Jul
17
  • ‘I just witnessed an abduction in Thailand’

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    It’s 1am dead of night deep in the jungle at Pak Chong Military Camp in remote Thailand.

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    A rude awakening from gunfire nearby the bunker I’m staying in.

     

    Then in a cloud of shouting and gunfire… an abduction. But it’s not what it looks like.

     

    Shaun Filer and his colleagues are security and military experts working across the globe to prevent kidnap and ransom situations. It’s just one part of intense hostile environment training they’ve designed to equip journalists, aid workers, and those travelling to high-risk destinations with the skills to stay alive.

     

    “Nothing can prepare you for that situation,” says Filer. “We try to make it somewhat intense just to make some of the decision points, take away some of the learnings from the course so people are focusing on what are they supposed to do next, what should they be communicating, how should they be acting.”

     

    There were up to 35,000 kidnappings for ransom globally in 2012. That’s not counting the estimated 70 per cent of kidnappings that go unreported.

     

    So far in 2013… 92 journalists and media crew have been killed on the frontline and 96 aid workers have lost their lives while working to save others

     

    That makes hostile environment training even more important to survival. And if participants expect to sit in a cosy conference room and discuss tactics – they should think again.

     

    “I am trembling with fear,” says one participant in the program. “I was genuinely scared and it was not nice having a bag over my head and being kidnapped is full on.”

     

    Kidnappings are never fun and Filer’s training program is designed to help keep people alive – not to make them feel safe.

     

    “We have 20 people from literally all corners of the globe here attending, this course, and they’ll be going through a series of challenging exercises and when I say challenge I mean quite challenging exercises from out here in the jungle into urban terrain,” says Ken one of the trainers. “We keep them out for seven days and we do test them quite rigorously.”

     

    There’s no exact formula for working out if you will be kidnapped but Filer says usually there is a financial motive.

     

    “Kidnappings can happen anywhere but there are trouble spots or hotspots and you see trends,” says Filer. “There’s a lot of places where it is a business and people make money.”

     

    “It’s all about money…”

     

    More than 90% of kidnappings are resolved with a payment.

     

    In the past 3 years, G8 countries paid $70 million US dollars in ransoms – an average of $2.5 million per victim.

     

    Australia paid around $5 million dollars in ransoms. Much of which ends up in the hands of terrorist groups.

     

    Australian journalist Nigel Brennan was kidnapped in Somalia and held captive for 462 days. Since his escape he’s been working with Shaun, Ken and veteran Foreign Correspondent Peter Cave on designing these courses so they’re as ‘real-life’ as possible.

     

    “I fell to the ground and was kicked and punched and dragged through the mosque and out into a courtyard and believed within the next 60 seconds I was about to take a bullet to the head,” Brennan told ABC’s 7:30 report in 2008. “It was like an out of body experience watching myself being dragged to my death.”

     

    Most of the participants here are experiencing this training for the first time. Many could be deployed to warzones or high-risk situations at any time.

     

    The need for the training is real, and as Cave says, sometimes you don’t know what will happen.

     

    “Probably the scariest personal incident was in the 1987 coup in Fuji when along with the BBC correspondent Red Harrison I was arrested by the army, I was taken to the basement of a hotel,” says Peter Cave. “I was put up against a wall. The soldiers basically discussed whether they were going to shoot us or not, and I can remember standing up against that wall thinking if they start shooting, will I have enough strength to throw myself against the cinder block wall beside me and possibly burst through it and runaway. It was that desperate.”

     

    Over the seven day program participants are subjects to hardcore training, from weapons, to dealing with dead bodies on the job, getting out of civil unrest and riots, a 101 in identifying explosives and landmines, evasive driving techniques to get you through militia roadblocks or checkpoints, and how to cross-risky borders safely.

     

    Participants are also given comprehensive first aid and medical training.

     

    “The way we’ve perceived safety and security when you travelling into international locations or really remote locations is, is kind of a game of one per cents,” says Filler. “If you make good decisions that’s one per cent more safe, if you make bad decisions that’s one per cent less safe.”

     

    “The reason I do this is to help people…. to make people safer, and to probably avoid making some of the mistakes that we have.”

    The Feed airs weeknights at 19:30 on SBS 2. You can also follow The Feed on Twitter at @TheFeedSBS2, or ‘LIKE’ SBS 2 on Facebook to stay in the loop.

