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QPR boss Ramsey says race could affect future job prospects

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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Ramsey, who is the only black manager in the Premier League, has a contract until the end of the season having joined QPR as a coach in November before taking over as boss from Harry Redknapp in February.


“I think if it doesn’t work out for me here, as any manager of any race, you’re always in a position where it’s going to be difficult to get another job,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“When you get sacked you don’t always walk into another job…

“But as a black man it’s always going to be difficult anyway. The problems I’ve had in the past are still going to be there… It’s no secret that I have said that (black managers not getting as many opportunities) in the past.

“The fact that we’re still at this stage highlighting that I’m the only black Premier League manager shows that it’s not the norm to have people from ethnic minorities in this position. Until this becomes normal and not highlighted in such spectacular fashion, that racism will be evident.

“Obviously, I am in a very fortunate position to be manager of QPR but I would hope people don’t look on it as a token gesture. I have earned my stripes to be in this position.”

QPR’s director of football Les Ferdinand said last month that “covert racism” denies black managers the chance to be interviewed and called for a Rooney Rule-style law to be introduced that will give them that opportunity.

“The Rooney Rule is an important factor as there is an awareness that something needs to be done to affect the way people think in boardrooms,” said Ramsey.

“I am not just talking about race. I am talking about gender, homophobia and many other issues — general equal opportunities.

“Maybe there needs to be more awareness in the game of different factors that affect why people get jobs or not.”

Ramsey’s side are second bottom in the Premier League, four points adrift of the safety zone, and travel to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Apart from Ramsey, there are only three other black managers working in England’s top four divisions; Chris Powell at Huddersfield, Keith Curle at Carlisle and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Burton.

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Martyn Herman)

Finance News Update, what you need to know

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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The Australian dollar continues to fall ahead of US labour figures.


At 0630 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 75.76 US cents, down from 75.93 cents on Thursday.

The Australian market is closed on Friday for the Good Friday public holiday.

The market on Thursday closed higher as prices for commodities such as gold and copper improved, though iron ore continued its fall.


WASHINGTON – The US trade deficit shrank sharply in February to the lowest level in over five years as the country’s oil import bill continued to drop, the Commerce Department has reported.

WASHINGTON – Orders to US factories rose in February, breaking a six-month losing streak.

WASHINGTON – The number of people seeking US unemployment benefits dropped significantly last week, showing signs of a strong job market.

WASHINGTON – Average long-term US mortgage rates barely moved this week, remaining close to historically low levels as the spring home-buying season gets underway.

FRANKFURT – The official account of the European Central Bank’s last policy meeting show top officials expressing determination to stick with the full $US1 trillion euros ($A1.32 trillion) of their planned stimulus – even though the 19-country eurozone economy shows signs of finally picking up.

NEW YORK – Target will close the last of its 133 Canadian stores by April 12, a little more than two years after the US retailer crossed the border on its first international expansion.

MOSCOW – US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil is suing Russia at the Swedish Arbitrage Court for back taxes it believes it overpaid on a joint project, the energy ministry says.

TOKYO – Japanese electronics giant Sony has announced the sale of half its stake in camera and endoscope maker Olympus Corp to fund internal restructuring measures.

NEW YORK – A pay bump for workers at some McDonald’s restaurants isn’t likely to ease the pressures the chain is facing over labour issues.

Lower-profile Tigers shine in AFL win

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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A Richmond stats sheet without Cotchin, Martin and Deledio among the top seven ball winners normally means an AFL loss.


Coach Damien Hardwick still expects those big names to produce, but was rapt that lesser lights drove Thursday night’s 27-point win over Carlton.

In his first game for the Tigers, former Geelong midfielder Taylor Hunt led the way with 27 disposals and first-gamer Kamdyn McIntosh (23 possessions) was a revelation.

That pair, along with Brett Deledio (18 disposals), were crucial in the second term when the Tigers rallied from a 23-point deficit.

They will most likely be without Deledio for the round-two game against the Western Bulldogs.

He was booked in the first minute of the game for a high bump on Simon White and surely will be suspended.

White tagged Martin (13 possessions) out of the match and captain Trent Cotchin (17 possessions) was also down on his usual output.

“We still expect our better players to play better than what they did tonight, but we always knew Carlton would come to shut down those guys,” Hardwick said.

“So it was pleasing for the Taylor Hunts of the world to step up and really deliver.”

In his third year at Richmond, McIntosh finally has made his AFL debut and it was one to remember.

His tackle on Dale Thomas in the opening minute left the Carlton star with a dislocated shoulder.

