Kelly Osbourne hunts for a star on Australia’s Got Talent

Written by admin on 19/07/2019 Categories: 南京夜网

Kelly Osbourne has a laugh during Australia’s Got Talent.The audition stage of a reality series is where the viewing gold is found, but Kelly Osbourne is the first to admit it takes a toll when you’re the judge watching act after act. After act.

“We all went cuckoo,” she says. “We get no sense of time when you’re in the theatre all day long. It was Soph [Sophie Monk] who figured out that after every fourth act we need to go stand outside for two seconds to get fresh air and see light.”

In this latest incarnation of Australia’s Got Talent, the series where woodchoppers, dog acts and leaf-blowers stand alongside the usual singers and dancers, Osbourne is a judge alongside Monk, Eddie Perfect and Ian “Dicko” Dickson, with Dave Hughes steering proceedings as host.

It’s almost as an eclectic bunch on the judging panel as it in on stage, but like the series itself somehow it all works, Osbourne said.

“I’m sorry, I love every single person on that show,” she says. “I know that people are used to having shows like this where the girls hate each other, but it’s not that way at all. We are all really protective of each other. We really get along really well and we just fit right in, it just happened.”

Osbourne is a huge fan of working in Australia – she was out here in late 2014 for a guest appearance on Australia’s Next Top Model. However, she says she did hesitate about taking the AGT gig as “I have a big mouth”.

“I go about everything with the best of intentions and I get misunderstood a lot and I understand that’s because the way I go about it as well. And to go to a country you’re not from, I would never want to be disrespectful to Australia either.”

She said she got advice from her mum, Sharon, a veteran of The Voice and America’s Got Talent, who told her just to be herself. In terms of seeking out the talent, however, she says they’re not necessarily looking for the best, it’s more about who is the most entertaining.

“For me, it’s people who make people smile. People who want to really change the world and make it a better place through what their act is.

“A lot of them were very selfless for the reasons why they wanted to win as well, which I thought was a beautiful thing.

“It wasn’t just about the money, [it was about] sharing their talent and stories.”

Hughes says what was most surprising to him was the dedication of the talent. “What you love about is how every single act was like, ‘Yep, I’m going to make it big, this is the moment’, and just so full-on passionate and nervous.

“It was like bloody everyone’s grand final and I’m backstage like I’m in the changing rooms and the team’s about to run out for the grand final and that would happen about 40 times a session. I loved it.”

He says his job is to be the “friendly port of call” barracking for the talent backstage.

“I’d like to think that I was a friend to everyone pretty much, so I wasn’t too mocky,” he says. “I’m pretty conscious of not trying to make people feel bad, but you can still use a lot of humour even though you’re not outright slagging someone off, there’s still a lot of humour to be had.

“The judges didn’t pull any punches on a number of occasions and I’m like, ‘Oh Jesus, that’s a bit harsh’, but I was basically treating all the contestants like they were my children. I was protective of them.”

He says the worst outcomes for contestants tended to be when animals were involved. “There were people whose animals just wouldn’t perform under the spotlight. The animals had done really well in their loungerooms but put 600 people in front of them and spotlights and cameras, they weren’t happy to perform.”

Animals with stage fright aside, Osbourne says it’s been a hugely enriching experience for her. “Seeing that there’s still people out there that want to make people happy and work really hard at something and don’t expect things to just be given to them.

“And there’s a sense of humour and beauty in what we’re doing. It’s not just [puts on a dramatic voice] finding the next big thing in Hollywood, we’re finding people to make people entertained and smile. We live in a world that’s so depressing right now, we need shows like this.”

What: Australia’s Got Talent

When: Nine, Monday, 7.30pm

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Apple’s clever accounting could conjure up a zero tax bill in 2016

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Apple’s tax position is being challenged by governments around the world as they take a tougher stand against profit-shifting. Photo: Mike Segar Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan questioned Apple’s testimony at the Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Apple sells fewer iPhones than expectedWhen $18 billion profit isn’t good enough

Apple has taken advantage of accounting rules in its local business that could allow it to pay virtually no tax in Australia on its profits in 2016.

