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Wanderers shift focus to A-League

Asian champions Western Sydney Wanderers are determined to turn around their winless A-League season as the fallout continues from their against-the-odds triumph in Riyadh.


Coach Tony Popovic on Wednesday dismissed Al-Hilal’s call for an investigation into the Asian Champions League final won 1-0 on aggregate by the Wanderers, saying it was of no interest to his club.

The rich Saudi club called on the Asian Football Confederation to look into the refereeing which they claimed cost them six penalties over two legs, suggesting the integrity of the competition and the reputation of the Asian Football Confederation had been tarnished.

Popovic was unfazed, saying the Wanderers were rightful Asian champions.

“When you lose, some teams and some clubs take it differently,” Popovic told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.

“That’s been their approach and it’s of no interest to us.

“We’re not really concerned by their words at the moment. We’re the champions, we’ve earnt that. We played them over two matches, 180 minutes and we were the better team over the two games.”

Popovic was a lot more measured in his response than Wanderers goalkeeping hero Ante Covic, who suggested Al-Hilal look into the post-match melee prompted by alleged headbutting and spitting by their forward Nassir Al-Shamrani.

“If they want to investigate the penalties, maybe they should investigate their own players and their behaviour after the game,” fumed Covic on Fox Sports’ The Back Page.

“For me, that was more disgraceful than anything that happened on the field.

“They’re going to be bitter. They’ve been arrogant from the moment they came to Sydney. They were arrogant in this game (second leg). They believed they should win by default.

“They’re are going to get nothing out of it because for me their behaviour in those two legs and the way they treated us as a club – I’ve got no sympathy for them.”

Popovic was quick to get his travel-weary squad back to training business on Wednesday as they face a trip to Wellington for their A-League clash with the Phoenix on Friday night.

Wanderers captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley said the last-placed Wanderers were was not resting on their ACL laurels.

“We should feel like champions but that’s not getting in the way of winning games in the A-League,” he said.

“We’re not going to get carried away and think that’s gonna get us over the line.

“We’re going to work hard because that’s what got us an Asian Champions League medal.”

Popovic lauded the courage of striker Brendon Santalab who is headed for shoulder surgery on Friday, ruling him out for up to two months, after playing the ACL final match in Riyadh in great pain.

The 32-year-old had dislocated the shoulder in his team’s first leg 1-0 win over Al-Hilal at Parramatta Stadium and he will now miss the side’s Club World Cup campaign in Morocco in December.

“He did a fantastic job for us in the second leg, he’s in excruciating pain,” Popovic said.

“He played nearly 60 minutes for us and we’ll forever be grateful for that and his reward is an Asian Champions League medal.

“Unfortunately, now we’ve got to help him fix his shoulder.”

Noel Pearson has been met with resounding applause in an address listing the achievements of Gough Whitlam.


Addressing those gathered at the state memorial service in Sydney for the former prime minister, the Cape York indigenous leader commended the Whitlam Government for achievements which changed the face of healthcare, divorce, Indigenous and foreign relations for Australia.   

Citing a Monty Python sketch and referring to the late politician as a Roman, Mr Pearson said the country was changed forever under his three-year leadership.

“The modern, cosmopolitan Australia finally emerged like a technicolour butterfly from its long, dormant chrysalis,” he said.

“… There is no need for nostalgia and yearning for what might have been. The achievements of this old man are present in the institutions we today take for granted.”

His speech was heralded on social media as a speech for the ages.

Noel Pearson’s Whitlam eulogy must surely rank alongside Keating’s Redfern address as one of the best ever Australian speeches.

— john lord (@saint13333) November 5, 2014

I suspect Noel Pearson’s speech might be spoken about for years to come.#9Newscomau

— Mark Burrows (@MarkWBurrows) November 5, 2014

Am I the only person hearing something of the slow, resonating cadences of Dr King as Noel Pearson speaks?

— Dominic Knight (@domknight) November 5, 2014

Doubt I will ever hear a speech as good as Noel Pearson’s today. Sentiment, insight extraordinary, not to mention delivery. #WhitlamMemorial

— Phillipa McGuinness (@pipmcg) November 5, 2014

If Cate Blanchett’s speech today was generousness and gracious, Noel Pearson’s was positively, fist-pumping gospel #WhitlamMemorial #auspol

— comrade jenny (@jennyeather) November 5, 2014

I am absolutely blown away by Noel Pearson. Such power of words. A fitting tribute to Whitlam one of Australia’s finest orators.

