Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano needed to be bossier against Western Force

Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano wants to be more bossy. Photo: Jay Cronan Force acting coach Dave Wessels thinks a new club will be good for centre Kyle Godwin. Photo: Paul Kane
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Dave Wessels is disappointed flanker Chris Alcock is leaving the club. Photo: Jay Cronan

Who’s the boss? ACT Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano believes he needs to be more of one as the Super Rugby province prepares for their qualifying final against the Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium on Friday.

And Western Force acting coach Dave Wessels believes Kyle Godwin’s expected move to Canberra will be a good one for the centre.

Lealiifano was disappointed with the Brumbies’ scrappy 24-10 victory over the Force on Saturday, which secured him a spot in the first round of the Super Rugby finals.

But he said that everyone would be “buzzing” when they arrive at the club on Monday morning.

The playmaker felt he needed to take the game by the scruff of the neck after they failed to implement their attacking plan against the Force.

He’ll be looking to change that against the Highlanders who they dominated in every way except on the scoreboard when the two teams met in round 10.

They lost 23-10 in Invercargill despite having 73 per cent of possession in the wet conditions.

“We came with a clear focus and a plan with the way we wanted to play [against the Force], Lealiifano said. “I guess that’s what’s probably the most disappointing that we didn’t really execute what we wanted to, but we’ve got another week to prepare now and get it right [for the Highlanders].

“Obviously the pressure that the Western Force put on us [also affected our execution], which is probably good for us heading into next week to be able to handle the defensive pressure that teams are putting on us.

“We’ve just got to adapt better in attack. I think our attack got a bit lost at times there and as a game controller it was disappointing on my end to not boss the boys around enough.”

Godwin has been linked with a move to the Brumbies to help replace departing inside centre Matt Toomua, who will join English club Leicester.

His Force teammate Chris Alcock is moving to Canberra as cover for star flanker David Pocock, who is taking a sabbatical from rugby in 2017.

Wessels said the Brumbies would need to play better against the Highlanders than they did against the Force, but he hoped they went on to win the title.

He felt the Force were embarking on a “journey” and was disappointed Godwin and Alcock wouldn’t be part of that.

From the side that lost to the Brumbies, they will also lose prop Guy Millar and lock Rory Walton.

“The Brumbies are losing much more high-profile players than we are. I think Chris and Guy and Kyle and Rory … have been a massive part of our team,” Wessels said.

“We just spoke in the change room, they will always be a part of our team. I think particularly for Kyle, a move is going to be a good thing for him, not just from a rugby perspective but from a lifestyle perspective.

“He’s excited about being away from Perth, he’s always lived in Perth, so the opportunity for him to experience something a bit different is going to be good for him.

“Having said that, what we feel like, especially in our backs, [who] are a pretty young backline, that is really starting to gel and work together.

“We definitely feel that we’re at a start of a journey and we’re sorry we can’t take some of those guys along on the journey, but it doesn’t change where we feel we want to go.”


Friday: ACT Brumbies v Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium, 6pm. Tickets available from Ticketek. Members on sale Sunday, general public Wednesday.

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ANZ Championships: NSW Swifts all stars reaching milestones

Big three: Paige Hadley, Sharni Layton and Kim Green. Photo: Wolter PeetersThe Swifts’ star players are marking the end of an era as the last days of the ANZ Championships approach, and they plan to go out with a bang.
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Captain Kim Green and defender Sharni Layton have been part of the ANZ competition since it started in 2008, and attacker Paige Hadley is hungry for the win after last year’s devastating grand final loss.

“My sole goal this year is to win,” said Hadley.

“Coming off the loss against the Firebirds last year, being within a minute or so of winning the title, you can nearly taste it.”

Hadley said it was back to the drawing board for her game in the 2016 season, but she believed the Swifts’ versatility could dominate in the next few weeks of finals.

“It’s awesome, people play multiple positions where they’re needed, so I think that’s a real asset for us,” she said.

“I’ve never won an ANZ title, so I definitely want to win one before the competition ends.”

Green is the only player on this year’s roster to have experienced the Swifts’ ANZ win back in 2008.

Green plans to farewell the series in the same way she started it, by taking home the trophy, but she admits the Swifts have a challenging few games ahead.

