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Hurley PM’s sole pick for governor-general

Hurley PM’s sole pick for governor-general

Former chief of the Defence Forces, David Hurley will be 's next governor-general.'s next governor-general will be NSW Governor David Hurley, with Scott Morrison so confident he is the right man for the job that he didn't consider anyone else for it.
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"I had only one choice, my first choice, and he is standing next to me," the prime minister told reporters on Sunday while announcing the appointment in Canberra.

The former defence force chief will assume the post after Sir Peter Cosgrove's five-year commission ends.

Sir Cosgrove's stint was due to finish in March but has been extended to June - after next year's federal election - to allow Mr Hurley to conclude his NSW term at that time.

Mr Hurley became the NSW governor in 2014, after 42 years of service in the n Army, the last three of which he spent as chief of the defence force.

His selection means three of the last four appointments of governor-general have been retired army generals.

Mr Morrison said Mr Hurley's great dignity and levelness convinced him he was governor-general material.

"General Hurley is known for looking people straight in the eye. Not up and not down. He was that way with those he led in the military and he's been that way as a governor and throughout his life, " he said.

"Looking eye-to-eye, face-to-face, understanding people's challenges and issues one-on-one, in a very direct and very humble and a very humane way."

The selection of Mr Hurley was a "package deal" with his wife of more than 40 years Linda, Mr Morrison said, stressing the ability of both to put people from all walks of life at ease.

Labor has embraced the appointment, with spokesman Chris Bowen calling Mr Hurley a patriot who served his country well and is "perfectly appropriate" for the job.

But the party resents not being consulted about the pick.

"It would have been a courteous thing for the prime minister to do," Mr Bowen told reporters in Adelaide.

Mr Hurley said he was surprised to receive the prime minister's request.

"It is the highest honour to be asked to be the governor-general of . I am humbled and proud to have accepted," he said.

The governor-general is appointed by the Queen in Commonwealth countries, on the advice of the prime minister, to be the representative of the Crown.

The Queen had approved Mr Hurley's appointment, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Sunday.

The n Republic Movement said the public should have been given a say in the selection of the governor-general, which it hopes will be the nation's last.

"This reinforces the worst perception that is in decline from a parliamentary democracy to a club for insiders," the group said in a statement.

Mr Hurley had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993.

He was also appointed a Companion of the Order of in 2010 for eminent service to the army.



Time for youth at hapless Mariners: Mulvey

Time for youth at hapless Mariners: Mulvey

Central Coast's Matthew Millar holds up the ball in the 2-0 defeat to the Phoenix in Wellington.The A-League season isn't a third over but forlorn Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey says it's time to give youth a go.
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The toothless Mariners slumped to a low point in their wretched start when beaten 2-0 by the Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, anchoring themselves even more firmly to the competition basement.

A failure to beat the Newcastle Jets at home next week would leave Mulvey's men with an outright club record of 15 successive winless matches.

Having started the season with two draws and a number of encouraging displays, the seasoned coach is running out of patience with an injury-ravaged side who have lost six on the trot.

Unlike last week's road loss to the Western Sydney Wanderers by the same scoreline, Mulvey said the performance against the Phoenix was sub-par.

He is planning changes and hinted his selections will be skewed towards building a brighter future for a club who appear on track already to secure a third wooden spoon in four seasons.

Goalkeeper Adam Pearce made his A-League debut and forward Jordan Murray his first start. Mulvey later took interest in how midfielder Mario Shabow and striker Josh MacDonald performed off the bench.

All four players are aged under 24.

"You don't want to throw them in when things are not going right but they deserve an opportunity now and I think we need to look at that," Mulvey said.

"I've got a history in the A-League - with Gold Coast United (2010-12) - of playing a lot of young players."

Mulvey was impressed by 21-year-old Pearce, a decade younger than 12-season veteran gloveman Ben Kennedy, who was unavailable with a leg injury.

Kennedy may find it hard to oust the 1.98m Pearce when fit again.

"Adam's got a great physique and has a great future in the game. He needs to be given an opportunity to play a little bit more."

Upon arriving at the Mariners this year, former Brisbane Roar coach Mulvey said he identified a weakness in the club's development programme.

