How not to win friends: Facebook sneaks in fees to promote posts

11/09/2018 Posted by admin

Dazzle Strands has found its views on Facebook have dropped from 800-1000 to 90 per post in just a matter of months. Brands have to pay just to promote their posts to the people who “like” their page.
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It’s not just an impost on brands – Facebook also charges for promoting personal posts to friends.

Facebook is being accused of an underhanded bait and switch, with brands and even personal users now forced to pay for “promoted posts” to reach all of their “likers” and friends.

Evidence suggests that the algorithm that determines which posts appear in your News Feed, called EdgeRank, has been tweaked so that posts are visible for under 15 per cent of your connections unless you pay.

For individuals the cost to promote a status update is $US7.20 ($A6.95) and for brands the cost depends on how many fans or “likers” they have, but is around $US20 ($A19.30) per post to reach 3000 fans and $US200 ($A193) to reach 50,000 fans.

Catherine Cincotta, 33, from Melbourne, runs hair accessory firm Dazzle Strands, which has about 4000 likes on Facebook.

“I was getting at least 800 to 1000 post views and then July hit and then all of a sudden it started going progressively down so I was starting to see 300, 200 and now it’s at about 90 on average,” she said.

“I find this to be underhanded … all of a sudden the posts are being suppressed and you’re getting bombarded with requests to advertise with them.”

Lisa Dale, 32, runs an online gift hamper business, Signed Sealed Delivered, and Facebook is one of her main avenues for promotion. She also has about 3000 fans and has noticed her post views have likewise trailed off significantly, despite her fan base growing.

“They’ve sucked me in. I’ve worked so hard to build up this great page and now the only way I can maintain it now is to pay. If they were going to do it, they probably should’ve done it at the start,” said Dale.

Mashable journalist Matt Silverman wrote in a recent column that Facebook’s EdgeRank was creating artificial scarcity by “rigging the game and then asking users to pay to level the playing field”. The New York Observerwrote that “Facebook is broke, on purpose, in order to extract more money from users”.

Last week blog Dangerous Minds wrote a post titled “Facebook: I want my friends back”, accusing the company of turning down the volume on users’ Facebook reach. To reach the blog’s entire 50,000 fan base Facebook charges $US200 per post.

“We post seven days a week, that would be about $14,000 per week, $56,000 per month … a grand total of $672,000 for what we got for free before Facebook started turning the traffic spigot down in Spring of this year — wouldn’t you know it — right around the time of their badly managed IPO.”

Earlier this week Simon Dell, director of Brisbane-based marketing firm TwoCents Group, said for his firm’s page the average “reach” over the past 10 posts was 195 or 16 per cent, but at times it dropped to just 94 views.

One of Dell’s clients had an average reach of just 12 per cent of their 5400 fans and another was 19 per cent.

“Facebook isn’t seeing fans as a community anymore, they’re seeing them as numbers,” he wrote on MarketingMag南京夜网.au. “Being able to reach just 15 per cent of your brand advocates who have opted in to receive your communication isn’t a great ROI for your time and effort.”

Facebook has been under significant pressure to turn its huge user numbers into revenue and the company is now worth a bit over half as much as it was when the company went public. Its shares are worth

$US21.94 ($A21.18) down from the offer price of $US38 ($A36).

In a recent blog post Facebook ads engineer Philip Zigoris wrote that any changes Facebook makes to its news feed algorithm were more to do with offering users more relevant posts than making money.

“Regardless of whether you’re paying to promote a story or just posting one to your Page, the news feed will always optimise for stories that generate high levels of user engagement and filter out ones that don’t,” he wrote.

The response from readers was mostly negative with most complaining that they shouldn’t have to pay in order for their posts to be visible by their friends.

“So tell me, how are people meant to engage with the content if they’re not being shown the content in the first place?” wrote one.

Another said: “I have to tell you the vast majority of my friends really hate this, find it very frustrating, and the only thing that keeps them from leaving Facebook is all their friends are here and there is no real option … yet.”

Facebook declined to comment for this story.

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AFP ends investigation into swearing Rudd video

11/09/2018 Posted by admin

Kevin Rudd fluffing his lines in that video.The Australian Federal Police has closed its investigation of the leaking of a damaging video of former prime minister Kevin Rudd swearing and banging a desk.
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The release of the video, posted anonymously on YouTube, escalated the tensions between Mr Rudd and Prime Minister Julia Gillard which contributed to February’s leadership ballot.

An AFP spokeswoman said it had not found ”sufficient material or evidence to substantiate charging of any person for theft or unauthorised disclosure” of the video.

