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Stars' Nathan Coulter-Nile eager to bounce back after nightmare over against former Scorchers side - NEWS.com.au
The Melbourne Stars will be looking to bounce back after a loss to the Renegades as the finals fight heats up against the Perth Scorchers.
The Perth Scorchers loom as the unfortunate victims of angry Stars paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile, who intends to make amends for his horror and costly over in the Melbourne derby. Coulter-Nile admits he had trouble sleeping on Wednesday night after conceding 19 runs in the games second last over as the Renegades went on a hitting frenzy to upset their BBL Melbourne rivals at Marvel Stadium. The loss has left the Stars vulnerable to missing out on a top-five spot should they also lose to the Scorchers on Saturday night at the MCG. The Renegades batted really well, but it would have been nice to get a bit more sleep, but that happens, Coulter-Nile said. It was disappointing to drop that one we should have won. Execution is really what hurt us, and you probably dont expect that from your senior bowler. which is disappointing. They were coming out all right for me until that last over. The boys are going to have to start stepping up. We probably need two wins from our last two games (to make the finals). A former Scorcher, Coulter-Nile admitted to having mixed feelings about Perth being his target this weekend, but promised sentiment would not get in the way. "Im still good friends with a lot of them and I want a lot of them to do well, but I also want the Scorchers to lose every game they play, the 33-year-old Australian T20 representative said. Its a tough one. Were going to have to try to find some form, Hopefully we can use our MCG experience and really take it to them. We do play really well at the MCG. We know the ground really well and `Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) skippers really well there. – NCA NewsWire
Troubling signs in Joe Biden’s first days as President - NEWS.com.au
Troubling signs in Joe Biden’s first days as President
Joe Biden won plenty of praise for a specific line in his inaugural address on Wednesday. “Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth, and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit,” the new US President said. “Each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders – leaders who have pledged to honour our Constitution and protect our nation – to defend the truth and defeat the lies.” It was an admirable message, and a particularly relevant one, given the torrent of lies and misinformation we all witnessed from Mr Biden’s predecessor, and the violence those lies eventually unleashed. But that’s all it was. In these early days of the Biden presidency, when Donald Trump’s worst deeds are still fresh in our memories, we need to be especially mindful of the difference between a promise made and a promise kept. RELATED: Catch up on the latest news from the US High-minded rhetoric is typical of inauguration week in the United States. Whoever is taking power inevitably offers soaring words about bipartisanship, national unity, and all the other warm, fuzzy, unobjectionable things that are easy to promise and hard to deliver. It’s a very earnest time. As a general rule, Americans don’t approach politics with quite the same level of jaded cynicism Australians do, which is why they end up with incredibly cheesy productions like the “Celebrating America” program that aired on Wednesday night. Imagine how most Australians would react to a New Year’s Eve style fireworks display celebrating the election of a new Prime Minister, and you’ll understand the cultural difference I’m talking about here. We saw it in much of the coverage from US media this week. There is a line between treating these events with the deference they deserve and fawning over them, and that line was crossed a little too often. “They gave us joy. They gave us fashion. They gave us celebrity. They gave us hope,” MSNBC host Joy Reid gushed after the inauguration. Her colleague Rachel Maddow said she had gone through a whole box of tissues. The night before, as Mr Biden visited the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool, CNN political analyst David Chalian said the lights surrounding the scene were “almost extensions of Joe Biden’s arms embracing America”. It was all a bit much. Yes, Mr Biden certainly said the right things. By all