Heading into Monday’s match against the Firebirds, Green said the main focus had been on giving the four quarters their 100 per cent.

“We know that we need to put out a full 60 minutes, and I know that’s very cliche, but that’s exactly what happened to us in last year’s grand final,” she said.

“We learnt that we can’t play 57 minutes of a game then expect to win.”

If the Swifts beat the Firebirds at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, they’ll be crowned Australian Conference champions and will host the semi-final round against New Zealand on their home court.

“In terms of our training sessions, we go hell for leather out on court against each other because everyone’s vying for a position,” she said.

“No one’s sitting on the sideline going ‘I’m just going to be on the bench this week’, everyone’s pushing and that’s the best thing about our team.”

Green, a former Diamond, retired from internationals when she joined the comp in 2016.

After this season, she said she had no plans of slowing down, and her drive to compete professionally was higher than ever.

“I feel like this year I’ve played the best netball that I ever have in my whole career,” she said.

“To think that is on the back of a little bit of a break is really exciting for me. I have no plans of retiring any time soon.”

If the Swifts make it into the grand final, it will be Layton’s 100th ANZ Championship game.

The defender said the Firebird’s attacking end would be the biggest challenge for the Swifts on Monday night.

“Romelda [Aiken] is not as stationary as what she used to be, so that’s a real challenge because no other team is like that with a tall goal attack as well as a tall goal shooter,” she said.

“At the end of the day, they can throw absolutely anything out on us. They’re a phenomenal team, they’ve proven it and played great all year, so we’ll just be concentrating on what we can do to minimise them as much as possible.”

Layton was determined to win, but she said that even a finals loss couldn’t undermine what she’d gained.

“It’s the last year of the ANZ Championship,” she said. “It’s not going to be here next year.

“I just want to soak up every single moment I can with this group of girls because, if you’re not in the moment, you’re not going to win anyway.”

Australian Conference finals: NSW Swifts v QLD Firebirds at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, 7:18pm.

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Newcastle hairdressers say quality at risk if state government scraps lawpoll

DON’T CHOP ME: Melanie Coombes is fighting a proposal to scrap a law requiring hairdressers to be qualified. Picture: Max Mason-HubersNEWCASTLE hairdressers are fighting the state government over plans to trim back industry regulation they sayallows“any Tom, Dick and Harry” to call themselves aprofessional hairdresser.
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The government has put forward a proposal to scrap the Hairdressers’ Act 2003 as part of its “spring clean” of uselesslaws.

The deregulation is supposedto make it easier for small business –but has been met with sharp rebuke from unions and industry bodies, which argue scrapping the law puts quality at risk.

The law requires every professional to have a certificate III in hairdressing.

Senior stylist Melanie Coombes.

Bliss Hair ArtistsNew Lambton senior stylist Melanie Coombes said the industry is furious over the proposal and vowed to protect it from being “stripped down to nothing”.

Ms Coombes, who studied at TAFE and finished an apprenticeship before working full-time, said it was “distressing” to picture amateurs applying chemicals without proper training.

“There’s so much more to hairdressing than just cutting someone’s hair,” she said.

“It’s a science –you’re working with chemicals and you need to know what you’re doing.”

Ms Coombes said a petition, from new employeegroupHair Stylists Australia,was being circulated in Newcastle salons this week opposing the government’s proposal.

“I’ve spent a good part of my life getting the qualifications I need … and for the government to say anyone on the street can pick up a pair of scissors makes me so angry,” she said.

“We already spend enoughtime fixing the mistakes of teenagers who think they are hairdressers, imagine what it’s going to be like when you have every Tom, Dick and Harry cutting hair.”

In a discussion paper, the state government said there was an overlap in laws that controlled industry quality. It noted South Australia was the only other state to have a similar law.

“Backyard operators” … Maitland MP and Labor spokeswoman for small business Jenny Aitchison.

Parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the intention was to encourage growth by removing crippling red tape.

ButMaitland MP Jenny Aitchisonsaid the repeal wasn’t thought through, claiming it would create unfair competition from“untrainedbackyard operators”.

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Hunter travellers come to terms with narrow escapes in Nice attack

MERE minutes and metres wereall that stood between a tragic night and a narrow escape for five young Hunter travellersin picture-perfect Nice.
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PERFECT: Novocastrians Thomas Davies and Catriona Reid in Nice on Bastille Day. Picture: Supplied.