— Paul Bongiorno (@PaulBongiorno) November 5, 2014


By Daniel Bennett, University of Melbourne

At one level, this seems like an easy question: we think our options through, pick the one we like best and act on it.


If we dig a little deeper, though, the question becomes more difficult to answer. How do we settle on what our options are? What makes us prefer one option to another?

These decisions may be partially unconscious, according to mounting evidence. This is because, from moment to moment, our brains are set to run on autopilot. Most of the information that our senses pick up is processed automatically; just a fraction of that information ever makes it into our conscious awareness.

This makes our brains efficient, since it means we don鈥檛 have to pay conscious attention to everything at once. But it has the side effect that we can make decisions based on information of which we are not fully aware.

Fully automatic advertising

Advertising provides a good example of this effect. Even if you are not paying attention to the fast-food billboard beside you at the bus stop, your brain may still be processing it outside your conscious awareness.


Advertisements might seem like part of the background but our subconscious is always taking notice. The Ximending District in Taipei, Taiwan/Shutterstock

Later on, when you decide to buy take-away food instead of cooking dinner, you might have no idea that the billboard you saw half-an-hour ago prompted your decision.

In a recent study at the University of Melbourne, we investigated this phenomenon. Specifically, we looked at what kind of information our brains automatically extract from the world around us.

To do this, we showed participants a series of pictures in the background of their vision while they performed an unrelated task in the foreground. The pictures were pleasant images of everyday things, such as food and social scenes, or status symbols like money and cars. Meanwhile, we recorded the electrical activity of participants鈥?brains using a technology called electro-encephalography (EEG).

After participants finished the task we showed the pictures again. This time we asked several questions about them. Specifically, we asked participants to think about the images and tell us: (a) how exciting they thought the images were; and (b) whether the images made them think more of the present or of the future.

We then applied a statistical 鈥渄ecoding鈥?technique to the EEG brain activity recorded when people first saw the images, and found that we could predict judgements of both excitement and time reference from brain activity.

Importantly, participants didn鈥檛 know that they would have to make these judgements when they first saw the pictures. This implies that the information about excitement and time reference must have been automatically extracted by the brain.

A little faster than thought

What this tells us is that participants鈥?brains were performing a fast semantic analysis of the images, even though the images weren鈥檛 relevant to the task at hand. What鈥檚 more, participants鈥?brains were extracting highly abstract information, like whether an image related more to the present or to the future.


Making judgements about the past and future is high-level thinking, but we can do it unconsciously. Sara/Flickr, CC BY-NC

Taken in context, our results suggest that common-sense ideas about how we make decisions underestimate the importance of processing outside conscious awareness.

Curate your environment

Our laboratory has previously shown that people become more impulsive in simple financial decisions when they are first shown a rewarding 鈥減rime鈥? such as the Apple logo.

This is true even when the prime appears for only a very short time and is not recognisable. That goes to show the surprising power of processing outside conscious awareness.

Our brain鈥檚 automatic processing of the world around us can tilt the playing field, even when we feel we are in full control of our actions. By showing that our brains automatically make abstract judgements about images, our research suggests a possible mechanism by which this decision priming could work.

Even very complex decisions might be more influenced by this mechanism than we realise. We have been speaking so far of 鈥渟imple鈥?decisions, but in principle even decisions with important ramifications, like buying a house or changing jobs, could be affected.

This perspective might seem disconcerting, since it seems to rob us of our sense of control over our decisions. However, this isn鈥檛 entirely true. We may not control what kind of information our brain processes from our environment, but we can control what kinds of environments we put ourselves in.

This explains, for instance, why it鈥檚 a bad idea for somebody trying to quit smoking to surround themselves with people who smoke, and why someone with a gambling problem would be better off not watching TV poker.

Likewise, the more impulsive and risk-seeking you are, the more important it may be to surround yourself with people and environments that prompt you to think of the future. Our brains may be automatic processing engines, but we can control what kind of fuel those engines receive.

Daniel Bennett does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

It’s always been a day of excitement but Melbourne Cup Day 2014 was a saga that ranged through the emotions.


German raider Protectionist stormed home to claim the Cup by four lengths in a flying finish to Australia’s richest race.

But as the celebrations rolled on, the terrible news filtered through the crowd that Admire Rakti, Japan’s Caulfield Cup winner and pre-race favourite had collapsed and died in his stall.

Hours later, another runner Araldo was put down after the stallion broke a bone in his leg when he was startled by a flag on his way back to scale, kicked out and struck a fence.

For the racing community, jubilation was shot through with sorrow.