means, applaud his words. But will he deliver on them? That’s far more important, and the first few days of Mr Biden’s presidency have contained some danger signs. RELATED: Trump’s enablers spent years pretending his lies didn’t matter At an event on Thursday afternoon, where he spoke about the coronavirus and signed several executive orders, Mr Biden got into a prickly exchange with a reporter. The reporter asked whether the President’s goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days was “high enough”. “When I announced it, you all said it’s not possible. Come on, give me a break, man,” Mr Biden shot back. “It’s a good start, 100 million.” The President brought it up again on Friday. “I found it fascinating – yesterday, the press asked the question, ‘Is 100 million enough?’ Week before they were saying, ‘Biden are you crazy? You can’t do 100 million in 100 days,’” he said. “Well, we’re going to – God willing – not only do 100 million, we’re going to do more than that.” On both occasions, Mr Biden’s description of the news media’s coverage was false. Some reporting described the target as “challenging”, while some suggested it was not ambitious enough. No one was calling him crazy. For added context here, the US has averaged over 900,000 vaccinations per day in the last week, which means it is already nearing Mr Biden’s goal of a million each day – before any of his policy changes have taken effect. So, the President was asked a perfectly fair question. Instead of answering it in good faith, he offered the same kind of nonsense complaint about the media that we all came to expect from Mr Trump. So much for defending truth and defeating lies. RELATED: Trump whinges about media’s coronavirus coverage The new White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, has also fallen short of Mr Biden’s rhetoric this week, despite her own pledge to bring “truth and transparency” back to the briefing room. “We have a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people,” Ms Psaki told reporters during her first briefing. The next day, she too was asked about Mr Biden’s vaccination target. “Can you just elaborate a little bit on why the President isn’t setting the bar a little bit higher, given the magnitude of the crisis?” a reporter asked. “Well, none of us are mathematicians, myself included, so I asked our team to do a little math on this,” Ms Psaki said. “So, the Trump administration was given 36 million doses when they were in office, for 38 days. They administered a total of about 17 million shots. That’s less than 500,000 shots a day. “What we are proposing is to double that. To do about one million shots per day. And we have outlined this objective in consultation with our health experts. “It is ambitious. It’s something we feel is bold.” It wasn’t as bad as Mr Biden’s answer – the figures Ms Psaki offered were not wrong – but they were selective. They included the earliest days of vaccine distribution back in December, when much lower quantities of shots were being administered. The Biden administration is not, in fact, proposing to “double” the current rate of vaccination. It is aiming to add about 10 per cent more shots each day. RELATED: The world reacts to Biden’s press secretary Ms Psaki is not Sean Spicer, or Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or Kayleigh McEnany, all of whom lied repeatedly and egregiously in that same briefing room. The answer above is an example of normal political spin, which twists and manipulates the truth instead of ignoring it entirely. And Mr Biden is not Donald Trump, insofar as he does not constantly spew falsehoods like an out-of-control firehouse. It was refreshing, for example, to hear a President finally treat the pandemic with the seriousness it requires this week, and be frank with Americans about how dire the situation currently is. Is that enough, though? By the President’s own standards, set out in his inaugural address, the answer is no. Here’s another line from that speech: “We must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.” Just because Mr Trump and his staff fell so far short of acceptable standards does not mean we should now lower the bar for everyone else. We’re three days into the new administration, and we have already seen Mr Biden and Ms Psaki manipulating facts to suit their arguments. Hopefully, now that inauguration week is out of the way, we can start to critique this presidency with the same rigour as the last one.