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Jul
17
  • I’m fighting Choc for fitness: Mosley

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    Shane Mosley has laughed of suggestions Anthony Mundine could be in for a big pay day should he win their fight next Wednesday, saying he’s only taking on the Australian champ to stay fit.

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    A loss to Mosley would be another nail in Mundine’s career, while the fast-talking 38-year-old hopes a win could elevate his standing on the world stage – and further his chance of landing a dream fight with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jnr.

    But Mosley, who will bank $1 million for next Wednesday’s fight, thinks that is unlikely.

    In fact, while he expects to knock Mundine out, he doesn’t think many people will take much notice.

    “This fight has just got to keep me in shape, keep me going, keep me fighting,” Mosley said.

    “I’m not sure if it’s going to help me with any of the other fights.

    “They’re not going to say ‘oh, ok, you beat Anthony Mundine so now you can fight for the world title or you could fight (Manny) Pacquiao’.

    “I don’t know if it’s going to trigger people like that.

    “They don’t really see Anthony as a superstar in America.

    “It’s going to keep me busy, no doubt. And I think it will be a hard fight.

    “But I don’t know about making a difference or an impact in America.”

    When asked if Mundine had already attempted to set up a bout with Mayweather, Mosley confirmed that he had.

    And the result?

    “Nothing,” he said.

    “It is what it is. I’m telling the truth.”

    The pair had been due to fight last month, before Mosley fled the country when money which he’d been promised wasn’t delivered on time.

    Mundine and manager Khoder Nasser flew to meet with Mosley’s representatives in the United States to smooth things over, which is what triggered the veteran’s quick change of mind.

    But even with the financial side of the fight sorted, Mosley revealed he’d still attempted to push it back another month in order to find another fight in the US.

    “(My management) were already looking for other fights,” he said.

    “(Mexico’s rising lightweight fighter) Carlos Molina for the world title or some other fights.

    “I was (pushing for) December 20th or something. I was trying to wait for some of the other fights to happen.

    “But they wanted to do it November, and I was like ‘alright, I’m in shape, let’s go.'”

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Jul
17
  • Rally over deaths of 3 Aboriginal children

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    Protesters have rallied outside NSW parliament to demand justice over the unsolved murders of three Aboriginal children in northern NSW 23 years ago.

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    Around 100 people marched from Hyde Park to parliament house on Thursday, stopping traffic as they called on Attorney-General Greg Smith to reopen the cases and for a judicial inquiry.

    Colleen Walker, 16, Clinton Speedy, 16, and four-year-old Evelyn Greenup disappeared from the Bowraville community over a five-month period in 1990.

    In 1991, local man Jay Hart was charged with the murder of Clinton and Evelyn, but was acquitted of murdering Clinton in 1994.

    Soon afterwards prosecutors also dropped the charges relating to Evelyn.

    After an inquest into her death in 2004, Mr Hart was once more charged with Evelyn’s murder and again acquitted.

    The families of the victims continued to push for a retrial, prompting Mr Smith to agree to review the case in 2011.

    But in February this year he announced his decision not to consider new charges.

    Ronella Jerome, Clinton Speedy’s aunt, said on Thursday that the initial police investigation was mismanaged, highlighted by a subsequent coroner’s inquest.

    “Police failed our children, the legal system failed our children … we deserve our day in court and we will never give up,” she told reporters.

    Clinton’s nephew, Elijah Duroux, said the case was part of an Australia-wide pattern where Aboriginal deaths were not subjected to the same rigorous legal investigation.

    “I guarantee if it were three white kids on the North Shore or some other posh place around Sydney, justice would have been served on a silver platter,” the 15-year-old told reporters.

    Greens MP David Shoebridge has a motion before parliament calling for the families to be heard by a parliamentary committee.

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Jul
17
  • Spies like us: How you can become like the NSA

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    In the 1985 comedy classic Spies Like Us, loose cannons Dan Akroyd and Chevy Chase are given all the weapons and technology given top secret spies.

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    They embark on a hair-brained spy mission to Russia with hilarious consequences.

     

    But times have changed and spying is not all about cool watches and James Bond gadgets anymore.

     

    And if you thought that NSA-style cyber-snooping, data-logging, phone-hacking and camera-stalking technology can’t get into the hands of loose cannons – think again.

     

    The global mass surveillance industry is worth about 14 billion dollars. Not bad for an industry that has sprung up in the past few decades.

     

    Watchdog group Privacy International spent the last four years trudging around trade shows and private conventions from Dubai to Prague, compiling an index of exactly what’s on offer from these covert firms if you know where to look.