”The AFP has finalised the matter and as such, it is not appropriate to comment further,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

A spokesman for Mr Rudd said he had no comment.

The video shows Mr Rudd fluffing his lines while trying to record a video message for Chinese New Year in 2009.

In a series of out-takes he expresses frustration at the diplomats from the Australian embassy in Beijing, who had scripted the message in Mandarin.

”Tell these d—heads in the embassy to just give me simple sentences,” Mr Rudd says in the video. ”This f—ing language… it just complicates it so much.”

At another point, he appears to ask a staffer to cancel a scheduled meeting.

”Tell them to cancel this meeting at 6 o’clock will you… I don’t have the f—ing patience to do it.”

The video appeared on YouTube on February 18, under the title ”Kevin Rudd is a Happy Little Vegemite”.

Four days later, Mr Rudd resigned as foreign minister and announced his intention to challenge Ms Gillard for the leadership. The following Monday he was trounced in a caucus ballot, 71 votes to 31.

At the time Mr Rudd commented that the release of the video was ”a little bit on the unusual side”.

An internal review by the Prime Minister’s department found the video had not come from within the department. At the time, Ms Gillard denied her office was involved in the release of the video, saying it did not have access to the material.

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No campaigning? Well, not much in Sandy’s aftermath

11/09/2018 Posted by admin

US President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney may have officially suspended their election campaigns to concentrate on relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy, but with just a week to go before the election, it’s clear some political footsoldiers and commentators have not got the message.
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Mr Romney five times ignored questions put to him at an Ohio event — officially a storm-relief fundraiser — about comments he once made advocating stripping funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Instead, he told the audience in a gymnasium in the city of Kettering: “We have heavy hearts, as you know, with all of the suffering going on. I appreciate what you have done.”

Reporters at the event noted women proudly showing off t-shirts that read, “Obama — you’re fired”.

Having spent Monday night at the White House keeping tabs on the storm’s progress and overseeing the emergency response, President Obama today visited a Red Cross shelter in Washington, DC.

“We certainly feel profoundly for all the families whose lives have been upended … The most important message I have for [those affected] is that America’s with you,” Mr Obama said.

But even before the storm surge had peaked, high-profile conservative columnists attacked the President for playing politics.

“He says he’s not concerned about the impact on the elections,” Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News.

“I’m sure he’s very sincere on that. It is a little odd that he shows up in the briefing room, where he hasn’t shown up in the briefing room for about, what, a month-and-a-half on Libya, or for everything else for that matter? Then you get the photo-ops of him in the situation room deploying, I guess, the utility crews who will restore power all over America.”

Meanwhile, a Salon南京夜网 commentator wrote that Mr Romney’s Ohio event was “surreal enough to be a campaign parody, with the candidate comparing the federal government’s hurricane relief efforts to the time he and some friends had to clean up a football field strewn with rubbish and paper products”.

Perhaps the weirdest political comments on the storm came from Michael Brown, the Bush-era FEMA chairman who was widely discredited for that administration’s lacklustre response to Hurricane Katrina. On Sunday night, he accused the President of getting involved too soon. He stood by those comments today.

One man who has garnered universal praise for his response is the combative New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who is one of Mr Romney’s most high-profile surrogates.

On Monday, he attacked the Democrat mayor of Atlantic City before praising President Obama for his energetic response.

“I have to say, the administration, the president himself and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far,” he told reporters.

Mr Christie, who many expected to run for president this year, dismissed the election as not a priority.

“I’m sure that while the national election is obviously very important, that the people of New Jersey, in this moment, would really be unhappy with me if they thought for a second I was occupying my time thinking about how I was going to get people to vote a week from today,” Christie told reporters today.

Mr Romney will resume his campaign events Wednesday in the US, while Barack Obama is not expected to return to the campaign trail until Thursday.

How the storm will impact upon the election is unclear. Three of the eight major daily tracking polls — the lifeblood of the campaigns and the political media in the last few days of a deadlocked election — have been suspended.

On a more practical level, early voting has been disrupted across the north-east, although it is impossible to predict exactly how this might affect the election. The President was thought to have an advantage among early voters until recent polls suggested Mr Romney had whittled this down.

It is also unclear now whether the impact of the storm could hinder people from getting to the polls next Tuesday. If that is the case, polling places could open longer.