Secret trick to turn iPhone into computer - Daily Examiner
Elly Awesome reveals secret iPhone button and other hidden features
iPhones have a ton of hidden features that youd never find unless you dig into your phones settings. There are so many extra tweaks that you can toy with to make your phone more accessible and help you get the most out of your device.Just in case you’ve missed them, here are a couple of my favourite hidden features. BACK TAP ABOVE APPLE LOGO Did you know you can actually tap the back of the iPhone near or on top of the Apple logo to perform commands? This feature is called ‘back tap’ and it works on iPhone 8s or later as long as your device is running iOS 14. RELATED: Best cheap AirPods alternatives Here’s how to enable it: Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap (located at the bottom of the menu) Once in this menu you’ll be able to assign a command to correspond with a double-tap or a triple-tap on the back of your phone such as, Mute, Home, Screenshot, Volume down, Volume up, Control centre and more. This even works (generally) with iPhones that are in a case. CONNECT BLUETOOTH MOUSE TO IPHONE Not many people know you can do this but you can basically turn your iPhone into a mini computer with this helpful setting. You just need to know where to find it! Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch (toggle on) > scroll down to devices > Bluetooth Devices > Pair your mouse RELATED: Key detail in ‘most expensive’ headphones The coolest part about this is that you can also pair a full-size computer (or mini) keyboard to your phone, easily, in your regular bluetooth settings to complete your new set up. TURN IT INTO A MAGNIFIER Got to Settings > Accessibility > Magnifier and toggle the switch on If you need to see something up close you can use your device’s camera to magnify what’s around you. Once you’ve toggled this on in settings a Magnifier app icon will appear in ‘Utilities’ or ‘Recently Added’, otherwise, it’s also possible to enable a triple-click of the side button to start up the magnifier. To exit simply swipe up or press the home button. ZOOM INTO TEXT AND IMAGES Not to be confused with the magnifier, this feature allows you to magnify your screen, rather than what’s around you. RELATED: AirPod headphones ‘not worth the price tag’ To enable this go to Settings > Accessibility > Zoom > toggle on After you enable this feature if you double-tap using three fingers on the screen you will activate the zoom feature and then you can do the same to switch it off. USE IPHONE ONE HANDED This feature is ridiculously handy. Once enabled you can swipe down at the bottom of your screen to bring the top portion of the screen closer to your reach. This is helpful to bring down the Control Centre without reaching all the way to the top of the screen. Activate this feature by going to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Reachability > toggle on Although a lot of these features are useful for many different people, I want to acknowledge that these features, under ‘accessibility settings’ are actually incredibly important for people with disabilities. Apple may catch some flack over their prices and phone’s designs but they provide some of the best accessibility features in their tech, and I think that is pretty awesome. Elly Awesome is an Aussie tech and lifestyle vlogger | @ellyawwesome | YouTube
Qld dashes hopes border restrictions with NSW will lift early - NEWS.com.au
Qld dashes hopes border restrictions with NSW will lift early
Hopes that Queenslands tough border rules on parts of NSW will be lifted early have been dashed for now.At least 36 local government areas across greater Sydney remain a hotspot, according to the Queensland government, following concerns about the spread of coronavirus during the December clusters. The regions must have 28 days without any unlinked community transmission before the badge is removed. This means people who have been in a ‘hotspot’ area in the past 14 days are unable to enter Queensland without quarantining. And Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles on Saturday said they were sticking to that test. “That health advice has served Queensland very, very well,” Mr Miles said. “We certainly hope that Sydney can continue to contain that outbreak, contain those clusters so that we can lift those restrictions.” Mr Miles said chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young was applying the standard agreed to by Australia’s expert medical panel. “She’s monitoring that very closely,” he said, adding she was talking every day with her colleagues. NSW recorded no new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to Friday. Scott Morrison on Friday announced that Australia had achieved six days in a row of zero cases from community transmission. Victoria has now relaxed its ‘traffic light’ travel permits for people in NSW with only one local government area, Cumberland in greater Sydney, remaining a red zone. Queensland is expected to next review its border rules with parts of Greater Sydney next week. It recently relaxed a rule which required the source of an infection to be found within 48 hours before the border clock reverted back to zero days.
