Pakistan says no suspension for accused

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has promised “prompt and decisive action” if the allegations made by a British Sunday newspaper are proven.

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has summoned the players at the centre of the claims to a meeting in London on Wednesday, but said it would not suspend any player while police continue to investigate.

Customs officials in Britain said they had arrested and bailed two men and a woman from London on Sunday as part of an investigation into money laundering. A source confirmed the arrests were linked to the cricket row.

A spokesman for the PCB said that until the various investigations were completed, it would not act against the players.

“Chairman Ijaz Butt just told me that since there is a case going on with the Scotland Yard we are not going to suspend any player,” he told AFP.

“He further said that this is only an allegation so far. There is still no charge or proof on that account. So at this stage there will be no action taken.”

The News of the World alleges that a middleman took STG150,000 ($A259,717.77) to arrange for Pakistani players to deliberately bowl no-balls in the final Test match against England in London last week.

The information would be of enormous value to the spot-betting industry, where money is wagered on specific incidents in matches.

The beleaguered Pakistan team was training for the rest of the tour on Tuesday in Taunton, southwest England.

But three of the players named in the allegations – Test team captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif – have been summoned to a meeting with top Pakistani officials in London on Wednesday.

Team manager Yawar Saeed said they would meet with Ijaz Butt and the Pakistani high commissioner (ambassador) to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

It appears increasingly likely the three players will play no part in the rest of the tour, which comprises Twenty20 matches and a series of one-day internationals against England.

Pakistan begin their preparations for the matches with a practice game against English county Somerset on Thursday, before the first Twenty20 fixture against England in Cardiff on Sunday.

Reporters were barred from the County Ground in Taunton on the request of the Pakistan team, Somerset Chief Executive Richard Gould said, telling AFP: “I think in these particular circumstances, we understand.”

Britain’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper said the ICC had informally asked Pakistan for the named players to be dropped from the squad.

Citing ICC sources, other reports claimed that the same players had been under investigation for months by their anti-corruption unit.

The world of cricket has reacted with shock and dismay to claims that huge sums of money had changed hands in alleged fixing schemes at international level, linked to shadowy betting rings.

The News of the World claimed it had paid middleman Mazhar Majeed for advance details of three no-balls in the Test match at Lord’s.

Majeed, a 35-year-old agent for several Pakistan players, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers in the wake of the allegations, but was released on bail without charge on Sunday.

Detectives questioned the players named, including Asif and 18-year-old prodigy Aamer, who bowled the no-balls – normally an accidental and unpredictable occurrence – and police seized their mobile phones.

Investigators from the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit are in Britain looking into the allegations, and ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat promised action would be taken against any players found guilty.

“The integrity of the game is of paramount importance. Prompt and decisive action will be taken against those who seek to harm it,” Lorgat said.

However, he told AFP it was important to “keep things in perspective” and not tarnish the rest of the team with the allegations.

Agent Umran Khan, who represents several Pakistan players not named in the allegations, including one-day captain Shahid Afridi, repeated this, telling PakPassion南宁桑拿,: “My players have absolutely nothing to do with it.”

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‘Mid-air explosion’ forces Qantas landing

Qantas will fly a replacement aircraft engine to the United States after a mid-air explosion forced one of its 747s carrying 230 people to make an emergency landing.

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The 747-400 departed San Francisco about 11.30pm local time on Monday (Tuesday afternoon AEST) with 212 passengers and 18 crew on board.

“About 15 minutes into the flight, the flight crew picked up on some excessive vibration in the number four engine,” a Qantas spokesman told AAP.

The captain shut down the engine and informed San Francisco air traffic control of the problem.

An apparent explosion in the number four engine ripped a hole through its outer shell.

“I’ve certainly seen the images of holes,” the spokesman said.

“Certainly the engine failed, but what caused that failure is something that’s going to take some time to determine.”

Passengers seated in view of the engine would have noticed a problem.

