Prince Harry gets true southern experience

Putting on some tramping boots, charming the locals and shucking an oyster – it’s all in a day’s work for Prince Harry.


The 30-year-old prince has spent the second day of his New Zealand visit on remote Stewart Island, which has a population of just 400.

There, he had the chance to rub shoulders with locals, learn how to shuck a Bluff oyster and explore a predator-free wilderness.

Dozens of locals turned out to catch a glimpse of the royal visitor as he arrived at the island’s community centre for his first meet-and-greet event.

Local Jill Cox said the royal visit “really put our little island on the world map”.

Inside the community centre, Prince Harry was taught how to shuck a Bluff oyster. However, once he had opened the oyster he opted to give it to someone in the crowd, rather than sample it for himself.

The highlight of the day was the prince’s afternoon on Ulva Island, a predator-free wildlife sanctuary and home to a number of rare and endangered birds.

Prince Harry – who had tramping boots for the occasion – got to explore the island on foot with Department of Conservation rangers and encountered some of the native wildlife including weka, kaka, kakariki and robins.

“He seemed to be quite taken with the little robins, which … if you cleared a bit of ground, they’d come right up and land beside his feet,” DOC services manager Brent Beaven said.

Prince Harry also learnt about the predator eradication measures on the island and how to set a trap.

Once back on the mainland, he attended a private church service at St Andrew’s Anglican Church.

Earlier in the day a big crowd crammed into Invercargill’s tiny airport terminal to welcome the prince when he landed in New Zealand’s southern-most city.

There he met a 100-year-old tuatara named Henry.

Some dedicated royal fans had also arrived at the airport early, staking out their spots.

Hurdles wins for Pearson and Stowers

Sally Pearson and a rising American star who is shaping as the Australian’s greatest threat at the upcoming world athletics championships have both recorded impressive 100m hurdles victories.


Racing outside Australia for the first time this year, Pearson claimed victory at the Golden Grand Prix meet in Japan on Sunday in 12.66 seconds, her second fastest effort of 2015.

But half a world away at the Jamaica Invitational meet, American Jasmin Stowers moved to 10th on the all-time list after scorching to victory in 12.39 in Kingston.

Only three times in her career has Pearson run quicker than Stowers’ flying effort – most recently her gold medal-winning effort of 12.35 at the 2012 London Olympics.

Having twice smashed her PB with 12.40 last month in Des Moines, Iowa, and now the 12.39 in Jamaica, the 23-year-old Stowers has shot into gold medal contention for August’s world championships in Beijing.

Pearson won the world title in 2011 in Daegu and was second to another American, Brianna Rollins, two years ago in Moscow.

Pearson and Stowers are set to go head to head in the season-opening Diamond League meet in Doha on Friday evening (early Saturday AEST).

The stacked field in Doha also includes 2008 Olympic champ Dawn Harper-Nelson from the US and Britain’s Tiffany Porter, who sits in second spot behind Stowers on the 2015 rankings.

In other Australian action at the Golden Grand prix meet in Kawasaki, Lauren Wells won the 400m hurdles in 56.19.

Brooke Stratton was third in the long jump with 6.46m and national record holder Melissa Breen was fifth in the women’s 100m in 11.49.

Vic police probe overseas terror links

Police are investigating links between a Melbourne teenager charged following terror raids, and overseas extremists.


The 17-year-old boy was arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences after a dramatic raid at a home in Melbourne’s north on Friday.

Police say the Greenvale raid foiled an “imminent” threat to the community after a tip-off to the national security hotline.

Victoria Police Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said police were looking into possible links with extremists.

“We’re trying to find out how the young man became radicalised,” he said.

“We continue to look for linkages. We also look to try and identify what it is that led this man to this situation.”

The teen remains in custody and is expected to appear in court on Monday.

Police have refused to comment on reports the alleged attack was planned for Mother’s Day and there was “no specific intelligence identifying any events as targets”.

They also urged against speculation that could incite fear.

However, Mr Cartwright said the 17-year-old was allegedly “well advanced” in preparing a bomb.

“We do believe the young man intended to explode a device at an event over the coming days,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“We will allege he had taken serious steps to prepare a device and … we made the judgment call late last week that in the interest of public safety we needed to act, and we did.”

Mr Cartwright said overseas recruiters remained a “real challenge” for police.

“A challenge we haven’t seen in the past,” he said.

“The internet provides people the opportunities to radicalise from across the world. It is a real concern for us.”

The boy’s family had been relocated as police conducted a “long and meticulous” search of their home. It is an effort expected to continue into Monday.

“In this case, as is often the case, families are as much a victim as the rest of the community,” Mr Cartwright said.

