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Roosters signing like homecoming: Crichton

Roosters signing like homecoming: Crichton

Angus Crichton likens his move from South Sydney to NRL premiers Sydney Roosters as a homecoming.Angus Crichton has a message for everyone accusing him of being a turncoat - he's been a Sydney Rooster all along and his arrival at Bondi Junction is nothing more than a homecoming.
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Crichton's decision to defect from South Sydney to the Roosters for the 2019 NRL season has again exposed the fault line along Anzac Parade and is sure to be featured in the next chapter of Russell Crowe's Book of Feuds.

But what the 22-year-old wants everyone to remember is that he has been an eastern suburbs' fan all his life and he has ticket stubs from two Roosters grand finals and an old picture with club great Brad Fittler to prove it.

"A lot of people say a lot of things but that's on them - that passion is what makes rugby league great," Crichton said.

"You have to take all those niggles with a grain of salt because that's what makes rugby league so emotional.

"I did grow up as a Rooster but, for a lot of Rabbitohs fans, that doesn't matter to them.

"Coming back into the Roosters' colours is something that I grew up as a kid wanting to do. I used to have a Roosters jersey hanging on my wall; I had a stuffed Rooster that I'd sleep with at night."

The former n schoolboys rugby union representative was a part of the Roosters' system - playing alongside Latrell Mitchell and Joey Manu in the Harold Matthews Cup - before joining the Rabbitohs in 2014.

Asked about pulling on the red, white and blue jumper for the first time in years, Crichton said: "It felt good and it felt right."

After undergoing off-season shoulder surgery, he plans to resume full-contact training after Christmas and be fit for the Roosters' round-one blockbuster against his old club.

Despite possessing impeccable manners and his commitment to working with outback Aboriginal communities, Crichton has in some quarters been pegged as being a lair due to his trademark mohawk haircut.

Some commentators have questioned how the NSW Origin back-rower will fit in at the Roosters, renowned as being the most-professional club in the league, under the watch of the straight-laced Trent Robinson.

However, Crichton responds to his critics with a laugh, saying he had met the club's board of directors and Robinson, with all urging him to be himself.

"I'm not sure why people have pictured (Robinson) like that but the first thing he said to me was 'people in this club, we let them be themselves and we let them do what they want to do and express themselves the way they want'," Crichton said.

"He's just supportive of you as a person and he's really good at building relationships. I'm not having a dig at you media people, but you can make a story out of next to nothing."



City boss tips tight Reds A-League tussle

City boss tips tight Reds A-League tussle

Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce is expecting a tough A-League clash with Adelaide United.Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce is forecasting a torrid tussle against Adelaide United in Sunday's A-League game.
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Joyce is wary of his Adelaide counterpart Marco Kurz's ability to recast the playing style of his team in what looms as a crucial early-season fixture at Coopers Stadium.

Kurz's fourth-placed Reds have banked 11 points this season, just one more than the fifth-placed City.

Adelaide's wretched stretch of injuries to frontmen has continued with attacker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos ruled out by a thigh injury.

Stamatelopoulos had been carrying Adelaide's frontline in the absence of first-choice strikers George Blackwood (broken collarbone) and Baba Diawara (knee).

But Joyce says the attacking absences merely make Adelaide harder to plan for.

"They have not really got an out-and-out centre-forward at the minute," Joyce said.

"They play in different ways.

"You know it's not going to be an easy game. They give every team that they play against a tough game."

City, again to be without out-of-favour striker Bruno Fornaroli, enter the clash with a fine recent record against the Reds, who haven't beaten Joyce's outfit in the past four meetings.

But Joyce said that record belied what had been typically tight encounters, apart from City's 5-0 romp against Adelaide early last season.

"We have had a lot of real battles with them," he said.

"We have tended to play them in a couple of pre-season friendlies; we have had them in (FFA) cup games so you know all about them.

"They're a well-organised side. They're coached by a really good coach ... they compete."

STATS THAT MATTER:

* City are winless in their past five games outside Melbourne, with four losses and one draw

* Adelaide have lost just once in their past 10 games at Coopers Stadium, banking four wins and five draws in that stretch

* City haven't lost to Adelaide in the past four meetings, keeping three clean sheets in those fixtures.