Apple’s local financial accounts, first reported in Fairfax Media, show $200 million in “deferred tax assets”. This can be used to offset against future profits – if the company makes profits – helping it lower its tax bill.

That amount tallies almost exactly with the before-tax profit of $208 million that the US technology giant reported for 2015 (down from $251.9 million in 2014).

If Apple records a similar profit this year, the deferred asset could virtually wipe its tax bill.

Apple paid nearly $85 million in Australian income tax in 2015 despite making $7.9 billion in local revenue. Its sales revenue was up 29.5 per cent from 2014 when it made $6.1 billion.

The maker of iPhones and iPads acknowledges the benefit in its financial accounts stating that “future taxable profit will allow the deferred tax asset to be utilised”.

But Apple is under audit by the Australian Taxation Office for the level of taxes that it pays, so it may face upward adjustments if the outcome of the audit is in the ATO’s favour and the company decides not to take the matter to court.

Marin Accountants founder and consultant Bernard Marin said Apple simply used this legal accounting trick to minimise tax.

“It means that next year, when they’ve got taxable income, they will be able to reduce it, and pay less tax,” Mr Marin said.

“Companies do this when they get an opportunity to.”

CPA Australia’s head of policy Paul Drum said it was no surprise that a multinational such as Apple was reducing its tax burden.

“They – and many other entities like them – are operating legally and within the boundaries of the current global taxation arrangements,” Mr Drum said.

“At 30 per cent, our company tax rate is just not competitive with Singapore’s 17 per cent, Ireland’s 12.5 per cent or even the UK’s 20 per cent.”

Apple’s managing director of Australia and New Zealand Tony King denied at last year’s Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance that the company did not pay its fair share of tax. Testimony challenged

Mr King said Apple Australia bought products such iPads and iPhones from overseas operations and resold them. It then gets taxed on its local profit. This was an appropriate “arm’s length price” for its products, he said.

But Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan has questioned the accuracy of Mr King’s testimony, and said the ATO was, through an audit, contesting whether these affiliate sales were struck at the right price.

Apple’s tax position is being challenged by governments around the world.

In December the company agreed to pay Italy’s tax office €318 million ($477 million) to settle a dispute over allegations it failed to pay taxes for six years.

The Italian subsidiary and several of its senior executives had been under investigation for fraud over the company’s alleged failure to declare its earnings in Italy between 2008 and 2013.

The deal comes as governments, including Australia, take a tougher stand against profit-shifting.

In a bid to stop multinational tax avoidance, the federal government passed legislation in 2015 that boosts the ATO’s anti-avoidance powers and enforces tougher penalties if companies are found to engage in tax avoidance.

The laws came into force on January 1. Mr Jordan said late in 2015, before the laws took hold, that the threat of harsher penalties had resulted in some multinationals negotiating with the ATO on their tax position.

Apple’s accounts also show it is lugging massive inventory in Australia. Its stock of inventories was $198.6 million in 2015 (up from $113.7 million in 2014).

Apple’s profit after tax was $123 million, down from $171.5 million the year before. 

It reduced its taxable profit due to higher sales, marketing and distribution expenses of $435 million and administrative expenses of $30.7 million.

The accounts also show a “management fee income” expense of $80.8 million (up from $58.7 million in 2014), which it offset against profits.

The accounts also note that the ATO is auditing Apple for the 2012 tax year, and the outcome could affect its future bills.

In the 2012 tax year, the company reported a $40 million tax bill, but had earned almost $6 billion revenue.

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Australia expects public servants to work longer hours, agency boss claims

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More public service newsATO workers reject pay deal, bosses get pay rise

Public servants at Australia’s air safety agency have been told to work longer hours, in line with “community expectations”, if they want more money.

Bosses at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority want their public servants at their desks for an extra 45 minutes each week in return for a 2 per cent pay rise.

CASA’s chief executive says the offer is all the agency can afford right now but has assured his 830-strong workforce that their conditions and entitlements are safe.

The new proposal at CASA comes as the massive Defence Department moves closer to a vote of its 20,000 public servants on a new wage deal and the Australian Taxation Office prepare for fresh negotiations in the wake of the crushing defeat of a proposed enterprise agreement

CASA’s Chief Executive Mark Skidmore told the authority’s staff last month that the authority is so short of money, it had to approach the wage talks with an eye to its future financial viability.