JoJo Siwa fans convinced star ‘came out’ as she lip-synchs to Lady Gaga - NEWS.com.au
JoJo Siwa fans convinced star ‘came out’ as she lip-synchs to Lady Gaga
JoJo Siwas fans are convinced she came out in a series of TikTok videos.The singer and dancer, 17, sparked speculation after lip-synching to Lady Gaga’s LGBTQ+ anthem, Born This Way, The Sunreports. JoJo – real name Joelle Joanie Siwa – wore her signature rainbow merchandise as she filmed in her room, with had flashing rainbow lights in the background. The Dance Moms star mimed the lyrics, “no matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgender,” in the short clip. RELATED: JoJo Siwa addresses backlash over board game JoJo also visited Pride House LA, a TikTok house dedicated to LGBTQ+ creators. She danced to the Paramore song, Ain’t It Fun, alongside Mollee Gray, Garrett Clayton and others in front of a rainbow-coloured wall. Kent Boyd shared the clip on TikTok with the caption: “Now you’re one of us!!” While JoJo hasn’t publicly come out, the Nickelodeon star’s fans are convinced her latest TikTok activity is an indicator of her sexuality. “DID I JUST WITNESS JOJO SIWA’S COMING OUT VIDEO I AM SO HAPPY??????” one wrote. “Wait JoJo Siwa coming out as homosexual changes everything,” another added. A third asked: “I’m sorry did JoJo Siwa come out? Cuz the video was kinda like mixed yk? Uhhh idk.” Other users urged people not to “speculate on JoJo’s sexuality” before the actress has addressed it herself. RELATED: Legion of JoJo Siwa fans swamped Parramatta “Can we like … leave JoJo Siwa alone? She doesn’t owe us an explanation for her sexuality at all,” one fan wrote. “Her lip syncing to Born This Way doesn’t give y’all a free pass to speculate or put labels on her sexuality before she has the chance to label it herself. chill tf out.” Another said: “OMG just because JoJo Siwa jammed out to Born This Way doesn’t mean she’s came out … u guyssss … what’s wrong with y’all.” JoJo – who is known for her love of rainbow-coloured clothing and accessories – shot to fame on Dance Moms in 2014. She also impressed fans as T-Rex on The Masked Singer. When asked how she feels about being a gay icon back in 2018, she replied simply: “I love it.” This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission
COVID-19 pandemic offers ‘once-in-a-generation’ chance to reset climate change, says ANU’s Brian Schmidt - NEWS.com.au
COVID-19 pandemic offers ‘once-in-a-generation’ chance to reset climate change, says ANU’s Brian Schmidt
The head of a top Australian university has told a summit of world leaders the COVID-19 pandemic offers a once-in-a-generation chance to reset industry and the economy as we face an even bigger fight climate change.Professor Brian Schmidt says governments must harness the renewed trust science has gained for guiding people through the virus crisis in order to head off catastrophic global warming. Professor Schmidt, vice-chancellor and president of the Australian National University, delivered a keynote speech at the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 in the Netherlands. The summit – attended by the likes of billionaire Bill Gates, and heads of state Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau – is an online global conference aimed at stepping up the world’s efforts in adapting to changing climates. Professor Schmidt said the coronavirus pandemic revealed “just how brittle our environment is” but that the skidding stop the economy came to offered a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape our world” through smart investment. “The pandemic has shown governments all across the world can listen to science and expert advice, to protect their people and their societies,” he said. “They are doing the same with the science of climate change. “There is no doubt the climate crisis is bigger; there is no doubt the climate crisis is here. But, I also have no doubt we now face our best chance ever to meet this crisis head on.” During his speech the Nobel Laureate said governing powers needed to trust in science and learning to ensure those trying to devalue institutions in the climate debate do not succeed. Universities are at the coal face of climate science breakthroughs, he said, and stand ready to do the groundwork. He pointed to how two young Australian students found that adding a small amount of sea weed to bovine feed could reduce cattle methane emissions by 90 per cent. “We are of course becoming more and more accustomed to big and urgent problems,” he said. “Our worries this year have been about a disease, but the people of the world may recall that this time last year the east coast of Australia was on fire, its air barely breathable, and its people having to be evacuated from the flames by the Royal Australian Navy. “What happened in my country last year is what the whole world may one day have to face. “As someone once said, nothing focuses the mind like the prospect of facing a firing squad. We are focused on climate change like never before.” Professor Schmidt, an astrophysicist, said the famous photo of a minuscule Earth seen from the Voyager space probe showed that the task was not too big for humans to make a difference. “Our little world … our home … will survive global warming,” he said. “Take it from me, the universe is littered with billions of uninhabitable planets. We humans will most likely survive too. “But unless we head off catastrophic global warming, our lives on this planet will be more difficult, more dangerous and less pleasant. “We have all seen the tragedies COVID-19 has caused and witnessed the pressures it has placed on our societies and our political systems. “This will be nothing compared to the stress that is likely to follow uncontrolled global warming, with its floods, fires, droughts, famines, unbearable heatwaves and other human calamities. “As in the pandemic, science employed with the necessary scale, urgency and global collaboration is the only answer.”