As tributes flow from around the world for the 84 people killed in the south of France on Bastille Day, those caught up in the attack like Thomas Davies, Catriona Reid, Georgia Bear, Dom Batey and Jackson Paul are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy that struck thepopular holiday destination.

After leaving the city, Maitland pair Mr Paul and MrBatey have now described their “sketchy”ordeal and revealed their reliance on family at home to provide information when hiding in a nearby cafe for safety.

Just 15 minutes before the attack, the 21-year-old men had been enjoying drinks on the beach watching fireworks before walking along the very Promenade des Anglais where a truck was to plough into a crowd for about 1.8kmand cause chaos on the country’s national day.

BLUE, WHITE AND RED: Dom Batey (back left) and Jackson Paul (back right) in French celebrations. Picture: Facebook.

Mr Paul and Mr Batey had made their way toa popular nightclub called Wayne’s just 150mfrom where the incident occurred about 10.30pm on Thursday.

The venue then went into lockdown mode and rumours of a gunman instilled panic before the Maitland Blacks rugby union playersfound a fire exit into a back alley.

After sprinting away the duorealised they had split from their tour group and decided to take refuge.

They were taken in by the female owner of a small cafeand stayed with her for two hours as they assessed the unfolding situation and planned what action to take next.

NOW AND THEN: Georgia Bear said Nice was nothing but sunshine and good times before the attack. Picture: Instagram.

“We didn’t know whether to stay or go,” Mr Paul said. “We were told there was a second gunman roaming the streets, but we decided to make a break for our hotel.”

Mr Batey shared those concerns and tried to get updates via his mobile phone.

“It wasso sketchy when we were hiding in that cafe because we didn’t know was happening,” Mr Batey said. “We were relying on family back home to tell us if it was safe to leave or not.”

Despite the unknown potential dangers outside Mr Paul and Mr Batey ran for their accomodation, which was a further 2km away.

Upon arrival at their destination they were met by concerned friends waiting for them in the hotel lobby.

Three days on from the experiencethey are both “still in shock”. They have continued onto Barcelona.

Calm before the storm in shattered Nice​By Brodie Owen

“NOTHING but sunshine and good times here in Nice,” read a caption to aphotograph posted onlineby Merewether’s Georgia Bear a day before 84 people were mowed down and killed.

It’s a jarring sentence now –but it was an accurate description of the peace ahead ofthe seaside town’s national Bastille Day celebrations.

Fast forward 24 hours,and for Novocastrians Tom Davies and Catriona Reid (pictured above),who were there the night of the attack,so much had changed.

The duo were returning to their hostel when they were overcome by fear.

“As we were leaving we heard what we now know were gunshots but we thought were just fire crackers,” Mr Davies said in an email to theNewcastle Herald.“The crowd started moving a little quicker, within minutes there were police cars speeding and sirens were blasting.

TRIBUTES: Flowers being laid at the site of the Nice attack. Picture: Getty Images.

“We quickly made our way to the hostel to hear that a truck crashed into the crowd on the promenade, where we were just minutes before, there was open gunfire and already people dead.

“The next few hours were full of fear, uncertainty and a growing death count.”

Mr Davies said he and his girlfriend had been emotionally affected by the act of terrorism.

“Our hearts are heavy for the huge amount of people who weren’t as lucky as we were,” he said.“[It’s] something you never think will happen to you until it does.”

Merewether’sMeg Bear, the mother of anothertraveller,Georgia Bear, told theHeraldon Sunday she wanted her daughterto come home.Georgia was lucky to fly fromNice to Italythe day before the attack.

“One moment you can be having the best time, everything is fine and then bang, everything changes,” Meg Bear said.

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Australia’s problem with gambling

IT’S been called the national blindness comparable to America’s blindness about the impact of guns –Australia’s problem with gambling.
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In every town and city in Australia the pokies are there. In just aboutevery pub and club they sit, with 12,000 poker machines in the Hunter alone.In every home where a television is turned to sport there is betting, and in every mobile phone and laptop there is the capacity to wager bets on just about anything you can imagine.