Off the track, Cup Day was a mix of the glamorous and the garish, the sublime and the ridiculous.

Towering blonde US glamour girl Gigi Hadid led a line up of the impossibly beautiful and impeccably dressed celebrity types partying in the exclusive Birdcage marquees where some 10,000 bottles of French champagne will be sipped and guzzled during the eight-day Cup carnival.

Ty Wood, son of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, showed up but his dad’s band failed to appear after rumours they would be surprise guests.

The Birdcage was also the scene of a “surprise” proposal when celebrity business type Geoffrey Edelsten dropped to one knee of his canary yellow suit to pop the question to his 25-year-old DJ girlfriend Gabi Grecko.

“I was speechless for maybe 15 minutes after because it was such a surprise,” Grecko said after the cameras captured the moment.

She then lost the ring under a sofa, prompting her 71-year-old suitor to drop to his knees again on a recovery mission.

Outside the Birdcage, the punters as always put their own spin on dressing up for the Cup, as ninja turtles and superheroes mingled with suits and fascinators in a crowd of 100,794.

Clouds gave way to blue skies for the big race at 3pm and in 29C degree weather the masses were well-behaved as police removed just 10 people from the track and arrested two for drunkenness.

Protectionist’s win is the sixth time an international horse has taken away the Cup.

On the track the best Australian finisher was third-placed Who Shot Thebarman after England’s Red Cadeux ran second.

If further proof on the Cup’s global appeal was needed, Twitter reported that the race was trending in Australia, New Zealand and the UK – countries represented by seven horses in the race.

Foreign “raiders” chasing the $6.2 million prize have worried racegoers but Protectionist will at least be staying on in Australia after it was bought, well before the race, by a local syndicate.

Meanwhile, the devastated connections of Admire Rakti await the results of a post-mortem.

Admire Rakti’s jockey Zac Purton said he had sensed not all was right when the seven-year-old slowed dramatically in the final stage of the race before limping last across the line.

“I knew there was something wrong with him. I didn’t know it was as bad as it was,” he said.

By Claire Drummond, Flinders University

There’s overwhelming evidence to suggest that it is, especially for children.


Eating breakfast has been shown to improve children’s behaviour at school, and poor eating patterns can impair adolescent growth and development.

Put simply, a good quality breakfast helps provide young people with the energy they need for the day, and the nutrients they need to grow and develop.

Fuel for the school day

In the short-term, eating a good quality breakfast can increase feelings of alertness and motivation to learn. Children’s high metabolic turnover and rapid growth rates mean they need optimal nutrition. They have higher demands on their glycogen (or energy) stores overnight as they sleep, and as they generally sleep longer than adults, children have a longer “fasting” time (longer time without food overnight). Therefore, eating a nutritious breakfast is especially important to provide fuel for the oxidation of glucose.

When blood glucose levels are low, hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol are released which can cause feelings of agitation and irritability. This can then affect a child’s concentration and may even cause destructive outbursts. Children who don’t eat breakfast struggle to summon enough energy in the morning to cope with the demands of school.

Long-term effects

Eating a good breakfast can lead to better academic performance and a higher enjoyment of school. Also, children who regularly skip breakfast are more likely to be disruptive in class or to be absent from school. Repeatedly eating breakfast can lead to children learning to associate feelings of well-being with feeling less hungry.

In the long-term, eating breakfast affects a child’s health, which in turn will have a positive effect on brain performance. Research has found that a good nutritional profile can lead to sustained improved performance. This would be much harder to achieve if kids skip breakfast.


Eating a breakfast with a range of food groups is linked to better mental health in young people. Ralph Daily/Flickr, CC BY

There is also an association with mental health and a good quality breakfast. Common breakfast foods such as milk, fortified breakfast cereals and bread are good sources of nutrients that affect brain function. Research has found that eating a breakfast with a variety of food groups that increase the intake of vitamins and minerals at the start of the day can lead to better mental health in adolescents.

Children who skip breakfast are also more likely to snack. Snacks eaten between meals can provide up to one-quarter of the daily energy intake in some adolescent populations. Since snacking is often associated with energy dense food linked to the development of childhood overweight and obesity, educating children into a good breakfast routine at the start of the day is essential.

Not enough kids are eating breakfast

Breakfast skipping is common among adolescents and adults in western countries. Teen girls are the least likely to eat in the morning. A study of 10,000 children and young people found that approximately 20% of children and more than 31% of adolescents skipped breakfast regularly.

The reasons given for not eating breakfast are usually poor time management or lack of appetite. But it’s also linked to parental influence: whether a parent does or doesn’t eat breakfast affects whether their children will.