Tech propels education for NSW high school

Tech propels education for NSW high school

Callaghan College students are now performing better as they're more engaged through technology.For one high school in NSW mobile phones have become a core part of learning, and it's giggles that let teachers know if something's awry.
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In a recent speech Education Minister Dan Tehan called for a return of common sense to classrooms, saying there's a time and place for technology in classrooms.

For Callaghan College that time and place is becoming more frequent.

About 60 per cent of the Year Seven to 10 students use their mobile phones as part of the school's "bring your own device" policy, which is designed to ensure no student is left behind due to technology.

If a device can connect to the internet then it can be used for learning.

"The technology is the tool, but the teacher and the pedagogy of the teaching is still the most important thing," principal Paul Young told AAP.

"Otherwise kids will just cut and paste and they won't learn."

Parents had complained to the school about the sheer number of learning accounts and passwords their children had to remember, prompting Callaghan College to find a more suitable software.

The school was the first public school in the state to use Canvas, a software it has now been using for two years.

Teachers can upload their course content for both parents and students alike, even receiving text message alerts when adjustments are made to classes.

The school's Wi-Fi is supplied by the NSW Department of Education, leaving students unable to check social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube if they're connected to the network.

Gone are the days of students losing their assignments in their backpacks, which has led to more heightened engagement.

"It has a flow-on for those kids, if they can achieve something, then they may just try a little bit harder next time and then they start to improve," the school's head of learning Stacy Lambert says.

"The confidence and smiles on their faces at the end because they actually have achieved something and they can move forward."

Students are now performing better as they're more engaged through technology, Ms Lambert says.

Trevor Furness from Instructure, the tech company behind Canvas, admits some schools are hesitant about giving the green light to more technology.

"In order to be effective in implementing new tools and transforming the classroom, educators must focus on the bigger picture and have a clear value proposition for improving teaching and learning," he told AAP.

"Technology must be seen as an opportunity rather than a cost - the right tools, when harnessed correctly, presents schools with an opportunity to do things that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to do."

Ms Lambert says it's clear when students are using their phones for something else.

"They have their phones in their lap, they're looking down very very interested and they're giggling," she says.



Tax take helps drive budget surplus: Labor

Tax take helps drive budget surplus: Labor

'Now is the time for to be paying down debt," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says.ns can expect to spend the week ahead being reminded by the federal government of the budget surplus it expects to deliver in 2019/20, and the services it will be able to offer the nation because of it.
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The likely size of the long-awaited surplus will become clearer when Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hands down the his first budget update on Monday.

But federal Labor is eager to characterise the achievement - and other improvements to the budget bottom line expected in the statement - as a product of good luck.

"With the most benign global economic conditions in decades, now is the time for to be rebuilding the fiscal buffers and paying down debt," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said on Saturday.

"Despite the Liberals' rhetoric, recent budget improvements have been driven largely by a higher tax take."

The coalition begs to differ.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the update - known formally as the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook - will show the government is holding to its promise of better financial management.

"We promised to bring the budget back into surplus and that's exactly what we're doing," he told reporters in South this week.

Economists believe the surplus forecast for 2019/20 could be as high as $11 billion, on the back of bigger-than-expected tax revenues.

They are also predicting improvements for the current 2018/19 budget year.

Deloitte Access Economics expects the government will rake in an extra $9.2 billion in revenue in 2018/19 than it forecast in the May budget, leading to an underlying cash deficit of $4.9 billion for 2018/19, followed by a surplus of $4.2 billion the following year.

The government in May forecast a $14.5 billion deficit for 2018/19, followed by a $2.2 billion surplus in 2019/20.

The opposition is keen to note that amid that, debt has been growing.

However, Westpac senior economist Andrew Hanlan said it looks like net debt may have peaked as a share of the economy in 2017/18 and is still at manageable levels

He's expecting the picture painted by Monday's figures will be positive.

"From a fiscal policy perspective, the government now has a little more room to move, a little more flexibility," he told AAP.



Trump knew hush payments wrong: Cohen

Trump knew hush payments wrong: Cohen

Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen (C) has spoken out for the first time since he was sentenced.US President Donald Trump directed the payment of hush money to two women shortly before the 2016 US presidential election and knew that doing so was wrong, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen says.
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"He directed me to make the payments. He directed me to become involved in these matters," Cohen told the ABC television program Good Morning America on Friday.

Cohen was referring to the $US150,000 ($A208,919) paid to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the $130,000 ($A181,063) paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Both women have said they had sexual relationships more than a decade ago with Trump, which the president and his representatives have denied.