Mutant strain up to 90 per cent more deadly - Whitsunday Times
UK says new COVID-19 strain is between 30-90 per cent more deadly
The new mutant strain of coronavirus is between 30 and 90 per cent more deadly than the old one but vaccines will still work, UK scientists say.The revelation came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the nation there is “evidence” more people are dying than before — as the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the new dominant COVID-19 variant was “obviously of concern”. Three separate groups of experts advising the government have looked at the impact of the more contagious Kent variant on mortality. Researchers concluded the new strain is between 29 and 91 per cent more likely to kill infected Brits — with three different studies showing very different results. RELATED: How mutant virus strain infiltrated Australia The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said it could be 1.35 times more deadly, Imperial College London said it was between 1.36 or 1.29 depending on the method used, and the University of Exeter found it may be 1.91 times more deadly. The research was only based on a few hundreds deaths, but scientists followed them through from infection through to death. “We’ve been informed today in addition to spreading more quickly, it appears there is some evidence the new variant may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” Mr Johnson told a press conference on Friday night. He warned the infection rate was “forbiddingly high”. The new strain, which was first discovered in Kent, is already more easily transmitted than the older one, too — meaning it is infecting more Brits. It’s being blamed for the huge increases in cases in the UK in the last month. However, Mr Vallance said that 13 or 14 people per 1000 would die of the new strain, compared to around 10 of the old strain. There isn’t much information about the South Africa and Brazil variants and their death rates yet, he explained. “We are more concerned they have more features they might be less susceptible to vaccines,” he added. “They are definitely of more concern and we need to keep looking at it and studying it.” RELATED: Why Aussie vaccine rollout shouldn’t be paused Professor Neil Ferguson, who sits on the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), said on Friday there was “a realistic possibility that the new UK variant increases the risk of death, but there is considerable remaining uncertainty”. The research was consistent across different age groups, regions and ethnicities, he added. However, he warned that only eight per cent of deaths contain information about which strain they had had. Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) documents released today showed that scientists estimate that the novel variant is 56 per cent more transmissible than other strains. It came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock was recorded saying that the new South African strain may make COVID-19 jabs 50 per cent less effective. Mr Hancock said there was “evidence in the public domain” that suggests the new variant is more resistant to jabs, but cautioned that scientists are still carrying out tests. It came as Mr Johnson warned that “the death number will continue to be high — at least for a little while to come”. One in ten adults in the UK now been vaccinated, while there were 40,261 new COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours and 1401 deaths. But there have also been the first signs that the pressure on the National Health Service is easing as number of COVID-19 patients in hospital starts to fall. The R rate — which represents the number of people an infected person will pass COVID-19 on to — is officially below 1 again. Earlier, Environment Secretary George Eustice said officials were looking at more ways to crackdown on borders and even shut them completely to stop new variants reaching Britain’s shores. Plans are also being firmed up for the UK to start forcing people to quarantine in hotels when they come into the country. Meanwhile, leaked documents have revealed plans to give everyone who tests positive £500 ($900) — but the Treasury said it not even heard of the proposal and livid allies of the PM said it wasn’t going to happen. The new variant is feared to have started with one person in Kent, and is now responsible for more and more cases across Britain. Britain has seen record case numbers on a daily