Health-compromising behaviours and unhealthy lifestyles have also been linked with breakfast skipping in young people. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption are more likely among individuals who rarely eat breakfast.

What can we do about it?

Due to the importance of a good breakfast and the association with mental alertness among children, breakfast clubs are becoming increasingly normal in primary schools. A review on the efficacy of school feeding programs found that many programs are done so to address the nutritional deficiencies that affect brain growth and performance in students.

School breakfast programs are not new in Australia and can be traced back to the late 1970s. The Australian Red Cross’ Good Start Breakfast Club has been developed in an attempt to combat food insecurity and disadvantage in low-socio-economic areas. Programs like this help local communities develop breakfast programs that suit schools’ needs by providing fact sheets on issues such as funding the programs and sourcing volunteers.

But there’s limited evidence as to how well school breakfast clubs do in increasing children’s breakfast consumption. And some researchers suggest there is even a lack of solid evidence on the benefits of eating breakfast on cognitive or academic performance. They say that school breakfast programs should not be used as an argument to bolster school performance.

Eating habits formed in adolescence continue into adulthood. Therefore, poor dietary patterns among young people have important implications for their life-long health and well-being. Continued education around the significance of eating a nourishing breakfast for children, adolescents and parents is essential.

Because parental influences can determine whether children and adolescents eat breakfast, encouraging parents to eat breakfast regularly can play an important role in getting kids to eat in the morning.

Claire Drummond does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

(Transcript from SBS World News Radio)

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he’s worried about the influence of what he calls “an ISIL death cult” on a Sydney shooting.


Rasoul Al Mousawi was shot in the face outside a Shia Muslim prayer hall in the early hours of Monday morning.

However, sources within the community say a factional dispute was the cause of the conflict.

As Darren Mara reports, the violent incident has spurred many Muslims to attend processions for the Day of Ashura in solidarity against the attack.

(Click on the audio tab above to hear the full report)

Thousands of Shia Muslim men, women and children sing in Sydney’s Hyde Park for the annual Ashura march to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The peaceful procession marks the anniversary of the murder of Imam Hussain, who was killed alongside his family in Iraq 1,300 years ago.

Ashura this year comes at a sensitive time for the Muslim community.

And tensions have been exacerbated by the shooting of a Shia Muslim leader outside a mosque in Sydney’s southwest.

Rasoul Al Mousawi has undergone surgery and is now recovering in hospital.

Muslim leaders speaking at the Ashura rally – which was mirrored by a similar event in Melbourne – have vowed not to be intimidated by the violent incident.

A banner leading the Sydney march read: “Terrorists have risen again, who will be victorious over them?”

Stayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini was among the Ashura marchers.

He says he turned out as a show of defiance against those who carried out the mosque attack.

“Incidents of terrorism against the peaceful people makes us more resolute in showing ourself and fighting terrorism. It would not make us shy away and run away. I think the incident of yesterday, in one of the mosques here, made many people to come and participate in this march, and I am one of them. I had no intention of coming but when I saw the clip on television yesterday, I said, I have to stand against this.”

Witnesses say a group of men drove past the Sydney mosque before the shooting, calling out slogans used by the self-proclaimed Islamic State – a Sunni extremist group trying to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East.

However, some sources within the community dispute involvement of any IS supporters and say the shooting was over an internal dispute.

Muslim community leaders acknowledge there is an ongoing dispute between two Shia groups.

But they say it is being resolved and would not have escalated to this level.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he’s concerned the shooting highlights the growing impact of IS in Australia.

“Well obviously we saw the attack no two policement in Victoria a month or so back. It seems there is an ISIL death cult influence on this shooting in Sydney in the last 24 hours or so. The important thing is for all of us to absolutely reject this death cult.”

The police say they do not believe the incident is linked to IS.

But Sydney Muslim leader Jamal Daoud says there is concern in the community of extremist elements.

“The police are in denial that this is an attack related to extremism in society. We started to hear from some of the young people that they should take the law into their own hand and should retaliate, tit for tat attacks which would be very dangerous for society.”

Whatever the cause of the shooting, there is evidence of the rise of IS in Australia.

An Australian fighting with the militants in Syria claims another Australian man has been killed.

Abu Noor al-Kurdi is believed to have died alongside the nation’s most senior IS figure, Mohammad Ali Baryale.

He died during coalition airstrikes on the Syrian border town of Kobani.

The government is trying to verify the claims.





There’s a renewed push in London for Australians and New Zealanders to be granted special status to live and work in the United Kingdom without restriction.


