Didn’t want to let the team down: Renshaw

When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.

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Matt Renshaw’s ill-timed bathroom break infuriated former Australia captain Allan Border and temporarily Steve Smith, but the opener made it up to his skipper on Thursday.

Renshaw followed up his maiden Test century at the SCG with a knock of far greater significance in Pune, top-scoring with 68 as Australia reached 9-256 at stumps on day one of the first Test against India.

The tourists will resume with the game, played on a spin-friendly surface that Shane Warne likened to “the surface of Mars”, in the balance.

Mitchell Starc is 57 not out, having teed off with great success after Australia slipped to 9-205.

Renshaw adopted a far more measured approach, soaking up 156 balls as he knuckled down against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

Renshaw’s innings was interrupted when he retired hurt some 15 minutes before lunch because of a stomach bug. David Warner had just been dismissed, with Smith stunned to see the 20-year-old rushing past him

“He wasn’t too thrilled about it,” Renshaw said.

“He didn’t really understand what was going on at the start, I sort of just ran past him .. he called me back and he wanted to have a discussion with me but I just told him I had to go off.

“But we’ve had a chat now, we’re all good.

“He understands that when you need to go to the toilet, you need to go to the toilet.”

Renshaw felt sick for a couple of hours but strapped on the pads and walked out to bat following the dismissal of Smith, adding 32 runs to his score.

“I felt quite bad, knowing that I could be letting the team down. That’s why I went back out there,” he said.

“That was the most challenging bit, waiting to bat … because as an opener you just go straight out there and bat.”

Border was highly critical of Renshaw, saying he hopes the opener is “lying on the table in there half dead”.

“Otherwise as captain, I would not be happy,” Border said on Fox Sports.

Renshaw shouldered arms in response.

“That’s just something I guess he grew up with, and that was his sort of mentality,” Renshaw said

Mitchell Starc will resume on 57 on Friday, having swung momentum for the nth time in a topsy-turvy start to the four-Test series.

Starc and Josh Hazlewood’s unbeaten final-wicket stand is already worth 51 runs, with the latter scoring just one of them.

“We were all sitting sort of in our whites ready to go … it was a really entertaining innings and it helped us massively,” Renshaw said of Starc’s innings.

“We had a great day.”

Trump jobs plan to CEOs light on details

President Donald Trump has told chief executives of major US companies he plans to bring millions of jobs back to the United States, but offered no specific plan on how to reverse a decades-long decline in factory jobs.

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In his first month in office, Trump has pressured a number of US companies to hire in the US but he has yet to publicly propose legislation tackling the big economic issues he campaigned on in 2016, including a job-boosting tax or infrastructure program. He will address a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.

In a meeting with some two dozen CEOs at the White House, Trump said the US had lost about one-third of manufacturing jobs since it joined the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 and asserted about 70,000 factories have closed since China joined the World Trade Organisation 16 years ago.

But the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of private sector manufacturing facilities in the United States has fallen less than that, from nearly 400,000 in 2001 to 344,000 last year.

Lower wages, automation, foreign competition and other factors account for the steep decline in manufacturing jobs, experts say.

Trump has promised to roll out proposals that he says could have favourable ramifications for companies, including a plan to overhaul the tax code and an infrastructure package that was part of his presidential campaign promises to create millions of jobs. He has declined to specify what he had in mind.

Several of the CEOs who met Trump are part of a coalition that supports a so-called border adjustment tax, which would impose a 20 per cent tax on goods that are imported into the country while providing write-offs for goods that are exported.

Sharks should overcome key losses: Gallen

No team has won back-to-back NRL premierships for 24 years, but Cronulla captain Paul Gallen won’t accept any excuses from his Sharks on why they can’t buck the trend.

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Cronulla have lost half of their title-winning spine over the off-season, with hooker Michael Ennis retiring and Ben Barba headed to French rugby after he was handed a 12-week ban for testing positive to cocaine.

But with the discovery of young hooker Jayden Brailey and the likely shift of Valentine Holmes to fullback, Gallen said his club had had enough of a chance to prepare for life after the pair.

“Mick is a loss, no doubt about it,” Gallen said.

“We’ve known since midway through last year that Mick wasn’t going to be here and we’re really got no excuses on that front.”