And yet our response in Australia is to tell individuals not to gamble too much or else they’ll end up with a problem.

As Knights legend Tony Butterfield wrote in a passionate opinion piece and wake-up call for rugby league administrators in April, there are apps where you can now lose your money quicker than you can say “Remember, gamble responsibly”.

“This technological revolution has well and truly brought this disease into the 21stcentury. This slope has become too slippery and the rules have changedto the extent our kids don’t stand a chance,” Butterfield wrote.

The statistics are staggering. In 2015 more than $6 billion was put through the Hunter’s 12,000 poker machines alone. Across the state the figure was $73 billion. That’s just NSW, and just poker machines.

In May we had Responsible Gambling Awareness Week where –and it’s no surprise –the message was directed at individuals to be “responsible”, while gambling opportunities infect everyday life to such a ubiquitous degree that we are blind to it.

Certainly major party politicians are deaf, dumb and blind to it, and the extent they’re captured by the gambling industry. Worse, they appearpowerless against campaigns by the gambling industry when even the mildest of gambling reforms are proposed.

Which is why Australians should be relieved to hear gambling reform will be on the federal agenda. Last week long-time reform advocateSenator Nick Xenophon andTasmanian Independent MPAndrew Wilkiesaid they would use their key crossbench positions in the new parliament to reignite debate on tackling the problem.

Reform could include banning sports betting advertising during G-rated TV broadcasts and $1 poker machine bets.

Thegambling industry will no doubt mount an aggressive campaign against the reforms. But like America and guns, in Australia there are none so blind as those who will not see.

ISSUE: 48,287

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Malcolm Turnbull softens defence of superannuation changes as backdown looms

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas Defence Minister Senator David Johnston. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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PM Malcolm Turnbull welcomes HMAS Darwin home after seven months in the Persian Gulf. Photo: Michele Mossop

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has softened his rhetoric on the government’s proposed superannuation changes, potentially laying the groundwork for a backdown to soothe ongoing anger inside the Liberal Party.

Mr Turnbull has previously pledged no changes to the “ironclad” suite of proposals on high-end superannuation savings, which conservatives inside the party have criticised as retrospective and argued were a weakness during the election campaign.

The Prime Minister has now signalled that he is listening “very keenly” to the concerns inside his party amid reports that Treasurer Scott Morrison is considering various concessions.

“The reforms are important, but in the implementation and transition, there is work to be done. There always is with tax changes. They will go through the normal cabinet and party room process,” Mr Turnbull said on Sunday.

“We are listening very keenly, I am listening very keenly and carefully to concerns that have been raised by my colleagues, and of course by other people in the community as well.”

He said this consultation was always the case and “technical details” would continue to be addressed by the Treasurer.

Since the budget and intensifying after the Coalition’s underwhelming election performance, conservative MPs have said the superannuation proposals were damaging, in particular the $500,000 cap on non-concessional contributions, backdated to 2007.

Former defence minister David Johnston, who has been freely criticising various policies and the Coalition’s campaign strategy since being relegated to the vulnerable sixth spot on the WA Senate ticket, said the superannuation proposals were a “breach of trust” for which the government had paid a high price.

“Trust is something that politicians have very little of and we’ve burnt a lot of it in this campaign. Moving the goalposts and retrospectively adjudicating people’s entitlements is something that I think is repugnant to the way particularly people in Western Australia relate to Canberra,” Mr Johnston told Sky News.

“I think [Mr Turnbull] needs to reassess the situation,” he said, calling for the backdating of the $500,000 cap to be removed.

Labor’s financial services and superannuation spokesman Jim Chalmers said the Coalition had “made a mess of the changes from the very beginning”.

“The government is at war with itself over super and until that war is over it is impossible the Australian people to judge whether or not to support the original policy or any clean ups,” Dr Chalmers said.

News Corp reported on Sunday that Mr Morrison is contemplating backdowns on the cap, including exemptions for divorced couples, farming families and people who have inherited deceased estates.

The Prime Minister has previously ruled out changing the super policies, defending them as fair and laid out in the budget for all to see.

He has emphatically rejected that they are retrospective and last week said “all of our policies that we took to the election we will deliver”.