     

    And it’s not just data capturing vehicles, biometric cameras and mobile phone trackers – it’s a lot scarier than that.

     

    Surveillance corporations are selling some of the most powerful, invasive, and dangerous technologies. And it’s all perfectly legal.

     

    Systems that are keeping pace with the capabilities of the NSA and the UK’s GCHQ.

     

    About 338 companies across 36 countries are offering a total of 97 different technologies. And their selling them to whoever has the cash.

     

    One Dubai-based firm called Advanced Middle East Systems taps information from fibre-optic cables carrying internet traffic.

     

    Their products can record billions of real time calls, text, billing data, emails, conversations, webmail, chat and social data.

     

    Attaching probes to internet cables the company says that “no co-operation with the providers is required,”

     

    The index even lists three Australia-based companies:

     

    Geonautics who do covert technical surveillance systems, FFT Secure link which monitors fibre optic cables, and Harris Technologies, whose not so subtle brochure shows off their range of concealed cameras.

     

    Some say this kind of tech, while not illegal, is moving faster than the law.

     

    The UK is leading a clampdown on tech that may be used by criminals to conduct espionage.

     

    So what if these systems fall into the wrong hands?

     

    Well, in all likelihood, it already has.

     

    According to Privacy International, some of the firms on the list maintain relationships with the repressive regimes they sell to. Servicing their systems and providing 24/7 tech support for dictators and their cronies.

     

    They don’t specify which firms work with which regimes and there’s no suggestion that any Australian firms are doing it.

     

    Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi was known to use off-the-shelf surveillance equipment to clamp down on opposition.

     

    We live in a time where even our own government has excused cyber privacy breaches by saying that everyone does it.

     

    It’s not just so-called oppressive regimes. It’s the goodies, the baddies and everyone in between. Anyone who knows where to look and has the cash to pay for it can become their own NSA.

     

    The Feed airs weeknights at 19:30 on SBS 2. You can also follow The Feed on Twitter at @TheFeedSBS2, or ‘LIKE’ SBS 2 on Facebook to stay in the loop.

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Jul
17
  • Cheika backs his Waratahs leader

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    NSW coach Michael Cheika is backing berated skipper Dave Dennis to lead the Waratahs to the 2014 Super Rugby title.

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    Dennis was one of eight so-called Waratahs `booze brothers’ reprimanded for breaking curfew before Australia’s Test win over Ireland in Dublin last week and Cheika said the NSW captain would no doubt feel disappointed.

    Cheika, though, has no plans to pull out the big stick or deliver any pep talks when Dennis and his chastened teammates return next month from the five-Test spring tour.

    Instead, he will reward his Wallabies tourists with five weeks off before moving on with the business of trying to end NSW’s 17-year wait for Super glory.

    “Dave Dennis is an excellent captain here. An excellent player, an excellent man,” Cheika said on Wednesday.

    “The punishment is relative to the coach. Every coach has his ways.

    “(Wallabies coach) Ewen (McKenzie) has decided to make a punishment. That’s fair enough. That’s what he decides. The players have to wear that because they’re in that environment.

    “But for me Dave Dennis is an example of wanting to give for your team, a well respected captain and I expect when he comes back here he’s going to be an even better captain for the experiences that he’s had.”

    Far from concerned by the distraction in Europe, Cheika is convinced the Waratahs have the artillery and maturity to seize the title in his second year at the helm.

    “We don’t need to keep saying it over and over again – we want to win,” he said.

    “We’re preparing to have that type of finish.”

    Even in the absence of his Test stars and with the likes of marquee recruit Kurtley Beale still to resume contact work following shoulder surgery, Cheika is adamant the Waratahs are well ahead of where they were in their pre-season preparation last year.

    “Obviously because we know how I operate, at the team’s training we’re at a much higher level of intensity earlier,” he said.

    The former European Cup-winning coach said he was excited by the prospect of Beale and superstar convert Israel Folau linking up in the Waratahs backline in 2014.

    “It’s going to be great to see those guys playing together,” Cheika said.

    “Kurtley’s charting well and he’s doing a lot of good work. He’s come back into the football side of things a lot earlier actually than we thought he would.

    “So, all going well, come December he’ll be fully integrated into the skills work and by January he’ll be into the contact side of the game.”

    And by February 1, Beale will be on deck for the Waratahs’ first pre-season trial against the Melbourne Rebels in Albury-Wodonga.