“It’s possible, particularly at night, if the engine surged or when it failed, some passengers might have seen sparks or a flare of some description particularly coming from the rear of the engine,” the spokesman said.

The plane returned to San Francisco and made a normal landing.

Passengers were not required to assume the emergency brace position, the spokesman said.

Qantas will fly the replacement engine to San Francisco on Wednesday.

Affected passengers have been offered seats on any of three Qantas flights scheduled to depart Los Angeles on Tuesday evening local time (Wednesday afternoon AEST).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US said Qantas will prepare a report into the incident for the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

“Whatever Qantas does is going to have to meet with our approval too,” an FAA spokesman told AAP.

“The bottom line is we want to make sure and know that that aircraft is airworthy when they are saying they want to put it back on line.”

The Qantas spokesman said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will also receive a report on the incident.

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Climate committee urged to move fast

The Australian Greens, who have a lower house MP – Adam Bandt – in the next parliament, on Wednesday backed a Labor minority government.

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In return for the party’s support, Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised a range of measures, including a climate change committee of MPs and experts that would work towards pricing carbon.

Those who join the table must be committed to a carbon price, but need not agree with the mechanism.

Greens leader Bob Brown said he would not set a deadline for the task, and admitted the result could be a regime that is tougher on polluters than Labor’s carbon pollution reduction scheme which failed to pass in the Senate.

“That’s an option, we’ll look at all the options,” he told Sky News.

“But I don’t want to pre-empt it because we go to it with the view we’ll have … the best brains there are on this, who are committed to a carbon price.”

But Ms Gillard has not completely abandoned her unpopular election promise of a citizens’ assembly – where members of the public would be asked to reach consensus on climate action.

The policy was widely panned as an effort to sidestep bolder moves, like a carbon tax, to fill the void left by Labor’s shelved emissions trading scheme.

Ms Gillard says it’s still on the cards, but it would now go to the committee.

The move came on the same day as Lord Nicholas Stern, a leading climate economist and adviser to the British government, said

Australia was well placed to benefit from a carbon price.

Lord Stern told the National Press Club it didn’t matter if it was a tax or a trading scheme – the revenue could be used to fund new technologies or contribute to a new $100 billion a year UN climate change fund.

“You could do very well indeed,” he said.

“You have to take a 10 or 15 year view of this, you have to make investments, this doesn’t come for free in the short-run, the price of electricity will go up.”

While Lord Stern had “thoughtful, reflective” talks with independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor on Tuesday, he would not comment on Australia’s political predicament.

He laughed off independent Bob Katter’s assessment of him as a “lightweight”, saying he was certain the north Queensland MP was a “splendid fellow”.

Environmental groups welcomed the committee – but want it to work quickly.

Greenpeace chief Linda Selvey said Australians had already shown they want action on climate change, and want polluters to pay.

“The committee must not become another talkfest, rather produce legislation to place a price on carbon pollution within the next 12 months,” she said.

The Climate Institute’s John Connor said he hoped it was a fresh start to an issue that had been reduced to a political football.

“Australia’s pollution politics has become mired in scare campaigns and misinformation and a new approach is urgently needed,” he said.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the new committee was “basically the carbon tax committee” – so the coalition could not take part.

“We are committed to strong action against climate change but it’s not going to come with a heavy price tag for consumers,” he said.

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Johns slams Hodkinson NSW Origin audition

Andrew Johns has given a damning assessment of Bulldogs playmaker Trent Hodkinson’s NSW audition as Blues coach Laurie Daley prepares to name his halves for the State of Origin opener.

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Daley has been freely tipped to unite Hodkinson with a recalled Mitchell Pearce, played out of position at five eighth, despite the efforts of James Maloney in the Sydney Roosters’ 24-10 win over Canterbury on Friday night.

Pearce and Maloney combined brilliantly as the Roosters overwhelmed the Bulldogs’ incumbent NSW halves Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds.

Halfback great Johns was unimpressed by Hodkinson, even suggesting a missed tackle ahead of Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s first half try showed the Dogs No.7 was still battling knee problems that disrupted his 2014 NRL season.

