Hong Kong gets new leader in limited ballot

Beijing’s preferred candidate, Carrie Lam, was selected by an elite group of voters to become the fourth chief executive of Hong Kong on Sunday.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Only 1194 members of the Election Committee cast ballots, under Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

They had a choice of just three candidates: Ms Lam, the former chief secretary of Hong Kong, its former financial secretary John Tsang and retired judge Woo Kowk-hing. All had been pre-vetted by Beijing.

Ms Lam, 59, the first woman to take the top job, had said she would try to heal divisions within Hong Kong society.

There were bitter clashes between her predecessor Chin-ying Leung and the pro-democracy movement that exploded in 2014, as street protests brought central Hong Kong to a standstill for two months.

The Umbrella movement, led by young students, had called for free elections for a chief executive by 2017, as promised in 1997 when the former British colony has handed back to China. Beijing refused, instead insisting it pre-vet candidates.

In a speech on Sunday Ms Lam said : “I too want more democracy in Hong Kong. But Hong Kong is facing a lot of problems. Why don’t we start with the easier subjects?”

She pledged to rebuild social unity “step by step “.

“Hong Kong, our home, is suffering from quite a lot of divisiveness” she said.

Opinion polls had earlier shown Mr Tsang well ahead of Ms Lam in popularity. The South China Morning Post reported on Sunday that Mr Tsang received 300 votes from a block of pro-democracy committee members.

However, at least 601 votes were needed to win, and Ms Lam was supported by the business community.

Hong Kong media showed prominent business leaders, including its richest man Li Ka-shing and his son Richard Li, attending the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to vote on Sunday.

Other voters included 70 members of Parliament and social worker, agriculture and fisheries groups. Beijing loyalists were said to control two-thirds of the vote.

Outgoing chief executive Mr Leung said at the Boao Forum in China last week that popularity was not the only consideration in choosing a Hong Kong chief executive.

“If the central government does not trust the chief executive, the place he or she is to run can hardly enjoy a high degree of autonomy,” the South China Morning Post quoted him as saying.

He steps down as chief executive in July.

On social media, photographs circulated of a red banner placed by pro-democracy activists on Hong Kong’s Lion Rock, reading “I want genuine universal suffrage”.

Pro-Beijing supporters were also on the streets.

It was Hong Kong’s sixth chief executive election since the handover of the former British territory to China. Ms Lam will serve for five years.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told the annual sitting of the mainland’s rubber stamp Parliament a fortnight ago that ”one country, two systems” control of Hong Kong would be steadfastly applied “without being bent or distorted … The notion of independence will lead nowhere”.

During the meeting, Mr Leung was appointed vice chairman of the mainland’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

BBC television coverage of the Hong Kong election had been censored in hotels in mainland China.

Crows belt Giants to make big statement

Adelaide 2.3 7.9 15.14 22.15 (147)
SuZhou Night Recruitment

GWS 4.5 6.7 11.7 14.7 (91)

Goals – Adelaide: Betts 4, Atkins 3, Jenkins 3, McGovern 2, Cameron 2, Douglas 2, Knight 2, Mackay, Menzel, Smith, Milera GWS: Cameron 4, Smith 3, Scully 2, Greene, Lobb, M Kennedy, Johnson, Patton

Best – Adelaide: Betts, Laird, Cameron, M Crouch, Jenkins, Atkins, McGovern, Talia GWS: Williams, Scully, Mumford, Greene, Kelly, Smith

Injuries – Adelaide: McGovern (head) GWS: Mzungu (hamstring)

Crowd: 43,993

The GWS Giants will return to Sydney licking their wounds and nursing their pride after the club’s heaviest loss in two seasons, a 56-point drubbing at the hands of a red-hot Adelaide Crows.

Tendai Mzungu looks set to miss several games after leaving the ground in the second quarter with a left hamstring injury while Jonathon Patton, Zac Williams, Jeremy Cameron and Dylan Shiel all came from the field at various stages on Sunday afternoon following heavy knocks.

Those four are expected to be fine for Saturday’s round-two clash against Gold Coast at Spotless Stadium, while Jacob Hopper looks the likely replacement for Mzungu.

Irrespective of who runs out against the Suns, coach Leon Cameron will be demanding a much better effort from his highly fancied troop, who were beaten all over the ground in front of 43,993 fans at the Adelaide Oval. Not since round 21, 2015 have the Giants lost by such a margin.