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Jun
17
  • Ashes begins in Brisbane

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    After being given three months to deal with the disappointment of another Ashes series loss, Australia have another shot at revenge against England starting in Brisbane today.

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    Australia is looking to protect an unbeaten record at the Gabba which dates back to 1986, while England is shooting for a fourth straight Ashes series triumph.

    Captain Michael Clarke and allrounder Shane Watson are generally thought to be carrying the weight of expectations on their shoulders this Test. 

    But according to cricketing legend Steve Waugh, Steve Smith is the key man for Australia this Ashes season.

    The tourists are sweating on the fitness of wicketkeeper Matt Prior, while Australia is yet to confirm spinner Nathan Lyon’s place in the side.

    Ian Bell’s series-defining performance during the last Ashes series is also looming front and centre as Australia plan for the England run-machine this time around.

    But until further notice, the best they can come up with is to be more patient.

    Australia have been open about plans to nick off Cook, bounce Trott and pitch up to Root.

    But their bowling tip-sheet on Bell for the first Test in Brisbane is a little less dynamic.

    The grand plan centres on beating the most stoic batsman in Test cricket at his finest strength.

    Australian allrounder Shane Watson also believes the Gabba bounce will offer a stern test of Bell’s technique.

    But if that doesn’t work, the home side are prepared to pop on the kettle, bring a good book and camp out for as long as it takes to bore a mistake out of England’s No.5.

    Bell scored 562 runs at 62.44, with a century in each of England’s three wins during the last series in the UK.

    Australia know they may need to play the waiting game before uncovering a weakness.

    “We just have to be more patient than him,” Watson said.

    “He is a very patient test batsman and knows his game very well. He has a very good defence.

    “We have to find ways to try and expose certain parts of his technique … but also we need to be more patient than he is. 

    That’s certainly where his game has developed and he has been very hard to dismiss.”

    Overall, however, Bell has experienced mixed fortunes against Australia, especially in his two trips down under where it took him 10 Tests to make a breakthrough hundred in Sydney in 2011.

    Leg-spin has proven a problem for Bell, with Shane Warne his earliest tormentor and Steve Smith dismissing him twice at Lord’s in July.

    Even 20-year-old Victorianlegspinner James Muirhead had Bell’s measure last week in a tour match.

    Test great Mark Waugh praised Bell as a better batsman than 100-Test man Kevin Pietersen, who he thought had really only excelled on flatter pitches.

    Watson said the famous Gabba bounce would also test out Bell’s text-book batting

    “Conditions are slightly different and that bit of bounce will test out his technique,” Watson said.

    “He has a very good defence. We have to find ways to try and expose certain parts of his technique and that will be a very good challenge for us.

    “He scored crucial runs (in the last series) when his team needed it.”

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Jun
17
  • France names suspect in Paris shootings

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    France has named a man arrested over dramatic shootings in Paris this week as Abdelhakim Dekhar and said his DNA matched samples from the scene of the attacks.

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    The suspect was arrested on Wednesday after a major manhunt following Monday’s shooting at left-wing newspaper Liberation, which critically wounded a photographer, and a subsequent shooting outside the offices of bank Societe Generale.

    France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Thursday identified him as Dekhar, who was sentenced to four years in jail for his role in a Bonnie-and-Clyde style murder spree that gripped France in the 1990s.

    Valls praised Dekhar’s arrest, saying that “all the evidence today points to his involvement in the events that he has been charged with”.

    Dekhar was convicted in 1998 of buying a gun used in the 1994 shooting attacks by student Florence Rey and her lover Audry Maupin, in which three policemen and a taxi driver were killed.

    He was arrested around 7.00pm on Wednesday (0500 AEDT Thursday) in a vehicle in an underground parking lot in the northwestern Paris suburb of Bois-Colombes, the Paris prosecutors’ office said.

    Sources close to the investigation said he was found in a semi-conscious state, with one saying he may have taken an overdose.

    Prosecutors said the suspect was not immediately in a position to be questioned, but provided no explanation.

    Police sources said he had been taken to a Paris hospital and was under medical care.

    Police tested his DNA against samples taken at the sites of the various attacks, announcing early on Thursday that the samples matched.

    Earlier DNA tests confirmed that a single person was responsible for the series of attacks across Paris in the past week, including hijacking a car on the famed Champs Elysees and threatening staff at a 24-hour television station.

    The arrest came after a witness statement to police, who had on Tuesday released a new photograph of the man suspected in the attacks and received hundreds of calls from potential witnesses.