“If you have lower leg problems you have no drive in defence,” Johns told Channel Nine’s The Footy Show.

“Normally he is a rock solid defender and that was a really poor miss.”

Co-host Brad Fittler added: “That tackle stood out to everyone and I don’t think he had any runs at all.

“The fact that he didn’t run the ball at all hurt his chances.”

Fittler backed Maloney to partner Pearce in the NSW halves.

“He’s been really steady. That is what Laurie is looking for, someone to steer the ship around.”

However, Daley said he walked away from the match without changing his mind about his NSW halves, and that appears to throw a lifeline to Hodkinson’s Blues hopes.

Asked if he left the game with the same NSW halves in mind, Daley told Triple M radio: “Yeah, I did.

“For me, I just needed a bit of confirmation that it was the right way to go.

“But I am confident that pairing will pull on that shirt and do their job with pride.

“I know regardless of what decision I was going with there would be people who would support it and others critical of it.

“But in saying that I know the pairing that we do have will do a fantastic job.”

Pearce is in line to chime into his sixth different NSW halves pairing since 2010.

NSW has not had the same halves pairing in consecutive Origin series since 1993-94.

But Pearce was not reading too much into the headlines.

“I haven’t played five-eighth since I was a kid in schoolboy stuff but if I get picked I would be happy to play anywhere,” he said.

“Jimmy (Maloney) and I have a good combination there.

“But I don’t want to comment on selections.”

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Widdop, Benji spark Dragons’ win

Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall scored a try each and combined to mesmerise Canberra as they spearheaded St George Illawarra to a 32-18 NRL victory at WIN Stadium.

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While the Dragons’ expected NSW State of Origin selections Josh Dugan and Trent Merrin had relatively quiet games, international halves Widdop and Marshall took control, laying on four of their team’s five tries.

St George Illawarra’s sixth win in seven games lifted them into a share of the competition lead on 14 points with the Storm, Cowboys and Broncos.

The Dragons headed into the round 10 clash with the NRL’s best defensive record but worst attacking record and they responded by posting their highest score of the season.

Widdop finished with 16 points (one try, six goals) including the opening try from a neat Marshall grubber in only the fourth minute.

The halves pair then produced the last passes for the second try to skipper Jason Nightingale for a 12-0 lead on 17 minutes.

The Raiders rallied from 20-6 down just before halftime with a try by interchange forward Shannon Boyd with the last play of the first half and then Queensland Origin hopeful Josh Papalii scored straight after the break to only trail 20-18.

But two moments of Widdop magic ensured the Dragons would end a three-game winning streak by Canberra in Wollongong.

First the Great Britain star put an enticing last tackle kick which was knocked into the arms of ex-Raider Joel Thompson who scored for 26-18.

Then, with his left foot, Widdop delivered the perfect grubber for Marshall to score under the posts and seal victory.

“My combination with Benji is building,” Widdop said.

“We’ve been working on it all season, since pre-season and we’re getting better.

“A few things went our way with kicks but you practice that to hopefully come off in the game.”

Dragons forward Tyson Frizell has been touted as a NSW Origin bolter and had a strong game, with a superb pass leading to a try by rookie centre Euan Aitken.

“It would be great to play (Origin) but I’m only thinking about the Dragons,” said Frizell, who recently played for Country against City.

“I’m loving my role playing a bit wider. Benji and Gareth are steering the team superbly and I’m doing my part hopefully.”

Canberra skipper Jarrod Croker was denied a dream start in his 150th NRL game with a try contentiously disallowed in only the second minute by the video referees who ruled a double-movement.

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Morgan states Qld Origin case

His fan club only seems to grow each week but Michael Morgan may still need a bit more time to win over Queensland selectors.

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Hat-trick hero Morgan was the toast of North Queensland’s historic 31-20 NRL win over Brisbane on Friday night, earning praise from Maroons pivot Johnathan Thurston to Immortal Andrew Johns.