“You are also aware that CASA is operating in an extremely challenging budgetary situation and we have been required to address this in the context of the EA remuneration affordability so that CASA has a sustainable future,” Mr Skidmore wrote to his workers

“…to make this work, this new offer does include a small increase in working hours.

“It is proposed that we increase our working hours by 9 minutes a day from 7 hours and 21 minutes to 7 hours 30 minutes daily.”

Mr Skidmore said the proposed new hours, which would begin in 2018, the last year of the three-year agreement, would bring CASA into line with the rest of the public service and with “community expectations”.

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The chief executive said the extra work was the only change to entitlements in the proposed EA and that the offer did not come at the price of job cuts, as had been proposed to fund offers to other departments and agencies.

But technical union Professionals Australia says its members at CASA, where workers have not had a pay rise since mid-2013, are unimpressed with the proposed deal, saying the agency was trying to “get blood out of a stone”.

“Members don’t think this is anywhere near a fair pay offer with no comprehension of government-caused delays and a clear move to sever the link between the agreement and relevant employment policies making such conditions close to unenforceable and easier to change,” union official Dave Smith said.

“If CASA’s capacity to have a sustainable workforce is threatened then the Australian community should be concerned and the Government should ensure they are funded appropriately.

“They shouldn’t have to rely on getting 9 minutes a day more blood out of the stone.”

Meantime, the Defence Department looks set to go to a vote in February or March on its new enterprise agreement with workplace unions reporting little progress in trying to tweak key aspects of the proposed agreement.

The tax office will sit down again with unions on Monday to try to pick up the pieces after the 85 to 15 per cent defeat of its wage proposal.

Initial progress is expected to be slow with the ATO understood to want a survey of its employees carried out, to determine the reasons behind December’s crushing no vote, before it puts together a fresh proposal.

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Universities defend standards but condemn imperfect ATARs

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The ANU says its system of publishing guaranteed ATAR cut-offs is one of the most transparent in the country. Photo: FairfaxUniversity chiefs are publicly condemning the ATAR university admissions system, after a Fairfax Media investigation revealed that a policy of admitting sub-standard students was rampant throughout the sector.

Both the ANU and UC have criticised the ATAR as an “imperfect” measure of student ability, while University of NSW chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs said NSW should move away from the ATAR as quickly as possible.

“We need a set of criteria that identifies the most talented students from all backgrounds, not ATAR alone,” Professor Jacobs said.

On Tuesday, an analysis of confidential data from NSW universities, including the University of Sydney, Macquarie, Western Sydney University and UNSW showed that universities were disregarding ATAR cut-offs and admitting students with ATARs as low as 30 into degrees in fields such as business, teaching and engineering.

An ATAR (Australia Tertiary Admissions Rank) is given to more than 50,000 NSW high school students and more than 2700 ACT students in December each year. It has become the uniform four-digit rank to measure a student’s ability against what universities believe is the minimum academic standard required to complete a course, as well as supply and demand for the degree.

Meanwhile, the ANU has defended its system of publishing guaranteed ATAR cut-offs as one of the most transparent in the country as academics expressed outrage at universities’ disregard for student quality, with more than 60 per cent of students at Macquarie and Western Sydney being admitted to degrees despite failing to meet the minimum academic standard.

Richard Hill, a researcher in university management at Griffith University, said the admission of students who were barely capable of completing essays was a “chronic” problem throughout the industry.

“If you have a pulse you can get in,” said Professor Hill. “It’s a very serious issue at the coalface for academics who often have to teach students who are semi-literate, if you ask any academic that has been a massive concern over the last decade”.

The fallout comes as Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham announced on Wednesday that record numbers of students had enrolled in higher education in 2016, with 1.2 million students now undertaking tertiary courses. The 3 per cent increase in student numbers since 2014 has brought the total cost to taxpayers up to $16 billion this year on the back of uncapped student places where universities can enrol as many students as they want.

Mr Birmingham said while the demand-driven system had provided unprecedented access and must continue to be protected, it had come at a significantly higher cost to the taxpayer.