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Selena Gomez’s date with The Weeknd was the Disney romance of your dreams

10/04/2019 Posted by admin

In a modern day version of Disney’s Lady and The Tramp, hitmakers Selena Gomez and the Weeknd have unexpectedly been spotted sharing pasta in the rain before locking lips outside one of LA’s hottest celebrity spots.
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An eyewitness told People that the pair shared a three-hour private dinner at Giorgio Baldi and, while they are yet to confirm their budding romance, it seems like Gomez can’t keep her hands to herself in 46 different intimate shots snapped outside the restaurant.

The dinner seemed to be a low-key affair with Gomez opting to wear frayed jeans and patent booties, while The Weeknd wore a cap and hoodie.

In many of the images, Gomez, 24, is smiling towards the camera with her arms wrapped around the 26-year-old Starboy crooner.

“It was a romantic dinner date in the rain,” a source told People. “They acted like a couple. They ordered pasta and shared the food. She seemed very into him — she was smiling a lot. They left holding hands.”

via GIPHY

Gomez and The Weeknd (Abel Makkonen Tesfaye) have known each other for over a year, with the pair both performing at the 2015 Victoria’s Secret show. After the runway show Gomez took to Instagram to gush over the experience.

“This show was a dream to be on. Thank you so much @victoriassecret and all the angels for being SO nice, warm and fun!!” she wrote. “And looking at you guys all day wasn’t hard to do at all. Abel killed it as usual and Ellie [Goulding] was shining brighter than ever! I’m done. What is life? Love you!” Selena Gomez and The Weeknd Making Out (PHOTO GALLERY) https://t.co/jTBlzhPj9d— TMZ (@TMZ) January 11, 2017

While this could be a more-than-friendly meal shared between collaborators (ahem, we are looking at you Drake and J-Lo) there is a high possibility that they are dating, perhaps confirmed in the most modern form of shading by the Weeknd’s former flame, Bella Hadid.

Hadid has followed in Rihanna’s footsteps, tactically unfollowing Gomez – who happens to be one of her sister Gigi’s best girl-pals – on Instagram (considering Gomez is the most followed person on Instagram she is probably yet to notice).

Fans of The Weeknd and Hadid have taken to social media to express their sadness over their hopes for the couple getting back together being dashed. The pair were briefly reunited at last year’s Victoria’s Secret Show, making headlines for their awkward meet-up on the runway. The couple dated on-and-off until they pulled the plug last November after 18 months; Gomez has not been officially linked to anyone since her relationship with Justin Bieber.

Gomez returned to the spotlight in November to accept the award for Favourite Female Artist Rock/Pop at the American Music awards, following a three month break she took to deal with depression and anxiety stemming from her battle with Lupus.

Taking to social media at the time, she wrote, “my year has been the hardest yet most rewarding one yet. I’ve finally fought the fight of not ‘being enough’.”

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Months of work and worry to end when Divine Ten makes it to Flemington

10/04/2019 Posted by admin

Astute trainer Kelvin Bourke hopes Divine Ten can find his best form after injury. Photo: Damian White While trainer Kelvin Bourke is excited by the challenge of resurrecting one-time world-class sprinter Divine Ten he is under no illusions that to repatriate an injured tendon in any racehorse is not easy.
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Patience, horsemanship and an understanding of the work required to bring large long striding horses back from the tiniest of tendon tears is painstakingly difficult.

A former champion jumps jockey, Bourke will see first hand at Flemington on Saturday what months of work have done to the seven-year-old sprinter when Divine Ten runs in the Arbroath Handicap at Flemington.

Divine Ten broke down in late September 2014, and midway through 2015 the sprinter was brought to Australia and spelled at The Nook Stud at Nagambie, north of Melbourne.

After that the horse was sent to Bourke, who has excellent  swimming  facilities  for his team.

“I probably spend 45 minutes a day with him either riding him or walking him in the salt water. That’s the best cure and he hasn’t looked back since he got off the float last year,” Bourke said.

“When he’s at his best he’s a serious racehorse. One day in Hong Kong he ran under 56 seconds for a thousand metres and that’s really moving.”

Divine Ten will race at  Flemington having had just eight race starts for five wins and two placings, only missing a stake money cheque on one occasion – the day he broke down.

During his time in Hong Kong Divine Ten scored over 1000m on five occasions from six attempts. Before going amiss he was earmarked as a potential world-class sprinter.

As an example of his brilliance, Divine Ten defeated Aerovelocity, who just last year took out the Sprint Championship in Hong Kong.

“The horse is owned in Hong Kong and they know the battles that lay ahead when you’ve got a horse in rehab attempting to come back from a tendon but I can honestly say we haven’t had one moment’s concern,” Bourke said.