It remains to be seen if it has been enough to dislodge Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans as Queensland’s bench utility.

Cowboys pivot Morgan was described as “built for Origin” after he defied an ankle complaint and added to his stellar rise by inspiring North Queensland’s club record-equalling seventh straight win.

His heroics reportedly put pressure on Queensland selectors to reassess the bench utility role usually held by Cherry-Evans ahead of their Origin I team announcement on Tuesday.

Johns admitted he was a Morgan fan.

“You watch him play and how quick and powerful he is,” he told Channel Nine’s The Footy Show.

“He is a perfect foil for Thurston.

“He is finding his feet. He is running the ball and is so hard to handle.”

Cowboys co-captain Thurston backed Morgan to don the Maroon jersey sooner rather than later.

“He is pushing all the right buttons (for Origin selectors),” he said.

“He wouldn’t look out of place there.

“He can cover a lot of positions. He is an ideal utility player.”

Cowboys coach Paul Green chimed in with: “He is built for Origin.

“He is not a small guy, he is a good defender and he competes, so when he gets his chance, he won’t let Queensland down.”

But Broncos master coach Wayne Bennett was not convinced.

“Who’s place is he going to take?” he asked.

“They’re not going to take him as a utility.

“He’ll only play one position, that’s not utility.”

Morgan’s display was reportedly enough for Maroon selectors to reconsider their legendary loyalty ahead of the Origin I team announcement.

It is believed only Meninga’s staunch support will get Cherry-Evans over the line for the series opener.

Morgan wasn’t losing any sleep over the speculation.

“To be talked about like that is very humbling,” he said.

“It’s something that I never really thought of.

“I think the Queensland team … with how it’s been the last eight years, picks itself.”

The only new face expected in the Maroons 17 is Broncos prop Josh McGuire on a beefed up bench – a move that earned Johns’ approval.

“He has a lot of speed for a front rower,” he said of McGuire.

“He would come off the bench and cause some headaches at the 30 minute mark – nice and mad.”

Meanwhile, Broncos fullback Darius Boyd backed himself to play Origin I just two games into his return from a ruptured Achilles.

“I feel I am right to go,” he told reporters.

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Dockers hold off surging Bulldogs

Brownlow Medal favourite Nat Fyfe played a starring role but was also reported as unbeaten Fremantle overcame the Western Bulldogs by 13 points in an AFL thriller.

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Fyfe clattered into the legs of Koby Stevens late in the third quarter of the 15.11 (101) to 14.4 (88) win at Etihad Stadium and went into the umpire’s book.

Led by a career-best seven-goal haul from Tory Dickson, the Bulldogs looked set to record a stunning upset when they drew level with the Dockers with six minutes left.

But a Michael Walters goal with 1:11 to go took his side’s lead to seven points and skipper Matthew Pavlich put the result beyond doubt with his fifth major inside the last minute.

Fyfe gathered 30 possessions, had 10 clearances and kicked three goals, but he faces a nervous wait to learn how the match review panel assesses his clumsy attempt to tackle Stevens.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon wouldn’t be drawn on the Fyfe incident, but he was delighted with the way his players answered the challenge to record the team’s seventh win of the season.

“You’re not always going to be at your very, very best,” Lyon said.

“I thought our leadership and will to win when we were under more pressure than we probably should have been was really strong.”

The Dockers looked set to cement their hold on top spot with ease after they bounced out of the blocks with six of the first seven goals to lead by 34 points early in the second quarter.

But a week after the Bulldogs gave up a 55-point lead to lose to St Kilda, they launched a determined counter-attack with skipper Bob Murphy (29 disposals) once again a key figure.

They started the last quarter 22 points in arrears, but kicked the first three goals to set up the thrilling finale.

With veteran ruckman Will Minson still cooling his heels in the VFL, Ayce Cordy was complemented by Tom Boyd and Marcus Bontempelli in the ruck against Aaron Sandilands and Zac Clarke.