“Someone has to replace him, someone will replace him and I’m sure it will be Jayden to start the year along with some help from (Daniel) Mortimer and Nu Brown.”

Gallen believes Holmes’ shift to the No.1 jersey could be a revelation for Cronulla, after he scored 18 tries for the Sharks last year.

“He could be anything, Valentine Holmes,” Gallen said.

“He’s probably one of the best wingers I’ve ever seen. There’s not many wingers who can just score tries if you give them half a chance and he’s one of them.

“But he wants to be a fullback and he’s got the potential to be there.”

Cronulla are in uncharted territory when it comes to defending a title.

While it is renowned as one of the hardest feats to achieve in the modern game, Gallen believes the Sharks are at an advantage with most of their players having never attempted to defend a premiership before.

“I think that makes it easier for us,” Gallen said.

“It’s just about doing what we do well every week, playing to our potential every week and if we can do that, we’ll win the majority of our games once again.”

McCrone suits my halves style: Widdop

St George Illawarra captain Gareth Widdop has embraced the challenge of becoming the main man to transform his team’s lacklustre attack this upcoming NRL season.

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After the dramatic exit of popular clubman Benji Marshall over the summer, Widdop has assumed the role of chief playmaker as the Dragons attempt to break the shackles in 2017.

And he will do it without an established halfback heading into round one, with either veteran Josh McCrone or rookie Jai Field fighting it out for the No.7 jumper.

McCrone is slightly favoured to get first crack at the gig, with Widdop believing that the former Canberra halfback complements his style more than the promising youngster.

“It’s changed a hell of a lot since last year. Josh is a bit more like halfback, which will probably suit me, play my natural game a little bit more,” Widdop said.

“Obviously being one of the most experienced players in the team now, I guess it just comes with being skipper as well. I’m looking forward to the year now.”

The 27-year-old admitted that life in Wollongong has been different without the dominant voice of Marshall after the Dragons chose not to hand the playmaker another contract following the club’s poor season.

The former Kiwis captain, who bore much of the criticism levelled at the Dragons last year, moved to Brisbane over the off-season.

“Benji’s obviously the life of the party. The club’s a lot different to what it has been, just for the fact that our staff and turnover we’ve had,” Widdop said.

“Obviously he’s a big character, a big personality. I certainly miss having him around, but it’s opened up opportunities for Josh McCrone, Shaun Nona and Jai.”

Widdop said he is determined to get back to his best.

“As a team we didn’t succeed (last year) and individually, certainly inconsistent if you like. This year, I need to get back to what I do best and what’s going to help the team,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of new coaches. We struggled a bit last year, so yeah, we’ve changed it up. Obviously the more we play, the better and more comfortable we’ll get in our role and our job.”

The Dragons open their season against Penrith on March 4.

Chronic stress could be making you fat

Sarah Jackson, UCL

The world is getting fatter and it’s making us sicker.

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But could rising stress levels be playing an important role in our growing waistlines?

Obesity is now one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is associated with increased risk of developing a host of chronic health conditions. There is great public interest in the reasons some people struggle with their weight while others find it easy to stay slim, with blame often attributed to genes or health conditions, such as thyroid problems.

Stress is another potential risk factor that has attracted research attention. People tend to report overeating and “comfort eating” foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories when stressed. And because the stress hormone cortisol plays a role in metabolism and fat storage, there are plausible biological mechanisms behind a possible link between stress and putting on weight.

In research published in Obesity this week we found that chronic stress was consistently linked with people being more heavily, and more persistently, overweight.

Our data were collected over a four-year period as part of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a study that follows a large group of people aged 50 and older. We found that people who had higher levels of cortisol in their hair tended to have a larger waist circumference, were heavier, and had a higher body-mass index (BMI). People classified as obese on the basis of their BMI (≥30) or waist circumference (≥102cm in men, ≥88cm in women) had particularly high levels of cortisol in their hair.

When we looked back at people’s weight over a period of four years, we saw that those who had more persistent obesity had higher hair cortisol measurements than those whose weight had fluctuated or who had consistently been a healthy weight.