A Commonwealth Exchange (CE) think tank report, proposes bilateral mobility zones be established between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The plan is based on an idea by London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, who was outraged last year when an Australian teacher was kicked out of Britain while European Union citizens enjoy unfettered access.

The CE report argues so-called “Boris bilaterals” should be modelled on the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (TTTA) between Australia and New Zealand.

“The TTTA should be seen as a starting point for the UK to build a flexible, fair, reasonable and reciprocal regime,” report author Tim Hewish writes.

“New Zealand’s two-year wait for welfare provision and five-year wait for eligibility for citizenship appear sensible ideas that the UK may wish to replicate.”

The report acknowledges some in Australia and New Zealand might be concerned about being swamped by Brits.

The mobility zones would be two-way streets and the UK has a population of 63 million compared to Australia’s 23 million and New Zealand’s 4.5 million. Mr Hewish also notes Australia’s “turbulent” attitude towards Asian asylum-seekers who’ve been branded “boat people” might be a stumbling block.

“It may be seen as hypocrisy for any Australian government to, on the one hand, allow freedom of work and movement of Britons yet, on the other, refuse entry to nationals from Asian countries.

“However, one could argue correctly that there is a difference between asylum-seekers and prospective economic migrants.”

The author argues there’s little chance of change ahead of the UK general election in May 2015 but after that bilaterals could be up and running within six months.

In the longer term, the new approach could be opened up to include other Commonwealth countries, Mr Hewish writes. Yearly immigration into Britain from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa peaked at 73,000 in 2004 and dropped to 29,000 in 2011.

The report argues because the UK government can’t control European immigration “policies to reduce immigration have had an undeserved impact on the Commonwealth”.

“(But) it would be shameful and a deep error to disregard the shared language, legal system, and customs that the Commonwealth family provides,” it states.

The CE report further recommends a Commonwealth concession for UK business visas and, in the longer term, a Commonwealth-wide business visa system based on the ASEAN business travel card.

The later would include fast-track passport lanes at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. In his foreword to Monday’s report, Mr Johnson suggests as the UK re-examines its relationship with the EU, it should recast its immigration system.

“The first place to start is with the Commonwealth,” the mayor writes. “It seems that almost all parts of the Commonwealth are brimming with a new energy and optimism at precisely the time that the European Union is struggling.”

All is forgiven it seems for Reni Maitua after Samoa named the controversial forward for Sunday’s crunch Four Nations clash with Australia in Wollongong.


The same day his lawyer appeared on his behalf in Brisbane Magistrates Court after his arrest over a nightclub brawl, Maitua was selected for the first time in the tournament by Samoa coach Matt Parish for the crucial showdown with the Kangaroos.

Ex-Kangaroos Test forward Maitua finally gets a nod on the bench as Samoa look to snatch a history-making Four Nations final berth.

All four teams are still in contention for the decider and Samoa will be backing themselves to pull off one of the great upsets after strong Four Nations showings to date.

Parish’s win-less side can make the decider if New Zealand win on Saturday and Samoa make up a 10-point differential to England in what would be a stunning maiden victory over world champions Australia on Sunday.

The Kangaroos were not taking any chances against the Samoans in their final must-win round robin match, promoting hard-hitting Josh Papalii in a pack reshuffled due to Beau Scott’s injury.

Maitua has not played since he was arrested along with Samoan teammates Tautau Moga and Sauaso Sue following a nightclub fight on October 19, just days ahead of their tournament opener against England in Brisbane.

The trio’s cases were adjourned until December 4 after their lawyers appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday seeking CCTV footage of the nightclub incident.

All three were suspended from the opening 32-26 loss to England and fined $10,000 each by the NRL.

However, Moga and Sue were recalled in last weekend’s 14-12 loss to New Zealand.

Maitua finally gets a run after replacing Dominique Peyroux on the interchange but Sue and Moga weren’t so fortunate on Tuesday.

Antonio Winterstein replaces Moga on the wing and Pita Godinet starts at hooker with Sue back to the bench.

Papalii will start at prop, with Sam Thaiday shifting to the second row to replace Scott (hamstring).

Robbie Farah, Aidan Guerra and Ryan Hoffman have been added to the 17, with Ben Hunt and David Klemmer dropped to an extended bench also featuring Matt Moylan.

Meanwhile, England coach Steve McNamara kept the faith with the 17 left shattered by last weekend’s 16-12 loss to Australia in Melbourne.

England missed a chance to knock Australia out of the tournament with a win.