“Recent attrition rates show that almost 15 per cent of these Australians do not progress to their second year. Universities must take responsibility for those students they choose to enrol and ensure they have the capabilities and support to succeed.”

ANU acting vice-chancellor Professor Margaret Harding said “ANU two years ago introduced a system where the university published guaranteed ATAR cut-offs, and the criteria for bonus points, to give students more certainty about their admission to ANU courses.

“Since them, demand for places at ANU is up 20 per cent with no lowering of the minimum 80 ATAR and with no compromise to specific program entry standards.”

A spokesman noted that any application from a student that was within a few points from reaching the required ATAR could be considered under special circumstances but would need to be personally approved by the deputy vice-chancellor.

Meanwhile Professor Harding conceded the ATAR was “an imperfect measure of a student’s ability, and there are other measures to determine potential student success at university”.

Conversely, the University of Canberra has marketed itself as an institution that provided flexible entry through a variety of “pathways”. But it, too, said its ATAR cut-offs were adhered to.

Deputy vice-chancellor education Nick Klomp said: “Entry to university is pursued by a range of people from different backgrounds and stages in life. Entry processes and requirements thus vary.”

For school leavers, the UC “transparently publishes the basic entry floor of this selection rank, which considers ATAR scores plus any bonus points the student is eligible for … Students with ATARs below the cut-off are encouraged to review our bonus points schemes to see if they can still be competitive for selection. We would only offer a place to a student below this minimum entry standard under exceptional circumstances.”

Vice-chancellor Stephen Parker has previously questioned the use of an ATAR in an uncapped university system.

“When there were course quotas, ATAR cut-off scores were rationing devices. Opinions differ as to their value as predictors of success. In some courses and at some levels ATARs seem quite poor predictors. A higher cut-off does not necessarily translate into better outcomes for students.”

NSW Board of Studies president Tom Alegounarias said the university admission system needed a lot more clarity.

“If universities use measurements other than the ATAR then those are transparent and reliable. It is crucial that students know what the rules are and what the bar they have to get over is”.

“If the bar changes without the students’ knowledge then those who are most disadvantaged will suffer”.

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Scott Morrison’s tax advisers want public ‘educated’ on low corporate tax

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The consultation paper requested by former treasurer Joe Hockey called for a concerted effort to improve understanding of business taxation. Photo: Jessica Hromas Ann-Maree Wolff and Phil Edmands of Rio Tinto, and Jane Michie of BHP at the corporate tax avoidance inquiry last year. Photo: Jesse Marlow

Comment: We all pay for Apple’s laughably low tax contribution

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s advisory panel on tax has urged big business and its industry bodies to mount a public relations campaign to “educate” Australians on why companies shouldn’t always pay the mandatory 30 per cent tax rate.

The call for a PR blitz by the Board of Taxation comes as disclosure of Apple’s tiny tax contribution in Australia – just $85 million compared to its sales of $8 billion – reignited debate around whether the big end of town is being let off the hook as the Coalition ponders a higher or broader GST on private taxpayers.

The Australian Tax Office revealed in December that 579 companies with combined turnover of $405.9 billion paid no tax in 2013/14. Apple could be heading for a zero tax bill in 2016 due to $200 million in tax offsets on its books which it can use against future profits.

The Board of Taxation is an arm’s-length adviser to the Treasurer but critics say it is heavily-skewed towards business, with members largely drawn from the big four accountancy firms and the major law firms.

For example, the four-person working group that has proposed a PR campaign to clear up “common misconceptions” about corporate tax includes Ann-Maree Wolff, the head of tax at Rio Tinto for the Australia and Asia-Pacific region.

Rio, along with rival BHP Billiton, took a pummelling at the Senate tax avoidance hearings last year over its use of a “marketing hub” in Singapore to reduce its Australian tax bill – a process known as the “Singapore sling”.

The other members of the working group include Michael Andrew, the former chairman and chief executive of KPMG International, John Emerson, a consultant at lawyers Herbert Smith Freehills and Neville Mitchell, a Cochlear executive who is also president of the “Group of 100” – the peak body for Australia’s senior finance executives.