McIntosh then set the example for his better-credentialled teammates with a relentless workrate.

“He was very good – we always knew we had a player,” Hardwick said.

“He’s been three years in the making.

“His ability to work from contest to contest is very good.

“He still has a long way to go … there are still some things in his game that he can improve.

“But overall we ticked that box tonight.”

Another highlight was key forward Jack Riewoldt, who kicked four goals.

He was very emotional, pointing to the sky after two of his goals.

His cousin Madeleine, the sister of St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt, died in February after a long illness.

Hardwick noted that Blues forward Michael Jamison has done well on Riewoldt, but on Thursday night the Tigers spearhead won their duel

“The thing we spoke to Jack about is it might not be his night, but it can be his moment.

“He really stood up … he’s going to have a good year for us.

“It (playing football) is probably the one thing that can take his mind off that (grief) – together with Nick.”

Hardwick said Richmond paid for poor skills early, but improved their kicking in particular in the second term.

More than 16 million Syrians need aid assistance: UN

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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Aid worth $US8.


4 billion is needed for 12.2 million people in Syria and 4.3 million refugees who have fled the country’s ongoing war, the UN says.

The latest figures say 3.8 million Syrians are refugees in neighbouring countries, but that figure will grow to 4.3 million by December this year.

A further 2.2 million people are internally displaced within Iraq, the UN’s 2015 Syria Response Plan and 2015-2016 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan says.

The required aid money is roughly $US500 per person.

The money will go towards food, shelter, education and health services, the UN said. 

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement Australia would pledge $AU20 million ($15.2 million USD) to the relief effort.

“This contribution at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait City will bring Australia’s total humanitarian assistance in response to the Syria crisis to $AU155.8 million since 2011,” Ms Bishop said.

Recently, Ms Bishop told reporters in Canberra that Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann had assured her there would be no further cuts to the foreign aid, after speculation about cuts to foreign aid. 

Last year, Australia’s foreign aid budget received cuts. 

The May 2014-2015 Budget and following Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014-15 contained $ billions of cuts to official development assistance, or foreign aid. 

In 2013, Australia gave away 32 cents in every 100 dollars of Gross National Income.

Ecclestone on women drivers – again

Posted on: March 7th, 2019 by
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What a shame that Formula One’s next stop is China.


Because its notoriously protest-intolerant government surely wouldn’t look kindly on crowds of demonstrators venting against Bernie Ecclestone’s latest putdown of women drivers.

Yet people should vent. Because there’s a whiff of sexual apartheid in the latest madcap suggestion from F1’s billionaire boss that teams should launch a championship exclusively for women.

Segregating female drivers in a separate, second-fiddle series that few fans will watch cannot be the best way to advance their cause. Instead, because F1 teams have been so resistant to change, the time has come to force their hand: Rule that they each must hire a woman driver and race them in at least two Grand Prix per season. More of that later.

To be fair to Ecclestone, perhaps his motivations are noble.

Perhaps he recognises that the enduring stranglehold of men on F1, with no women actually racing and too few in positions of power behind the scenes, undercuts its pretensions of being the most modern of sports.

Or having declared 10 years ago that “women should be all dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances,” perhaps the 84-year-old wheeler-dealer who built F1’s commercial success is becoming a campaigning feminist?

Or perhaps not.

Parading women like this smacks suspiciously of being more about money, an attempt to use them to revive F1 television audiences, rather than being an about-face for equality.

“I thought it would be a good idea to give them a showcase. For some reason, women are not coming through – and not because we don’t want them. Of course we do, because they would attract a lot of attention and publicity and probably a lot of sponsors,” Ecclestone said in comments reported by British media.

“They could race before the main event, or perhaps on the Saturday qualifying day so that they had their own interest,” he was quoted as saying. “It would be super for F1 and the whole grand prix weekend.”

Again, to be fair, Ecclestone has found some support.

Carmen Jorda, a Spanish driver training with the Lotus F1 team, told The Associated Press she would rather be a world champion among women than finish a distant second-best to men. She also said the intense physicality of F1 driving is a barrier to equal competition between women and men.

“That’s why a woman will never be in the top, because of the physical issue,” Jorda said in a phone interview. “I don’t want to fight for 10th or 15th. What I want to do is to win.”

In the opposing camp are women like Michela Cerruti, an Italian who recently raced in the electric Formula E championship, and former rally driver Michele Mouton, who now works with the FIA governing body of motorsport.

By email, Mouton wrote “I am annoyed and very disappointed!” that Ecclestone maybe is thinking “about women only for the show!”

