GWS privileged to be a target: Tomlinson

Greater Western Sydney defender Adam Tomlinson says it’s a privilege for the AFL’s youngest club to have a target on its back and be in the unfamiliar role of being hunted.

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Saturday’s home win over Essendon lifted GWS to top spot for the first time in their five and a half seasons as a senior club.

They have hit the halfway stage of their home and away program with 9-2 record, having reeled of four successive victories.

It’s a far cry from their first three seasons when they reached halfway with one, nought and two wins respectively.

“It is different,” Giants foundation player Tomlinson told AAP on Monday.

“A lot of teams are out to hunt us down, but that’s sort of a privilege.

“We take that as it comes and it just shows we’ve got to play our best footy next week to stay at the top of the table.

“It is nice to be there, but if you have a look at the games that have happened within the last six weeks, we scrapped home in three of our games and without that we wouldn’t be sitting here.

“Obviously we’re in a a pretty good position for the halfway mark of the year but the mindset hasn’t really changed to the years previous.

“It’s not as if we’ve put more focus on later in the season.”

The Giants face bottom two sides Carlton and Brisbane in the next two rounds, either side of their bye.

GWS have won as many games in the first half of 2017 as they did in their first three seasons combined.

Over the past month they added to their growing list of club milestones by finally completing a full set of AFL scalps by beating both Collingwood and West Coast for the first time.

“We started at the very bottom and the club has definitely grown a lot since I first started with 15 of the other boys who are still here,” Tomlinson said.

“It’s been amazing for us to be the start of something new.

“To pass those little milestones has been a great sort of reminder for us to show how far we’ve actually come each year and a sense of accomplishment as the team grows”

THE RISE OF GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY – HOW THE CLUB HAS PERFORMED AT THE HALFWAY STAGE OF EACH AFL CAMPAIGN (WINS/LOSSES)

*2012: 1-10

*2013: 0-11

*2014: 2-9

*2015: 7-4

*2016: 7-4

*2017: 9-2

Arthur hits back at critics after Pakistan surrender

In the end, one of the most eagerly awaited matches of the tournament proved a damp squib as India utterly dominated every aspect of a stop-start, rain-interrupted 124-run victory.

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“That’s a total insult to say we’re playing even worse,” said the 49-year-old South African, who took on the role a little more than a year ago, after his team succumbed meekly at a packed Edgbaston ground.

“If you have a look at our records over the last year we’ve won two series. We’ve got ourselves from nine to number eight (in the ODI rankings) and our brand of cricket has changed.”

Pakistan won the toss but nothing else went right for them as they dropped catches, persisted with bowlers who bled runs and folded inside 34 overs with the bat.

“We had a poor game,” the former South Africa and Australia coach added. “But we’re obviously trying our best and we’re trying to change it.

“It’s not going to happen overnight. We’re trying every day. Every time we go down to training, we try and get the basics right. We didn’t do it today. And that’s disappointing.”

Apart from the manner of their surrender, Pakistan are also fretting on the fitness of fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz.

Amir bowled 8.1 overs before developing severe cramp and leaving the field, while Riaz, who conceded 87 runs in 8.4 wicketless overs in the most expensive spell of five-plus overs in tournament history, hobbled off after twisting an ankle.

“I don’t know why they’re cramping,” Arthur said. “That’s something that I need to take up with the medical team.”

Pakistan play South Africa in their next Group B match at the same venue on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien)

Aust-EU to show climate leadership: Bishop

History may not look kindly on the “narcissistic ignoramus” Donald Trump and his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate change deal.

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That’s the view of former Labor foreign minister in the Hawke and Keating governments, Gareth Evans who sees it as a turning point in world history.

“I do think there is every chance last week’s events will be seen by… historians of the future as the day the United States actually abdicated the global leadership role it has played for 75 years,” Professor Evans told the inaugural European Union-Australia leadership forum in Sydney on Monday.

The Australian National University chancellor says there are now big shoes to fill as a result of America’s departure.

Overnight, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hinted Australia and the EU could be poised to help fill the leadership vacuum.

“I see another leadership role for the Australia-EU partnership and that is in the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change,” Ms Bishop told the gala dinner.

She also believes there is scope for collaboration between citizens, scientists and policy makers on coming up with ideas for affordable, reliable low emissions energy to drive economies.

“We are like-minded countries, and while geography may divide us, our shared values unite us,” Ms Bishop said.