basis in the past month — despite the November lockdown, tougher tiers and then the new year shutdown. Since the UK announced the discovery of the strain, it has been confirmed in small numbers in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia. The UK has a strong ability to investigate new mutations of the virus — known as genomic sequencing — which is unmatched by other countries. Public Health England has been doing extensive work into the new strain, and exploring whether it’s linked to more outbreaks. R WE GETTING THERE On Friday, SAGE said the R rate was now between 0.8 and 1. It was estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.3 nationally last week, when the growth rate also suggested the outbreak was continuing to get worse. SAGE said the R was now below 1 in every English region with each falling compared to last week. In the East of England the R may even be as low as 0.6, while for London and the South East it could be down to 0.7. When R is below 1, it means transmission is low and the epidemic is shrinking — but greater than that number suggests it’s growing. The last time the reproduction value was below 1 in the UK was December 11 and peaked a fortnight ago when the range was between 1 and 1.4. While the R number is heading in the right direction, experts warn that it remains dangerously close to the crucial 1 value. PEAK REACHED? The number of inpatients in England has fallen for three days in a row, suggesting the “peak” has been reached, fresh figures revealed today. A total of 33,325 COVID-19 inpatients were reported by NHS England on Thursday. It’s down 3 per cent on the 34,336 reported on January 18 — a record high for England. But most of the change is down to drops in the south of England, including in London. The north and Midlands are yet to see improvements in their hospital inpatient figures, which are still rising week-on-week. This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan signs with football powerhouse Arsenal - NEWS.com.au
Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan signs with football powerhouse Arsenal
Australian international goalkeeper Mat Ryan has moved on loan to Arsenal for the rest of the season from Premier League rivals Brighton after losing his number one spot.The 28-year-old said he was overjoyed at joining the “first club I ever loved.” Ryan was Brighton’s first choice for almost three and a half seasons, before being overtaken by Rob Sanchez in mid-December. Watch European Football with beIN SPORTS and ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly > “Signing for the club you grew up supporting as a kid @Arsenal,” Ryan tweeted with a tick icon. “Buzzing to be beginning this new chapter and will give everything I’ve got to contribute to the first club I ever loved.” Brighton head coach Graham Potter praised Ryan, who kept 28 clean sheets in 121 Premier League appearances, but said he understood the reason for his desire to move. READ MORE: Absurd accident sets Guinness World Record “Mat has been a great servant to the club in the Premier League, and he has played no small part for the club at this level,” Potter said in a club statement. “We have incredible talent and competition at this club for just one position, and understandably, as Australia’s number one, Mat wants the chance of more regular opportunities. “Mat is a pleasure to work with, a consummate professional and someone who works incredibly hard at his game. We wish him well at Arsenal and will be watching his progress there.” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “We know Mat very well through his performances with Brighton in recent seasons and he brings additional quality to our squad. Mat has very good Premier League experience and has played over 100 times.” The 58-times capped Ryan will back up German Bernd Leno at the Gunners but should get some game time with them still involved in the Europa League and the FA Cup. — AFP
‘Blackmail’: Google to ‘punish all of Australia’ over big tech proposal - NEWS.com.au
‘Blackmail’: Google to ‘punish all of Australia’ over big tech proposal
