Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Cricketers want a lot

Australian batsman Chris Lynn above -- pictured with partner Karlie. If I were "stranded" in India with Karlie I don't think I would be feeling too sad about it

When I read that Brisbane Heat captain Chris Lynn had asked the Australian Cricket Board to organise and pay for a charter flight to repatriate Australians playing in the Indian Premier League, I couldn't believe my eyes.

Especially when Lynn also revealed that he and other IPL players were jumping the queue to receive COVID jabs next week.

And it got worse. It turned out that Lynn had made his request before prime minister Scott Morrison's announcement on Tuesday that all flights from India to Australia had been cancelled following over 350,00 positive cases of COVID being recorded the previous day.

So he wasn't even saying that he and his 16 fellow IPL mercenaries needed an emergency airlift to escape immediately from virus-ravaged India.

He was requesting that the flight be arranged to take off after the IPL finishes next month.

Or, put another way, after the likes of Lynn, Smith, Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell and co have collected their full pay packets. And hefty pay packets they are too.

Cummins' contract is worth $3.16 million, Maxwell is on $2.52 million, Warner $2.3 million, and Chris Lynn $406,000.

And incredibly, they are still getting it, with the IPL continuing to be played and generating enormous amounts of money while bodies are lining up on the streets of Indian cities and towns.

Yet Lynn is crying poor. His reasoning being that the ACB takes a 10 percent cut of all Australian IPL contracts, meaning a commission this year of just over $1.6 million.

That's money that goes towards funding junior cricket and to insure against the risk of Australia's top players being injured while playing in a privately run competition amongst other things, but which he believes could be best spent flying some of Australia's highest-paid athletes home from India.

Well here's another idea, maybe the players could spend some of $16.3 million they are picking up for less than two months work on paying for their own flights.

After all, Lynn and the others chose to travel to India during a pandemic to reap the rich rewards on offer.


Police minister calls for teacher to be sacked from primary school where students were 'brainwashed' into making Black Lives Matter posters saying 'stop killer cops' and 'pigs out of the country'

A primary school teacher who instructed students to make anti-police posters in which officers were called 'pigs' should be sacked, NSW Police Minister David Elliott said.

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 at Lindfield Learning Village in Sydney's north made placards with the words 'stop killer cops' and 'pigs out of the country', slogans which have featured in the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.

Others read: 'white lives matter too much' and 'you can't silence the speechLess'.

A furious Mr Elliot called for the teacher involved to be stood down for demonising brave police officers.

'The headmistress should be fronting the media today to explain why taxpayers' dollars are being spent to educate children in this manner,' he told 2GB radio on Wednesday morning. 'They have completely let their student body down by indoctrinating and brainwashing them,' he added.

'We are supposed to be telling our kids that if you wear a uniform you're a hero and teaching these kids the history of Australia is one of tolerance and sacrifice and courage and then we get this crap stuck to us.

'If my kid was at this school I'd want my money back and I'd be getting my kid out of there.'

Mr Elliot apologised to the parents of police officers. 'We don't think that your children are pigs, we think your children are fantastic,' he said. 'Police haven't done anything wrong, they are the pillar of our society. This sort of mentality has no place in Australia.'

Host Ben Fordham said the teacher should be sacked and Mr Elliot said: 'That's right.'

Mr Elliot later spoke about the incident on Nine's Today show where he slammed 'ideologues that work in the education department'.

'Children don't need the police built up as some sort of bogey man which is what we're seeing with this indoctrination,' he said.

Images of the posters were shared on social media and featured in the Daily Telegraph which broke the story on Tuesday night.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told the newspaper she would launch a review to find out how this happened.

'These posters should not be displayed in a classroom. Any teacher found to be politicising a classroom will face disciplinary action. 'Political activism has no place in a school,' she said.

Black Lives Matter is a movement founded in the US in 2013 to protest about some high-profile incidents of black men being killed by police.

It came back to prominence after George Floyd was killed by a police officer who in Minneapolis, Minnesota last year.

That officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on Wednesday morning Australian time of murdering Mr Floyd by leaning on his neck for nine and a half minutes on May 25.

The BLM movement spread to Australia where Indigenous rights activists held marches in major cities last winter.

One Nation's NSW Legislative Council MP Mark Latham backed calls for the teacher to be sacked, and said the principal should also be dismissed.

'For a student to be saying 'white lives matter too much' and for the teacher to display it in the classroom is appalling,' Mr Latham said.

'It is not education it is indoctrination, they’re polluting the minds of little kids. It is not humanity, it is not compassion, it is a warped mutant ideology shoved down the throats of little kids.'

Lindfield Learning Village was established in 2019, with children not required to wear uniforms, and with no structured lessons or classrooms but instead using open-learning spaces.

The Learning Village said its education model was based on 'three archetypal learning spaces – the campfire, cave, and watering hole – that schools can use as physical spaces and virtual spaces for student learning.

'Our approach is designed to create independent, resilient learners who possess the learning dispositions required for success in their life within and beyond school.'

The school's stated 'Code of Collaboration' vows to 'listen actively and challenge each other's ideas to help them grow'.

'We will notice what is not being said and enable all voices,' the code reads.

The controversy came just a month after the school held Harmony Day 2021 in which students and staff were encouraged to wear orange or 'cultural dress' and to make donations to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre's Feast for Freedom.


