We won’t rest till carbon tax gone: Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed that the government will stand firm and will not rest until the carbon tax is gone.

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A proposal to repeal the tax was blocked in the Senate on Thursday after the Palmer United Party senators voted against the government plan.

Mr Abbott used a speech to party faithful at the LNP state conference in Brisbane on Saturday to say Thursday’s vote won’t deter his plans to scrap the tax.

It had been an “interesting week” in the Senate, he said, but the government wouldn’t be put off by a bad headline or “one or two parliamentary difficulties”.

“If we have a problem one day in the parliament, we will work, we will regroup, we will deal with it the next day,” he told the conference.

“If we have a problem, we don’t despair, we deal with it.

“We won’t rest until the carbon tax is gone. It’s adding nine per cent to your power bills. It’s a nine billion dollar handbrake on our economy … it must go.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann concurred, telling Sky News: “We are absolutely determined to persist until the carbon tax is gone.”

Mr Abbott refused to criticise PUP leader Clive Palmer’s involvement in last week’s Senate vote, instead switching the focus to Labor’s reluctance to rid Australia of the tax.

“We know that Mr Palmer will change his mind by Monday, but [opposition leader] Bill Shorten will still be there come Monday, come Tuesday, come next week, come next month, come next year, supporting putting your power prices up,” he said.

“Smiling every time your power bill increases.”

Mr Abbott also defended the government’s budget.

As a small but vocal group of protesters railed outside the conference centre against proposals such as the GP co-payment, university deregulation and social welfare reform, Mr Abbott said such measures must be undertaken.

“We have to make the tough decisions today to make tomorrow better,” he said.

“I say to the critics, `what is your alternative?’ Because if you have no ideas of your own, stop wrecking, and let those who have the ideas get on with the job of building a better Australia.”

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Draft Freedom of Speech Bill gets a creative twist

Wiradjuri artist Amala Groom says that her art is a way for her to voice her opposition to the Bill.

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“This is the public speaking,” she said.

“This is the only way we can participate in what is a participatory democracy. These are the only ways according to this system that we can have a voice.”

Ms Groom’s works are a response to the process currently being undertaken by the Federal Government, in which the community is invited to submit responses to the Freedom of Speech (Repeal of Section 18C) Bill, which was released in draft form in April. 

The government has received 5,500 submissions from the community about the proposed changes to Section 18C, but the Attorney-General is refusing to make any of them public.

Under the proposal, the government plans to remove the prohibition on offending, insulting or humiliating individuals or groups because of their race or ethnicity.

In one artwork, Ms Groom has printed submissions to the draft legislation on reams of toilet paper. In another work, titled ‘Brandis’, she has created a shelf loaded with real submissions.

The works are among those on display at Redfern’s Damien Minton Art Gallery.

“I don’t want to live in a world where hate speech is lawful and permissible and I don’t think that a lot of people in society do,” Ms Groom said.

She says she decided to proceed with exhibiting the artworks, despite receiving legal advice that the use of the submissions – that have not been published on the attorney-general department’s website – could be in breach of the Parliamentary Privileges Act of 1987.

A breach of the act could attract a 6-month jail term and/or a $5,000 fine.

“I’m prepared to go to jail for it, sure,” she said. “If I don’t have my beliefs, I have nothing.”

Works by Dhungatti artist Adam Hill, also known as Black Douglas, are also on show at the exhibition.

The work contains wall hangings featuring black dolls pinned to painted canvases. 

The gallery’s director, Damien Minton, said the work at first might seem innocuous but does make a powerful statement.

“What he wanted you to do, and it’s typical of Black Douglas, is for you to refer to the image but then refer to the title,” he said.

Another work is titled, “We named him Nutella.”

“As a white middle-class male, that is pretty scary, to think that my forebears – not long ago – would have been using a term like that.”

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Srebrenica victims remembered 19 years on

Thousands of people have gathered in Srebrenica to mark the 19th anniversary of the massacre of some 8000 Muslim men and boys by ethnic Serb forces, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II.

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A total of 175 newly-identified massacre victims were laid to rest after a commemoration ceremony held in Potocari, just outside the ill-fated Bosnian town.

“This evil has still not been defeated. It will be when the flower of repentance flourishes,” said Bosnia’s grand mufti Husein Kavazovic, referring to the refusal by many Bosnian Serbs to recognise the scale of the genocide.

Around 15,000 people watched coffins filled with the victims’ remains and draped in green cloth laid to rest in freshly dug graves at a memorial cemetery.