In a consultation paper on the tax transparency code requested by former treasurer Joe Hockey when he announced the government’s multinational tax avoidance bill, the working group called for a “concerted and ongoing effort to raise the level of understanding of business taxation”.

“Businesses and industry associations have a particularly important role in educating the community,” it said.

“One common misconception that could usefully be addressed through public education concerns the reasons why effective tax rates may be lower than the headline tax rate. For example, many governments provide tax incentives to businesses which invest in designated research and development activities. Recoupment of prior year losses, exposure to foreign exchange fluctuations and conducting overseas operations are other factors which may have the effective of reducing the effective tax rate.”

The board said the Corporate Tax Association is developing an explainer document and News Corp reported on Wednesday that the Business Council of Australia was also poised to launch a tax campaign as it seeks to justify a cut in the company tax rate.

The consultation paper has angered tax transparency campaigners as the Board of Taxation appears to be moving to a completely voluntary, self-assessed system of disclosure for companies with revenues of $500 million or more.

Tax Justice Network spokesman Mark Zirnsak said: “What really alarms us is there is no verification that information submitted is not false or misleading and there are no penalties at all if false information is lodged.”

“If you’re a highly unethical company and a tax dodger this could be an opportunity to get government endorsement and look legitimate by having your unchecked tax numbers on the list,” he said.

with Nassim Khadem

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Allan Border Medal: Warner savours top awards as reward for turning career, life around

Written by admin on 19/06/2019 Categories: 南京夜网

Honourable: Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja and David Warner arrive at the 2016 Allan Border Medal ceremony at Crown Palladium. Photo: Zak KaczmarekDavid Warner says winning the top two awards at the Allan Border Medal is further vindication of the work he has put in over the past two and a half years to turn his career and and life around after some high-profile stumbles.

The result for Warner, winning Australian cricket’s top individual awards ahead of Steve Smith, completes a momentous five-month period that began with his elevation to vice-captain of the Test and one-day teams.

While Warner only only has another two days in Australia before flying to New Zealand for the looming series, he said he’d divert from his normal practice to “let it all sink in, and tell myself you’re actually doing a very, very good job”.

“It’s something that a lot of people who know me [will know] I don’t actually do often … try and applaud myself for things I’ve done. In the past two or three years I really have turned the corner, and it’s something I’m really, really proud of,” Warner said, after winning the Allan Border Medal and Test Player of the Year awards for the first time.

“I wouldn’t ever have regrets about the past. You have to learn somehow and in some way, and I’ve learned my lesson. From now, it’s onwards and upwards and still trying to be the best I can … on and off the field.”

The 29-year-old praised his wife Candice for helping to “pull my head out of my backside”, and become more disciplined.

“I owe a lot of credit to her for keeping me on that straight and narrow,” he said.

Warner also credited much of his revival, since being stood down from the start of the 2013 Ashes for disciplinary reasons, to fitness trainer Wayne Geber.

He started the home Test season superbly, scoring two centuries and a double-century against the Black Caps. A punishing regime of running and sprint training while sidelined with a fractured thumb after the Ashes provided a solid base for success.

“It was either sit on the couch and moan about my broken thumb or do something about it,” he said.

“That’s something that really held me in good stead for this summer … I thought I had to be really hungry to score and start well given the lots of half-centuries in England. Missing out in the first innings made me really hungry and determined to try and switch back on, score big runs and start the summer well.”

Warner maintained his primary focus was not individual success, but team success. If Australia can win next month’s two-Test series in New Zealand they will snare the No.1 Test ranking – and the $1 million prizemoney that goes with it.

The other men to win awards were Glenn Maxwell as One-Day Player of the Year, Adam Voges as Domestic Player of the Year and South Australia batsman Alex Ross as the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year.

The top women’s award, the Belinda Clark Medal, was snared for the first time by Ellyse Perry, ending the two-year streak of Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning.

Perry, 25, was particularly appreciative for the influence of her father Mark, who she said had taught her to play from when she was about six, “and still helps me out to this day”.

The all-rounder led Australia for runs and wickets in the period. She said she was proud of her emergence in the batting ranks, having been given a No.4 berth in all formats, but it had not come at the expense of her fast-bowling prowess.