However, if England beat the Kiwis in Dunedin on Saturday night Australia will be in danger of missing the final of a tournament for the first time since the 1954 World Cup.

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney has made minor changes after a hot and cold display against Samoa.

On the bench, Lewis Brown makes way for Warriors utility Thomas Leuluai and Greg Eastwood replaces debutant Suaia Matagi.

In other news, Phil Bentham will officiate the New Zealand-England clash and Gerard Sutton the Australia-Samoa match.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is worried about the influence of what he calls “an ISIL death cult” in Sydney after Rasoul Al Mousawi was shot outside a Shia Muslim prayer hall on Monday.


Witnesses said a group of men drove past before the incident, calling out pro-Islamic State slogans. 

The prime minister said the shooting of a religious leader outside a Sydney prayer hall seems to have been influenced by Islamic State ideology.

Tony Abbott told reporters in Sydney it’s important to absolutely reject the “ISIL death cult” influence.  

“Obviously we saw the attack on two policemen in Victoria a month or so back,” he said. “It seems there is an ISIL death cult influence on this shooting in Sydney in the last 24 hours or so. 

“The important thing is for all of us to absolutely reject this death cult.”

Religious leader Rasoul al-Mousawi received pellet wounds to his face and shoulder outside a prayer hall in Greenacre, in Sydney’s southwest early on Monday morning. He is expected to undergo surgery on Tuesday.

The Shia Muslim centre in Greenacre allegedly received threats from IS supporters just hours before the attack.

Police said the 47-year-old was standing with his family outside the gated building just after 1am when shots were fired.

However, sources in the community have told SBS a factional dispute was the cause of the conflict, and police do not believe the incident is linked to IS.

But others are adamant that Islamic State supporters were involved and suggesting otherwise could cause upset.

“The police are in denial that this is an attack related to extremism in society,” a Sydney community leader Jamal Daoud said. “We started to hear from some of the young people that they should take the law into their own hand and should retaliate, tit for tat attacks which would be very dangerous for society.”

Community leaders acknowledge there is an ongoing dispute between two Shia groups. They said it is being resolved and would not have escalated to this level.

The annual ashura #muslim march in Sydney. @SBSNews pic.twitter南宁桑拿会所,/fp3KbMCepw

鈥?Emma Hannigan (@emma_hannigan) November 3, 2014

Earlier today, thousands took part in the annual Ashura march from Hyde Park to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Organisers took the opportunity to condemn the Greenacre shooting, vowing they will not be intimidated by Islamic State supporters.

“We are seeing Islam being hijacked again by ISIL [another name for Islamic State], but we are here to show that we are part of Australia and we share Australian values,” said Basim Alansari, one of the rally’s speakers.

Hussain Abbas, who also took part in the rally, said the Shia Muslim community wanted to show it would not be intimidated.

The Ashura Australia procession has been taking place in Sydney for the past 11 years to promote the message of peace and unite against oppression and injustice.

Police estimated about 2000 people took part in the march.


Araldo, who finished seventh in the A$6.


2 million (3.39 million British pounds) race, was later euthanised after injuring its hind leg in a freak accident after the race.

The deaths at the “race that stops a nation” are sure to reignite the debate over the welfare of horses in the sport.

With another bumper crowd packed into Flemington Racecourse, Protectionist was boxed in for much of the gruelling 3,200 metre handicap but stormed down the final straight to win by four lengths, giving Germany its first winner in 154 runnings of the Cup.

“He’s very easy,” English jockey Ryan Moore said of the 7-1 shot in a trackside interview. “Very good horse with very strong pace. Once he got the space, he’s amazing.”

Protectionist’s success was the third for a European horse in the last five years after Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) and will not ease concerns among local trainers about “foreign” raids on Australia’s top silverware.

English nine-year-old Red Cadeaux (20-1) was second for the third time in Australia’s most famous race after 2011 and 2013, while New Zealand-trained Who Shot Thebarman (16-1) came in third.

Irish mare My Ambivalent had overhauled Admire Rakti over the first few hundred yards and set the pace for much of the race before Red Cadeaux took the lead coming off the final bend.

Protectionist had found its way through the field by now, though, and once the five-year-old stallion hit the front he was never going to be caught.

“We have had great success all over the planet but this is the biggest of all,” said trainer Andreas Wohler.

“(Moore) was so patient, he couldn’t have the position he wanted to have but he was so patient and when he came around the last bend he just needed the right gap. Ryan is a superstar.

“It’s unbelievable. Later when we think about it, it’s a moment in your life that you won’t forget.”