He was heartened a number of good youth coaches have been hired, believing that is the key to Central Coast returning as an A-League force and avoiding the chop when promotion-relegation is eventually introduced.

"In five or six years there will be relegation," Mulvey said.

"We need to develop our own players because we weren't producing what we were producing 6, 7, 8 years ago. So we've addressed that."



British minister warns Brexit is stuck

British minister warns Brexit is stuck

Theresa May's senior ministers are deeply divided over what to do if her Brexit plan fails.Britain's exit from the European Union is heading for an impasse, one senior minister says after a week in which Prime Minister Theresa May failed to win EU assurances on her deal and pulled a vote because UK MPs would defeat it.
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With just over 100 days until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, Brexit remains up in the air with growing calls for a no-deal exit, a potentially disorderly divorce that business fears would be highly damaging, or for a second referendum.

May pulled a vote on her deal on Monday after acknowledging it would be heavily defeated over concerns about the "backstop", an insurance policy designed to avoid any hard land border for Ireland but which critics say could bind Britain to EU rules indefinitely.

Two days later, she survived a plot to oust her from those in her own party who support a hardline Brexit, showing the level of opposition she faced.

May herself has acknowledged that Britain's parliament appears deadlocked with no clear support for any option, with the small Northern Irish party that props up her government leading the criticism of her deal.

"Brexit is in danger of getting stuck - and that is something that should worry us all," pensions minister Amber Rudd wrote in Saturday's Daily Mail newspaper.

"If MPs dig in against the prime minister's deal and then hunker down in their different corners, none with a majority, the country will face serious trouble."

At a summit in Brussels, May's attempts to get legal assurances from the EU that the Irish backstop would only be a temporary measure was rebuffed with the bloc's other 27 leaders saying they would not renegotiate the treaty.

However, May insisted at the summit's conclusion on Friday that further clarification was still possible with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying: "We want to be helpful".

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said parliament could still rally behind May's agreement with additional assurances and said such clarifications were likely because EU countries knew no deal would be a disaster for them.

"When the dust has settled, the only way we're going to get this through the House of Commons ... is to have a version of the deal that the government has negotiated," Hunt told BBC radio. "I don't think the EU could be remotely sure that if we don't find a way through this we wouldn't end up with no deal."

May's senior ministers are also deeply divided over what to do if her plan fails. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Hunt indicated that he would be happy for Britain to leave without a deal.

"I've always thought that even in a no-deal situation this is a great country, we'll find a way to flourish and prosper. We've faced much bigger challenges in our history," Hunt was quoted as saying.



W-League: Newcastle Jets fuming after send-off in 2-2 draw with Perth Gloryphotos, videos

W-League: Newcastle Jets fuming after send-off in 2-2 draw with Perth Gloryphotos, videos

Larissa Crummer shown a red card against Perth on Saturday night. Picture: AAP/Tony McDonough
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Jets W-League coach Craig Deans believes his team are regularly being punished for not having big-name players after a controversial 26th-minute send-off marred an “unbelievable”performance from Newcastle in a 2-2 away draw with Perth on Saturday night.

Matildas defender Larissa Crummer was shown a straight red card for a challenge on superstar striker Sam Kerr, who slotted the ensuing penalty to make it 2-2 and cap a frantic opening 27 minutes at Dorrien Gardens.

Much like their 3-2 semi-final loss to Sydney last season, where they forced the game to extra-time despite losing Hannah Brewer to a red card in the first half, Newcastle held on against the odds to draw the round-seven game.

Deans said the effort from his side, who moved to seven points from six games, was unbelievable, but he was disappointed about the send-off call.

“What I’ve been told is that the rule is that as long as you’re making a football challenge–it’s definitely a penalty, I’ve got no problem with the penalty, but it’s not a red card, it’s a yellow card,” Deans said.

W-League: Newcastle Jets fuming after send-off in 2-2 draw with Perth Glory | photos, videos EARLY BLOW: Perth Glory celebrate Leticia McKenna's fourth-minute goal against Newcastle on Saturday night in their round-seven W-League clash at Dorrien Gardens. Pictures: AAP/Tony McDonough

SHOCKED: Newcastle defender Larissa Crummer reacts after being sent off.