“It was really nice to have success with the ball and more opportunity with the bat, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed as well,” she said.

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Australian Open 2016: Raonic outguns Monfils to book semi-final spot with Murray

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Historic win: A delighted Milos Raonic is the first Canadian to make it through to an Australian Open semi-final. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Respect: Gael Monfils congratulates Milos Raonic after his quarter-final victory. Photo: Michael Dodge

Fan favourite: Milos Raonic signs autographs after the match. Photo: Aaron Favila

 Before he can think about conquering past tormentors Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer, Andy Murray has another sizeable obstacle in the semi-finals: Milos Raonic.

Raonic overpowered the mercurial, but flighty Gael Monfils 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach his second grand slam semi-final.

Murray’s quest for an Australian Open title has foundered four times in the final at the hands of either Djokovic or Federer. This time, the Scot first has to defuse one of the most potent weapons in tennis: the Raonic serve.

Raonic is the upstart among the usual suspects in last four at Melbourne Park, with Djokovic, Murray and Federer ranked 1-3 and carrying an aggregate of 29 major titles.

But Raonic’s victory over Stan Wawrinka confirmed the Canadian’s capabilities of beating anyone on a given day. The question has long been whether he can sustain the “any given” match level for long enough to pinch a grand slam title.

Raonic is far from a one dimensional player, who can merely send down thunderbolts from a height (he’s 196cm). His serve is backed up by a hefty forehand, his volleying has improved, and his backhand, once questionable, is now more than adequate.

If Murray v Raonic is less enticing than Djokovic v Federer, it still presents as an attractive contrast between Murray, a great defender and returner of serve, against Milos the power-serving Monster.

For Raonic, whose upset of Wawrinka in the round of 16 delivered the only deviation from seedings, Murray represents a significant rise in class compared with Monfils.

In a power-laden match played under a closed roof, there were relatively few break points or long rallies. Raonic’s serve and greater reliability was enough to see him through to his second grand slam semi-final.

The Canadian broke serve only three times in the match, which was more than sufficient. Monfils made little imprint on the bionic Raonic serve, which delivered many “free” points. Too many.

Raonic said Murray loomed as a “great challenge”, that he believed he was capable of meeting. “I have it in myself to find a solution,” said the Canadian, the first male of his nation to reach this major’s semis.

Raonic also felt he had benefited from the closure of the roof.

While Monfils served okay, he simply didn’t do enough on return.

The Frenchman, who had opened in flamboyant style with a pair of aces, suffered his first, largely self-inflicted wound in the fourth game when a pair of double faults contributed to the first break of serve of the match.

Raonic does not need many breaks. His first serve averages more than 200 km/h and the quicker ones are 225-235km/h; so unless you have the reflexes of Andre Agassi, the receiver’s best option is to guess which way the ball’s headed.

Further, nearly everyone who plays Raonic (excepting Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray) accepts that break points will not be plentiful and that such rare occasions must be seized.

Monfils had only one break point in the opening two sets and, importantly, managed to convert it. In the balance of play, he always seemed to lag – Raonic had more break opportunities (4) to this point and was obviously under far less strain on serve.

After the third set, any suspense ceased. Monfils had only one further break point for the remainder of the match. The Raonic serve, comparable in potency if less precise than that of his former idol Pete Sampras, was the decisive factor.

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Graham Arnold stands by defensive tactics that nearly “stifled” Victory

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Standing firm: Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold isn’t worried by criticism. Photo: Christopher PearceBoring, boring Arnie. The Sydney FC boss used to be the grumpiest man in the A-League – now he’s been labelled as a defensive grinch. Is it fair?

Kevin Muscat certainly thinks so. The Melbourne Victory boss left no doubt what he thought of Graham Arnold’s tactics in the 1-0 win for the reigning champions at Etihad Stadium on Australia Day.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch, but we were trying our hardest to make the game entertaining,” Muscat said.

“I thought, with what we had to do, the three points should have been ours without doubt. Ultimately there was one team trying to win and one team trying not to lose.”

