs its course, I want to assure the Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of my continued prayers and best wishes and assure everyone that the affairs of the Archdiocese will be appropriately managed in my absence,” the clergyman said.

Up Front with Tony Butterfield

FLASHBACK: Former Canberra Raiders enforcer John Lomax leaves the ACT Police Watch House in 2015 after being charged with blackmail. The charge was later dropped, and he successfully sued for malicious prosecution.In a rather significant“where are they now?” story, did anyone notice the news last week about formerCanberra Raiders enforcer John Lomax?

He’s just closed a chapter of his life that shouldn’t have happened after a very public arrest in July 2015, when he was charged with blackmail.The charges were dropped months later, and last week he settled with police after suing them for malicious prosecution. Quite a story.

I played against John and his assassin sidekicks, Quentin Pongia and Ruben Wiki, back in the days when front-rowers got up close and personal.

Johnny went on to win premierships with Canberra and captained the Kiwis. Old-school to his core, he ran hard, tackled hard and never gave up. Traits I recognised later playing with one of his talented brothers, David, for a couple of seasons under Mal Reilly in the 1990s.

From honest working stock, their dad was a shunter, who lost his legs in an industrial accident when they were kids. He was a union man and it was the union thatstepped in to support the family.

Read more: The latestrugby league and the NRL headlines

Naturally this left an impression on the Lomax kids. All went on to work in welfare roles, with one brother a religious minister, a sister in public health and Johnny in the trade union movement as an organiser for the CFMEU in the ACT.

In the event, Johnny was arrested and charged for what appeared to most to be doing his job. The charge was that he made a“demand with menace”.Police alleged he had forced a Canberra painting company to sign a union enterprise bargaining agreement, causing a financial loss.

In terms of timing, charges were laid with the Royal Commission into unions in full swing, ensuring Johnny suffered the ignominy of front-page coverage in not just his home town. The usual suspects dug up photos from his playing days and plastered them with headlines about blackmail and the like.

In a twist lost on few, his treatment then differs markedly to the current inquiry into the banks, where far worse revelations scandalise the industry, with not so much as a parking ticket in sight.

Out of interest, I understand a specific of Johnny’s supposed crime was that he phoned the company and asked that they pay the industry hourly rate. No standing over anyone, no threats, just a few phone calls and a claim for better pay for workers.

When the matter came to court, the charge was dropped. Johnny sued the police and last week there was a confidential settlement, in his favour.

My interest in this is not altogether unbiased. During my time as head of the Rugby League Players Association, particularly when we took steps to register the RLPA as a trade union in 2003, there was a marked increase in the media attacks on the organisation and me personally.

In spite of vested criticism, we achieved many ground-breaking benefits, including the formal standing of an emerging player body.

To ensure these arrangements were properly enforced for the long term, we insisted they be put in a registered agreement –nothing criminal about that, then.

But back to Lomax. With what’s since happened, it’s inescapable to conclude that in such a politically charged climate Johnny was especially targeted by sections of the media because of his profile in rugby league.Sad.

I wish Johnny well in this vindication. He’s nothing less than a gentlemen who deserved better.

* THEbiff is back.

Melbourne’syoung Turk Curtis Scott couldn’t cop another second of trash talk from Dylan Walker last week, lost his cool and jobbed him. Massively out of line, he coppeda two-week punishment. It did, however, seem for some to contradict the six-week, injury-enforced holiday for Dylan. But they’re the current rules.

Wrong? Possibly, but Walker must accept some blame.

Even in “big boys’ rules”, it’s ever wrong to throw the first punch. What’s equally accepted is incessant smack talk and shirt-fronting escalates any situation and is playing with fire.

Read more: Can Kalyn Ponga become the youngest Dally M medallist?

Another “eye for an eye” fan dilemma from the Brisbane/Roosters encounterinvolved Dylan Napa’s head clash withex-Knights goerKorbin Sims.

Korbsfinished up with a broken jaw and a diet of pain and smoothies, while the perpetrator got a 10-minute break. Again, on its face, it makes little sense.

Judging each case on its merits, I think it’s fair to say this was accidental. Nobody deliberately tackles with their head. Do they? I know it’s not good for your head or neck.

On this occasion the big palooka, at speed, clumsily caught out by Korbin’s impressive footwork, over-commits and, off-balance on the wrong shoulder, aimlessly follows through (like a raging bull). These accumulating miscalculations could so easily have seen Napa himself laying on the ground snoring.

Tough game. Two bulls. Teach better technique.

I hope Korbs has a speedy return to the field.

* FORthe Knights, last week was alost opportunity against a Titans outfit whokept on coming. In the end, silly errors and a lucky kick deflection werethe difference.

Another disappointment, another brick in the wall for the young squad who shone through with commitment and positive attitude for the most part.

Getting a chance to do it all again on Sunday, they’ll be taking on a Sharks team packed with plenty of good players. On form, Cronullashould get up in a close one.

Newcastle’s forwards need to dominate their opponents and lay a foundation for the speed section.

This is a great weekend at home to stand up(and for brain-cancer research,www.markhughesfoundation老域名出售.au). Knights by two.

Five federal by-elections set for July 28

An historic ‘Super Saturday’ of federal by-elections is set to be held on July 28, but Labor is concerned this will leave voters in five seats without MPs for 79 days.

The seats of Braddon, Fremantle, Longman and Mayo are vacant because their MPs were found to be dual citizens and resigned from parliament, while the member for Perth resigned for family reasons.

Speaker Tony Smith told parliament on Thursday he would issue writs for by-elections on July 28, based on advice from the n Electoral Commission.