Lisa S/Shutterstock苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,

Measuring long-term stress

Why did we use hair to measure cortisol levels? Previous studies looking at the link between cortisol and obesity have relied mainly on measurements of the hormone in blood, saliva or urine which may vary according to the time of day and other “situational factors”, such as diet or illness. Because these methods give a very short-term picture of a person’s stress levels, these studies were not able to evaluate the relationship between obesity and longer-term stress. The distinction between acute (short-term) and chronic (longer-term) stress is important because the former is thought to serve as a protective fight or flight response whereas the latter can have a damaging effect on the body.

Hair is a reliable way to measure long-term exposure to stress hormones. Catalin Petolea/Shutterstock苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,

Over the last decade, a new method for measuring cortisol levels in hair has been developed, and has been shown to be a reliable way of assessing chronic stress exposure.

For our research, a lock of hair 2cm long was taken from each participant, cut as closely as possible to the person’s scalp. Hair grows at an average rate of 1cm per month, so our samples represented approximately two months’ hair growth with associated accumulated levels of cortisol.

We measured people’s weight, height and waist circumference, and we used these measures to assess the relationship between levels of hair cortisol and adiposity (fatness).

A new target for treating obesity?

We cannot be sure from our research that stress is causing people to become obese, but if causation can be proved through further investigation, the link between chronic stress and obesity offers a potential target for interventions aimed at preventing and treating obesity. Tried and tested stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation and yoga are cheap, widely accessible options that could help people reduce their risk of developing obesity. It may also be possible to use drugs that reduce cortisol levels to treat obesity in more severe cases.

Sarah Jackson receives funding from Cancer Research UK.

Sexton returns for Ireland to face France

Fit again, Ireland five-eighth Johnny Sexton returns to the side for France’s visit as coach Joe Schmidt picked from a near full-strength squad in a bid to stay in contention for the Six Nations title.

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Sexton, who has suffered a spate of injuries recently from numerous concussions to shoulder, hamstring and neck problems, missed Ireland’s first two matches of the tournament with a calf injury, when he was ably replaced by Paddy Jackson.

Despite only playing two of Ireland’s last nine matches and just three times for his province Leinster since October – failing to play more than 60 minutes on each occasion – the 31-year-old’s experience will be vital on Saturday, Schmidt said.

“He was frustrated missing those first two and he’s excited by the opportunity, and he takes a fair bit of responsibility as well,” Schmidt told reporters. “He’s obviously a leader within the team, and his experience contributes some of that leadership,

The New Zealander made two other changes after the 63-10 rout of Italy last time out, both in the front row. Prop Jack McGrath starts ahead of Cian Healy, and captain Rory Best returns after missing out on a 52nd consecutive Six Nations match through a last-minute illness in Rome.

IRELAND: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose, Simon Zebo, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Donnacha Ryan, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best (capt.), Jack McGrath. Interchange: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Kieran Marmion, Paddy Jackson, Andrew Trimble.

Teachers renew ‘I give a Gonski’ campaign

Teachers are going to step up pressure on the federal government as it finalises a new school funding deal with the states and territories.

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The Australian Education Union is using the success stories of 24 schools around the country to highlight the importance of increased funding to students in disadvantaged areas.

It will renew its “I give a Gonski” campaign, with new ads targeting what it says is a failure to support under-resourced schools.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham is in the final throes of negotiations on a new funding agreement, with the deal expected to be signed by leaders in April.

He wants the states to agree to a range of measures including higher standards for new teachers and tests for Year 1 students in exchange for commonwealth funding increases.

But the union has slammed the government’s refusal to proceed with the large increases in 2018 and 2019 that were part of the six-year Gonski deal.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to implement a new funding system is in chaos,” union federal president Correna Haythorpe said on Friday.

“States and territories won’t back it and the Catholic school peak body has said there is not enough time to implement a new funding system before the end of this year.”

Every student at Cowandilla Primary School in Adelaide – one of the examples in the union’s 2017 Getting Results report – has improved since it received extra money for specialist numeracy and literacy programs.

But principal Julie Hayes says that could not have happened in a resource-free vacuum.

If the boost in money continues, her school could help its large numbers of disadvantaged students access computers and other technology they didn’t have at home.

“Principals at disadvantaged schools are always keen to make sure they’re able to level the playing field by providing these things at school cost,” she says.