The Bulldogs trio proved no match for the seasoned Fremantle pair, who finished with 50 and 14 hitouts respectively in a lopsided 69-13 team tally.

Coach Luke Beveridge revealed that he’d conceded that Fremantle would win the hitouts and was willing to allow that to unfold as he tried to test the Dockers in other areas.

The coach, while gutted for his players, said there were plenty of positives from the performance.

“I think the most important lesson we’ll learn is that (we’re) a strong group and they’re willing to persist under some duress,” Beveridge said.

“It’s just another feather in their caps to fight their way back and learn a little bit about playing a side like Fremantle who don’t let up.”

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Queensland should not lose Smith: Daley

NSW coach Laurie Daley admits he’d be disappointed if Queensland captain Cameron Smith missed this month’s State of Origin opener over an incident involving South Sydney hooker Issac Luke.

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Smith may have some anxious moments before the Queensland side is named on Tuesday after his feet found contact with Luke’s head during a tackle in Melbourne’s 16-12 NRL win over South Sydney on Saturday night.

Pulled onto his back by Rabbitohs forward David Tyrrell, Smith’s feet made contact with Luke’s head several times as he kicked his legs to get himself free.

No penalty was called and Luke did not complain of any injury post-match.

As much as Daley would like to see Smith miss May 27’s Origin I in Sydney, the NSW mentor admitted there was not much in the incident.

“I would be disappointed if he missed Origin that way,” Daley told Triple M radio.

“He was lashing out trying to get a quick play-the-ball but he wasn’t looking at Issac Luke.

“I don’t think there was any intent to strike him in the head.

“I think he was just kicking out to try and play the ball – I don’t think he should miss an Origin over that.”

NSW great Brad Fittler told Channel Nine’s The Footy Show on Sunday that “there’s no doubt in the world that he (Smith) deserves something (ban)”.

But it is believed Smith’s actions may only register a grade one dangerous contact charge, one that would not carry enough points to warrant a week’s ban.

Smith admitted he did not remember the incident.

“I was only told about it on the way here that I had made contact with Isaac Luke,” he said.

“He didn’t mention it during the game or after the game so I don’t know what to say there.”

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy backed his captain.

“I can’t even remember it and it’s not as if anyone goes out there to kick someone in the head,” he said.

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire said Luke had no complaints post-match.

“He’s fine,” he said.

Melbourne grabbed the lead on points difference with four teams locked up at 14 points on top of the NRL ladder.

They are sitting pretty after round 10 ahead of a Gareth Widdop-inspired Dragons who downed Canberra 32-18 at home on Sunday.

Former ladder leaders Brisbane slipped to third, one spot ahead of North Queensland.

In the other result on Sunday, Newcastle snapped a five-game winless run, when a late try to Knights debutant Chad Redman sealed a 22-12 victory over Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium.

The round concludes when Manly host Penrith on Monday night.

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New WA doctor school bad medicine: AMA

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s funding of a new medical school in Western Australia has sparked a stoush with the AMA, which says it won’t help the state’s doctor shortage.

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The Curtin Medical School in Midland, about 20km northeast of Perth, will cater for 60 students by 2017 and 110 a year by 2022.

AMA President Brian Owler raised the federal government’s ire by calling it “a calamitous captain’s call by Captain Chaos” because it failed to address the existing training bottleneck.

Treasurer Joe Hockey fired back, labelling Dr Owler’s comments extreme, out of order, and “certainly not fitting for someone representing a great profession”.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen quickly called on Mr Hockey to apologise for his “extraordinary” personal attack on one of Australia’s most respected neurosurgeons.

The remarks proved the treasurer had a glass jaw and was incapable of taking criticism, Mr Bowen said.

Dr Owler admits he had used “colourful language” but said the focus should be on policy.

“If he (Mr Hockey) wants to make that personal, well then that’s too bad,” he said.

The issue was not the number of medical students but the bottleneck caused by a lack of trainee positions in WA, with a shortfall of 84 GP training places last year, he said.