“Obviously we don’t have a majority in the Senate and plainly, as you know, there is always debate and sometimes compromise in this place but we took a very clear set of policies to the election, we campaigned on it very clearly, and that’s what we’ll be presenting,” he said last week.

In June: “I’ve made it clear there will be no changes to the policy. It’s set out in the budget and that is the government’s policy.”

Another proposal, dropping the annual limit of contributions taxed at the concessional rate of 15 per cent from $30,000 to $25,000 and from $35,000 to $25,000 for those over 50, has also drawn criticism.

MPs have argued these measures alienated the Liberal Party’s base, depleting their campaign volunteer ranks, scaring off donors and sending conservative voters to minor parties and independents.

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How Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation agenda failed to take flight

Innovation Minister Christopher Pyne and PM Malcolm Turnbull don mixed reality goggles at Saab in Adelaide on the campaign trail. Photo: Andrew Meares Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launches the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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Former assistant innovation minister Wyatt Roy (right) – pictured with Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull – lost his seat Queensland seat. Photo: Andrew Meares

When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched his government’s “innovation agenda” in December, it was with the kind of zeal he typically reserves for matters of technology, transport and transformation.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian business,” we were told, a variation on a theme he introduced when challenging for the Liberal leadership last September. “There have never been more opportunities on the horizon for Australians.”

The policy suite, including incentives for start-ups, research and collaboration, might have been worthy and necessary, but as a key plank in the Coalition’s re-election pitch, there is growing consensus it was a failure. The view inside and outside party ranks is that the PM’s excitement was not shared by voters, particularly in marginal suburban and regional seats.

Perhaps the disaffection was best summed up by Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, who was first elected to the seat of Canning in Western Australian just days after Turnbull seized the prime ministership. “Canning isn’t going to be the next Silicon Valley,” he complained to his local newspaper the Mandurah Mail after the campaign. “A lot of what we were campaigning on nationally just wasn’t resonating with everyday Australians.”

Wyatt Roy, the assistant minister for innovation, who lost his Queensland seat, was in many ways the personification of the innovation agenda: youthful, agile, savvy. But he wasn’t convinced the strategy worked, either. He told the ABC’s 730 program the Coalition had lost “the ground game”, having failed to demonstrate to families why its economic agenda would enable their children and grandchildren to “grow up in a better world”.

Instead, Mr Turnbull spent much of his campaign time appearing at places of industry: advanced manufacturing centres, start-up hubs, steelworks.

“How awesome is this?” he began one enthusiastic press conference at a shipyard in Perth. It became a common refrain as the PM toured innovative workplaces across the country. And the motif went beyond technology and job creation. The Brexit vote showed the need for agility, the PM said. We were innovating in the NBN and city livability. Turnbull even described the Larrakia people’s negotiation of their native title claim as “innovative”.

Free-market think tanks, broadly supportive of the Coalition’s economic agenda, recoiled from this communications strategy.

“It turned into a cliche in the end,” says Darcy Allen, a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, who is writing a PhD on innovation economics. “The case for innovation should explain what innovation actually achieves for people – I didn’t really see that throughout the campaign.”

Allen says the link between innovation and the PM’s ubiquitous catchphrase “jobs and growth” was opaque at best. “People don’t respond to how innovation occurs,” he explains. “That’s not important to people. People actually have to feel what the change is – lower cost of technology, higher living standards. I would have been selling how technology drives down costs, which is a serious concern to many people.”

Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne is understood to be livid about the criticism being propelled by some colleagues. He tells Fairfax Media the Coalition’s win at the ballot box is an endorsement of its entire economic plan, and “research clearly outlines the innovation agenda was well received by Australians who recognised its importance in our economic future”. Anyone suggesting innovation should have been jettisoned from the forefront of the campaign is “out of touch”, he says.

Within the PM’s office, there is recognition that the message did not resonate in key parts of western Sydney, Tasmania and other regions. But there is also a view that the focus on innovation “worked” in so far as it was comfortable ground for the PM – it played to his strengths and he was clearly in his element on that topic.

A source close to the PM says the Coalition chose to take the high road when it came to its innovation pitch: laying bare the economic challenges facing Australia, but presenting a solution at the same time, to avoid scaring people.