    A source close to the investigation said the witness who came forward had been a man who had housed the suspect.

    “He had said to him, talking about the shooter case: ‘I’ve made a stupid mistake’,” the source said.

    The man opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun at the offices of Liberation early on Monday, shooting a 23-year-old photographer’s assistant as he hauled gear in the lobby, then firing another blast that hit the roof before leaving within seconds.

    He then crossed the city to the La Defense business district on its western edge, where he fired several shots outside the main office of the Societe Generale bank, hitting no one.

    He hijacked a car and forced the driver to drop him off close to the Champs Elysees in the centre of the French capital, before disappearing.

    Police say he was the same man who on Friday stormed into the Paris headquarters of a 24-hour TV news channel, BFMTV, briefly threatening staff with a gun before hurrying out.

    His attacks set off a major manhunt and raised concerns about violence against media outlets.

    The photographer, who suffered wounds to the chest and stomach, was rushed to surgery and appeared to be in better condition on Wednesday.

    Hospital officials said he had regained consciousness and was no longer in need of an artificial respirator.

    The new photo of the suspect, taken by a surveillance camera, showed a white man, aged 35 to 45, with a round face and thin-framed glasses, wearing a red jacket and beige cap and carrying a black shoulder bag.

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Jun
17
  • Barca wary of ‘FIFA virus’ ahead of Granada visit

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    In their two La Liga outings immediately following their players’ return from country duty this season, Barca needed a last-gasp Alexis Sanchez goal to scrape past Sevilla 3-2 in September and were held to a 0-0 draw at Osasuna last month, the only points they have dropped in 13 matches.

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    Their task against eighth-placed Granada has been complicated by a rash of injuries to key performers, including World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, playmaker Xavi and goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

    Messi is unlikely to play again before mid-January, Xavi is a doubt for Saturday and Valdes, who has made a host of crucial saves this season, is out for around six weeks.

    “I am sad that I cannot help my team mates at the moment but it’s an injury that will heal normally and I will return next year full of desire to get going again,” Messi said in an interview with Marca sports daily published on Thursday.

    Coach Gerardo Martino will be looking to Brazil forward Neymar to shoulder some of the burden of scoring and creating goals in Messi’s absence, while Chile forward Alexis has been in fine form for club and country in recent weeks.

    Barca are three points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, who host city rivals Getafe on Saturday (2100), after Real Madrid, a further three points back in third, play at promoted Almeria (1900).

    Real’s Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, La Liga’s top scorer with 16 goals, is on a high after his brilliant hat-trick against Sweden on Tuesday secured his country’s place at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

    The 28-year-old is close to unstoppable on current form but Real coach Carlo Ancelotti also has injury problems to deal with, especially in defence.

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    Ronaldo’s Portugal team mate Fabio Coentrao was hurt in the Sweden game, while fellow left back Marcelo has not played since damaging his knee in training on November 8 and is not due back for another couple of weeks.

    Ancelotti will also have to shuffle his midfield after regular starter Sami Khedira tore knee ligaments playing for Germany last week and has been ruled out for six months.

    Playmaker Isco, who started the season strongly but has faded in recent weeks, could come in to play behind Real’s formidable attacking trident of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and record signing Gareth Bale, Ancelotti said this week.

    Atletico have emerged as a genuine third force alongside wealthy Real and Barca, at least for the time being, but face a stiff test against Getafe, who have out-performed this term and are sixth.

    Atletico coach Diego Simeone, whose nickname is “Cholo”, has infected his players with the same fighting spirit he showed as a combative midfielder and Messi had warm words of praise for his Argentine compatriot in Marca.

    “Atletico is a very competitive team,” Messi said.

    “Some thought they wouldn’t be able to maintain the rhythm but carrying on from the end of last season they are still fighting on all fronts,” he added.

    “Cholo is doing great work.”

    Fourth-placed Villarreal, seven points adrift of Real, play at mid-table Levante Sunday (1100).

    (Editing by John O’Brien)

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Jun
17
  • Crows shut door on Tippett affair at draft

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    Adelaide is looking forward to moving on after ending their AFL-imposed punishment over the Kurt Tippett affair at the national draft on Thursday night.

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    For the second year in a row the Crows were forced to trade their way into the second round of the draft as part of sanctions imposed for breaching the salary cap.

    The Crows picked up midfield duo Matt Crouch and Riley Knight with picks 23 and 46 on the Gold Coast, a result that list manager David Noble was pleased with.