Google is prepared to punish the whole of Australia to quash a plan to make it pay for Australian news content, a top media executive says.Google and Facebook on Friday fronted a senate inquiry into the federal government’s proposed media reforms, which would see the tech giants pay news outlets for content appearing on their platforms. Google threatened to remove its search function from Australian users if the legislation was passed, but described the plan as a “worst case scenario”. The tech giant claimed the legislation would make its Google Search unviable, despite paying just $59m in corporate tax last year while reporting revenues over $4b. Campbell Reid, an executive at News Corp, the publisher of this article, said Google was corroding news outlets’ ability to produce content but remained of “immense value” to people accessing information. RELATED: Treasurer warns Google over blocking Aussies from news sites “That’s the good part. The bad part about it is the situation we’ve been in: the commercialised monopoly. Now in a genuine monopoly statement, they’re prepared to punish the whole of the country,” he said. Liberal senator and committee member Andrew Bragg said Google’s “threats and blackmail could not be taken seriously” while it had not put forward its own proposal. “The big tech companies are the railroad and oil companies of the 21st century. They have more power and influence than any other organisation at the moment,” he told NCA NewsWire. “The fact that they can’t come up with a decent model that they can live with is a real indictment on them, and shows how arrogant they’ve become. “The elected government of Australia isn’t going to give into the big tech titans.” The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found Google accounted for 95 per cent of search traffic in Australia, but Mr Bragg was confident other search engines would “fill the void” if Google carried out its threat. “Google doesn’t own the internet, there’ll be innovation. If organisations want to leave Australia, that’s a matter for them. The sun will rise the next day,” he said. But Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the search engine had become an everyday utility, and might be considered an essential service. “If you ever needed an example of what big corporate powers looks like, this is it,” she told reporters on Friday. “This is a company that hardly pays any tax in Australia. It comes into the parliament, sits in a senate inquiry, and demands the Senate does what they want, or game over. “This is a failure of the market. It’s time we regulate big tech.” Chris Cooper, executive director at Reset Australia — an initiative designed to “counter digital threats to democracy” — said Google’s appearance showed it had “the body of a behemoth but the brain of a brat” and urged the government to stand firm. “When a private corporation tries to use its monopoly power to threaten and bully a sovereign nation, it’s a sure-fire sign that regulation is long overdue,” he said. “Internet search is necessary for society and the economy. Google enjoys the enormous advantage of being a giant in the space, but thinks it can eschew the responsibility. That’s just not how things should work.” Mr Reid said although Australian news outlets had never had bigger audiences, revenues were “perversely” decreasing as big tech muscled in on the industry. “Google hasn’t replaced a horse in a cart with a car. It doesn’t replace news services with journalists, and has no newsrooms,” he said. “It doesn’t provide the services that it feeds off, we provide (that).” Facebook also told the inquiry a plan to bar its 17 million Australian users from accessing news content was not a threat, but “designed to inform the policy process”. It comes after Google claimed hiding some news sites and stories from Australian internet users was the company “scenario planning” for the laws. But independent senator Rex Patrick said Google was mimicking China’s strongarming of Australia over its call for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. “The Australian government is leading on a proposal in relation to the Wild West web. Our government steps out first, and the very large organisation that is Google threatens to leave our market,” he said. But Paul Maric, who runs car review website carexpert.com.au, said while Google was a “fat cat in terms of income” forcing it to pay publishers would deny smaller outlets the chance to compete. “We wouldn’t be able to be in front of anyone, we would be pushed down the list, and people wouldn’t see our content as much as they would competitors. That would put small publishers like us at a disadvantage,” he told NCA NewsWire. “Google is paying to deliver traffic … So it’s kind of like double dipping (by) getting free traffic plus more money for your display ads.”