Mustafa Delic buried his three brothers, the youngest aged just 21 when he was killed.

“Waiting was painful, but the moment has come to end this. One has to turn the page since life continues whether you want it to or not,” the 50-year-old Srebrenica survivor said.

“We did not have time to say goodbye… We were five brothers, and three of us had no luck,” he added.

The youngest victim buried during Friday’s service was just 14 when he was killed. Among the others were 13 boys aged between 15 and 17.

So far, the remains of 6066 people have been exhumed from mass graves in the Srebrenica region for reburial in the Potocari cemetery.

The massacre took place just a few months before the end of Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, which claimed some 100,000 lives in total.

Bosnian Serb wartime political leader Radovan Karadzic and his army chief Ratko Mladic, considered masterminds of the massacre, are now being tried by a UN court for war crimes and genocide.

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Manly’s Lyon aiming for 300 NRL games

Manly centre Jamie Lyon says he’s hoping to emulate former teammate Brent Kite by notching up 300 games in the NRL.

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That would mean at least another two seasons for Lyon, who celebrated his 250th game against the Wests Tigers on Friday night with an emphatic 40-8 win that has sent the Sea Eagles to the top of the competition ladder.

As the Manly captain has done so many times in his 15 year-career, Lyon shone in the victory by having a hand in a try and nailing six goals from seven attempts.

“You don’t really play the games to get the milestones, but especially for Kitey he’s played 300 and the majority of them in the front row,” the 32-year-old said.

“It’s a great effort and hopefully I can get there myself.”

“If it doesn’t happen I’m extremely grateful for how many I’ve played already.”

When asked about his 250th performance, Lyon’s coach Geoff Toovey cut him off mid-sentence: “Oh, he can’t wrap himself,” Toovey said to a chorus of laughs.

“Jamie’s been the most consistent centre in the world the last eight years at least.

“He’s proved that year in year out and that’s why he was tossed up just recently about playing for NSW.

“It’s a great achievement, he’s made his mark both here in Australia and overseas.

“The club is really pleased with what he’s done and very happy with the way he’s playing.”

Meanwhile, Toovey indicated young winger Clint Gutherson, who scored his third try in as many outings, could miss next week’s match against St George Illawarra due to a foot injury.

“We’re not sure how bad, it looks like he won’t be able to back up next week, but hopefully won’t be too long,” Toovey said.

With winger David Williams banned for the rest of the season for betting on NRL games, the Sea Eagles wing stocks are now running low.

“Hopefully Jorge Taufua will be back next week,” Toovey added.

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Goldstein ready for Kangaroos finals push

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has challenged standout ruckman Todd Goldstein to stay at the top of his game with the side seemingly headed for the AFL finals.

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Goldstein dominated in the Kangaroos’ 59-point drubbing of St Kilda at Bellerive on Saturday, with 39 hitouts, 18 possessions and two goals.

Scott said the big Kangaroo had reached the game’s top echelon in the past six matches, but added there was still room for improvement.

“He’s played against some good opposition and been pretty dominant,” he said.

“When he’s on top and giving first use to our inside midfielders it makes them better players and us a better team.

“He’s just got to continue to build his form leading into the end of the season.”

North look destined for a finals berth with a relatively favourable draw for the run home.

They backed up their surprise 20-point win over premiers Hawthorn last week with a 13.14(92) to 3.15(33) win over the poor-kicking Saints.

Scott’s side had made a habit of falling to the league’s struggler’s after impressive wins, but led from start to finish in their first outing at their Hobart base for 2014.

“I wasn’t thinking whether we’d be on or not,” he said.

“I don’t separate the wins from the losses too much.

“Even last week against Hawthorn we had … some periods of play when we weren’t very good at all.

“We’re just trying to strive for perfection.”

That quest will be helped with star injured duo Jack Ziebell and Daniel Wells still to return.

Ziebell could return as early as next week while Wells pulled up well after running again on Friday.

“We’ve got three weeks to try and get him back into full training and I think that’s largely on track,” Scott said.

They have minor injury concerns over a knock to the jaw for Lachlan Hansen and a knee problem for Leigh Adams.

North burst out of the blocks to lead by 30 at the first break, before the young Saints rallied to restrict the halftime lead to 37.

But the visiting Saints had nine behinds on the board before finally kicking their first major through Nick Riewoldt moments before the halftime siren.

Coach Alan Richardson said injuries and inexperience were no excuse for a losing streak that now stretches to 11.

“We certainly wouldn’t give them a pass mark,” he said.

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No place for radical extremists: Bishop

The government will do everything it can to ensure Australians don’t become radicalised overseas and bring their extremist views back home, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.

