What will happen when Earth’s north and south poles flip

Our protective shield might soon go into a transformation that could threaten the lives on Earth.
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Fatal crash driver walks free as judge urges him to ‘live the best life you can’


January 17, 2019 19:08:14

An Indian student whose seconds of inattention caused a crash that claimed the life of a 66-year-old man has walked free from court, with the sentencing judge urging him to go and “live the best life you can”.

Key points:

  • Amritpal Sidhu was distracted for between five and 24 seconds when the crash happened
  • A car carrying Indian man Gubir Singh was pushed into a truck, killing him
  • Sidhu was immediately remorseful and his concern was primarily for Mr Singh’s family

In September 2017, Amritpal Sidhu was working as a delivery driver when he crashed his eight-tonne truck into the back of a sedan at a roundabout in the Perth suburb of Banjup.

The sedan, which was stopped or was slowing, was then pushed into a stationary 10-tonne truck, killing one of its passengers — Indian man Gubir Singh, who was in Perth visiting family.

Sidhu pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving occasioning the death of Mr Singh, with the District Court hearing Sidhu was estimated to be doing between 77 and 79 kilometres per hour at the time he hit the sedan.

The court heard Sidhu was unable to explain when he lost concentration, causing him to overlook the vehicles in front of him, but it was estimated his inattention lasted between five and 24 seconds.

In her sentencing remarks, Judge Gillian Braddock described Sidhu as “a young man, with potential and with a future”.

“I think of Mr Singh … and I am morally certain that (he) would wish to see you make the most of your life,” he said.

“The best thing you can do in these circumstances is live the best life you can.”

Judge Braddock described the case as a tragedy, highlighting the loss of Mr Singh who she said was passionate about education and whose voluntary work had included setting up summer schools for poor high school students.

Offence ‘at the lower end of the scale’

The court heard Sidhu was in Australia on a student visa and was working as a delivery driver to pay for his education.

A psychological report presented to the court said he was deeply and genuinely remorseful and that his “concern principally has been for Mr Singh and his family”.

Judge Braddock described Sidhu’s culpability was at the “lower end of the scale” saying he had not deliberately taken a risk nor decided to be inattentive.

“It is something all people have to consider. You effectively hold the lives of others in your hands on the roads,” she said.

“It is very difficult to deter people from being inattentive.”

State prosecutors had argued Sidhu should receive an immediate jail term, but Judge Braddock ruled a 14-month suspended sentence was the appropriate penalty.

“Nothing you can do can undo the events of that afternoon,” she said.

“You will carry this, I’m sure, for the rest of your life.”

Sidhu’s drivers licence was also disqualified for two years.






First posted

January 17, 2019 16:48:09

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Woj: ‘No Promises’ on Anthony Davis’ Future in New Orleans Beyond Trade Deadline

New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis plays against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Jim Mone/Associated Press

Anthony Davis hasn’t discussed his future with the New Orleans Pelicans in detail with his agent Rich Paul, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Wojnarowski appeared on ESPN’s NBA Countdown and provided the following remarks (h/t Real GM):

“Rich Paul, Anthony Davis’ agent, told me they have not had any real substantial discussions about Anthony’s future in New Orleans with the Pelicans. Anthony’s focus has been on…the playoff picture. There’s no promises about his future beyond the trade deadline. It’s safe to say right now, I think he’ll be there beyond the trade deadline. New Orleans does not want to trade him. They will have to be forced into doing that.”

The 25-year-old center was averaging 29.4 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks for the Pels entering Wednesday.

There has been much talk about Davis’ future destination for a few reasons. First, he’s one of the clear-cut five best players in the league. Second, he can opt out of his deal in 2020. Third, the ceiling for his tenure in New Orleans may have been realized last year with the team’s second-round exit in the playoffs.

The Pels started 4-0 this season, but injuries and poor defensive play have been the two main reasons for their 21-23 mark. They aren’t out of the playoff picture whatsoever, as they sit just 2.5 games back of the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

But matching (let alone exceeding) last year’s playoff finish looks like a remote possibility, especially with the Pels ranking just 26th in defensive efficiency.

New Orleans can offer him more money than any other team in the league thanks to a potential supermax deal in 2019, but Davis told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on Dec. 22 that legacy was more important to him than money:

“I’d take legacy over money. I want to have a legacy. All my people that look up to me, the younger kids, I want them to know about AD’s legacy. Championships, the things I do in the community, being a good teammate, playing hard. All that stuff matters the most to me. Don’t get me wrong, money is amazing. But I think in that sense, money or legacy, I think my legacy will win that battle every time.”

If that’s the case, then Davis’ best bet is to head elsewhere. And if New Orleans thinks there’s significant risk Davis could leave town in 2020, then its best bet is to trade him before potentially losing the superstar for nothing.

That likely won’t happen this season given Wojnarowski’s remarks, but the offseason then becomes a definite possibility.

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Gay dance party apologises for ‘body shaming’ and ‘no girls’ photo policy


January 17, 2019 19:41:23

Organisers of a gay dance party in Melbourne have apologised after a list of demands made to photographers — including instructions not to take photos of “skinny boys”, “boys with bad skin” or women — sparked a backlash online.