“We’ve taken him to the Ballarat veterinary clinic for scans and we’ve had scans done here locally and they’re spot on.

“Of course it’s exciting if I can get him back. We’re under no illusion that it’s been a bit over two years and they sometimes need racing but he’s galloped up well in the jump outs and because of a bit of a mix up with the horse being under an embargo back in Hong Kong I’ve had to trial him.

“It meant that I had to scratch him from a race at Moonee Valley and take him to Terang to trial. I think it was a pretty good standard trial as horses like Palentino were in our heat. But he wasn’t asked to do much, but what he did I liked.”

Bourke laughs when he recalls Divine Ten’s life story, as the horse was sold as a yearling at a Victorian sale and was then taken to New Zealand where he ran in the Breeze Up Sales and was then bought again by a bloodstock agent for Hong Kong and he’s now on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria.

“He’s been around but that won’t stop him, he’ll enjoy the straight track on Saturday and we’ve got Damien Oliver on him so I couldn’t ask for much more. Everything going well he should be hard to beat, but with horses like this you’re always worried in the back of your mind that he hasn’t been to the races for two years and they often need a bit more time. We’ll just have to wait and see,” he said.

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Kris Lees has Sense Of Occasion ready for Gosford Cup

10/04/2019 Posted by admin

Cup bound: Sense Of Occasion scores a shock win in the Villiers Stakes. Photo: Anthony JohnsonWizard of Odds: Live odds, form and alerts for all racing
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Kris Lees has learnt to stick with his plans and even winning the Villiers Stakes didn’t change the goal for Sense Of Occasion, which has always been Friday’s Gosford Cup.

“It is the race we had in mind for him because he gets to this sort of trip and performs his best,” Lees said. “He got a few things in his favour in the Villiers – the wet track and got a great run though – and got the win. It was a nice surprise.

“It means we get a free kick at the Doncaster, which you would be mad not to take, but this race was always in my mind when he came back.

“He gets a bit more weight because of that win and the six-horse field makes it a bit tricky but he is going to run well and then we will mark out a preparation to get to the Doncaster.”

Lees is on the Gold Coast, like most trainers looking for the next star, and will have five runners on Magic Millions day.

“Upstart is probably our best up here, he was good first-up at Newcastle and comes into this race on the way up. These country cups are very hard to line up in terms of form because they are coming from everywhere but I think he has the right form and barrier,” Lees said.

The Lees stable also has a strong hand at Randwick where  Admiral Jello and Awasita will look to continue their good campaigns.

“They are both into their preparations and racing well,” Lees said. “Admiral Jello is a stayer and stepping to 2400 metres will be good for him. He won a couple of runs back and is very consistent.

“Awasita has been racing well and has got a soft draw [in gate one]. If she gets any luck at the right time she should go close.

“It is the right time of year for both them to come through the grades and they should get a win in their next couple of runs.”

Lees’s autumn team will have a low-key start to their campaign on Monday as Danish Twist and dual group 1 winner Le Romain have their first barrier trials at Wyong.

“We are looking towards the Doncaster with Le Romain and the Coolmore [Classic] and Queen Of The Turf with Danish Twist,” Lees said. “They will have a soft trial on Monday and than another one before returning.

“We have to work out which way to go with both of them but Le Romain will probably have to run into Winx along the way.”

The ultimate racing form guide with free tips, live odds and alerts for all racing.

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John Thompson’s winners look to continue their good runs at Randwick

10/04/2019 Posted by admin

On a roll: John Thompson. Photo: Darren PatemanWizard of Odds: Live odds, form and alerts for all racing
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John Thompson declares Thewayweare and Invincible Knight are the sort of horses you like having in the stable: “They are winners.”

The pair head to Randwick on Saturday for their biggest tests but Thompson is confident there might be better things in store for both.

“While they keep winning you keep getting excited,” he said. “Not too many horses string wins together like that and they look to have the potential to keep winning.”

Thewayweare, a brave front-running stayer, will take on a similar field to which he beat on Boxing Day, his third win in four starts, for twice the prizemoney while Invincible Knight looks to continue his great form since joining the Thompson yard.

“Thewayweare just gets out in front and breaks their hearts by the turn,” Thompson said. “He will just run along and make them chase. He is starting to creep up in the weights but Blake [Spriggs] has a very good record on him and rates him very well.

“He is stepping up in grade but the way he races he makes his own luck.”

Spriggs has had four rides on Thewayweare for three wins and a third when he was a $91 hope at Hawkesbury earlier this preparation.