Not too many coaches have been brave enough to take on Arnold in the verbal jousting this season but Muscat believes his team didn’t just win, but gained a moral superiority.

When contacted by Fairfax Media on Wednesday, Arnold was reluctant to be drawn into a slanging match with Muscat but was moved to defend the way his team played.

“Last year, we conceded nine goals against Melbourne Victory – three times they scored three and one scoreless. This year, in our first game, we conceded four goals and lost 4-2,” he said.

“That’s 13 goals in four games, all from playing open and leaving their front four free. So why would I do it again? It would have been crazy. I’m not that stupid to think we didn’t need to stifle them.”

The criticism of Arnold has been pointed, not only because of Tuesday’s tactics but because of the way the team played in the Sydney derby.

On that occasion, the Sky Blues sat back, absorbed wave after wave of the Wanderers’ forward thrusts, scored a goal of their own and, despite the Wanderers’ equalising in the second half, managed to conjure up a late winner.

While criticism was levelled at Sydney for the way they played on that occasion, Arnold said the result proved his decision right.

When it came time to formulating plan to stop Victory, with an attack boasting the likes of Besart Berisha, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Kosta Barbarouses, Gui Finkler and Archie Thompson, Arnold had no quandary in using the same system that blunted the Wanderers.

“If you look at nearly all the goals that we conceded against Melbourne over the past four matches, they were turnovers of possession in our half that resulted in goals,” he said.

“They were turnovers – errors, basically – not from build-up or possession or attacking plays. We prevented them from scoring, so it worked. They only goal they got was an own goal.”

Statistically, points can be made either way based on Tuesday night – and probably depend on one’s preferred shade of blue.

In Arnold’s defence, Sydney had 50 per cent of territory on the night, meaning they were hardly locked in their own half. They also had 46 per cent of possession, had only one less shot (nine against eight) than Victory and actually had one more shot on target (three against two).

On the contrary, Melbourne Victory had 11 corners to Sydney’s one, made 106 more passes (395 to 289) and had superior passing accuracy (86 per cent to 76 per cent). Sydney were forced to make almost twice as many tackles (21 to 11) as Melbourne.

Ultimately, the story of Sydney’s season can still be told in their for and against column – 21 goals scored in 16 games (the worst of any team in the top six) and 14 conceded (the league’s best).

As it happens, the Sky Blues face Brisbane Roar on Saturday night at home, a fixture that produced arguably the worst match of the season when the two teams met earlier in the year at the same venue – a dour 0-0 draw.

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Father Rupen Datta who lost wife and three children in horror crash in India dies in hospital

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Anamika Datta died in the crash. Photo: Facebook Anamika and Rupen Datta were on a six-week trip to India with their children. Photo: Facebook

Rupen Datta died in hospital two weeks after the horrific crash that killed his wife, three children and sister-in-law in India. Photo: Facebook

An Australian father whose wife and three children were killed in a horrific crash in India has died in hospital two weeks after the tragic accident.

Rupen Datta initially survived the crash on the Yamuna Expressway that killed his wife Anamika, their three children – daughters Neetika and Pipasa, aged 12 and 15, and son Tirvijai, 20 – and Anamika’s sister Sonia, 25, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on 10 January.

But friends and family have been plunged into mourning again after Mr Datta, restaurant owner from Adelaide, died in hospital in the Indian capital Delhi on Monday morning.

“My friend Rupen Dutta passed away this morning in Delhi,” a friend of the family told Fairfax Media.

“It’s just so sad and feels like complete waste of life … The whole family’s gone now, all 5 of them.

“RIP dear Rupen and Anamika, and the kids,” they said.

A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said consular assistance was being provided to the family of an Australian man who died in India.

“Due to privacy obligations, we are unable to provide further comment,” the DFAT spokesperson said.

Mr Datta suffered serious head injuries and was receiving treatment in hospital, a family friend said shortly after the crash, adding that “my heart is breaking for all the friends, colleagues, family”.

The family had left the Indian city of Delhi and were driving towards the Taj Mahal along the six-lane Expressway.

Mrs Datta’s father, identified by Indian police as NK Paliwal, and the driver, Shambhu Paswan, were also in the Toyota Qualis.