“(We) need to make sure we train those medical graduates to become the GPs and specialists that this country needs.”

Dr Owler also pointed to “a siege mentality here where people are accused of being members of the opposition political party any time they disagree with the government.”

AMA WA President Michael Gannon said graduates were already having difficulty getting jobs.

“This was a closed, back room decision done without any consultation with people who know what this means,” he said.

Mr Abbott defended the medical school that will cost the government $20 million once fully operational, saying it will help to address WA’s shortage of about 1,000 doctors compared to other states.

“Western Australia needs more local doctors,” he told reporters on Sunday.

Premier Colin Barnett said the school would bring prestige to the eastern suburbs, which had felt a “little bit left behind”.

“It’s long, long overdue that the eastern suburbs had tertiary education available,” Mr Barnett said.

The Curtin Medical School will open in 2017 and offer a five-year undergraduate medical degree.

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SBS Radio celebrating 40 years on air: Greek Program

Efthymios Kallos, or Themi as he is known to his listeners on the Greek program, has been with SBS Radio for over 25 years.

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“It’s amazing, the wealth of experiences, emotions and stories this community, the migrant community that we constantly cover, has to offer… They have amazing stories to tell,” Mr Kallos said.

“And just putting them on radio, on the microphone, and then giving them to the wider audience, that in itself is an experience that you never get bored.”

Despite being born and growing up in Greece, SBS Greek language broadcaster Kyriakos Gold says he always felt a connection to Australia.

Holding Australian citizenship, he decided to come to Australia as a teenager 20 years ago, a move that led him to his career as a journalist at SBS Radio.

“Dad is Greek-Australian, and Mum is Greek, so we were born and raised in Greece, always feeling Australian. Kind of the opposite of what you have with Greek kids growing up in Australia,” Mr Gold said.

“So coming back here was like getting to my own truth, finding the other half of my identity, which sounds strange to many ethnic Australians, but that’s what it feels like being an Australian born overseas.”

 

Listen to SBS Reporter Peggy Giakoumelos go behind-the-scenes with Greek Radio:

SBS Radio’s role of keeping the community informed about Australian life continues today as a new wave of Greek people come to Australia due to the country’s economic crisis.

Most were born in Australia or to Australian parents, so, technically, they are not migrants, despite having lived most of their lives in Greece.

The Australian Greek Welfare Society says around 6,000 people have arrived from Greece and Cyprus over the past five years in Victoria alone.

Professor Karalis says an increase in the number of Australian passports being issued through the Australian embassy in Greece confirms the exodus.

“Most of these people studied in Greece — they were born here, but they studied in Greece. Greece invested a lot of money in them, and then it’s a haemorrhage of social, political and cultural capital coming to the country,” Professor Karalis says.

“So if some of them have the opportunity, they can return later on when the situation improves in the country, or their children could follow the same wave of repatriation that we have seen with the parents. But, unfortunately, as we all know, it all depends on how the situation will improve and if the situation will improve. I tend to be optimistic.”

Prof. Kallos says that group of Greek-Australians has created a need for new information to be available to the community.

One recent arrival is Sophie Gabriel. While born in Adelaide, she moved to Greece with her parents when she was four and returned to Australia only three years ago.

She was looking for study and work opportunities not available to her in Greece.

A listener of SBS Radio’s Greek program, she says Greek-language media play an important role in keeping people like her informed about life in Australia.

“Well, it’s keeping in touch with our culture and, you know, feeling like you’re Greek, although you’re not in Greece. I think language is the first and foremost thing that we need as a culture. If you forget how to speak Greek, then you lose your … your identity,” Ms Gabriel says.

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Steel deny Central Pulse again

Southern Steel denied Central Pulse a trans-Tasman netball league win for the second time in two weeks, stealing a last-gasp 55-55 draw in Palmerston North.

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A fortnight after they pipped the Pulse 50-49 in Dunedin, the Steel forced a draw from a game at Arena Manawatu that the Pulse should have won.