It may have accidentally done the exact opposite. “People are always edgy about change,” says one Liberal MP. He observes that while policy wonks, politicians and journalists are largely at ease with free trade, foreign investment and economic change, the same cannot be said for most voters. “The arguments for those are taken for granted in Canberra. But in the community there’s a lot of angst about those things,” the MP says.

Where does that leave the ideas boom? Still in full swing, at least on paper. Grants are starting to flow, tax incentives for investors began on July 1 and government-funded “Landing Pads” for Australian entrepreneurs are opening in key overseas areas. Next week we will know if Pyne keeps the innovation portfolio and who, if anyone, will be his assistant minister. In any case, it is certain to remain a key plank in the Turnbull economic plan.

As Pyne tells Fairfax Media: “This is a long-term policy in which the government is trying to achieve a cultural change in thinking. This doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t instantly happen in nine months.”

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Aussie band Kid Zr0 signs with Loudmouth MusicVIDEO

OFF TO LA: Kid Zr0 features (from left) Kurri’s Bailey Graeber and Central Coast boys Jamie Bailey, Brandon Alexander, Lee Hackney and Jacob Richardson.It has been a whirlwind six months for up-and-coming Aussie band Kid Zr0.
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The band –whichfeatures Bailey Graeber(18)on drums, and Jamie Bailey (18), Brandon Alexander (15), Lee Hackney (18) and Jacob Richardson (17)–will head off to Los Angeles at the end of the month after signing with Loudmouth Music.

After their original drummer left the band, Graeber was brought in to thegroup inJanuary.

“Then it all pretty much exploded,” Graebersaid.

With a pop-punk sound that could be described as Blink 182 meets 5 Seconds of Summer, Kid Zr0 is building a steady fan base of ‘Zr0 Heroes’ from all over the globe.

They have even caught the attention of popsuperstar Pink, who shared their cover of her hitJust Like Firewith her 32 million Facebook followers.

Artist managersMichael Browning andBrent Jeffrey were impressed with their demo and soon took them on board.

“We knew weneeded to take a look at these guys, we liked what they were doing,”Jeffrey said.

Former AC/DC manager Browning, who signed INXS to his label Deluxe Records in the early 1980s, connected Kid Zr0 with Loudmouth Music –the label behind artists includingNatasha Bedingfield (Unwritten) and The Script.

Jeffrey said the boys have continued to live up to their expectations.

“The fact that they have been given an opportunity like this, they are more driven and work-orientated, and have beenputting all their energy into rehearsing and writing,” he said.

“They are starting to connect with a lot of kids internationally, and the response from the fans and the industry has been really positive.”

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Qandeel Baloch knew her critics would ‘keep on hating’ but she didn’t care

Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was allegedly murdered by her brother in an “honour killing”. Photo: Twitter @QandeelQuebeeShe was a social media star known as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian. But model and singer Qandeel Baloch used her fame for more than just self promotion, aiming to challenge the deeply conservative mindset of her Muslim nation.
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“I believe I am a modern day feminist,” she said, in one of her final Facebook posts. “I believe in equality. As … women we must stand up for ourselves…we must stand up for each other…we must stand up for justice.”

On Friday, Baloch described herself as an “inspiration to those ladies who are treated badly and dominated by the society” and said she knew her critics would “Keep On Hating … DAMN but Who Cares”.

Hours later she was dead, allegedly murdered by her brother in a so-called honour killing.

Baloch, 26, was a polarising figure in Pakistan and beyond. Her bold, often provocative, videos, photographs and comments went viral online, where she had more than 750,000 supporters on Facebook. While Baloch was praised by some for her independence and defiance of social expectations, others subjected her to death threats and frequent misogynistic abuse.I will fight for it. I will not give up. I will reach my goal. & absolutely nothing will stop me…. https://t上海龙凤419/fjDhN6Aa1B— Qandeel Baloch (@QandeelQuebee) July 14, 2016 On July 5, she wrote that she was “trying to change the typical orthodox mindset of people who don’t wanna come out of their shells of false beliefs and old practices… It’s time to bring a change because the world is changing. let’s open our minds and live in present.”

But the old practices – even, apparently, in her own family – were not changing fast enough. Baloch, who was born Fauzia Azeem, was killed in her family home in the city of Multan. Contrary to earlier reports that she was strangled, Nabila Ghazzanfar, a Punjab Police spokeswoman, told Al Jazeera the initial post-mortem showed Baloch’s nose and mouth had been pinned shut, blocking off her airways.