“Their work at stoppage was far better than ours which is really disappointing,” Cameron said.

“Clearly on occasions today we didn’t dig in and didn’t deal with it. The disappointing part is that we need to be a little bit more hungry around the ground.

“There’ll be some players disappointed in their performance and I’m not just talking about our kids, I’m talking about fifth, sixth year players that we expect more of when the whips are cracking.

“They’ve shown that they can bounce back and I’m confident that we can address some of the issues and look forward at having one huge crack at the Suns next Saturday.”

The ease at which Adelaide were able to shift the ball from the centre of the ground into their forward line will be forthright in Cameron’s thoughts this week.

GWS started the better and threatened to run away with the game midway through the second quarter before Adelaide seemingly flicked a switch and took full control, washing away the flag-favourite hype that has clung to the Giants throughout the preseason.

“The talk’s come from you guys, not from us, we’ve been saying all along that the competition is as even as it will get this year which is fantastic, and you’ve already seen results over the weekend to say how even is this competition,” Cameron said.

“We came up against a very, very good team. They were too good for us today and that’s going to happen in this competition if you’re not absolutely cherry ripe in every game, then you’ll get beaten.

“Even if you are cherry ripe every game, there’s going to be some great footy and you’re not going to win all those games. They were better than us and credit where credit’s due.”

Adelaide produced 11 individual goal kickers in the roasting South n heat without their spearhead Taylor Walker who was still nursing a hamstring injury, pocket rocket Eddie Betts leading the way in booting four electrifying majors.

Rory Atkins and Josh Jenkins managed three apiece while for the Giants, Cameron finished with four after kicking a goal in each quarter.

“We’re not focusing on one guy kicking goals or targeting guys, we want to move the ball in a way which gives us ultimately the best chance to score,” Crows coach Don Pyke said.

“I was proud of the team today, I thought in the conditions we were physically and mentally strong to be able to get that result. It was more the eagerness of what we were able to create.”

An eight-goal third quarter seemed to have broken the Giants’ back but Cameron and then Devon Smith, who managed all three of his six-pointers in that term, gave GWS a sniff of hope going into the final change trailing by 31 points.

The margin reduced to 26 points midway through the final quarter before Adelaide shifted into overdrive and accelerated away to lay their own claim to premiership favouritism.

VOTES GWS v Adelaide

(James Buckley)

Betts (Adelaide) 9

Laird (Adelaide) 8

Atkins (Adelaide) 8

M Crouch (Adelaide) 8

Cameron (Adelaide) 8

Spotlight on ‘inhumane’ treatment by China in Iranian play

IRAN TO IRAQ GALLERYWomen surround a framed photo of asylum seeker Reza Barati, during the memorial service held at the Al-Mahdi mosque in the Nabard neighbourhood in South East Tehran, Iran. 27th Feburary, 2014. Photo: Kate Geraghty Photo: Kate GeraghtyThe brutal murder of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati at the Manus Island detention camp has been dramatised in a new play staged in the Iranian capital Tehran.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Simply titled Manus, the script draws on direct quotes from asylum seekers held in ‘s offshore detention camps, and has drawn an audience of high-ranking officials.

AbbasAraghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and the man trusted as the chief negotiator in the nuclear deal that saw international sanctions lifted from Iran, attended one night and later mingled with the actors and a former asylum seeker held on Manus Island.

“I tried to invite authorities of Foreign Ministry because of the issue of my play that directly related to their job,” the play’s director, Nazanin Sahamizadeh, told Fairfax Media from Tehran.

The Turnbull government has been seeking for more than two years to convince Tehran to accept the forced return of Iranian asylum seekers who arrived in by boat but have not been judged to be refugees – a request Iran has so far refused.

Around 7000 Iranians have been granted bridging visas to live in the n community, with several hundred Iranian asylum seekers also thought to be held on Manus Island and Nauru.

Another senior Iranian diplomat last year criticised conditions in ‘s detention centres as “definitely inhumane”.

Hossein Babaahmadi, who spent 75 days on Manus Island before volunteering to return to Iran in 2013, helped organise interviews for the script with asylum seekers who were in the camps.

He said the interviewees included Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian journalist who remains on Manus and was close to Barati.