Angus Taylor says Australia won’t ‘declare war’ on industry to cut emissions

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will address a virtual climate summit on Thursday evening as industrialised nations declare their intention to drastically reduce emissions.

The federal government has avoided joining the UK, the US, and other major powers in committing to a net zero emissions target by 2050 but has claimed it remains on course to reach a 26 or 28 per cent reduction by 2030.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor insisted Australia would not “declare war on industry” in order to reach more ambitious goals.

“Technology is the key. It’s always been the key of humans solving hard problems and it will be the case,” he told ABC radio on Thursday. “The goal here is not to declare war on an industry.”

The European Union in December declared its intentions to slash emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, while US President Joe Biden was expected to use the summit to announce a 50 per cent target by that date.

That would follow a commitment this week from the UK to cut emissions by 78 per cent within 14 years in what Westminster described as “the world’s most ambitious climate target”.

But Mr Taylor rejected suggestions Australia was in danger of falling behind the rest of the industrialised world. “Politicians’ promises are one thing (but) delivery is what counts. There are lots of countries that have made promises in the past and pulled out … What counts, at the end of the day, is delivery,” he said.

And Mr Taylor claimed Australia aimed to surpass its comparatively low emissions reduction target, which he described as “always a floor … not a cap” on its ambitions. “We always shoot to meet and beat our targets. That’s exactly what we seek to do, but we deliver,” he said.

“So set the bar low and then over-deliver. Is that it, minister?” asked host Fran Kelly.

Mr Taylor said Australia had over-delivered on its Kyoto targets despite public scepticism.

But clean energy groups say the claim was based on a credit claimed in the early 1990s based on a reduction in land clearing, but Australia had since allowed fossil fuel use to grow.

The federal government on Wednesday unveiled a $539m plan to boost hydrogen and carbon capture technology as part of the May budget, along with $565.8m towards international low emissions technology partnerships.

The Energy Minister was pressed on whether the hydrogen spruiked by the government would be made with fossil fuels. Mr Taylor said hydrogen would be made with “anything that allows us to reduce emissions”. “You know what: If it’s zero emissions, it’s fine. That’s the point. It’s got to be clean,” he said.

Labor frontbencher Tony Burke demanded the government follow the rest of the industrialised world by committing to a net zero target by 2050.

“It needs to happen. It’s in the national interest, it’s in the commercial interests of Australia, and it’s in the environmental interests of Australia for that to happen,” he told Sky News.

Labor has yet to commit to a mid-range target, but its climate spokesman Chris Bowen said its 2030 or 2035 aims would be revealed “well before the next election”.


Angry response from China after Australia scraps Belt and Road Initiative

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has scrapped Victoria’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) deal with China, calling it “inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy”.

The decision made late on Wednesday night threatens to inflame already fraught diplomatic tensions between Canberra and Beijing.

Deploying Australia’s powerful new veto powers under legislation passed last year for the first time, the Federal Government ended the deal, warning it was against Australia’s interests.

“I consider these four arrangements to be inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations in line with the relevant test in Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020,’’ Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.

“I will continue to consider foreign arrangements notified under the Scheme. I expect the overwhelming majority of them to remain unaffected. I look forward to ongoing collaboration with states, territories, universities and local governments in implementing the Foreign Arrangements Scheme.”

China quickly hit back at Australia over what it called an “unreasonable and provocative move”.

In a statement, a Chinese Embassy spokesman slammed the decision which is expected to plunge the fractured relationship into greater acrimony. “We express our strong displeasure and resolute opposition to the Australian Foreign Minister’s announcement on April 21 to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation within the Framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and the related Framework Agreement between the Chinese side and Government of Victoria,” the spokesman said.

“This is another unreasonable and provocative move taken by the Australian side against China. It further shows that the Australian government has no sincerity in improving China-Australia relations. It is bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself.”

China argues the BRI is an initiative for economic co-operation. “The BRI co-operation between China and the Victoria state is conducive to deepening economic and trade relations between the two sides, and will promote economic growth and the wellbeing of the people of Victoria,” the spokesman said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews blindsided the Federal Government when he first signed the Belt and Road deal with the Chinese government in 2018.

It outlined a memorandum of understanding to take part in the $1.5 trillion infrastructure program, which is widely viewed as a global power play by Chinese Communist Party and a national security threat.

The states had previously been offered a deadline of March 10 to inform the Commonwealth of their deals with foreign governments.

“I haven’t seen the benefits of it,” Mr Morrison said earlier this year. “If there are benefits, what are they and what was paid for them? I don’t have the answers to those questions at this point, but the assessment of those arrangements will continue.”

The Victorian Premier, who remains on medical leave had previously defended the deal against allegations it could pose a national security risk.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has declared his own opposition to the deals pledging Labor would never seek similar agreements.

“Certainly, there shouldn’t be agreements that are inconsistent with Australia’s national interest, or our foreign policy,” Mr Albanese said.

A Victorian government spokeswoman said: “The Foreign Relations Act is entirely a matter for the Commonwealth government.”

“Victoria will continue to work hard to deliver jobs, trade and economic opportunities for our state.”

Relations between China and Australia have been tense since a bitter trade war erupted in 2020.




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