HURTING: Jets coach Craig Deans consoles injured star Taylor Smith.

TweetFacebook👌👌👌@ksteng12 scored the pick of the goals in the opening half, but what about the assist from Taylor Smith! #WLeague🎥 @FOXFOOTBALLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/I38veWJEOg

— Westfield W-League (@WLeague) December 15, 2018Is it a bird?Is it a plane?No, it's Britt Eckerstrom!A superb diving stop to ensure @NewcastleJetsFC claim a point. #Wleague#PERvNEW🎥 @FOXFOOTBALLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/z8AC98RQGl

— Westfield W-League (@WLeague) December 15, 2018“She’s getting better with her all-round football contribution of being involved in the build up of play and organisation.

“She doesn’t play much at home so she’s obviously still learning and making her way in the game, but she was brilliant.”

Crocodile warning after Qld flooding

Crocodile warning after Qld flooding

Cyclone Owen has been downgraded to a tropical low after it hit the Gulf of Carpentaria coast.Queenslanders have been warned to watch out for crocodiles in the wake of "incredible" rainfall from ex-tropical Cyclone Owen.
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The system has been downgraded to a tropical low, but there is a low chance it could re-form later off the state's east coast.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said large reptiles had been spotted in the floodwaters and urged people to take precautions.

"There are a lot of crocodiles that are being sighted at the moment so be careful on the roads and please don't go near the crocodiles," Premier Palaszczuk said

Police conformed at least one crocodile was spotted close to a woman who was rescued from floodwater on Saturday night.

Cyclone Owen weakened as it passed near the Gulf of Carpentaria, and on Sunday morning was about 80km offshore near Cooktown.

There a low chance it will re-form into a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea on Tuesday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The bureau said the heaviest falls were at Halifax, east of Ingham, which recorded 681mm of rainfall. Also, wind gusts up to 100kmh were recorded at Lucinda.

Flash flooding is expected to remain a threat with more than a dozen roads closed to traffic including the Bruce Highway between Ingham and Cardwell and also between Townsville and Ingham.

The bureau has issued flood warnings for the Herbert and Bohle rivers and is closely monitoring the Horton, Don and Pioneer rivers in Far North Queensland.

A second front of severe weather is moving through southeast Queensland.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued has issued thunderstorm warnings for both north Queensland's central coast and the southeast corner as slow moving cells produce heavy rain.

Residents are urged to follow emergency service advice until the system dissipates.



Less cash, more e-commerce for shoppers

Less cash, more e-commerce for shoppers

The use of cash will be rare during shopping sprees this festive season.It's that time of year again. Shoppers are out in force and buying up big for the festive season, but for how much longer will they be using cash?
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Cash is well on its way to becoming a collector's item thanks to the ease of tap-and-go payment systems and online payments that have been growing in popularity in recent years.

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe believes is at a turning point, with cash set to become a "niche payment".

ns are already the sixth highest users of electronic payments in the world, according to the RBA, with only 37 per cent of household spending now done using cash compared to 69 per cent a decade ago.

Professor of Economics Richard Holden says could become a cash-free society in just three years.

The University of NSW academic says a fixed deadline would encourage individuals and businesses to make the switch.

" already has a sophisticated electronic infrastructure with among the highest penetration of cashless payment systems in the world," Prof Holden told AAP.

However while not needing to carry cash around at the shops is appealing for many, charities fear some of 's most vulnerable people who are forced to beg on the streets will suffer without coin and note donations.

In 2017 the Salvation Army became one of the first charities to roll out tap-and-go facilities for their volunteer collectors.

Community fundraising general manager Andrew Hill said the Salvos had invested in 500 pay-as-you-go terminals for its Red Shield Appeal for collectors to carry.

But only one per cent of the $7 million raised was donated electronically, he said.

And at a cost of $650 for each device, plus merchant fees, the hardware is expensive.

Cheaper options include smartphone card readers, mobile apps and Apple and Android Pay.

But Mr Hill says older donors don't respond well to the technology.