“We could look to black-type sort of races if he goes well on Saturday,” Thompson said.

Invincible Knight has been a revelation for Thompson since joining his stable from the Peter Moody camp. He put together three wins on end before a midfield finish in the Queensland Guineas in the winter carnival.

“I just went a run too far with him,” Thompson admitted. “He came back and missed the start first-up and was still good enough to win.

“I have a couple of horses for the owner, him and Signposted, and they have both won four races, which is good for business.

“He is the sort of horse that is going to get to black type but we want to see him do it again and keep coming through his grades.

“He is getting up in the weights but Blaike [McDougall] rides all his work and can claim three kilos on him on Saturday, so that helps.

“I’m mindful that he might be a carnival type, so I have been trying to space his runs because it is still a little way away. We are going to work out a target for him after this run.

“Whether that will be in Sydney or Brisbane [is undecided] but he has got that sort of ability.”

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AusOpen champ Kerber to play like she has nothing to lose

10/04/2019 Posted by admin

Garbiñe Muguruza at an Adidas promotional event for the Australian Open. Photo: Adidas/Supplied Angelique Kerber is going to play like she has nothing to lose. Photo: Adidas/Supplied
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Australian Open champ Angelique Kerber started 2016 match-point down to Misaki Doi in the first round of the tournament, staring at a big flame-out.

Kerber, the seventh seed, had lost just one game to the 64th-ranked Doi when they met. She lost a lot more, and quickly – losing the first set 7-6 and trailing 6-5 in a second-set tie-break on the 2016 Open’s first Tuesday.

That was the moment, the 28-year-old said on Thursday, when her career changed.

She won match-point, and swatted away Doi in the third set. But she thought her tournament was done.

“After this match I had no expectation at all,” she told media on Thursday.

Sometimes, for elite athletes – especially in so singular a game as tennis – that lack of expectation can be freeing.

“I was just feeling free, I was playing good tennis, and I was enjoying every single match,” Kerber said.

It worked. Last year Kerber played the best tennis of her career by attacking the ball, going for her shots and swatting away opponents.

Playing that way she won the Australian and US Opens, and was a beaten finalist at Wimbledon. She beat Serena Williams in three sets in Australia, Karolina Pliskova in three in America, and then lost in two to Williams at Wimbledon.

She enters 2016 the woman to beat, holding tight to the No.1 ranking after ending Serena’s record-tying 186 consecutive weeks in the top spot.

But she remains determined to play like she has nothing to lose.

“I have to go back to this feeling, to having no expectation, just going out there playing match by match and enjoying the feeling.”

“I am confident, I know how to win Grand Slams now. This year’s a little bit different, it will be a new challenge for me, but I’m ready for that new challenge.

“I’m feeling the pressure by myself as well, because now I know how good I can play. But the most important thing I have learned is to go out and have fun on court.”

The other non-Serena grand slam winner of last season, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, believes this year’s Open field is more, well, open, than the past few in which Williams started as the clear title favourite.

“I think today it is a little bit more equal than last year’s,” said the French Open champion and world No.7. “There are a lot of girls that can hold the trophy.”

A key to it being Muguruza, she thinks, is the greater calmness she has been working towards after some rough patches post-Roland Garros. Expectations inevitably rose after the 23-year-old’s maiden major, but she did not pass the second round at either the Wimbledon or US Open that followed. She is yet to reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park.

“As soon as one person makes a great result [people] think ‘she’s going to eat the world’,” said Muguruza, “It is not like this. There’s a lot of girls playing incredible and they’re going to beat me sometimes. I’m trying not to really hear [that].”

A thigh injury and fatigue after several lengthy matches at the Brisbane International prompted Muguruza’s retirement just five games into her semi-final against Alize Cornet, and she admitted she was still not back to full fitness.

“I did have a lot of hours, it was crazy,” Muguruza said. “It was a very good tournament at the start of the year I had great three matches and I struggled to recover a little bit because it was very tough but I’m happy to be here in Melbourne already.

“I think [I am] not 100 per cent yet but I still have four more days to recover.”

Simona Halep will be seeded fourth, two spots lower than last year, when she was upset by China’s Shuai Zhang in the opening round. Now working with Australian coach Darren Cahill, the Romanian said she had deliberately avoided setting goals for 2017.

“I think I focused too much on the result before and it didn’t work that well. So now, I’m just relaxing and enjoying,” said the former French Open finalist. “I’m excited, but I’m nervous, too, because it’s the first grand slam of the year. But I am prepared. I worked hard in the off-season and I’ve worked hard since I have been here so I’m just waiting to start the official matches and to give my best.”