Cohen, a former member of Trump's inner circle who in the past called himself the president's "fixer," was sentenced on Wednesday in federal court in New York to three years in prison.

He was sentenced for campaign finance law violations related to the payments and other crimes to which he pleaded guilty.

Asked if Trump knew the payments were wrong, Cohen said: "Of course."

He bristled at Trump's accusation that he was trying to embarrass the president and protect his own family.

"Here is the truth: The people of the United States of America, the people of the world don't believe what he's saying," Cohen said.

"The man doesn't tell the truth, and it's sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.

"I gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty."

Trump has lashed out at Cohen as "weak" and accused him of lying.

The Republican president told Fox News on Thursday Cohen did only "low-level work" for him, mostly in public relations.

Cohen, in his first televised interview since he was sentenced, said Trump was worried about the potential impact on the election if voters learned about the two women's account of the alleged affairs.

Cohen said Trump told him to pay them to keep quiet.

The payments were made "about two weeks or so before the election", he said.

They followed the release of a recording of Trump boasting to celebrity interviewer Billy Bush years earlier about grabbing the genitals of women.

"So yes, he was very concerned about how this would affect the election," Cohen said in the interview, which was taped on Thursday.

He added that the payments were intended "to help him (Trump) and the campaign".

Trump's explanations of the payments have shifted over time. After earlier saying he knew nothing of the payments, Trump on Thursday said he never told Cohen to break the law.

Cohen on Wednesday was sentenced to prison for the payments to the women as well as separate crimes of tax evasion, misleading banks and lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Russia.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley on Friday faulted the news media for "giving credence to a convicted criminal", and called Cohen "a self-admitted liar".



Sydney Kings steal win over Perth Wildcats

Sydney Kings steal win over Perth Wildcats

The Sydney Kings have claimed an unlikely NBL victory in Perth thanks to a David Wear three-pointer.The Sydney Kings have snatched an unlikely two-point NBL win over the Perth Wildcats at RAC Arena.
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Trailing by 11 points midway the final term, a David Wear three-pointer with 4.3 seconds remaining gave the Kings a 98-97 victory and handed Perth their first home loss for the season on Friday night.

Andrew Bogut played only those final 4.3 seconds of the final term despite having only four fouls.

He'd had a tough night against Angus Brandt and the Perth crowd let him know about it.

Brandt had eight of his 12 points at the main break and his work on the glass early in the game gave Perth a good start.

The Wildcats dominated the boards, pulling down a staggering 21 offensive rebounds for the game and scoring 25 second chance points, compared to Sydney's 11.

With Bogut out, Wear (18 points) and Dan Kickert (18) were able to team up to cause Perth some headaches in offence.

Kickert scored six quick points at the start of the second term and his seven consecutive points late in the fourth kept the door open for the visitors.

Jerome Randle (22 points) and Kevin Lisch (14) dropped important points late as the Kings went on a 17-7 run.

Kings coach Andrew Gaze was proud of the resilience his team showed.

"Most things were going well. Our shooting percentage was off the charts; a few too many turnovers. But most things were going well, accept for one area, that's offensive boards," he said.

"It was heartbreaking for us when you work so hard and that area of the game was so poor.

"Somehow or another we won that game."

Perth were hot early and opened a 55-48 lead at halftime.

Cotton had 14 points and finished with a game-high 26, five rebounds, five assists and six steals. But he managed only four points in the final term.

Perth coach Trevor Gleeson was disappointed with his team's execution late in the game.

"Yeah, we just didn't execute well down the stretch. It's disappointing, to have the lead for most of the game," he said.

"We had our opportunities, with no question. We let them get a bit of life at the end of the third quarter, with a few open threes.

"They shot the ball extremely well. It seemed like every shot they were shooting was going in."



Govt “risky” on Israel decision: Labor

Govt “risky” on Israel decision: Labor

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has decided to formally recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the government's decision to formally recognise West Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a speech on Saturday, following months of speculation since the government revealed it was contemplating a move.
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" now recognises West Jerusalem being the seat of the Knesset (Israel's legislative body) and West Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," Mr Morrison told an audience at The Sydney Institute.

The government will recognise East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital only after a settlement has been reached on a two-state solution, and the n embassy won't be moved from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem until such a time.