"Imagine this person comes to your door with just their mobile and asks you to tap your credit card. It doesn't matter that they're wearing credentials, you don't know where those details are going," he said.

"Whereas when you hand over a $5 note that's it, you know nothing else can happen."

Prof Holden is optimistic biometric technology, including facial recognition and fingerprint readers already used by smartphones, will solve security issues such a fraud.

But while many people and businesses are going cashless, the banks appear to be dragging their heels.

The RBA in February introduced its new payments platform, a real-time payments system which uses a simple identifier such as a mobile number or email address.

Dr Lowe has criticised the big four banks for their delay in rolling out the service.

"In other countries where banks have been slow to develop payment applications that meet the needs of the public, other possibilities emerge," he told a business summit in Sydney in November.

And only ANZ has signed up to Apple Pay.

"It could be they just refuse to give up control of what they see as their god given territory," Prof Holden said.

"Or maybe they've got their own platforms in development."



India’s tail not wagging in China

India’s tail not wagging in China

Ishant Sharma concedes India's long tail especially struggles on n wickets.One of the longest tails in Test cricket looms as a major issue for India if can make early breakthroughs on day three of the second Test.
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India will resume on Sunday at 3-172 in response to 's 326, with Virat Kohli (82no) and Ajinkya Rahane (51no) seeking to build on their partnership at Perth Stadium.

will be hungry to break the stand given the abundance of soft targets that await them at the bottom of India's XI.

The length of India's tail is illustrated by the fact their No.8, Ishant Sharma, averages just 7.92 from 122 Test innings.

Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who boasts four Test centuries and an average of 29.14, batted at No.8 in Adelaide but was ruled out in Perth with an abdominal strain.

India had the option of replacing Ashwin with another spinning allrounder in Ravindra Jadeja but instead added Umesh Vadav as a fourth quick.

in contrast have been able to rely on runs from almost all of their bowlers with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon all able to occupy the crease.

"If we can get a couple of wickets early and break this partnership, it's not an easy wicket to start up on," n batsman Usman Khawaja said.

"We've still got to start off well tomorrow. If we do that then we'll have our chance at that tail."

Ishant, who has scored one half-century from 166 first-class innings, conceded the Indian tailenders struggled to handle batting in n conditions.

"Maybe abroad we're not scoring as much ... but even if ns come to India they're not scoring as much," he said.

"We're not used to that kind of pace and bounce.

"We are working on our batting skills so maybe not today or tomorrow but some day our bowlers will score a fifty and it will be good for the team."



Cameras to nab NSW drivers using phones

Cameras to nab NSW drivers using phones

NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey has announced a crackdown on drivers using mobile phones.In excess of 300,000 drivers were caught using their mobile phones while driving in a month-long trial for high-tech detection cameras in NSW.
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More than 11,000 drivers were detected each day in October using their mobile phone illegally during a test period for world-first technology to be rolled out next year by the state government.

On Sunday Roads Minister Melinda announced n start-up Acusensus had been chosen to trial two cameras on the M4 motorway and Anzac Parade, as well as one in mobile form.

"It is a very dangerous act to keep your eyes down low and not on the road which is why this technology we expect will have a major impact on improving driver behaviour and therefore road safety," Ms Pavey told reporters.

The technology uses a radar-based sensor system to automatically detect vehicles and record data, including photos taken through car windshields , which is then automatically analysed by artificial intelligence and passed on for review by a person.

In an image captured during the trial one motorist is shown with both hands on their phone while their passenger holds the wheel for them.

"I think it's really disappointing, some of those images that we see, because we know we shouldn't do it and yet people are still taking that risk and we need another set of measures to warn people off that behaviour," Ms Pavey said.

A warning phase will start in January and run for three months during which motorists will be warned via letters but not fined if caught using their phones.

Following this period if the technology, which can operate day or night and detect cars driving up to 300km/h, is considered without fault the state government aims to introduce it permanently and begin to fine motorists breaking the law.

Acusensus' managing director Alex Jannink said he was motivated to develop the technology after a close friend was killed by an impaired and distracted driver five years ago.