SA girl ‘ecstatic’ after chatting with Novak Djokovic while he stood on his quarantine balcony - NEWS.com.au
SA girl ‘ecstatic’ after chatting with Novak Djokovic while he stood on his quarantine balcony
A young tennis fan got the thrill of her life when she went to the hotel where her all-time hero Novak Djokovic is quarantining and struck up a conversation with the 17-time Grand Slam champion as he stood on his balcony.The Serbian is staying at the newly-opened Majestic M Suites Hotel in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open, while other players are in hard lockdown in Melbourne. Nine-year-old Ava Moukachar tried twice to catch a glimpse of her idol and it was on Friday that her dream came true. Clutching the same Head brand racquet Djokovic uses, she broke the ice by asking him who would win a forthcoming match - him or his competitor. He replied by asking: “Who do you think?” The Prospect resident didn’t hesitate to say “You”. He responded: “OK, thank you” and “nice to meet you”. “Nice racquet you’ve got there - I like it,” Djokovic remarked. He asked Ava - who started playing when she was five - what her favourite shot was and was told “forehand”. The number one ranked men’s tennis player also asked her what surface she preferred to play on and she replied “hard court”. “So do you want to keep on training tennis?” the 33-year-old asked. After she replied yes, he pushed further. “Playing in the Australian Open?”. Again, affirmative. “I wish you luck,” he told her. Ava’s mother Maria Moukachar, also a big fan of Djokovic, said her daughter left on cloud nine, literally jumping for joy. “She was ecstatic,” Ms Moukachar told NCA NewsWire. “She’s over the moon at the moment. She’s so excited.” Ava said she was “a bit nervous to see him” but then “he saw me and waved at me”. She said the encounter was even better than she’d hoped and she’s even now more inspired to succeed at the sport. “I want to be in Australian Open when I’m older.” The Australian Open starts on February 8. Several players have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Djokovic himself got the virus after taking part in the Adria Tour in Belgrade last year.
Dave Chappelle tests positive for COVID-19 after outing with Elon Musk, Joe Rogan - NEWS.com.au
Dave Chappelle tests positive for COVID-19 after outing with Elon Musk, Joe Rogan
Comedian Dave Chappelle has coronavirus. The diagnosis comes days after the 47-year-old was spotted out and about with a group of high profile celebrities, including fellow comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan, the world’s richest man Elon Musk and musician Grimes. Chappelle was photographed with the group at the Stubb’s Amphitheatre in Austin Texas on Wednesday night, according to multiple reports. RELATED: PM answers major vaccine question RELATED: Controversial anti-vax couple splits Chappelle has quarantined since receiving his diagnosis and has not experienced any symptoms, his representative told TMZ on Thursday. Since receiving the result, the comedian has been forced to cancel a string of upcoming tour dates in Austin. Ticket holders are expected to receive a full refund, TMZ reports. Chappelle has not yet made a comment on his positive diagnosis. A number of celebrities in the US and Australia have tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, including Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who were diagnosed in Queensland. Hollywood actor Liv Tyler also revealed she’d contracted coronavirus on New Year’s Day and had since recovered from the virus.
Retail trade slumps despite Christmas sales - NEWS.com.au
Retail trade slumps despite Christmas sales
Retail turnover in December fell compared to the prior month despite the Christmas season traditionally being a sales sugar hit for traders. Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed retail turnover fell 4.2 per cent compared to November, partly driven by new COVID-19 restrictions after Sydney’s northern beaches cluster halting food spending. “Food retailing also fell in December, as COVID-19 restrictions limited household gatherings in some states and territories,” the ABS said in a statement. Turnover in December however, was 9.4 per cent higher than the same month in 2019. Economists at ANZ said the fall was “not a cause of concern” as the ending of major lockdowns in the prior month caused a large and irregular spike in the data. “Even without border restrictions and uncertainty, a positive result for December would have been very unlikely,” ANZ economist Adelaide Timbrell said. “Strong drivers of retail growth coincided in November, including the reopening of retail in Melbourne, Black Friday sales and key electronic product releases. This created a spike in spending unlikely to be matched the very next month.” ABS director Ben James said falls were recorded in all six retail sectors with household goods being the main driver in the slump. “Household goods retailing, other retailing, department stores, and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, fell after large rises in November,” he said. Mr James noted November’s sharp rise was largely due to Victoria’s emergence from its second lockdown and new product releases during the Black Friday sales period. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services were the only industry to see a rise in revenue turnover. Victoria’s economy had the largest fall by 7 per cent in December, while New South Wales dropped 5 per cent over the month.