While the government will delay the embassy move, it will establish a defence and trade office in Jerusalem and will also start looking for an appropriate site for the embassy.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten says the government's the foreign policy shift without moving the n embassy is a "humiliating backdown" after its rushed by-election announcement in October.

Mr Shorten said the government's announcement ahead of the Wentworth by-election in October, where a large number of voters are Jewish, was "risky and foolish".

"What I'm worried is that Mr Morrison put his political interest ahead of our national interest," Mr Shorten told reporters in Adelaide.

"I regret that we've seen a complex debate derailed by reckless and fool behaviour."

Mr Morrison floated the idea of shifting the embassy in the dying days of the Wentworth by-election campaign, where more than 12 per cent of voters are Jewish.

The consideration sparked backlash from Indonesia and Malaysia, threatening a free trade deal which has now been delayed, although the Morrison government insists the delay was due to other reasons.

Following the pre-Wentworth election comments, Malaysia warned moving the embassy could fuel terrorism.

Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman, Senator Penny Wong, said the decision to keep 's embassy in Tel Aviv proved the prime minister's pre-election proposal was a "cynical ploy to try to pretend he had shifted position for votes in Wentworth."

But Mr Morrison defended the October proposal to consider the move, saying it was about exploring options that could help achieve the two-state solution, especially as a "rancid stalemate has emerged."

"The very act of daring to ask that question drew the usual criticism," he told the audience at The Sydney Institute.

He said intended to remain within the rules of the UN Security Council resolutions.

Community groups have responded to the announcement, with the Palestine Advocacy Network saying they were "dismayed" and the move would slam the door on peace.

"As Israel claims exclusive sovereignty over all of Jerusalem and refuses to abide by United Nations resolutions calling it to withdraw from occupied East Jerusalem, we cannot give them a free kick," said the group's president Bishop George Browning.

The potential embassy move was previously welcomed by the Executive Council of n Jewry, who said the recognition of Jerusalem as capital would not prevent a future agreement between Israel and Palestinians.



Victory go top after Roar A-League win

Victory go top after Roar A-League win

Brisbane's Eric Bautheac (R) has been sent off in the Roar's 4-2 A-League loss to Melbourne Victory.Six goals, two penalties, a send-off and Melbourne Victory going top of the A-League ladder.
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It was a busy Friday night at Suncorp Stadium, with Kevin Muscat's men extending their winning streak to six with a 4-2 win over Brisbane.

Most of the dramatics came in spectacular first half, during which all the goals were scored and Roar marquee Eric Bautheac received his marching orders after a scuffle with Victory stars Ola Toivenen and James Troisi.

Swedish international Toivenen and Japanese star Keisuke Honda were again at the heart of the action, both scoring for the visitors but also having a hand in the Roar's two goals as well.

Former Brisbane striker Kosta Barbarouses scored twice for Victory to take his tally to four goals in the past three games for Kevin Muscat's men.

There was also time for Adam Taggart to score from the penalty spot after he was tripped by Honda and Toivenen headed into his own net.

Victory coach Muscat believed the way his team shut down the match in a rain-lashed second half will be an important learning curve for his men.

"Just a challenge of our maturity, find out where we are as a team," Muscat said.

"It was a good test for us in the second half. We had quite a few chances and limited them to set pieces."

The defeat leaves Brisbane with just one win from eight matches this season.

Roar coach John Aloisi felt the dismissal of Bautheac was decisive in the end.

"I thought 11 v 11, we were matching them," Aloisi said.

"We should have scored early on ... then we lose the ball in a bad area and they score off their first chance.

"It was difficult playing, mainly against 12, the whole night."

The ex-Socceroo praised Victory as a "good side" but believed decisions such as the awarding of a penalty against Roar defender Daniel Bowles when a Terry Antonis strike crashed into his arm did his team no favours.

"It would've been a great game if it was 11 v 11," Aloisi said.

"I asked Adam (Fielding), the referee, at halftime where Bowlesy is supposed to put his arm? I don't know where he's supposed to put his arm. If it's an intentional handball, it's a second yellow card - off.

"We can only control and focus on ourselves and that's what we'll do."

The Roar face three consecutive away matches starting next weekend against Wellington in New Zealand, while Victory will look to keep their winning streak going against crosstown rivals Melbourne City in a pre-Christmas derby.