Mr Paliwal was taken to hospital but suffered a heart attack and died after he was told that his two daughters and three grandchildren had died in the crash, a family friend Anand Bhatia told the ABC.

Police said one of the vehicle’s tyres burst about 3.30pm, local time, causing the vehicle to crash into a safety barrier, then a road divider, before the vehicle overturned and landed on the incorrect side of the highway. A number of the victims were thrown from the vehicle in the crash, police said.

Residents of a nearby village tried to help the family before police arrived, but the two women and two girls died at the scene. Tirvijai was taken to Mathura Hospital where he died a short time later, police said.

Mr Datta, originally from Delhi, had owned the Urban India restaurant in Mile End in Adelaide’s inner west for the past 10 years, an employee said.

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China, US agree to push for UN resolution on North Korea

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Beijing: China has resisted calls from US Secretary of State John Kerry for tougher trade sanctions against North Korea, but agreed to pursue a new United Nations Security Council resolution to rein in the hermit state’s nuclear activities.

Emerging after a four-hour meeting in Beijing they both described as “constructive” and “candid”, Mr Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi nonetheless presented sharply contrasting positions on how to respond to North Korea’s latest nuclear bomb test, as well as rising tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Describing North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme as an “overt threat, a declared threat to the world”, Mr Kerry had hoped to sway Beijing into supporting new punitive measures reportedly including bans on Chinese oil exports, North Korean mineral imports, and flights between the two nations.

“All nations, particularly those who seek a global leadership role, or have a global leadership role, have a responsibility to deal with this threat,” Mr Kerry said.

But Mr Wang said while China agreed on pushing for a new UN resolution, “our position will not be swayed by specific events or the temporary mood of the moment”.

“Sanctions are not an end in themselves,” he said. “The new resolution should not provoke new tension in the situation, much less destabilise the Korean peninsula”.

China remains a key ally and trade partner of North Korea, despite an increasingly volatile Kim Jong-un regime claiming the successful test of a hydrogen bomb earlier this month. While frequently criticised for not using its leverage more effectively, Beijing’s long-held position has been to support a diplomatic resolution, believing tougher measures could back an already dangerously volatile North Korea into a corner.

“There is zero chance that Beijing would agree to the [US] proposal,” said Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor at Renmin University. “It would cause China to lose all flexibility in handling North Korea and would turn it to a permanently hostile state sitting on the Chinese border.”

An editorial by the official Xinhua news agency said while exacerbating the situation on the Korean peninsula was “deplorable”, it boiled down to “Uncle Sam’s uncompromising hostility … flaring up the country’s sense of insecurity and thus pushing it towards reckless nuclear brinkmanship”.

Mr Kerry, who is also due to meet with President Xi Jinping, arrived in Beijing on Tuesday night, the final stop on an eight-day diplomatic mission which also took in stops in Cambodia and Laos. There, he called on ASEAN countries to present a united front in dealing with China’s increasing assertiveness over disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea.

In Beijing on Thursday, Mr Kerry called on China to halt its rapid programme of land reclamation and construction of airstrips, which has alarmed the region’s smaller neighbours. Mr Wang reasserted China’s position that it was doing nothing more than protecting its territorial sovereignty, and had no interest in militarising the islands.

Tensions in the strategic waters, which see $US5 trillion in world trade pass through each year, have flared persistently. Recent developments include China’s movement of an oil rig back into an area disputed with Vietnam, and warnings against a Philippines overflight.

On Wednesday, tensions came from a more unlikely source, with Taiwan’s outgoing president Ma Ying-jeou announcing he would visit the Taiwan-administered Itu Aba, or Taiping, in the Spratly archipelago on Thursday. The island is also claimed by China, the Philippines and Vietnam.

“Such an action is extremely unhelpful and does not contribute to the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea,” said Sonia Urbom, a spokeswoman from the American Institute in Taiwan, which functions as the de facto US embassy in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.

Mr Ma’s office said an invitation was also extended to Democratic Progressive Party leader and president-elect Tsai Ing-wen to send a representative. The DPP, which clinched a landslide election victory earlier this month, said it had no plans to do so.

with agencies

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