Japanese-trained Admire Rakti, the 5-1 favourite and an impressive winner of the Caulfield Cup last month, had faded badly over the last few furlongs.

Carrying the top weight of 58.5kg, the horse was clearly agitated after the race and his stall was soon covered in a protective screen.

“The favourite Admire Rakti on return to the stalls after the race has collapsed and died,” Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey told reporters.

“Our vets are on hand and the horse will undergo an autopsy. We will have to await those results for the cause of the death.”

His death followed that of French mare Verema, who was put down after snapping a lower leg bone during the race last year.

Araldo was taken to a nearby veterinary hospital where he underwent X-rays to determine the extent of an injury to one of his hind legs.

The Mike Moroney-trained stayer, who had finished seventh, was spooked on his way back to the mounting yard when a spectator waved a flag at him, kicking out at a fence and injuring the limb.

“It is with sadness that we confirm that Araldo has had to be humanely euthanised as a result of the injury it suffered in a freak accident following the Emirates Melbourne Cup,” Brian Stewart, Racing Victoria head of veterinary and equine welfare, said in a statement.

“The horse received immediate veterinary care and was transported to the University of Melbourne Veterinary Hospital, however, sadly the fracture in its pastern was not repairable.

“The owners made the decision to humanely euthanise Araldo in the best interests of the horse.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said it was a “tragic outcome” for the horses and called for a “full and transparent investigation” into both incidents.

“Events like these are a stark reminder to the community of the real risks to horses associated with racing,” it said in a statement.

“Sadly, injury and death are the price some horses pay for our entertainment in a sport that puts intense pressure on animals to perform to the limits of their endurance.”

(1 US dollar = 1.1518 Australian dollar)

(Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/Peter Rutherford)

Favourite Admire Rakti collapsed and died after the Melbourne Cup, adding a sad postscript to Australia’s greatest race.


As the connections of Protectionist celebrated Germany’s first victory in the Cup, Admire Rakti trailed in more than 200 metres behind him, clearly distressed.

The Japanese stallion was trying to match a modern weight-carrying record of 58.5kg in one of the fastest Melbourne Cups ever run.

Sent out as a strong $5.50 favourite, Admire Rakti vied for the lead with My Ambivalent for much of the race.

Jockey Zac Purton, triumphant aboard him in the Caulfield Cup last month, was convinced he was going to repeat that performance.

“The whole way through the run I thought I’d win. I didn’t think they’d beat me from where I was,” he said.

But with 800 metres to go the horse was not responding and Purton began to have suspicions all was not well.

“I didn’t know it was as bad as it was,” he said.

As they approached the home turn Admire Rakti was clearly under pressure and then dropped sharply back through the field.

Purton eased him down and virtually walked him over the line, 25 lengths behind the second-last horse, 200-1 outsider Mr O’Ceirin.

He dismounted and as Admire Rakti reached the tie-up stalls he collapsed. Vets pronounced him dead soon after.

“I’m just shattered,” Purton said.

“He gave me such a great thrill there at Caulfield. They don’t deserve this.”

He said the owner Riichi Kondo was also very distraught.

Racing Victoria’s Head of Veterinary and Equine Welfare Brian Stewart said Admire Rakti suffered sudden death syndrome which occurs in just 0.007 per cent of racehorses.

“It’s usually one of two things, either through heart rhythm or ruptured blood vessels in that they bleed out internally,” he said.

“We won’t know which until the post mortem is done.”

He said an irregular heartbeat which progresses to a condition called ventricular fibrillation, which means the heart beats in a bad rhythm, is similar to a heart attack.

He said ventricular fibrillation of the heart in racehorses can be stress related and adrenaline can play a roll.

He also said the death could have been caused by a by a large blood vessel like the aorta or a major abdominal vessel that ruptures and then bleeds out internally.

Dr Stewart said he will probably have some indication on Wednesday as to the cause of death but the full post mortem report will take longer.

It is the second consecutive year in which a horse has died in the Cup.

French mare Verema was put down after snapping a canon bone during the 2013 race.

In another post-race incident on Tuesday, seventh-placed Araldo kicked out at a fence on his way back to the mounting yard and injured a hind leg.

He was taken to a veterinary hospital for further treatment.

Early reports said the injury was serious.

The RSPCA said Admire Rakti’s death was a stark reminder of the risks to racehorses.

“Sadly, injury and death are the price some horses pay for our entertainment in a sport that puts intense pressure on animals to perform to the limits of their endurance.”

Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses spokesman Ward Young said about 125 horses have died during or shortly after Australian races in the past year.