Key points:

  • The instructions to photographers are described as “body shaming” and “disgusting”.
  • But organisers say the handouts have not been in circulation for years
  • Poof Doof says it is changing its policies

The document used to brief photographers was circulated this week, although organisers claimed it has not been used for years.

It told photographers to take pictures of “boys with muscles”, “hot boys” and drag queens, “but only the best”.

“Poof Doof is a gay club for homos. No-one is here to see girls. Ever,” the document read.

It said photographers should not take pictures of “skinny boys in burgundy t-shirts and chinos.”

“They are a dime a dozen,” it said.

The DIY Rainbow Facebook page, a community which documents rainbow chalk crossings for LGBTI rights, labelled the document “body shaming” and “disgusting”.

One former photographer for the event, Ari New, confirmed he saw the document in 2014.

Poof Doof general manger Susie Robinson told LGBTI newspaper, Star Observer, the brief had not been used for eight years.

“We’ve changed, and our crowd has changed,” she said.

Charlie Murphy, who lives in Sydney but has been to several Poof Doof events in Melbourne, said seeing the document made her feel “unwelcome”.

“When I came out the first time it was the space where I could be who I was,” she said.

“To be a trans person … there really is no-where else for me to go to express that, there is an awful lack of spaces for queer women.

“There’s a real sense of no longer belonging in spaces.”

In a Facebook post, Poof Doof admitted it “made a mistake” and said it would introduce new policies.

“For everyone who has ever felt discrimination in any capacity, we all know that feeling,” it said.

“If you have ever felt discrimination in our space, that’s not good enough and we are taking full responsibility to fix it.”

The event has set up a survey to allow the community to give their feedback.

Poof Doof was contacted for comment.







First posted

January 17, 2019 16:08:45

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‘They’ve got their issues’: Tennis ‘idiots’ steal the shine off our women’s game

By Kate O’Halloran


January 17, 2019 14:28:20

Australia’s women have been responsible for some extraordinary highlights at this year’s Australian Open. Arguably topping the list is the second-round performance of 20-year-old Kimberly Birrell, world number 240, who claimed the most unexpected of victories over 29th seed Croatian Donna Vekic in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Meanwhile, Ash Barty — Australia’s highest ranked player at the tournament — continues to stake her claim as a genuine chance to become the first Australian woman to win the Open since 1978, cruising through to the third round after taking just over an hour to dispatch of China’s Yafan Wang, 6-2, 6-3.

But, as has been the case for the tournament to date, our women’s achievements have been overshadowed by the ugly behaviour of some of Australia’s best male players, most notably in the continuing stoush between Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios and — according to Tomic anyway — Thanasi Kokkinakis and their Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt.

When asked how she felt about the behaviour of their male counterparts, Sam Stosur, who once more fell at the first hurdle in her own Australian Open campaign, did not hold back.

“They’ve got their issues,” she said in her post-match press conference. “We don’t have anything to do with what the men do.

“It would be a shame if it put a dampener on things as a whole. The women’s side is in a really good spot. We all really genuinely support each other and like to see each other do well.

“We haven’t had a problem for a very long time, so we must be doing something right.”

No limelight for women

Stosur’s frustration is understandable given the poor behaviour of the same names in the lead-up to the Open as well as the tournament itself — behaviour which has substantially taken the limelight off our overachieving women.

On the day Ash Barty stunned world number 1 Simona Halep at the Sydney International, for example, it was not Barty’s victory that dominated headlines, but the comical behaviour of Tomic and Kyrgios in an exhibition match at Kooyong.

What played like an exercise in extreme nonchalance was won after Tomic delivered a “trick” underarm serve, with Olympian Georgie Parker summing up public mood well by calling the match an “absolute joke” played by “two idiots who aren’t giving two shits”.

Men’s cricket saga hurt women’s game

Concerningly, this trend of poor behaviour by our men’s sports stars taking the limelight off women’s achievements isn’t limited to tennis.

There are clear parallels with the behaviour of the Australian men’s cricket team — culminating in “sandpaper gate” and its subsequent catastrophic fallout — and the shine that saga has taken off the brilliance of our female cricketers.

Just months ago, Australia’s women’s cricket team won the World T20 title — their fourth of six editions to date — continuing to do Australia proud by playing fair as well as hard.

And, just last week, star Ellyse Perry became the first player — male or female — to pass 2,000 runs in a big bash league, an extraordinary achievement that has as yet gone largely unremarked in mainstream media.

Indeed, it was perhaps Perry who said it best in a tweeted response to an article by ABC Offsiders columnist Richard Hinds, who argued that while our women are the pride of Australian sport, media coverage is yet to catch up.

“There are some key opportunities to continue to drive progress,” Perry wrote.

“For eg. increased critical analysis when covering women’s sport; in-depth reviews of performances and more expert stories. A lot of coverage tends to be just top level promotion and preview/review.”

And so, while they continue to star at the Australian Open, our women’s tennis players will be hoping that Tomic, Kyrgios and the like can stay quiet enough for long enough that their stories can finally be heard.

Kate O’Halloran is a freelance sportswriter and former Victorian cricketer. She holds a PhD in gender studies.






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