In a phone interview from her home in Milan, Cerruti said she wouldn’t want to be part of a women’s championship “made, basically, to attract attention” and which would be “much less interesting than seeing women racing against men.”

“It is really absurd that there’s not a woman (racing) nowadays in Formula One,” she said. “In the past two or three years they could have taken one of us.”

Well said. F1 has had ample time. And now the time for excuses has run out.

If Ecclestone really wants to help women drivers, he must get them onto F1’s grid with the men. Not just training in simulators like Jorda and in occasional tests like Williams’ Susie Wolff, but by ensuring that every race has one or more women drivers.

That could be done by forcing every team to hire a woman as a third driver. Doing so would, in turn, force teams to do a much better job of scouting and nurturing female talent. The teams’ two main male drivers would also all be made to skip a minimum of one race per season, giving the seat to their female colleague.

That would guarantee two races per season for each woman. But it also would ensure the continued integrity of the drivers’ championship, because each man would still compete in the same number of races as all the other men. So Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and all the other leading contenders would, for example, all race 18 of the 19 times per season. Teams would be free to choose which races the men sit out and could, of course, bench them more than once if and when the women prove to be faster.

Just an idea, to move things along and get more women started.

But better, surely, than making them race alone.

New faces everywhere as Suns meet Demons

Posted on: March 7th, 2019 by
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New look teams will be the order of the day when Gold Coast take on Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday.


The Suns head south with five players set to make the debut for the club, including three AFL debutants, the most new faces in a Gold Coast line-up since their inaugural match in round two, 2011.

Experienced recruits Nick Malceski and Mitch Hallahan will both make their first starts for their new club while mature-aged rookie Adam Saad and draftees Touk Miller and Jarrod Garlett are the set for their first senior game.

The Demons will also boast a revamped line-up with seven new faces, including another trio of AFL debutants.

Key forward Jesse Hogan, No.3 draft pick Angus Brayshaw and mature rookie-listed player Aaron Vandenberg will play their first AFL match while 2010 Collingwood premiership player Heritier Lumumba, ex-Carlton player Jeff Garlett, former Giants defender Sam Frost and ex-Power midfielder Ben Newton have been named for the hosts.

Malceski, a 2012-premiership player with Sydney, says his move to Gold Coast has been just the tonic to extending his AFL career.

“It’s something that has freshened me up,” he said.

“Especially moving interstate as well. To come up to the Gold Coast has definitely freshened me and my family up. Really looking forward to the next three years.”

The Suns have won just two of their seven matches at the MCG, but both those wins have been against the Demons.

The visitors will also be boosted by the return of superstar captain Gary Ablett, named to play his first AFL game since injuring his shoulder against Collingwood last July.

The dual Brownlow Medallist is sure to attract plenty of attention from the Demons to test out the strength of his shoulder but Malceski says that will be nothing out of the ordinary for Ablett.

“He’s copped it his whole career because he’s one of the best,” Malceski said.

“When you are like that you’re going to get treatment off your opposition.

“We’ve just got to do as much as we can to try and restrict that and help him out as much as possible.

“Obviously Gaz is one of the best in the AFL. To be able to play with him in his team will be good, rather than in the opposition.”

Israeli FA vows to repel Palestinian call for suspension

Posted on: March 7th, 2019 by
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The Palestine FA said earlier this week it would request the suspension at next month’s FIFA Congress because it believes Israel is hampering its football activities.


The Israeli FA said in a statement that new chairman, Ofer Eini, was “acting at all possible levels to ensure the standing of Israeli soccer is not harmed”.

“The Israeli FA believes that FIFA and Sepp Blatter at its helm, and the heads of the various federations and associations will not permit a move which seeks to mix sport and politics in a manner that is completely opposed to the principles of the organisation and the aims of the game,” the Israeli FA said.

Despite efforts by Blatter to ease tensions, the Palestinians remain frustrated at restrictions they say Israel imposes on the movement of their athletes between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian FA also cited curbs Israel places on the import into Palestinian territories of sports equipment and on visits by foreign teams and individuals.

Blatter set up in 2013 a task force which included himself, the Israeli and Palestinian football chiefs and the heads of the European and Asian football confederations to examine the Palestinian complaints and to try to resolve them.

But Palestine FA president Jibril Rajoub said he has lost patience, and he has called on FIFA to show Israel “the red card”.

Israel cites security concerns for restrictions it imposes in the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority exercises limited self rule, and along the border with the Hamas Islamist-run Gaza Strip.

But it says it has eased travel for Palestinian athletes between the two territories, which requires passage via Israel.