The Steel’s ability to score quickly with the long bomb into Jhaniele Fowler-Reid proved vital as the towering Jamaican international sunk the crucial goal with time up on the clock.

For the Pulse, Silver Ferns Ameliaranne Wells and Jodi Brown impressed with a fluid combination, both in the shooting circle and outside.

Brown’s work up-court and vision in the goal third was outstanding, and her accuracy on goal meant she missed only two of her 22 attempts.

Brown and Wells constructed an unpredictable, mobile shooting circle while the Steel relied on their unerringly accurate long-range game to find Fowler-Reid under the post.

Leading 15-14 at the first break, the Pulse through-court defence fell off in the second spell and the Steel began to find Fowler-Reid with increasing ease.

The visitors opened out a five-goal lead, wing attack Gina Crampton in particular showing fine timing and excellent variation with her feed into Fowler-Reid.

But the Pulse dug in, finishing the quarter with a four-goal burst to go into halftime trailing 28-29.

They kept the pressure up right through the third quarter, the introduction of Ama Agbeze at goal keep for Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit proving key.

The English international’s quick hands and feet kept Fowler-Reid under pressure, freeing up goal defence Katrina Grant to go hunting for intercepts further up the court.

The Pulse finished the third quarter strongly, sinking three goals on end to lead 43-41 going into the last 15 minutes.

They extended that margin five minutes into the final quarter to lead 46-41, but paid the price for a series of soft turnovers which Fowler-Reid and substitute goal attack Brooke Leaver ruthlessly converted.

The draw means the Steel keep their third place on the New Zealand conference ladder with only two games remaining until the playoffs.

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Mohammed Morsi sentenced to death by Egyptian court

Morsi and his fellow defendants, including top Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, were convicted for killing and kidnapping policemen, attacking police facilities and breaking out of jail during the uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

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The court’s request drew condemnations from Amnesty International and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

      

The final ruling is expected to be made on June 2. The court sought capital punishment in a separate case for Brotherhood leader Khairat el-Shater and 15 others for conspiring with foreign militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah against Egypt.

       

The rulings, like all capital sentences, will be referred to Egypt’s top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for a non-binding opinion.

       

Egypt’s state information service said criticism of the ruling “reflects ignorance and lack of accuracy” and is an infringement on judicial independence.

       

Morsi can appeal the verdict. He has said the court is not legitimate, describing legal proceedings against him as part of a coup by former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2013.

       

Many other defendants are on the run.       

The Brotherhood, an Islamist movement, propelled Morsi to election victory in 2012 following Mubarak’s ouster but was driven underground after the army ouster a year later following protests against his rule.

       

Morsi stood defiant in a court cage wearing a blue prison outfit. He smiled and pumped his fists in the air as the judge read the sentences.

       

Other defendants, held in a courtroom cage separate from Morsi, flashed a four-finger salute symbolising resistance to the state’s anti-Islamist crackdown. From behind soundproof glass, they shouted: “Down with military rule!”

Wearing white, red and blue prison jumpsuits – identifying them respectively as awaiting sentencing, condemned to death, and sentenced to a lesser penalty – they seemed to form a choir momentarily, with one prisoner leading others in protest chants.

       

Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, the influential Qatar-based Muslim cleric, was among those sentenced to death.

     

He condemned the rulings in a televised statement: “They cannot be implemented because they are against the laws of God, against the people’s laws. I know the people and their morals. Nobody will accept it.”

       

Muslim Brotherhood official Amr Darrag also condemned the decision.

       

“This is a political verdict and represents a murder crime that is about to be committed, and it should be stopped by the international community,” Darrag, co-founder of the dissolved Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political wing, told Reuters in Istanbul.

     

The party said the ruling “opened all options to rid the country of this gang which seized power by force”. It did not elaborate.

Amnesty International called the court decision “a charade based on null and void procedures”.

       

Erdogan criticised Egypt and accused its Western allies of hypocrisy, the state-run Anatolian news agency reported. “While the West is abolishing the death penalty, they are just watching the continuation of death sentences in Egypt. They don’t do anything about it,” it quoted him as saying.