Mr Trump’s decision to leave the 197-nation Paris climate agreement has left much of the world reeling.

Under the deal reached in late 2015, countries have pledged to submit and review five-yearly plans to slash their emissions. The aim is to limit global warming to below two degrees, with an aspiration target of keeping it to 1.5 degrees.

The US withdrawal leaves a leadership void in settling the rules and norms to give force to the agreement, but China and the EU have been quick to reaffirm their commitments.

In Australia, the federal government faces some internal pressure to follow the US, but Ms Bishop and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have rejected that notion.

Ms Bishop insists the vast majority of government MPs support the stance on Paris.

She warned colleagues that don’t not to debate the issue through the media, but to save it for the party room.

Turnbull dismisses Abbott’s claims that police lack clarity on terror responses

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agrees with his British counterpart, Theresa May, that enough is enough.

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“This is a corruption, a disease within Islam. We will never give into terrorism, we will never change the way we live. We defy these cowardly criminals. We defy them and we reject the poisonous ideology that they peddle.”

Mr Turnbull says the internet has been fertile ground for that I-S ideology.

“There is too much tolerance of extremist material on social media and that, ultimately, requires cooperation from the big social media platforms: in particular, Facebook and Twitter.”

But former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, says political correctness is leading to a wider tolerance of what he calls radical Islamist views.

Mr Abbott claims Australia’s leadership suffers from ‘a surrender mindset’ which weakens defences against terrorism.

“There is this notion that Islamophobia is almost as big a problem as Islamist terrorism. Well, Islamophobia hasn’t killed anyone. Islamist terrorism has now killed tens of thousands of people: that’s why it’s absolutely critical that there be the strongest possible response at every level.”

During his time as Prime Minister, Mr Abbott put a commando unit on standby during the Lindt cafe siege in December 2014.

He wants to amend the Defence Act to allow specialist army units to take the lead on major domestic terror incidents.

The former Prime Minister says there also needs to be more clarity for Australian police to give them the authority to shoot-to-kill terrorists.

“These people have this ‘death to the infidel’ approach and such sieges are almost inevitably going to end badly so the sooner they’re ended by the police or other agencies the better.”

Islamaphobia was blamed for two recent deaths in the United States, and for the 2011 massacre in Norway.

Kuranda Seyit, from the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations, says by alienating the Muslim community you’re letting the extremists win.

“Terrorism is a criminal act. It has no religious affiliation and it doesn’t matter which religion the person is from and whatever motivation they have, it’s a criminal act. We can’t affiliate Islam with terrorism because we’ve seen it before – we’ve seen it with Christian organisations and white supremacists.”

The rapid response of British police to the London attack is being applauded.

Prime Minister Turnbull says Australian police also have clarity when responding to particular types of terrorism attacks.

“The practice of cordon and contain, which had been used for many years, is not applied by police in situations where there is an active armed offender, an active shooter or someone with a knife, such as you saw in London.”

 

Australian soft drinks linked to diabetes risk

Australian soft drinks have higher levels of glucose that could be linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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Global analysis by researchers at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute found that in four popular soft drinks, total glucose concentration was 22 per cent higher in Australian formulations compared to similar drinks in the US.

The report published in the Medical Journal of Australia has led to calls for an examination of the health effects of Australian soft drink formulations.

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“Given that glucose, but not fructose rapidly elevates plasma glucose and insulin, regular consumption of Australian soft drinks has potential health implications regarding type 2 diabetes and its complications,” says Professor Bronwyn Kingwell, Head of Metabolic and Vascular Physiology at the Baker Institute.

Australian soft drinks are chiefly sweetened through sugar cane derived sucrose – made up of 50 per cent glucose and 50 per cent fructose.

In the US they are predominantly sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, and sugar beet in Europe.

Prof Kingwell says the findings are particularly relevant for Australians who are high consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).

A recent Australian Health Survey estimated that 39 per cent of all men and 29 per cent of women are regular consumers of SSBs.

The potential adverse effects of fructose over-consumption are well known, particularly with regards to potential build-up of fat in the liver and links with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

But little is known about the health effects of Australian soft drink consumption containing high glucose concentrations, says Prof Kingwell.

“The potential health implications of regional differences in soft drink sugar content have not previously been examined, despite the differing metabolic effects of glucose and fructose,” wrote the report authors.

“Our short report should motivate specific examination of the health effects of Australian soft drink formulations.”

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