AEC commissioner Tom Rogers said the “optimal” July 28 date was based on two key factors – avoiding school holidays and allowing potential candidates to comply with new regulations under which they would voluntarily publicly declare they are not dual citizens.

However, he admitted the AEC had the ability to run elections – including a full federal election – on whatever date the government decided.

“The n Electoral Commission stands ready to conduct those events in accordance with your instructions on any legislatively appropriate date,” he said in his advice to the Speaker.

Labor pointed out it would leave the five seats, four of which were held by the opposition, without members for 79 days, and land on the day of its national conference.

The new members won’t be able to take up their seats until August 13 at the earliest.

“This deliberate delay is an insult to these communities who will be unrepresented for nearly three months,” Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said.

“It would also appear this has been deliberately designed to disadvantage the Labor Party, given our national conference is scheduled for that weekend.”

Labor Party national president Mark Butler said the announcement stunk of interference by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with the electoral commission.

“Our national conference is an important part of our policy process – and the fact the Liberal Party has deliberately sought to disrupt our democratic processes shows how desperate and pathetic they are,” Mr Butler said in a statement.

Discussions are underway into deferring the conference until next year.

When former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce resigned last year over his dual citizenship a by-election was called the same day for the soonest possible date.

The government is awaiting the Governor-General to sign off on a new regulation, which already has bipartisan support, to ensure all candidates must publicly declare they are not dual citizens or have any other bars under the constitution.

The vice-regal sign-off is expected on May 29, with the regulations expected to take two weeks for the AEC to implement.

Labor won’t face a coalition candidate in Perth or Fremantle and is expected to hold the seats comfortably.

However the coalition has its sights set on the Labor seats of Longman and Braddon and the Centre Alliance-held seat of Mayo.

The vacancies aren’t expected to impact significantly on parliament as it heads into the long winter break after June 28.

Record numbers set to see Sydney light up

The Liminal Hour, a giant puppet, will entice visitors at Friday’s Vivid launch at the Opera HouseMore than two million people are expected to visit Vivid Sydney’s 10th “birthday bash”, which is being touted as the biggest and best ever.

The annual light and music festival kicks off on Friday with the unveiling of lights on the Sydney Opera House just after sunset.

It runs until June 16, with light installations, music and workshops across multiple venues.

NSW Tourism Minister Adam Marshall expects to break last year’s record crowd of more than 2.3 million people, who spent an estimated $143 million over the 23-day event.

“This year, if the weather is kind, then we anticipate seeing even more than that,” Mr Marshall told reporters on Thursday.

“It will be our biggest, our best, our brightest Vivid yet with lots of new inclusions this year, (and) we want to make it a huge birthday bash”.

“(People) can come and enjoy the sites, spectacular music and creative ideas sessions”.

Luna Park, Government House, and Customs House will be lit up, with light installations also at Taronga Zoo, Barangaroo, Chatswood, and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Visitors are urged to catch public transport, with an extra 6000 train, ferry, bus and light rail services being rolled out.

But authorities warn daily road closures from 3pm will impact some services.

“We really think you should leave your car at home and get public transport,” Marg Prendergast from Transport NSW told reporters.

The festival will also be overseen by an additional 2000 plain and uniformed police, water police, sniffer dogs, and mounted patrol.

“Our main priority is the safety of the community and there will be a significant amount of extra police here across all the Vivid sites,” assistant commissioner Mark Walton said.

Abortion referendum has split Ireland

An abortion referendum being held in Ireland has split the country.The abortion referendum has split opinion across Ireland.

The topic is considered one of the most divisive and difficult subjects in public life, and has prompted posters with graphic post-abortion scenes on the streets of Dublin, erected by the No camp.

The Republic has one of the most restrictive abortion regimes in Europe, a legacy of the influence of the Catholic Church and a conservative attitude by generations past towards the matter.

While repealing the Eighth amendment of the constitution enshrining the equal right to life of mother and baby would not immediately introduce abortion, it would pave the way for the government to do just that.

Well-organised campaigns have bombarded the airwaves and doorsteps and covered lampposts up and down the country with sharply-conflicting key messages.

Those in favour of a Yes vote include the leaders of the main political parties in Ireland – Taoiseach Leo Varadkar among them – some doctors, lawyers, women’s rights groups and campaigning organisations like Amnesty International.

The government has characterised it as a modernising and compassionate reform, bringing Ireland into step with its neighbours who all have more liberal regimes.

Although there have been several referendums concerning abortion, nobody aged under 52 has had the chance to vote on an Eighth amendment introduced in 1983, and backers hope a large number of young people will vote and turn the tide their way.

They argue that that abortion is happening anyway, three illegal terminations are carried out every day using pills obtained on the internet – and thousands of pregnant women travel to the UK.

Varadkar and his supporters in Government have said it is better to regulate the procedure within the Irish health service rather than outsource it to Britain, exposing women to the dangers and inconvenience of travel, or taking a pill of uncertain origin themselves without the benefit of a doctor’s advice.

Together For Yes, the umbrella group leading the campaign for an affirmative vote, has used the slogan “trust women” to argue that they should be allowed to make important decisions about their own lives and families.

Those opposed to change include the clergy, a sizeable proportion of politicians and civil society organisations.

The Catholic Church believes the life of the unborn is sacrosanct, that it would be immoral to allow its termination through abortion, but advocates greater support for those in crisis.

It has urged people to remember the rights of the unborn, who cannot speak for themselves; many others sharing the same perspective have characterised that imbalance in emotive terms – warning that babies will die.