“The conditions on Manus Island were inhumane, they didn’t treat us like a human being,” Mr Babaahmadi said.

Ms Sahamizadeh said the play focuses on eight Iranian characters who fled Iran for , only to be held in Pacific camps.

The main scene details the riot at Manus Island in February 2014, where 23-year-old Barati was repeatedly beaten with a piece of wood with a nail in the end of it, before a large rock was dropped on his head.

Last year, a Papua New Guinea court found two local men found guilty of murdering Barati.

Media restrictions are heavy in Iran and the country is regularly singled out for human rights abuses.

“All characters described their story when they were in Iran and had problems,” Ms Sahamizadeh said when asked whether it was awkward to show stories in Iran about people claiming to be at risk in Iran.

“I had read about Manus two years back and as it was new for me it got me interested,” she said.

“I found that it is very important and critical issue that many people have not been aware about it and finally I made my decision to make a play of it.”

The play ran for a month in the Qashqai Hall of Tehran’s City Theatre Complex, with the final show last week, and Ms Sahamizadeh said it was attended by almost 3000 people.

Ms Sahamizadeh said she hoped to eventually bring the play to the stage in and then other countries.

Morris sidelined for two months

The Western Bulldogs are expected to be without premiership defender Dale Morris for around two months after the veteran suffered a spiral fracture in his leg in the dying seconds of Friday night’s win over Collingwood.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

While the Dogs are yet to confirm the nature of Morris’ injury, it’s understood the fracture is likely to keep him out of action for between eight and ten weeks.

Spiral fractures occur where a bone is torn apart in a twisting motion. They often occur when the body is in motion while one extremity is planted, as happened when Morris’ right leg was hurt when bumped by Magpie Will Hoskin-Elliott.

He had been hopeful of good news when emerging from scans on Saturday. “Whatever happens happens, you can’t do much about it,” he said.

Morris, 34, played a key role in last year’s grand final win over Sydney, and is renowned for his resilience. He came back from a devastating break in his tibia that occurred late in 2011, while he played out last season with what later emerged as a broken back.

It is a further setback for the Dogs in their premiership defence, with ruckman Jordan Roughead sidelined for a few more weeks after a knee injury suffered against Melbourne in a JLT Community series match last month.

The Dogs are also awaiting the returns of midfielder Mitch Wallis and key forward Jack Redpath, who broke a leg and suffered an ACL tear respectively in the same match against St Kilda last July.

The Bulldogs ended their 62-year premiership drought despite being ravaged by injuries at various stages last year, most notably the season-ending ACL tear to captain Bob Murphy in the round three loss to Hawthorn. Murphy returned strongly to senior football against the Pies.

The Dogs have a grand final re-match this Friday night against the Swans at Etihad Stadium.

Newcastle double adds to big night for Team Tritton

BEN Woodsford scored a career-first driving double at Newcastle for Shane and Lauren Tritton on a big night for the former Hunter-based stable.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Shane and Lauren Tritton

Woodsford steered favourites Angel In White and Thebattlesjusbegun to easy victories on the 10-race program on Saturday night at Newcastle as the Trittons scored a group 1 win at Bathurst with Mysweetchilliphilly. Chris Geary scored his first group 1 victory in taking Mysweetchilliphilly to a 20.9-metre win in an Australasian mile rate age/distance record of of 1.54.7 in the Bathurst Gold Tiara (1730m) for two-year-old fillies.

Shane Tritton said Woodsford was a “good young driver who is getting better all the time and is ready to take the next step”.

Tritton, the seven-time Newcastle premiership winner now based at Menangle, had Divine State in the Gold Crown for two-year-old colts and geldings, but the odds-on favourite finished seventh in a distressed condition. Geoff Simpson’s Castalong Shadow won.

Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa carried Hunter hopes on the Bathurst club’s big night.

Formosaled on Rocknroll Emma in the group 2 Gold Bracelet final for three-year-old fillies but she tried badly to finish eighth. Formosa’s stable star, Ultimate Art, a former Gold Crown and Chalice winner,produced a fighting effort to finish 1.9m second to Cyclone Kate in the Mayor’s Cup.

At Newcastle, Nathan Carroll followed his bag of four winners a week earlier with a double aboard the Clayton Harmey-trained Machsaswinger and Den Helder for his father, Mick Carroll.Jack Trainor had a driving double with Borninastorm for Brad Miles and Expressionist for Shane Sanderson.