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Her comments came after it was reported that an Australian convert to Islam who has previously urged Muslims to join “jihad” in Syria and Iraq had been arrested in the Philippines.

Melbourne man Robert Edward “Musa” Cerantonio, 29, faces deportation to Australia.

He was reportedly arrested at the request of the Australian government after footage on his website showed him calling on Muslims to join the war in Iraq and Syria.

Ms Bishop refused to comment specifically about Cerantonio to avoid jeopardising the work of Philippine authorities.

But she said reports of Australian citizens getting involved with radicals and fighting overseas were disturbing.

“We are determined to ensure that Australians do not leave this country to take up fighting in another country, become radicalised and then return to Australia with these new skills and extremist outlooks,” she told reporters in Brisbane.

“We are taking every step we can to ensure that Australians are kept safe.”

Cerantonio has been detained in the central Philippine city of Cebu where regional police commander Prudencio Banas claimed he would be deported as an illegal alien after Canberra cancelled his passport.

Mr Banas said there “no evidence linking him to any terror act”.

The Australian Federal Police have confirmed the arrest of the 29-year-old but will neither confirm nor deny whether they are conducting their own investigation.

“The AFP is aware that Philippine authorities have taken action in relation to Musa Cerantonio, which may result in his return to Australia,” the AFP said in a statement.

A federal government spokeswoman said she was aware Cerantonio had been detained but would not comment further.

Cerantonio was detained in the central Philippine city of Cebu on Friday, said Superintendent Conrado Capa, the region’s deputy police chief.

“In one broadcast on his website, he called on brother Muslims to join the war in Iraq and Syria,” Capa said.

The Philippines has a large Muslim minority in the southern region of Mindanao, a hotbed for a decades-old Muslim insurgency and where Islamic militants linked to al-Qaeda also operate.

Police said they had been monitoring his activities since February when he arrived in Cebu, the country’s largest metropolis outside Manila.

He lived with a Filipina and moved around Cebu until his arrest at a one-room apartment near the airport.

The 32-year-old woman was wanted by police over an unrelated fraud case and was also arrested on Friday, Capa said.

A report in The Australian newspaper in June described Cerantonio as a preacher and “one of (the Islamic State’s) most influential propagandists”.

The newspaper said Cerantonio called for the assassination of Western leaders in a Facebook post in December, and that a study had found one in four foreign fighters in Syria followed his Twitter account.

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Roos blasts ‘poor me’ Demons in AFL

Melbourne coach Paul Roos blasted his players for self-pity and not trying after Geelong thrashed them by 66 points in Saturday’s AFL match at the MCG.

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Geelong had their best scoring quarter of the year, kicking 8.2 in the second term on the way to the regulation 14.18 (102) to 5.6 (36) win.

Roos said the Demons had established minimum standards this season of what they had to produce during matches.

After an even first term where they could not turn some good effort into goals, they fell away badly from those expectations.

“It looked to me like we had too many guys who weren’t all that interested in competing today,” Roos said.

Melbourne did not kick their first goal until 17 minutes into the second term, by which time the match was over.

Roos suspects some players have to stop feeling sorry for themselves after years of poor performance.

Melbourne’s last win over Geelong was in 2006 – also the last season that the Demons made the finals.

Geelong now have extended their winning streak over the Demons to 10.

In that time, the Cats have won three premierships and the Demons have gone through seven coaches.

“It’s hard to tell whether there are still some who hang onto the past and I think there is a bit of that,” Roos said.

“That ‘poor me’ and ‘here we go again’ – that sort of stuff – tends to creep in.

“I don’t know how you get it out.

“That’s up to the players themselves, but that’s certainly (how) it looks to me.”

As they did against Fremantle last week, Melbourne could not kick goals early and once that happened, they capitulated too quickly.

Apart from the second quarter the Cats were not at their best, but a 59-point lead at halftime meant there was little pressure to extend themselves.

Still, coach Chris Scott was unimpressed with their third term and let his senior players know about it at three-quarter time.

“We’re probably being a little harsh if we say a 66-point win comes with its problems,” Scott said.

“In the scheme of things, we’ll be more positive about the first half rather than negative about the second half.”

Cats utility Steven Motlop was best afield, while captain Joel Selwood starred early with 14 disposals in the first term.

Midfielder Adam Riley impressed for the Demons and Jack Viney worked hard when he went onto Joel Selwood.