"I think that James would be proud of any solution that reduces trauma on our roads," Mr Jannink said.



Edwards, DWZ battle for Panthers No.1

Edwards, DWZ battle for Panthers No.1

Dylan Edwards is on the comeback trail after a shoulder reconstruction.A fearless Dylan Edwards has thrown himself head-first into training following a shoulder reconstruction as he prepares to fight off Dallin Watene-Zelezniak for Penrith's No.1 jumper.
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The pair are set to wage an off-season battle for the fullback spot with both possessing strong claims for the coveted role.

Edwards is on the comeback trail and in full contact training, having been limited to just eight NRL appearances this year after tearing the cartilage in his shoulder.

In his absence, Watene-Zelezniak made the No.1 his own before taking his game to another level when handed the New Zealand Test captaincy and earning a Golden Boot nomination.

While some players find themselves tentative and nervous coming back from shoulder surgery, Edwards has dived in since getting back on the paddock knowing that his jumper in under threat.

"I was good to go straight up," Edwards said of his shoulder.

"I just thought to myself 'if it's going to go, it's going to go'. I just chucked myself into it and didn't really worry about it too much."

And it hasn't gone unnoticed by coach Ivan Cleary, who described the 22-year-old as leading from the front.

Edwards has the inside running, standing at fullback during match simulation since the start of the pre-season.

However there will be some telling moments once Watene-Zelezniak returns after Christmas.

"I think we will battle it out," Edwards said.

"It's a good little challenge, it just shows the depth of our squad and that's a strength in this comp.

"But I'm looking forward to the challenge. Dallin played really, really good footy for the Kiwis."

Edwards made his first two NRL appearances on the wing however believes he can get the best out of himself at fullback.

And Cleary has laid down the challenge to the pair, urging them to demand the spot.

"They'll decide that," he said when asked how he will separate the two.

"There's a few positions that are going to be difficult. t's a good problem to have and those boys can both play other positions as well."



China gives access to detained Canadian

China gives access to detained Canadian

China has provided Canada consular access to detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig.Canadian officials have confirmed they were granted consular access to one of two Canadians detained in China on suspicion of "endangering national security."
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"Today, Canada was granted consular access to Michael Kovrig," a statement by Global Affairs Canada said.

Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, met the former Canadian diplomat in Beijing, the statement said.

"Canadian consular officials continue to provide consular services to him and his family and will continue to seek further access to Mr Kovrig," the statement said.

Tensions between China and Canada have risen after China said Kovrig and the second arrested Canadian, Michael Spavor, are being investigated for endangering national security.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said "compulsory measures" have been taken against Kovrig and Spavor, whose disappearance is seen as retaliation for Canada's arrest of Chinese executive Meng Wanzhou.

The men are "suspected of being involved in activities endangering China's national security law," Lu said. He said China has notified the Canadian embassy and is guaranteeing the men's legal rights.

Canada said it continues to press for consular access to Spavor.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on China to release the two Canadian citizens, denouncing their "unlawful detention."

"The detention of these two Canadian citizens in China ought to end," Pompeo said in Washington, standing alongside the Canadian foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, and defence minister, Harjit Sajjan.

Freeland said Chinese officials have not drawn a connection between the detention of the two Canadians and Meng's arrest in Canada, in their discussions with her.

Canada was acting "scrupulously" in the Meng case and the country follows the rule of law, Freeland said. She insisted there should be no political interference in the judicial process.

Her comments were seen directed as much at Chinese authorities as at US President Donald Trump, who suggested on Tuesday that he might intervene in Meng's case if it served national security interests or helped him get a better trade deal with China.

Amid the tensions, Canada's tourism minister also cancelled a trip to China at the last minute, her office announced on Friday.

Meng's arrest has caused an anti-Canadian backlash on Chinese social media sites with many users calling for a boycott of Canadian goods.

Kovrig is an ex-diplomat who works as an expert on North-East Asia for the non-governmental think tank International Crisis Group. He was arrested on Monday by state security in Beijing, the Canadian Foreign Ministry confirmed.

Spavor runs a China-based non-profit that organised the trips to North Korea by basketball star Dennis Rodman in 2013 and 2014.