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Australia v India series 2017: India the proving ground for Australian Test cricket credentials

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

facebook南京夜网/CricketNSWAfter a terrific finish to the Test summer beating Pakistan 3-0, the challenge of next month’s Indian tour now looms large.
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India is an amazing place to visit with a different culture and a great passion for cricket but it is a tough place to play.

Recent history tells us that over the past 10 years India has lost just four of 49 Tests at home – two to South Africa and two to England.

Touring there tests you physically and mentally. It puts every area of your skill and resilience under the microscope.

To stand up and play well in India is to announce yourself as a world class team and that is what we want to do.

We may have to play ugly to score runs and take wickets. Captain Steve Smith talked about adapting to the conditions.

The most important thing I found when I toured there four years ago was adjusting to the type of wickets we’ll be playing on.

They’re going to be spin-friendly but India’s batsmen are probably the best players of spin in the world, so we’re going to have to be patient.

In India, Test matches tend to start slowly but they can speed up very quickly. It’s about hanging in there and trying to win the big moments throughout the day.

Most of our new-look team have never played a Test in India. With all the recent changes only Steve Smith, David Warner, Matt Wade and myself are survivors from 2013. Seven of us remain from last year’s tour of Sri Lanka, which presented similar conditions.

But there is an energy and a belief in this young group which we saw during the second half of the summer. The way they play their natural game gives me the confidence we can climb cricket’s biggest mountain.

I have been particularly impressed with Peter Handscomb, who in just four Tests has shown himself to be a world class cricketer.

For a young player to come in under difficult circumstances and play with the freedom to score two centuries and two half-centuries in his first four Tests says volumes about his character – both on and off the field.

We played some great cricket in Melbourne to win a match which appeared as though it had been ruined by rain, and I particularly enjoyed the last Test in Sydney on my home ground.

We played more great cricket to dominate that match and I was delighted to be paired up again with fellow New South Wales spinner Steve O’Keefe, in the first time in a while two spinners have played in a winning Australian side.

We’re good mates and complement each other with our bowling – not just because we spin the ball in opposite directions.

I tend to come over the ball and gain more turn and bounce whereas Steve is very accurate, always attacking the stumps and creating subtle chances.

While no one can predict the future and the touring squad is yet to be chosen, I believe Steve and I can be vital members of the team in India.

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Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says ‘dream not over’ for Christian Lealiifano to play Super Rugby this year

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

Brumbies recruit Wharenui Hawera is the “frontrunner” to step into the No.10 jersey. Photo: Rohan Thomson Christian Lealiifano is still an outside chance to play in 2017. Photo: Brendon Thorne
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ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says the “dream is not over” for Christian Lealiifano to play Super Rugby this season.

But he’s backed Wharenui Hawera as the “frontrunner” to wear the No.10 jersey in Lealiifano’s absence.

Larkham said Lealiifano was halfway through his recovery period following his bone marrow transplant after he was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.

He said last season’s co-captain was “going well” and he was still hopeful Lealiifano would play some role in the 2017 season.

Along with Hawera, Larkham has several options to fill Lealiifano’s boots at flyhalf.

Former Western Force centre Kyle Godwin, who made his Wallabies debut last year, was one, while the Brumbies coach could also turn to youngster Nick Jooste and fullback Aidan Toua.

“We have the option of Kyle playing 10, but we’ve also got young Nick Jooste coming through. Aidan Toua’s played 10 in the past as well, so he might give us some coverage there,” Larkham said.

“And then the dream is not over for Christian yet. He’s past the halfway stage. He has to be monitored for 100 days post the transplant and I’m pretty optimistic.

“I’d certainly like to see him back at some stage this year, but the odds are probably against that.

“Between those four guys, with the possibility of Christian, there’s good depth and enough there to play the way we want to play.”

But the man most likely to wear the No.10 was Hawera, who the Brumbies have plucked out of New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup where he played for the Southland Stags last season.

The 23-year-old spent four seasons at Waikato before joining the Stags and while he was yet to be part of a Super Rugby program, Larkham was impressed with Hawera’s skills.

“You can certainly tell he’s played in a high-level competition before at 10. His organisation out on the field is top notch,” Larkham said.

“He certainly stands out there in terms of the 10s we’ve got here at the moment. His organisation is better than the other guys.

“His understanding of the game plan and the way that we want to play is already there and he’s got a great skill set both with the ball in hand and defensively.