“So, if we had significant money it would help support that – a new way of learning.”

Opposition education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek says the debate around school funding neglects the tools teachers need.

Too often teachers are blamed for all the problems with schools and student achievement.

“We must end the teacher blame game, and actually focus on what matters for schools, teachers and kids,” she will tell AEU’s annual conference in Melbourne on Friday.

“We know funding matters. Other things matter, too, but we can’t deliver those things unless we properly fund our schools.”

Iraq forces enter IS-held Mosul airport

Backed by jets, helicopter gunships and drones, forces blitzed their way across open areas south of Mosul and entered the airport compound, apparently meeting limited resistance but strafing the area for suspected snipers.

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“Right now thank God we’re inside Mosul airport and in front of its terminal. Our troops are liberating it,” Hisham Abdul Kadhem, a commander in the interior ministry’s Rapid Response units, told AFP inside the airport.

Little was left standing inside the perimeter and what used to be the runway was littered with dirt and rubble.

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Most buildings were completely levelled but Iraqi forces celebrated the latest landmark in the four-month-old offensive to retake Mosul.

While Iraqi forces were not yet deployed in the northern part of the sprawling airport compound and sappers cautiously scanned the site for explosive devices, IS jihadists appeared to offer limited resistance.

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As Iraqi forces approached the airport moments earlier, attack helicopters fired rockets at an old sugar factory that stands next to the perimeter wall, sending a cloud of ash floating across the area.

As they moved past the factory, an explosive device detonated next to the convoy’s lead vehicle. It sent soldiers running back away from the blast but nobody was injured.

The push on the airport was launched at dawn and Iraqi forces stormed it within hours from the southwest.

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The regional command said elite forces from the Counter-Terrorism Service were simultaneously attacking the neighbouring Ghazlani military base, where some of them were stationed before IS seized Mosul in June 2014.

Control of the base and airport would set government forces up to enter Mosul neighbourhoods on the west bank of the Tigris, a month after declaring full control of the east bank.

All of the city’s bridges across the river are damaged.

The US-led coalition has played a key role in supporting Iraqi forces with air strikes and advisers on the ground, and on Thursday US forces were seen on the front lines.

The American troops are not supposed to be doing the actual fighting but in recent weeks have got so close to the front that they have come under attack, coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian said.

“They have come under fire at different times, they have returned fire at different times, in and around Mosul,” Dorrian told reporters on Wednesday.

He declined to say if there had been any US casualties in the attacks, but an unnamed official later told CNN that several personnel had been evacuated from the battlefield.

The latest push to retake Mosul, the country’s second city and the last stronghold of the jihadists in Iraq, was launched on Sunday and involves thousands of security personnel.

They started closing in on the airport four days ago. It is unclear how many jihadists tried to defend the airport but US officials said Monday that only around 2,000 remain in Mosul.

There are an estimated 750,000 civilians trapped on the city’s west bank, which is a bit smaller than the east side but more densely populated.

It includes the Old City and its narrow streets, which will make for a difficult terrain when Iraqi forces reach it because they will be impassable for some military vehicles.

Letters from the east

The noose has for months now been tightening around Mosul and the living conditions for civilians are fast deteriorating.

Residents AFP has reached by phone spoke of dwindling food supplies forcing many families to survive on just one meal a day.

Medical workers say the weakest are beginning to die of the combined effect of malnutrition and the lack of medicines, which IS fighters have been keeping for themselves.

An army plane late Wednesday dropped thousands of letters written by residents of the retaken east bank to their fellow citizens across the river.

“Be patient and help each other… the end of injustice is near,” read one of them which was signed “People from the east side”.

“Stay in your homes and cooperate with the security forces. They are your brothers, they came to liberate you,” read another.

A smaller than expected proportion of the east side’s population fled when Iraqi forces stormed it nearly four months ago but the United Nations is bracing for a bigger exodus from the west.

It had said 250,000 people or more could flee their homes on the west bank and has scrambled to set up new displacement camps around the city.

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Muslim candidate says she’ll fight for the underdog

Toni Pikos-Sallie is contesting the seat of Southern River for the Greens in the West Australian election next month.