       

Relations between the two Sunni Muslim states have deteriorated after Turkey emerged as one of the fiercest international critics of Morsi’s removal. The Brotherhood has close ties with Erdogan’s AK Party. 

Western diplomats say Egyptian officials have acknowledged it could be political suicide to execute Morsi and risk turning him into a martyr. The Brotherhood, the Middle East’s oldest Islamist group, has survived decades of repression, maintaining popular support through its charities.       

Prosecutors say the Brotherhood planned to send “elements” to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for military training by Lebanon’s Hezbollah group and Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

       

Upon their return, they would join forces with militant groups in the Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian territory that borders Israel, prosecutors alleged.

       

The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful organisation with no links to violence.

       

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum condemned the ruling, which included dozens of Palestinians, calling it “a crime against the Palestinian people”. Hamas is an offshoot of the international Brotherhood movement.

       

Islamic militant groups stepped up bombing and shooting attacks on security forces after Morsi’s fall, killing hundreds.

      

On Saturday, four people, including three judges, were killed in the North Sinai city of al-Arish when militants shot at their vehicle, security sources said.

       

The interior ministry said a policeman was also killed by gunmen near Cairo. 

  

Security forces have killed about 1,000 Brotherhood supporters on the streets and jailed thousands of others, according to rights groups.

       

Some Egyptians accused Morsi of abusing power, which the Brotherhood denies, while rumours he intended to hand over part or all of the Sinai to Hamas compounded suspicions about him.

       

At a Cairo coffee shop, some Egyptians showed signs of political apathy after years of turbulence.

      

“Morsi deserves the death sentence 20 times over. He was going to give away the Sinai,” said cafe employee Mahmoud Osman.

      

Customer Ali Hussein was ambivalent, saying Morsi deserved the sentence because he escaped from prison while also questioning Egypt’s political transition.

      

“I don’t trust the judges frankly. We used to have democracy but we don’t anymore,” said the accountant.

       

In a separate case that risks sparking anti-government backlash, a court outlawed soccer fan clubs known as “Ultras” which participated in political demonstrations and violence since the 2011 uprising.  

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Knights snap five-game losing streak

Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor can’t believe it, but practising scrums will go straight to the top of the to-do list at training this week after their 22-12 defeat to the Knights in the NRL on Sunday evening.

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Down by four with only minutes remaining, the Tigers looked to steal victory when halfback Luke Brooks fed a scrum in front of the Newcastle uprights.

However the Knights won the ball against the feed and eventually closed the game out to finally snap a run of five straight defeats and climb back into the top eight.

“The most disappointing part of us losing that scrum when it was our feed, was the way we reacted to that,” Taylor said.

“We really dropped our heads, which I suppose is understandable.

“But the game was still there. It’s not good enough to lose that scrum.

“That was in our control and we lost it.

“I can’t believe in (2015) that we’re going to need to practice putting the ball into the scrum at training but it seems like we will.”

The Knights led 12-6 at the break after opening the game on a clinical set piece finished off by James McManus.

The visitors responded on Brooks’ set up for Dene Halatau, before David Fa’alogo put the hosts back in front when he pounced on a loose ball.

The two sides traded tries early in the second half and then Newcastle debutant Chad Redman sealed the win from close range in the closing stages.

“Chaddy’s been in our system at the Knights since he was 15 so he’s a guy who has turned up every year, every pre-season, trained hard, trained well and been a real toiler since he’s been a kid,” skipper Kurt Gidley said after the game.

“So he’s been waiting for this chance the past couple of years.

“I know he’s trialled in first-grade for the past two-three years and he’s kept working at his game and we’re all really proud and happy for him.

“To score one at the end was great for him and it’s a great start to his career.”

The loss drops the Tigers to 12th spot.

There was a scare for NSW second-rower Beau Scott when he copped a hit to his neck in the first half but he recovered to finish the game.

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