“They are shocked and surprised. We are doing everything we can to support the family.”

The teenager’s older sister told the Sunday Herald Sun it was unlikely he had been influenced by others because he had few friends outside the family.

“He is kind, gentle and softly spoken,” she said.

Mr Cartwright said police did not expect any further arrests and the teenager had co-operated with police since being taken into custody.

He said the increased police presence at major events was the way of the future since the public alert level was raised, and Victorians should remain alert.

“If you see anything suspicious, if you see young people take an unusual interest in what would normally be household devices, electricals, chemicals, then you need to be concerned, you need to tell us,” Mr Cartwright said.

DCE and Stewart star in big Manly win

In the 70s and 80s on cricket pitches across Australia it was caught Marsh, bowled Lillee.


On Sunday at Brookvale Oval it was Cherry-Evans to Stewart.

Just as fast bowler Dennis Lillee and wicketkeeper Rod Marsh decimated sides around the world in their heyday, Manly pair Daly Cherry-Evans and Brett Stewart tore Newcastle apart in their 30-10 NRL win.

The Sea Eagles No.1 and No.7 turned in masterful performances, having a hand in or scoring all of their side’s points.

While it was Manly’s second win in a row, they remain anchored to the bottom of the table.

Manly coach Geoff Toovey was happy with the win but also aware the game could have gone another way had luck been on Newcastle’s side.

“I can say we’re on a roll now,” Toovey said with a wry grin.

“We had a few decisions from the football gods go our way today.

“I think they had five tries that were disallowed but we got a victory today.”

Manly got on the board first when Jorge Taufua found himself on the end of some quick hands, then Stewart produced big plays at both ends of the field.

First, on the back of a Cherry-Evans break, Stewart scooped up Peta Hiku’s grubber to score his 150th career try. Minutes later he came up with a desperate try-saving tackle on James McManus.

When McManus made a mess of a Jamie Lyon kick, handing over possession in prime field position, Cherry-Evans sent Ligi Sao over as the home side went into the break up 18-0.

Newcastle struck first in the second half through McManus, however most of the second stanza was the DCE and Stewart show.

Stewart got his second on the back of a Cherry-Evans 40/20 in the 56th minute, and nine minutes later Stewart turned provider, throwing the last pass as Cherry-Evans crossed.

The Knights had their chances and had several decisions overturned by the video referees.

While they had their fair share of bad luck, the defensive grit that defined their 4-0 start to the year was nowhere to be seen on Sunday as they slumped to five straight losses.

“It is getting frustrating because the last few weeks we’ve seen the same common denominators come up around our defensive resolve,” Newcastle coach Rick Stone said.

“That’s something we did pretty well in the first couple of games but at the moment when we’re under pressure on our own line, that desperation, that decision-making and confidence that was with us earlier in the season isn’t with us.

“Like (Knights captain) Kurt (Gidley) said, it’s a matter or working hard and trying to establish combinations.”

Rosberg beats Hamilton for Spanish GP pole

Nico Rosberg ended Lewis Hamilton’s pole position season monopoly on Saturday, beating his Mercedes teammate for first place on the grid at the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix.


Rosberg grabbed his 16th career pole in 1 minute 24.681 seconds for the 4.655km lap on the Circuit de Catalunya, 0.267 seconds ahead of Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third.

Daniel Ricciardo managed tenth place in his Red Bull.

World champion Hamilton had taken pole in the first four races of the season and won three of them to lead the standings BY 27 points from Rosberg with a further point to Vettel.

The pole sitter has won 18 of the 24 Barcelona races.

“It is an advantage to start from pole and I will try to make the most if it,” Rosberg said.

“Of course I needed it (pole) sooner rather than later.”

Hamilton admitted that “Nico did a great job” and said he didn’t quite have the car balance he had hoped for. But the Briton vowed “there is still a lot to play for” on Sunday.

Rosberg managed only three victories from the 11 pole positions he got last year, with Hamilton winning five of the other eight.

Hamilton by contrast has won nine of the 11 races he has started from the front since the start of the 2014 season, including last year’s race in Spain.

Mercedes appear to have kept their dominance after a three-week break which all teams used for upgrades.

Vettel trailed by a big margin and Kimi Raikkonen managed only seventh in the other Ferrari, but Vettel hopes to pose a bigger threat Sunday.

“Disappointed is the wrong word. I think it is great for Ferrari to keep confirming how close we are … Hopefully tomorrow we can be closer than today,” the Malaysian GP winner said.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth in a Williams ahead of a career-best fifth for Carlos Sainz and his Toro Rosso teammate Max Verstappen.

Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull, Williams’ Felipe Massa and Ricciardo completed the top 10.

McLaren meanwhile took another small step in the right direction when their ex-champions Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both survived the first phase of qualifying for the first time this season, with Alonso 13th on the grid and Button next to him in 14th.

Alonso crashed in pre-season tests in Barcelona which made him miss the season-opener in Australia.

The home race is also the site of his last race win, in 2013 while at Ferrari – and with Rosberg on pole.

Saints’ Armitage stars again in AFL

St Kilda midfielder David Armitage has credited a pre-season chat with coach Alan Richardson as a major factor in his strong AFL form.


Armitage had a career-high 45 possessions on Saturday as the Saints came from a whopping 55 points down early in the third quarter to improbably beat the Western Bulldogs by seven points.

It followed another best-afield performance from Armitage the week before in the narrow loss to Essendon.

The 26-year-old has played 113 games and would be a clear leader in the club best and fairest so far this year.

“It’s a little bit to do with Richo having a few words with me pre-season,” Armitage told Channel Nine’s The Footy Show.

“He said ‘if you can get your fitness up and drop a few (kilograms)’ … he put belief in me that I could be a really good player, one of the premier ‘mids’ in the comp.

“I’ve started to believe that myself and going out thinking I can do that.”

Armitage also paid credit to his partner Jessie Hultgren, saying their relationship had given him stability and that he was “growing up – about time.”

Another star in the Saints’ big win was forward Jack Billings, who kicked three last-quarter goals.

Captain Nick Riewoldt predicts big things for Billings, who came to the club via the No.3 pick in the 2013 draft.

“He’s been spending a bit more time in the midfield,” Riewoldt told Channel Seven’s Game Day.

“He has that ability – once he continues to build his ‘tank’ (running endurance).

“We know he has an elite talent.

“He has great skills, great polish.”

Riewoldt said it was no surprise to him that Billings had such a major role in the last quarter.

“That’s the sort of player he is,” Riewoldt said.

“The challenge for him as a young guy is to be able to do that consistently.”

What will the budget offer Australia’s ‘working poor’?

Across the nation charities and welfare agencies have seen more people falling into the demographic known as the ‘working poor’, holding down jobs but unable to make ends meet.


For drug and alcohol counsellor Joanna MacDougall, fortnightly ‘bill-wrangling’ is a regrettable, stressful ritual.

Late last year her hours of employment were cut by 10 per cent, reducing her monthly income by around $800.

“It’s all you think about: How am I going to make ends meet? You feel guilty as a mother – you can’t give your kids what you want – you have to think about even buying milk, “ Ms MacDougall says.

Charity  group Kildonan Uniting Care says Ms MacDougall’s story epitomises the changing face of economic hardship – people who work but who are still unable to pay their bills.

“It’s all you think about: How am I going to make ends meet?”

Less than five years ago 95 per cent of people seeking financial counselling at Kildonan were Centrelink clients. Now, 30 per cent of the clients in financial strife are employed with a mortgage

In the past year, the service has seen a 100 per cent increase in people seeking support to pay energy bills.

Chief Executive Stella Avramopoulos says the charity is joining with corporations and government agencies to explore the benefits of a collaborative approach.

“The issues underlining poverty are complex and multi-facetted and no one sector or no one government on their own can do all the heavy lifting,” Ms Avramopoulos says.

The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) Chief Executive Cassandra Goldie says housing affordability is far and away the most important issue confronting the so-called “working poor”

“Firstly increase the Commonwealth rent assistance to ease the pressure on renters on low incomes – we want to see the government make changes to negative gearing and capital gains arrangements,” Ms Goldie says.

Ms Goldie is also calling for further incentives for property developers to create more affordable housing.

One area tipped to offer some relief for low-income families is the child care sector.


Slater still the best: Smith

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith says Billy Slater is still the best fullback in the game after the Storm ace starred in their 28-10 victory over Parramatta on Sunday afternoon.


In his first game since injuring his shoulder in round five, Slater bagged a first half brace then set up another in a typically dynamic performance in the round nine win.

They were his first tries since round 25 last season.

“So he’s had a bit of a drought in the first four, five weeks that he played,” coach Craig Bellamy said post-game.

“But he made a couple of really good tackles as well.

“The direction, the encouragement he gives the frontline from back there, I’ve never seen a fullback be as good as that.”

Smith said it’s his teammate’s communication skills that set him apart from the rest of the fullbacks in the competition.

“The work he does off the footy is his best attribute,” Smith said.

“And that’s what makes him the best fullback in the game. He might not be as explosive as some fullbacks these days.