Last week, 41 runners from Gaza were allowed to participate in a marathon in the West Bank, something that has been denied all Gaza runners in the past two years.

Thirteen others were barred from travelling, as was the Palestinian beach football team, according to Gisha, an Israeli non-governmental group that monitors freedom of movement for Palestinians.

In December, Rajoub called on FIFA to sanction Israel after Israeli troops entered the offices of the Palestine Football Association. An army spokesman said soldiers were seeking a wanted individual and were not targeting the premises because of its links to football.

The Palestinian draft resolution calls for Israel’s suspension because its actions “inhibit our ability to develop the game”.

Writing by Ori Lewis; editing by Toby Davis.

LPGA Commissioner Whan eyes a ‘grander stage’

Posted on: March 7th, 2019 by
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However, Whan has never been a big fan of the status quo and has set his sights on establishing a “grander stage” for the LPGA Tour by giving it increased television exposure and making it more on a par with the men’s equivalent for prize money.


“A typical men’s PGA Tour event has the exposure of a major,” Whan told Reuters during this week’s ANA Inspiration, the opening women’s major of the year, at Mission Hills Country Club.

“So how do we get that grander stage on a regular basis with the LPGA? Last week, Cristie Kerr probably made about as much money as somebody who came in 10th place at a similar event on the PGA Tour.”

American Kerr, a former world number one who has claimed two major titles, earned a check for $255,000 with her victory at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California.

That same day, little-known American Scott Pinckney came away with $179,800 after tying for eighth at the PGA Tour’s Texas Open.

“If we can expand that viewership footprint for the LPGA, we will create greater purse opportunities, greater financial opportunities,” said Whan.

“Generally speaking, once you’ve made it to the PGA Tour, you’re financially set. On the women’s side, making it to the LPGA Tour is just phase one. Phase two is making it on the LPGA Tour financially.”

Whan felt that financial security was guaranteed on the LPGA Tour only by players who had established themselves in the top 70.

“That’s something I’ve got to change,” he said. “I’ve got to make it that if you’re one of the best 200 female golfers on the planet, then there ought to be an opportunity on this tour to be financially successful.”


Whan, who took over in 2010 and earlier this week agreed to a contract extension to remain as commissioner through the 2020 season, has grown the circuit from 23 to 33 events in the last five years.

Purses have increased by 50 percent to more than $60 million this season and television coverage has doubled.

A fifth major, the Evian Championship, has been added and the tour has expanded into China and Taiwan before culminating in a season finale at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida with a purse of $2 million.

The global nature of the tour, where New Zealand’s teenage prodigy Lydia Ko heads the rankings with players from South Korea, the United States, China and Norway in hot pursuit, is an added bonus for Whan.

“When some of these players come from different countries and they start having real success, it opens up a whole other range for us in terms of television rights and most importantly other title sponsors,” Whan said.

“When (Taiwan’s) Yani (Tseng) was on the top of the world, we added an event in her country and we added a Taiwanese sponsor in San Francisco.

“I remember Japan’s Ai Miyazato in 2011 just killing it and we added a bunch of Japanese sponsors. More recently, we’ve had a lot of sponsors from South Korea and from North America.”

Whan overcame stiff challenges when he took over as the world grappled with an economic downturn.

“2010 and 2011 were tough years,” he said. “I really underestimated how frozen the economy was, especially in North America. It forced me to go back to basics, making sure that we delivered for the sponsor and not for the tour.

“I became kind of a seed money guy to help sponsors get started.

“A lot of events — the Kia Classic, Founders Cup, CME Tour Championship – when we first started them weren’t really title sponsored or funded. But we got them started, found a title and now they are long-term successful events.”

(Editing by Larry Fine)

Aussie shares plunge as nuclear fears grow

Posted on: February 3rd, 2019 by
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The Australian share market plunged to a six-month low, suffering its worst one-day fall in nine months as investors feared the economic impact of Japan’s worsening nuclear crisis.


Stock markets across the region were sharply lower.

The investor rout began after reports that another explosion and fire had pushed radiation to harmful levels at one of Japan’s earthquake-hit nuclear plants.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 97.7 points, or 2.11 per cent, to 4,528.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 100.2 points, or 2.13 per cent, to 4,609.9 points.

On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was 74 points lower at 4,535 points, with 167,423 contracts traded.

The fall took the S&P/ASX200 index to its weakest level since September 3 last year when it finished at 4541.2 points. It was the biggest one-day fall since June 7 last year, when the market at that time fell on renewed sovereign debt concerns in Europe.