“There’s obviously a few games to go before the start of the season, but he’s certainly put his best foot forward so far and at this stage probably the frontrunner for that position.”

Hawera joined the Brumbies on a training trial for the chance to earn a contract.

He now has his sights set on making his Super Rugby run-on debut against the Canterbury Crusaders in round one.

“I’m stoked to be here and it’s been a long road, played in New Zealand for a few years and jumped at the opportunity to come over here for a bit of a trial and to see all the hard work pay off, it’s pretty good and pretty satisfying,” Hawera said.

“I’ve just got to put my best foot forward and train hard and earn the boys’ respect first and foremost and then just hope for the best.”

Larkham said that first-round team was starting to take shape, but there was still a few weeks of pre-season, as well as the two trials, for players to impress.

He said all three hookers were in the running to replace departed Wallabies captain Stephen Moore, while Chris Alcock was ahead in the race to replace David Pocock, who is having a sabbatical this year.

“Saia [Faingaa’s] had one of his best off-seasons. He’s really enjoyed coming back down … [Josh Mann-Rea’s] just a team man through and through so he’ll train as hard as he can every single time and Robbie Abel’s certainly improved his skill since last I saw him,” Larkham said of his three hookers.

“They’re all putting their hand up, they know there’s a great opportunity there for one of them.

“[There’s] good competition [at openside flanker] as well. There’s Jarrad Butler, there’s Jordan Smiler, there’s Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini. There’s a number of guys in that back row that can play any number of positions there, but Chris Alcock is probably the standout at this stage.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Chewing gum is better than drugs for easing nausea after surgery, study suggests

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

The scientists used peppermint gum in their study. There’s no data on the efficacy of spearmint flavour. Photo: Andrey Rudakov About one in three people suffer nausea and vomiting after surgery. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Nanjing Night Net

Chewing a piece of gum could be more effective than a leading drug for nausea, new research suggests.

About one in three people suffer nausea and vomiting after surgery.

In some cases the queasiness can last for days and cause people’s wounds to bust open.

Nausea after surgery is more common among women and for people who already get motion sickness.

It also seems to be associated with certain procedures, particularly those where people’s abdomens are blown up with gas so surgeons can move their instruments around.

Dr Jai Darvall​, from the Royal Melbourne Hospital, said that since drugs used to treat nausea and vomiting after surgery were ineffective for some people, he and his colleagues set out to test chewing gum against a leading drug treatment among 94 women having surgery.

Women who felt sick after their procedures received either a stick of Wrigley’s peppermint gum to chew while being monitored in the recovery room, or the anti-nausea drug ondansetron.

In the gum group, 15 of 47 patients experienced nausea and vomiting. Twelve of these patients chewed gum (one didn’t want to and two more were too sleepy).

Nine of the 12 given gum – or 75 per cent – said it fully resolved their problem within about 10 minutes.

In the drug group, 13 patients experienced nausea and vomiting.

All of them were given ondansetron through an intravenous drip, but only five – or 37 per cent – said it fully resolved the problem.

Dr Darvall said while the small study, published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, needed to be replicated and done in multiple hospitals to prove gum was a useful treatment, it was encouraging.

He said chewing gum was cheap and didn’t require an intravenous line, making it potentially attractive for the treatment of nausea suffered by millions after surgery each year.

Post-surgery nausea is considered such an annoyance that one US study found people were willing to pay $100 for a treatment to get rid of it.

Dr Darvall said chewing gum was already prescribed by colourectal surgeons to help patients stimulate their digestive system after major bowel surgery.

He suspects that chewing is the key mechanism, rather than the peppermint flavour.

“We think it’s tricking the stomach and brain into thinking the person is eating … Perhaps the brain finds it hard to be eating and nauseous at the same time,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Hunter Hero: Friends of Ronald McDonald House chairperson Julie Parsons.

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

A friend indeed: Julie Parsons, chairperson of Friends of Ronald MacDonald House, lends an ear to families with sick chidlren. Picture: Simone De Peak.JULIE PARSONSVOLUNTEERWhen kids are having treatment for life-threatening or serious illnesses at John Hunter Hospital, the go to is Ronald McDonald House. A place that volunteers like Julie Parsons makewarm and inviting.
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Ms Parsons is the chairperson of Friends of Ronald McDonald House, a community organisation of 17 volunteers who raise money for the house and have recently passed the $100,000 mark in donations.

A volunteer for the past 21 years, theretired school photographerhas seen families at their very best and very worst. She could sympathise with thembecause she hadbeen in a similar situation. Five years ago, her grandson was born at 26 weeks.