“But he’s still the number one fullback in the competition, I believe. He played well tonight.”

The game was locked at 10-all entering the second half when Eels halfback Chris Sandow was denied a try due to a double movement.

In-form Melbourne winger Marika Koroibete broke the deadlock minutes later and the Storm suffocated the home side for the rest of the match.

“If Sandow scored that try when we dropped the ball from the scrum, perhaps it might’ve been a different scenario,” Bellamy said.

“I was happy with the way our guys played in that second half. I’m sure we can build on that.”

Eels coach Brad Arthur said his team needed to learn to bounce back from tough calls.

“It was a big moment in the game but we probably need to learn to respond a little bit,” he said.

“I thought there were some moments in the first half too that went against us and we stuck to what we needed to do.

“In the second half they stuck to what they wanted to do for 80 minutes and we didn’t.”

The win pushes Melbourne back up into second spot on the NRL ladder, while defeat pits the Eels alongside Cronulla and Manly at the bottom of the table.

Arthur said his side only had themselves to blame.

“It’s not where we wanted to be. We completed at 54 per cent today and gave away nine penalties compared to receiving five and they completed at 80 per cent,” he said.

“We made just under 100 more tackles than the Storm. It’s hard to keep fronting up and fronting up when you’re exerting that much energy.

“It’s no-one else’s fault but our own.”

ECB should ‘hang heads in shame’ over Moores sacking – Stewart

Moores was dismissed on Saturday shortly after Andrew Strauss was appointed England’s director of cricket, though reports of his sacking were leaked during the team’s washed-out one-dayer against Ireland on Friday.


Moores, who also spent two year as coach between 2007 and 2009, bore the brunt of criticism for a dismal World Cup, in which England failed to progress from the group stages, and the drawn test series against the West Indies.

“The fact that all these leaks came out the day before the man was officially told — you’ve got to show a bit of respect to employees,” Stewart, England’s most capped test cricketer, told the BBC.

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace will take charge for the two-test series against New Zealand which begins on May 21 but Stewart said appointing a permanent successor quickly was vital.

“There are a couple of names being bandied about, both Australians, Jason Gillespie, Justin Langer.

“They’ve either got someone lined up already, to have made this decision, or they’re going to have to find someone pretty quick.”

Stewart was also touted as a possible candidate for the director of England cricket role but said the appointment of former captain Strauss was an astute move ahead of the Ashes series starting on July 8.

“He’s captained his country and when you’re captain you make bold decisions, you make brave decisions, you make decisions you believe in,” Stewart said.

“I don’t take it that Andrew Strauss is a ‘yes’ man or he’s too close to that dressing room. If he has to be cut-throat then he will be.

“It’s going to be tough. Australia are the best side in the world. They’re going to start as the underdogs, but the underdogs do sometimes win.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said the dismissal of Moores, who won 19 of his 52 matches in charge across all formats of the game, was “disgraceful”, adding that the ECB needed to demonstrate some “quiet authority and integrity”.

(Reporting by Tom Hayward, editing by Ed Osmond)

Wales rugby coach renews concussion fears

Wales coach Warren Gatland fears star wing George North’s career could be ended if he suffers further concussions.


North suffered concussions in Tests against New Zealand last November and England in February’s Six Nations opener, when he played on before sitting out the next game against Scotland.

He has not played since being knocked out again while scoring a try for his club side Northampton against Wasps six weeks ago but could return in two weeks’ time in the Premiership play-off semi-finals.

Wales are in Australia’s pool at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and North is a walk-up start on the wing when fit.

Gatland has no problem with North returning when he is ready, but holds concerns over the longer-term future of a 23-year-old who has scored 22 international tries in 49 Tests.

“I had a meeting with George’s agent and said if I was being purely selfish I would say ‘George, don’t play in the last few games, get yourself right for the World Cup’,” Gatland told the Sunday Times.

“If he gets another knock he’s going to have to be out for six months or a year. He has been out for a considerable amount of time but he’s such a young player that if he picks up two or three more of those in the next year, that’s going to finish his career isn’t it?

“That is a concern but I can understand Northampton being desperate to get him back playing, particularly as they get to the end of the season.”

The comments come against a backdrop of concern throughout rugby about the issue of concussions.

Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau missed the NSW Waratahs Super Rugby match against Western Force on Saturday due to concussion.

Polota-Nau was concussed early in the Waratahs’ victory over the Brumbies the previous round, little more than a month after missing several weeks of action because of a head knock suffered at training.

England full-back Mike Brown has not played since the Six Nations, having been concussed against Italy, while Welsh Rugby Union national medical manager Prav Mathema has described concussion as “the number one thing” for the sport to address.