    The 2013 punishment came after the club voluntarily withdrew from the first two rounds at last year’s draft in a bid to lessen their punishment from the AFL.

    Noble admitted the two-year period had presented challenges to the club’s recruiting plans but overall he was happy with how the Crows were placed as they re-enter situation normal next year.

    “It was an awkward, difficult situation that we had to cope with but I think from what we’ve done in the last couple of years, it’s a tick for us from a club as to what we’ve had to work through,” Noble told AAP.

    “We’re pleased with how we’ve come out of it.

    “If you look at how we’ve re-contracted our talent in the last couple of years we’ve been pretty bullish about doing it early, maintaining that group through and adding into our coach development, our player development.

    “So some other elements have become crucial links into that retention element.”

    The other club forced to trade their way into the second round of the draft was Essendon, as the first of two years of sanctions following the supplements scandal.

    Bombers list manager Adrian Dodoro said the club’s plans had been thrown somewhat into chaos when the punishments were handed down in August.

    He viewed the capture of midfielder Zach Merrett with pick 26 as a win, but Dodoro was hopeful a bit more time to plan will lessen the impact of the punishments going into next year’s draft.

    “At least we’ve got 12 months, or more than 12 months to plan, which is a little bit different to this year,” he told AAP.

    “We got caught pretty late, so planning had already taken place.

    “It’s a long way out but at least you’ve got 12 months to do it, whereas this year we had a few weeks to get our house in order.

    “Got out of it okay in the end, good result, don’t forget Paul Chapman’s on board. It’s positive, we’re optimistic we’ll have a good year next year.”

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Jun
17
  • Groundhog day for Australia in Ashes

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    Another series, another withering batting collapse for Australia.

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    Day one of the first Test at the Gabba proved nothing much has changed.

    Following an all-too familiar script, it was left to the lower order to save Australia’s batsmen from utter embarrassment as the home side stumbled to 8-273 in the Ashes opener.

    Brad Haddin (78 not out) and Mitchell Johnson (64) mounted a salvage mission with a 114-run seventh wicket stand after Australia at one stage lost 5-61.

    But the rearguard action couldn’t mask the damage done.

    Led by their most maligned man, Stuart Broad (5-65), England cast aside a disrupted preparation to look every bit a side destined for a fourth consecutive Ashes triumph.

    The capitulation was eerily similar to collapses at Trent Bridge, Lord’s and Chester-le-Street earlier this year, but coach Darren Lehmann has pledged to pick and stick with his batting order this series.

    Of Broad’s five victims, none was more significant than Michael Clarke, who popped up a short ball for one just two overs after lunch.

    The England fast bowler has now had Clarke’s number for six of his past eight innings.

    “I saw the reaction from the players, how much it meant to the guys,” Broad said.

    “I wouldn’t say I have got a hold over him, his record’s obviously phenomenal how important a player he is for them.

    “The key was getting him in early enough with a hard enough ball to execute plans like that.”

    Clarke had no hesitation in winning the toss and electing to bat on a belting Gabba pitch, but optimism soon turned to disaster.

    It wasn’t hard to see why Australia haven’t won in nine Tests and England haven’t lost in 13.

    David Warner (49 from 82) showed intent from the first ball he faced from Broad, taking the fight to England early.

    But, after the early loss of Chris Rogers (1), the real turning point came on the stroke of lunch, when England’s villainous fast bowler fought back from a jeering crowd and Warner’s boundaries to dismiss Shane Watson and kick-start a devastating fightback.

    Australia quickly slumped from 1-71 to 6-132.

    Broad struck again when Warner spooned a catch to Kevin Pietersen; debutant George Bailey then lasting just 15 balls before edging James Anderson (2-61) behind for 3.

    Steven Smith’s (31) dismissal off the bowling of Chris Tremlett completed the middle order route.

    Johnson then came in and did what most of the batsmen couldn’t, mixing patience with aggression in an innings that featured six fours and two towering sixes, more than justifying his return to Ashes cricket.

    Haddin also showed his willingness to fight, combining with Johnson to save Australia from an unmitigated disaster.

    “We fought back very hard,” said Johnson.

    “(The collapse) isn’t frustrating. It’s an opportunity for us to score some runs. We don’t want to be in that situation too often but it’s good we can get ourselves out of those situations by putting on big partnerships.

    “We want to get 300-plus and we think that’s definitely a good score to have. It can play on opposition’s minds if you get over that 300 mark.”

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