“These events are more common then we would like to believe,” he told AAP.

Beijing is confident it can host the 2022 Winter Olympics, an official said on Tuesday, after several withdrawals left the bid — initially seen as a dry run for a future event — the unlikely favourite.


The Chinese capital’s candidacy has been viewed as highly ambitious, given concerns over pollution and transportation, and the lack of a widespread winter sports tradition or top-class facilities.

But the Norwegian capital Oslo dropped out of the process last month, following earlier withdrawals by Stockholm, Krakow in Poland and Lviv in Ukraine, leaving the host of the spectacular 2008 Summer Games facing off only against the Kazakhstan city of Almaty.

“Some cities have quit the Winter Olympics bidding process, but we pay more attention to our own work,” said Wang Hui, the bid’s chief spokeswoman.

“We respect the choices from the countries who have dropped out, but we have confidence that Beijing could be the host for the 2022 Winter Olympics,” added Wang, a senior city propaganda official who also worked on the 2008 Games.

Beijing would host the third consecutive Olympics in the Far East if it wins the 2022 bid, with the 2018 Winter Games taking place in South Korea’s Pyeongchang, followed by the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

Ice sports would be staged in Beijing while snow events would be held in Zhangjiakou in the neighbouring province of Hebei, around 200 kilometres (125 miles) away.

Pollution, which regularly affects northern China, is among the top worries. In recent weeks Beijing’s notorious smog has forced hundreds of athletes to don masks for the city’s marathon and also cut short a stage of the Tour of Beijing cycling race.

The city is currently enjoying blue skies after restrictions on factories and cars were imposed for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Concerns have also been raised about the long distances between the Olympic sites, and the lack of an extensive network of ski resorts at high altitude.

There is also a shortage of expertise in sports such as luge and bobsleigh.

Wang defended Beijing’s bid, saying pollution was the “most important target” and facilities would receive a “makeover to meet the Olympic standard”.

The bid team has released a promotional video showing a new high-speed railway which will cut journey time between Beijing and Zhangjiakou from three hours 15 minutes to just 50 minutes.

As part of its international campaign, Beijing also recently launched a social media promotional drive with accounts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube — all of which are blocked in China.

Models Megan Gale and Montana Cox have won in the Melbourne Cup style stakes, while Geoffrey Edelsten’s new fiancee, Gabi Grecko, has taken a fashion nosedive – and not just in search of her engagement ring.


Celebrities left the strict monochrome rule of Derby Day behind on Tuesday, showboating every shade imaginable in Flemington’s Birdcage.

The sun was out and so was Gale’s decolletage in a sexy red Victoria Beckham dress with ultra-plunging neckline. The new mum was the essence of class as she accessorised with Canturi jewels.

And while tradition dictates that sky-high fascinators will always feature trackside, floral crowns proved to be the most popular headgear.

Montana Cox, who had gone for a masculine look on Derby Day with a classic Farage suit, opted for a more feminine approach in a flowing Zimmerman dress, her own floral crown resting on top of a pixie hairdo.

Aussie model Alexandra Agoston looked the part in a long-sleeved mustard Gucci dress with jewelled embellishments, along with a broad-brimmed vintage hat.

Red-based colours were a distinct sartorial theme.

Lauren Phillips wore a coral cap-sleeved Arthur Galan dress with a black zipper belt, while Laura Dundovic donned a figure-hugging, tomato-red By Johnny frock and gold Natalie Bikicki headpiece.

Teenage model Gigi Hadid turned heads in a candy-pink Alex Perry number, headpiece from Hatmaker’s Jonathan Howard and Louis Vuitton shoes. Model and presenter Rebecca Judd swanned in wearing a dazzling corseted Dolce & Gabbana dress with gold floral fascinator and gold strappy heels.

TV Bachelor Blake Garvey’s latest missus, Louise Pillidge, scrubbed up well in a tight, optical illusion Harris Scarfe print dress, which she teamed with a large black fascinator, black clutch and her trademark red lipstick.

But just as there has to be a winner on the track, so must there be a loser off it.

Grecko won hands down thanks to her self-designed, hand-beaded, sequinned clown corset, orange wig and bird-type antler head dress she said was inspired by Alexander McQueen.

The 25-year-old’s whopping new engagement ring was an unexpected accessory, which she wore over her red fingerless gloves and nearly lost at one point in the Emirates marquee.

Geoffrey Edelsten, who proposed to his girlfriend in front of perplexed racegoers and media, wore a canary yellow suit with a dash of red glitter on his lips.