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She says she’s doing it to counter what she calls the politics of division, from parties and politicians such as Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Senator Jacqui Lambie.

“Honestly, last night I knew I had work in the morning, but I just sat there and I couldn’t go to sleep. I thought that I just have to and this is why I’m here. I have to have a voice. I have to say something.”

Toni Pikos-Sallie is talking to the Australian Greens campaign staff about a response she posted to her Facebook page.

It came after Senator Jacqui Lambie made this appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program, talking about sharia law and US President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on immigration from some Muslim countries.

“If he wants to put that and put some of that on hold for three months, then he has every right to do so until he can work out exactly what is going on. If that’s going to keep America safer just like it’s going to keep America safer… you know what? Stop playing the victim! Stop playing the victim. We’ve had enough.”

Toni Pikos-Sallie says Senator Lambie and the One Nation party are marginalising a minority for political gain.

The WA Greens candidate says she was encouraged when Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister and spoke positively about a multicultural Australia.

But she says the political tone has changed.

“The time to speak up about this issue is now. I don’t think we can afford to wait any longer in silence while it festers and increases because of that absence of voice and representation so that’s why I’m here. Yes, I’m putting myself out there. Yes, there will be nasty people. Yes, they’re out there. But the alternative for me; I’m Australian, I grew up with these values, I stick up for the underdog, I stick up for people who don’t have a voice. It’s just not in me to sit there and say nothing and do nothing.”

Toni Pikos-Sallie was working as the Vice Principal of an Islamic school when she was approached by the Greens to be their candidate in Southern River.

The electorate includes several suburbs with large Muslim populations.

But she acknowledges she is very unlikely to win the Liberal-held lower house, with polls predicting a big swing to Labor.

She says she’s entered the political fray to make a statement, that Muslim Australians deserve to be treated as equal members of society.

“Australia should learn from its own history. Marginalising, isolating people, labelling them and grouping them up and making them feel outcast and on the periphery of society is highly detrimental. I don’t even think I need to say that to an intelligent person. It should be obvious.”

Several Perth Imams have also entered the political debate.

They’ve issued their own how-to-vote cards for attendees at mosques around Perth.

They’re encouraging people to vote for the Greens in the upper and lower houses.

They say a strong vote for the Greens will send a message to Labor that voters were not happy the party “flirted” with the idea of doing a preference deal with One Nation.

The WA head of the One Nation party Colin Tincknell told SBS, the Greens are confusing the party’s state and federal policies on immigration.

He says the state party has no position on immigration.

 

 

 

Clashes as French youths protest alleged police rape

Violence broke out at a central Paris square when the youths, some of them wearing hoods, tried to force police barricades.

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Some damaged cars and cash machines while others hurled cobblestones at police, who responded with tear gas.

Police made 11 arrests during the protest, one of a string held in Paris and around France since the February 2 incident involving a 22-year-old named only as Theo.

Upwards of 1,000 people shouting “Vengeance for Theo” took part in Thursday’s demonstration in the Place de la Nation, a common protest venue.

Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem appealed for calm, saying: “Young people’s emotion over the Theo affair is understandable, but we must let justice take its course.”

French firemen try to extinguish burning dustbins which obstruct the street, as students gather during a demonstration against police brutality.AAP

Violence is “unacceptable”, she told reporters.

City education authorities said 16 high schools were totally paralysed while a dozen others were partially blocked.

At many of them, entrances were blocked by rubbish bins, some of them set alight.

Theo, who was allegedly sodomised with a police truncheon after an identity check, required surgery after his violent arrest in the gritty suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, which was caught on video.

One officer has been charged with rape over the affair, and three others with assault. All four have been suspended from their duties.

An internal police investigation found insufficient evidence to support allegations that Theo was raped and said the injuries were not inflicted intentionally.

The criminal probe is, however, ongoing.

The case has revived long-simmering frustrations over policing in immigrant communities, where young men accuse the police of repeatedly targeting them in aggressive stop-and-search operations and using excessive force during arrests.

The police for their part complain of being drawn into a cat-and-mouse game with delinquents and drug dealers operating out of housing estates.

In 2005, the death of two teenagers who were electrocuted while hiding from police in an electricity substation sparked weeks of riots in France.

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