NT budget running out of money: report

NT budget running out of money: report

A budget repair report has revealed the dire state of the Northern Territory's finances.The state of the Northern Territory's finances are so dire the government is borrowing money to pay public service wages and interest on its debt.
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Unless solutions are found the government will not be able to afford what Treasury forecasts will be an annual $2 billon interest bill by 2029-30.

Net debt will have grown from a current $3 billion to a whopping $35 billion by 2029-30 unless action is taken, according to the Plan for Budget Repair Treasury interim report released on Friday.

That is a massive figure given Western has 10 times the NT's 245,000 population and its current net debt of more than $30 billion is at record levels.

Treasury and the government are still working out how to tackle the crisis, with its budget repair report going out for public comment and help, including to industry and unions.

The report recommends cutting spending growth in the public service from the six per cent-plus it has been for 18 years to three per cent for a decade to avoid debt becoming unmanageable.

The best case scenario is a balanced budget by then, says Treasury.

Health represents more than 20 per cent of the NT's $6 billion-plus budget and its levels of poor health and disadvantage in remote indigenous communities are the highest in the country.

"We are facing some of the biggest fiscal and economic challenges the Territory has ever seen," NT Treasurer Nicole Manison told reporters.

The government would not take a "slash and burn" approach of sacking public servants, she said, which it cannot afford to give that falling population is a factor in the struggling economy and finances.

The report blames a fall in the NT's share of GST revenue of $2.4 billion over the budget cycle coming as "tough economic times" hit, with the wind down of the massive INPEX LNG construction project and increasing demand on government services.

New major projects such as the Sea Dragon prawn farm or Landbridge luxury hotel in Darwin have not started yet.

"There will be some tough decisions that will have to be made, that's why we are having conversations with people to understand how best to go about it," Ms Manison said.

Ms Manison is going to Canberra next week to lobby Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen for a better GST deal for the NT.

"If they (Commonwealth) are dead serious about developing northern to its full potential and want to see better lives for Aboriginal people and close the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage they must be investing in the Northern Territory," she said.

Country Liberal Deputy Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said suggestions the Territory might not be able to afford interest repayments was scary.

"Their own mid-year report said the single biggest reason for the deterioration in the budgetary position is 'policy changes' to the tune of $354 million." Mrs Finocchiaro said.

It was an elected government's job to manage through the down times, spend wisely, invest in wealth creation and to incentivise business and investment, she said.



Harris in happy homecoming in second Test

Harris in happy homecoming in second Test

n Marcus Harris has scored 70 at home in Perth on day one of the second Test against India.He might have been bounced out by a spinner, but Marcus Harris has every reason to be proud of his Test homecoming.
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Harris became the first person to make a Test half-century at Perth Stadium on Friday when he scored 70 off 141 balls during the second Test against India.

The 26-year-old defied predictions of a bowler-friendly wicket to combine with Aaron Finch for a 112-run opening stand, helping to reach 6-277 at stumps.

But his dismissal was far from textbook.

Facing spinning allrounder Hanuma Vihari, Harris was caught off guard when the ball hit a crack and rocketed to shoulder height.

Cramped for room, Harris guided the ball straight to slip, ending his brave innings.

"I think Marcus Harris getting bumped out by a 100km/h offspinner, it might have been the first time for a while in Test cricket," his opening partner Aaron Finch said with a laugh.

Earlier in the innings, Harris watched on in disbelief as a Mohammed Shami delivery bounced so low it almost rolled.

Finch praised the way Harris handled the conditions.

"Not a real lot fazes him," Finch said.

"He's a pretty chilled-out character who just goes with the flow.

"I think the tightness of his technique - covers his stumps, looks to hit down the ground. And for a such short guy, that can be quite unique at times.

"He's definitely got all the shots. And I think the way he adapts his game and game plan, depending on the wicket and the attack, it will hold him in great stead going forward."

Harris started cautiously, failing to score off his first 15 deliveries.

But he unleashed some glorious strokes once he started to feel more comfortable.

Although Harris plays for Victoria these days in state ranks, he remains a West n at heart, and had been eager to post a big score in front of family and friends.

Harris was eight years old when he watched his first Test live.

One of his favourite memories was witnessing Glenn McGrath's hat-trick against the West Indies in 2000 at the WACA.

In 39-degree heat on Friday, Harris cracked 10 boundaries in his fighting knock.

Not bad for a player once rated "mediocre with flashes of brilliance" by Justin Langer, who made that comment when Harris defected in 2016 from WA to Victoria.