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Time running out for Tiger at majors

Tiger Woods enters next week’s British Open at Royal Liverpool needing a victory to keep pace with Jack Nicklaus in major wins while his injury-ravaged body tries to turn back the clock.

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The 38-year-old American has won 14 major titles, but none since the 2008 US Open as he tries to overtake the all-time record of 18 won by Nicklaus, who captured his 15th major at age 38 at the 1978 British Open at St Andrews.

Woods won the Claret Jug the last time he played at Hoylake in the 2006 British Open, but this year he has managed to finish 72 holes only once without battling severe pain, that in Dubai back in early February.

Woods underwent back surgery on March 31 to ease pressure on a pinched nerve and was idle for 109 days until making a comeback two weeks ago just outside Washington at the US PGA National, firing 74 and 75 to miss the cut at Congressional Country Club.

But such is the woeful state of Woods’ game that back-to-back healthy rounds, no matter how far over par, was considered a positive achievement as he faces his first major since the surgery.

“I hate to say it but I’m really encouraged by what happened this week,” Woods said two weeks ago in his most recent public comments.

“What I was able to do physically and the speed I had and distance that I was hitting the golf ball again, I had not done that in a very long time. And to recover like I did overnight, still leery about it, ‘How am I going to recover?’ Felt great.”

Woods was inconsistent off the tee and on the green and blamed his struggles on minor problems he declared fixable before the British Open.

“I made so many little mistakes — missing the ball on the wrong sides, not having the right feel for certain shots, not judging the wind correctly and speed on putts — all the little things that I know I can fix. But as I said, that’s very encouraging.”

What’s discouraging is seeing how far his form has fallen from the icon who launched “Tigermania” with an epic 1997 Masters win, took four majors in a row and seven of 11 from 1999 to 2002, then ran off six major wins in 14 tries from the 2005 Masters to the 2008 US Open.

Since then, he has battled numerous knee and leg injuries, coped with the aftermath of his infamous sex scandal and divorce, changed his swing to ease the load on his knees and faced back pain that left him bed-ridden at one stage — all while a younger generation of rivals he inspired have come of age and started winning majors themselves.

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Cats’ AFL percentage remains a worry

Geelong blew a chance to ramp up their AFL percentage in Saturday’s easy 66-point win over Melbourne.

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Coach Chris Scott noted it would be a little harsh to criticise the Cats too heavily, given they dominated the match.

But Geelong’s poor percentage compared to the current top-four teams could prove costly as they chase a second chance in the finals.

They started round 17 in fifth place, level on points with second-placed Hawthorn.

While Saturday’s winning margin meant they improved their percentage by five points, it is still more than 20 below all the top-four sides.

Geelong and Melbourne kicked three goals apiece in a mundane second half.

Scott was unimpressed with the Cats’ third term and let his senior players know about it during the last break.

“That’s the really tangible part – we’re a long way behind them in terms of percentage,” Scott said.

Scott then started talking about how hard Melbourne could be to score against, then checked himself.

“I’m going to take that back, because that’s a cop-out,” he said.

“We had plenty of chances, we missed in front of goal.

“We had some really nice opportunities to score that we blew and they (Melbourne) found it really hard to score.

“(But) for a few bits of lazy play, they wouldn’t have scored much at all.

“I’m not going to talk about the opposition – we should have been better.”

Scott remains unsure what Geelong can do this season.

Their run to the finals includes massive games against current top-four teams Fremantle and Hawthorn.

“If we play like we did in the first half, we’re pretty hard to beat,” Scott said.

“If we roll out what we rolled out in the second half, we’re probably a bit behind those top teams.”

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Quotes of the World Cup

Brazil 1 Germany 7.

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That semi-final.

Brazil entered the semi-final against Germany as joint favourites to win the World Cup but exited in pitiful fashion, losing 7-1 in one of the most incredible matches seen in the tournament’s long history.

“I’m going to be remembered probably because I lost 7-1, the worst defeat in Brazil’s history, but that was a risk I knew I was running when I walked into this position.” Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

– –

“What was that? Hard to believe,” former West Germany World Cup winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer.

– –

“We witnessed a collective implosion of Brazil. A total collapse of their team tonight. I don’t know what the lads from Brazil were carrying on their shoulders. They weren’t able to come to terms with that. In these pictures you keep seeing them crying, before the match or after the match. This team didn’t have enough experience to come to terms with the pressure of a big tournament like this in their own country. They fell apart emotionally today, completely.” Former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

– –

“In nigh on half a century of watching football, that’s the most extraordinary, staggering, bewildering game I’ve ever witnessed,” former England striker Gary Lineker.