Baloch’s brother, Waseem Azeem, was arrested and confessed to the killing, Pakistani news channel ARY News reported on Sunday. Presented to the media by police, he said he was not ashamed.

“We are respected people of Baloch cast,” he reportedly said. “Qandeel’s videos making rounds on social media could not be tolerated, hence I solely decided to kill her. I am not ashamed of my conduct.”

Baloch’s death prompted tributes on social media, as well as anger and protests in Pakistan, reigniting the debate about “honour killings”. Almost 1100 women were killed in Pakistan last year by relatives who believed they had dishonoured their families, according to the country’s independent Human Rights Commission. Such figures are widely thought to be “severe underestimates”, the Honour Based Violence Awareness Network says.

The chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who won an Oscar this year for her documentary on honour killings, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, were among many who condemned the killing. #QandeelBaloch killed in an #honorkilling- how many women have to die before we pass the Anti Honor Killing Bill?— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) July 16, 2016

​#QandeelBaloch was a Pakistani woman and deserved the right to life. No ifs, no buts. Punjab government must hold murderer accountable.— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) July 16, 2016Honour killing of artist @QandeelQuebee celebrated by Pakistanis. #QandeelBaloch Via @i_k_bpic.twitter上海龙凤419m/Kp4VewWMhF— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) July 16, 2016   – with Reuters  

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Sydney barrister loses court battle over silk appointments

A Sydney barrister has lost her legal battle against the Bar Association. Photo: James Davies A Sydney barrister has lost her legal battle against the Bar Association. Photo: Jessica Shapiro
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 It is a title coveted by barristers that has triggered court spats and attempted leadership coups.

Appointments to the prestigious rank of Senior Counsel – or silk – are made annually and are a reliable source of controversy among the NSW bar.

Days before applications close on July 29 for the latest round of appointments, the Federal Court has ruled on the latest stoush involving a barrister whose silken aspirations were thwarted.

Sydney barrister Mary Walker, who specialises in mediations, took the NSW Bar Association to court after her application for appointment as silk was knocked back last year.

The title is prized by barristers because it allows them to charge more for work and sets them apart from their peers as experts in their field.

Ms Walker sought a series of orders, including a declaration that, in dealing with her application, the association had acted in an “oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory manner”.

She also sought a declaration that the Bar Association protocol governing silk appointments – which applies to “practising advocates” – does not shut out barristers who work largely or solely as mediators rather than appearing in court as advocates.

Her legal battle followed a high-profile stoush in 2014 involving Sydney barrister David Smallbone.

He submitted his application for silk 12 minutes after the 5pm deadline and took the association to court after it was rejected for lateness. The Supreme Court dismissed his case.

Ms Walker applied for appointment as silk in 2014 but was told her application was not considered because it was “not within the protocol”.

She tried again last year and was told her application had been considered but knocked back.

In a meeting with the then Bar Association president, Jane Needham, SC, and silk selection committee member Michael Fordham, SC, Ms Walker asked if the association had determined the meaning of the term “practising advocate”.

Mr Fordham replied: “We had deferred any consideration of [that question] … until after your application was determined on the merits. Your application was not enough.”

Federal Court judge Anthony Besanko said the silk selection protocol was “in the nature of a policy document” and did not create legal rights and duties that could be ruled on by the court.

He noted silks were able to charge higher fees and the title was “a public identification of an ability to provide outstanding services”.

“No doubt disappointment, even great disappointment, attends the rejection of an application,” Justice Besanko said.

“Even so, it is not any economic interest or potential economic interest which is sufficient to justify the court’s intervention, particularly having regard to the nature of the protocol.”

He rejected Ms Walker’s argument that she had been treated in an oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory manner.

The title of Senior Counsel (SC) has led to a series of ructions among the NSW bar.

Tensions reached boiling point last year when a group of barristers, agitating for the return of the title of Queen’s Counsel (QC) for silks – last used in 1992 – tried to oust the existing Bar Association leadership team to advance their cause with the state government.

The move would require a change in legislation.

The Bar Association is expected to announce this year’s silk appointments on or by October 7.

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