Japan’s share market fared far worse, with the Nikkei index falling more than 12 per cent during intraday trading. The Nikkei was down by just under ten per cent in late trading.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Tuesday that a fire has broken out at the number-four reactor in the earthquake-damaged Fukushima No.1 atomic power plant and radiation levels had risen considerably.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said investors had panicked in the wake of the comments.

Mr McCarthy said the negative sentiment would probably last at least a few days. “I’ve been talking to a number of big traders and investors.

They’re expecting wholesale selling across all markets tonight,” Mr McCarthy said.

“There’s little doubt in my mind that this is a panic at the moment.

“We’re certainly pricing a lot worse than has actually occurred. “Perhaps with hindsight, some of the comments that came from some of the leaders in Japan were a little intemperate in that they seem to have sparked quite a panic.”

On the Australian share market, investors dumped uranium stocks.

Paladin Energy fell 69 cents, or 17.47 per cent, to $3.26. Peninsula Energy dumped 2.6 cents, or 30.59 per cent, to 5.9 cents.

Global miner BHP Billiton shed $1.12 to $42.97, and Rio Tinto descended $1.74 to $77.41.

Among the major banks, National Australia Bank retreated 40 cents to $24.28, Westpac weakened 28 cents to $22.59, ANZ surrendered 33 cents to $22.63, and Commonwealth Bank gave away 83 cents to $49.75.

Among other stocks, Origin Energy was steady at $15.66 as the head of the company said the nuclear crisis in Japan was likely to lead to increased energy demand for liquefied natural gas in the short term.

The price of gold in Sydney closed at $US1414.77 per fine ounce, down $US10.63 from Monday’s close at $US1425.40. Gold miner Newcrest Mining was down $1.36 at $35.85.

Junior iron ore miner BC Iron was off three cents at $2.82 as Regent Pacific abandoned its friendly takeover bid, after the target’s biggest shareholder said it was opposed to the plan.

National turnover was 4.48 billion shares worth $6.69 billion, with 1,207 stocks down, 165 up and 238 unchanged.

Palu, Barnes to return for Waratahs

Posted on: February 3rd, 2019 by
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Wycliff Palu and Berrick Barnes are certain starters for NSW against the Cheetahs on Saturday night, as the Waratahs attempt to get their Super Rugby season back on track.


After an impressive start to the year the Tahs lost their way two weeks ago in a disappointing loss to the Crusaders in Nelson.

A bye has given them an extra week to lick their wounds, and while NSW should have no problem beating the Cheetahs at the SFS, they’re after more than just a victory.

The Waratahs are determined to return to the clinical play which saw them destroy Melbourne and Queensland in the opening two rounds, and prove their capitulation against the Crusaders was a mere blip on the radar and not the start of a problem.

The issues NSW faced at the set piece against the Crusaders should be helped by the return of the inspirational Palu from a hamstring injury.

Barnes will slot back into the No.10 jersey and run the attack, following time off with concussion.

Palu has barely played a Super Rugby match for the past year, after knee ligament damage ruined his 2010 and his troublesome hamstring has kept him out since this year’s trials.

Centre Tom Carter said the giant No.8 will give the Waratahs an edge.

“It’s pretty exciting isn’t it. Cliffy Palu is a great guy to have back in the team. He’s been training really hard,” said Carter.

“He’s an incredible ball carrier and a great defender so whenever he’s been fit he does a lot of damage for us.

“It’s just such a big boost for us, he’s worked so hard to get back. Eleven months in rehab, he’s shown the way, no one has seen him work so hard so we’re pretty excited to have him back.”

Tatafu Polota-Nau (knee) and captain Phil Waugh (bicep) are the two players in major doubt for the Waratahs on Friday night, and a decision will be made on Tuesday whether they should be rested for a further week.

In a more significant blow, centre Rob Horne has been ruled out for six weeks with a continuation of his elbow problem. Ryan Cross, Lachie Turner and Drew Mitchell are in contention to fill his No.13 jumper.

Coach Chris Hickey said he doesn’t have any reservations about starting Palu, despite hamstring problems being tedious injuries to shake.

“No I don’t think so, whether you’re starting or coming off the bench you’ve still got to play,” he said.

“I think the advantage of starting as a player is … there’s a definitive time when you know you’re going to be ready to play.

“We’re confident to start with Cliffy, then we’ll monitor his progress through the game.”

Carter said complacency won’t be a risk for the Tahs against the Cheetahs, who struggle on the road.

“We’re pretty well aware of where we stand,” he said.

“We’ve shown we can play positive footy and there’s a really strong belief that’s the way we’re going to play all year.

“We need to put the Crusaders game behind us, that’s the challenge.”