– –

“I didn’t like Brazil from the start, but I didn’t think Germany were going to be so imposing, so devastating, so decisive,” Diego Maradona.

– – – –

Luis Suarez bites Giorgio Chiellini.

When the Uruguayan striker bit his Italian opponent towards the end of their Group D clash the World Cup had a major flashpoint that everyone had an opinion on.

“We were both just there inside the area. He shoved me with his shoulder, and my eye got left like that also,” Suarez said afterwards in reference to Chiellini’s mark.

– –

“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field,” FIFA said in a statement upon delivering their World Cup record four month ban from all football and nine international match suspension.

– –

“Everyone knows what they’ve done to Luis. They wanted him out of the World Cup. Perfect, they did it. They chucked him out of there like a dog,” Suarez’s grandmother told Reuters after the ban was announced.

– –

“They can’t forgive Uruguay that a son of the people has eliminated two of football’s big nations, so they invented a whole case,” Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro said after Uruguay knocked out England and Italy.

– –

“Who did Suarez kill? This is football, this is contact… They may as well handcuff him and bring him to Guantanamo directly.” Maradona was unhappy with the length of the ban.

– –

“It was a decision much more focused on the opinions of the media who at the conclusion of the match, and at the press conference afterwards focused on just one topic. I don’t know what their nationality was – but they all spoke English.” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez was unhappy with the English media who wrote heavily about Suarez.

– –

“He should go for a treatment.” FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke offered some advice for Suarez.

– –

“There’s no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that’s done. My only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period.” Chiellini feared for Suarez after the ban.

– –

“The truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me,” Suarez finally admits his guilt.

– – – –

Neymar injury.

The Brazilian talisman had his World Cup ended at the quarter-finals after he suffered a cracked vertebrae following a tackle by Juna Zuniga of Colombia.

“God blessed me,” Neymar said, breaking down in tears. “If it had been another two centimetres I could be in a wheelchair today.”

– –

“It was a very violent, unlawful tackle. It was an evil tackle,” Former Brazil striker Ronaldo.

– –

“In my opinion, it was a cowardly tackle. I’m a defender and you don’t do that,” Brazil captain Thiago Silva

– –

“When a team loses a player of such great qualities, it’s as if football has shed a tear,” Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella.

– –

“I was not thinking of hurting him. I was defending my country´s colours,” Zuniga said.

– – – –

Lionel Messi

The Argentina skipper was one of the most discussed players at the World Cup after his mazy dribbles and goalscoring exploits took the South Americans to a first final in 24 years.

“Messi could be the best player in the world – if he was human,” – Iran coach Carlos Queiroz after the little magician came up with a 91st minute winner to down the Asians.

– –

“Thank God El Enano (the Dwarf) rubbed the lamp at the end.” Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero said of the late winner.

– –

“Messi is one of heck of a player. He’s blessed. There are good calibre players in the team but Messi is from Jupiter.” Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi.

– –

“When you have a player such as Messi, who never, or almost never, loses the ball, it’s water in the desert.” Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella.

– – – –

Elsewhere.

“It was a crazy game. We could have scored five…oh right, we did score five, but we could have scored six, seven or eight.” Dutch striker Robin van Persie after their opening 5-1 thrashing of defending champions Spain.

– –

“If we beat Costa Rica I want a kiss, obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen.” Italy striker Mario Balotelli posted on Twitter. Unfortunately Balotelli failed to deliver as Costa Rica beat the Italians to eliminate England.

– –

“I would like to be 110 percent fit but I am 100 percent fit and that should be enough to help the national team.” Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo attempted to ease fears about his troublesome knee injury.

– –

“The Belgium defence, they’re not all Ferraris there, you know. They have some Skodas too.” Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic offers his thoughts on Belgium before their 2-1 defeat.

– –

“When we arrived in Salvador, they told us not to go on the beach at one o’clock because of the sun’s rays. If it’s not good for you to go on the beach, how can it be good for you to play football at that time of day?” Portugal coach Paulo Bento not happy about the scheduling before his side’s midday kick-off against Ghana.

– –

“What does it mean to play beautifully? What is important in the end is the result, to win the match with whatever style of play. We are not here to look at them (other teams). We are here to win … The rest is literature.” Belgium coach Marc Wilmots offered after their Group H win over South Korea before switching tact after losing to Argentina in the quarter-finals.

“If I had played this way I would have been destroyed by the Belgian press. We were not impressed by the Argentines, absolutely not, it’s just an ordinary team.” Wilmots said.

(Reporting by Patrick Johnston)

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