“I actually became one of the families on the other side,” Ms Parsonssaid.

“I could then relate more to what they were going through.”

Sponsored by fast food giant McDonald’s, Ronald McDonald House can remind just about every kid of one of life’s guilty pleasures –junk food. But Ms Parsonssaid the kids only have one thing on their mind when they walk through the door – the toy room.

“We’ve got plenty of happy toys there for them to play with,” she said.

The kids make a beeline for the toy room – while parents are still juggling luggage – which houses PlayStation’s and statues of fast food icon, Ronald McDonald.

Ms Parsons said a big part of her job was spending time with families and listening, if that was what they needed.

“Sometimes, people just want to sit down and have a quiet talk …Some people don’t want to talk at all,” she said.

“[The job is] not to offer advice or think that you’re going to fix everything, but just to be there for the families.”

As part of the 17 volunteers of Friends of Ronald McDonald House, Ms Parsonsplayed a role in raising $100,000 for the House through various fundraising events, which she described as “very exciting”.

Part of the money raised has gone to new lounges in the family area, and a sponsored room in the house.

“We can actually see what our contributions have gone to,” she said.

“The group’s actions have been recognised by the community, with the Friends being nominated for Lake Macquarie’s Volunteer Group of the Year award,” she said.

But despite appreciating the nomination, Ms Parsonssaid the group do what they do for the House, not for recognition.

“I can vouch for everybody in the group of Friends of Ronald McDonald House [that we’re] not there for accolades,” she said. “We get as much out of being there as what we hope the families get out of us helping them.”

Dutton’s values push undermines freedom

10/03/2019 Posted by admin

Peter Dutton’s first thought bubble for the year –a proposal to tighten up Australia’s citizenship test to crack down on would-be terrorists –suggests 2017 is not going to be the year our Immigration Minister starts showing any latent signs of lucidity.
Nanjing Night Net

The way to stop looming jihadists from “exploiting migration pathways”, according to Dutton –a man who previouslypredictedasylum seekers would simultaneously poach Aussie jobs and be unemployable – is for the citizenship test to place more emphasis onAustralian values. If you’re as confused about what this means as I am, the minister has been helpful enough to elaborate: send your children to school, speak English and get a job. Yes, the minister now expects you to find employment, even if it means “taking Australian jobs”,presumably.

Dutton’s proposal has been greeted with unbridled enthusiasm by One Nation leaderPauline Hanson, the self-appointed gatekeeper of what it means to be Australian.

Clearly something needs to be done because, according to7 News, “shocking new figures”show “thousands of migrants fail the test each year”and – worse still – “are allowed to sit it over and over again”. A bit like a driving test then, which a sizeable portion of Australians fail on the first attempt, except they’re typically encouraged to try again, rather than to pack it in because they’re not the sort of people we want on our roads.

As for why so many aspiring citizens are attempting the test “over and over”–it’s something of a mystery in light of Hanson’s claim that “they give you the answers anyway”. But maybe it’s because those sitting the test desperately want to belong here? Or perhaps it’s because the citizenship test relies, to an inexplicable extent, on sporting iconsand dates that the majority of those born here would fail to correctly identify.

Maybe, even, it’s because the test is “flawed, intimidating to some, and discriminatory”, according to a 2008 review, and the updated version, which “ignored most of the crucial recommendations”, still discriminates against the humanitarian program intake; the same cohort, let’s be honest, Dutton has firmly in his sights.

On the obscure topic of “Australian values”– just what does the minister mean? What aspects of the national cultural identity should newcomers be required to adopt, to meld with?The so-called “larrikin spirit”perhaps, which at its core, let’s face it, has a healthy disregard for convention and distrust for authority? Or the values reflected in our unofficial national anthem – which celebrates an itinerant labourer who steals a sheep then drowns himself rather than submit to officers of the law?Probably not.

Maybe Dutton is referring to those ideals set forth by Immigration and Border Protection, including the “spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need”– values that may be absent from the minister’s own pronouncements, but are helpfullysummarisedin his department’s “Australian values statement”that aforementioned refugees are duly required to sign.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting new citizens to share certain values in order that we can all get along together. But here’s the thing: in sanctioning how people must behave to demonstrate their worthiness – prescribing what they are permitted to do or wear, to eat, or to speak and in what language – we undermine the most important freedom of all. And that freedom – to be the same, or to be different –just happens to be the thing at the core of the democracy that we want all Australian citizens to cherish.

Testing times: Peter Dutton swimming in Australian values.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.