Dancing Vics make South China pay

Alice Springs: A century from a dancing Marcus Harris helped Victoria ram home their advantage on day one of the Sheffield Shield final as South were made to rue three dropped catches in the hour after lunch.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Searching for a historic third consecutive Shield crown – something never achieved by the state in the competition’s 125 year history – the Bushrangers reached stumps at 3-322 after openers Travis Dean and Harris capitalised on lives given by Redbacks fieldsmen.

Having made a century in the Shield final two summers ago when playing for Western against Victoria, the Bushrangers were glad to have Harris on their side this time as the left-hander rode his luck before eventually being caught at gully on 120 by Joe Mennie off the bowling of Chadd Sayers.

Harris fell moments after Dean was bowled around his legs by Adam Zampa for 94, but only after the openers made South pay by adding 224 for the first wicket.

The pair had reached lunch largely untroubled at 0-86, but were tested after the interval. Harris posted his 50 just before lunch, but should have been gone on 54 after edging Mennie to first slip where Daniel Worrall spilled a straightforward chance. Worrall was later the unfortunate bowler as Harris offered a sharp chance on 59 to gully where Jake Lehmann couldn’t hang on. Harris’ two lucky breaks flanked a dropped catch at gully by Callum Ferguson as Dean flashed hard off Sayers on 32.

Forced to toil in near 40 degree heat, the Redbacks were punished as Dean and Harris reached tea with their partnership intact.

Harris capped an impressive first season with the Bushrangers when he posted his century shortly before tea, and celebrated his achievement with an unusual mid-pitch jig. The Victorian batsman attributed his moves to a viral video doing the rounds among the team.

On a more serious note, Harris said he wasn’t sure why Victoria had been troubled after lunch.

“It was just one of those things where a few things happened really quickly and we just had to calm it down a bit.”

Even after the openers departed Victoria didn’t relent as Rob Quiney and Aaron Finch continued to pile on the runs before Finch became Sayers’ 56th Shield victim of the summer when he was trapped LBW on 38 with the first delivery after the new ball was taken.

Quiney (44 not out) and Cameron White (seven not out) survived until the close of play, leaving Victoria in a commanding position.

Earlier, stand-in Victorian captain White won the toss and elected to bat in a match Victoria need only to draw to claim the trophy. Despite finding more green than expected on the pitch, the Bushrangers left paceman Scott Boland out of their XI, opting to pick Fawad Ahmed for just his second game of the season, acknowledging the leggie’s imposing record at the venue.

A-League: Newcastle Jets’ finals hopes crushed in 5-0 rout to Wellington Phoenixphotos, poll

DOWN AND OUT: Andrew Hoole walks away as Kosta Barbarouses is mobbed by teammates. Picture: Getty ImagesNEWCASTLE Jets’ slim finals hopes have come to an embarrassing end after they were thrashed 5-0 by an under-strength Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday night.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

With their season on the line, the Jets produced their worst performance of the campaign.

The home side, minus seven players on international duty headed by captain Andrew Durante, keeper Glen Moss and strike pair Roy Krishna and Shane Smeltz, dominated from the outset.

Jets’ finals hope crushed in embarrassing loss TweetFacebookThe job became harder in the 24thminute thanks to the brilliance of Barbarouses.

A shock omission from the All Whites side, Barbarouses broke clear and turned Jets defender Lachlan Jackson inside-out before drilling an angled shot past the right hand of Jack Duncan.

It was the 14thgame this season the Jets have conceded the opener.

Jason Hoffman had earlier stung the gloves of Phoenix keeper Lewis Italiano – one of five fresh faces in the starting side –and Andrew Nabbout had a shot deflect into the side netting.

Barbarouses turned provider for the second goal. He delivered a cross from the left for Finkler who muscled in front of Jackson and thumped a header in off the left post.

The Jets struggled to get out of their own territory at times, withPhoenix picking off 11 passes in the first half alone.

Most of the Phoenix damage was done down the left. Jones reacted at half-time by replacingJohnny Koutroumbis with Daniel Mullen.

“We said at half-time, this is it,” Jones said. “If we lose we are done. Is that the best you have got?”

It did little to stop the haemorrhaging. Three minutes after the break Ridenton side-footed a low shot through a crowded box after a Dylan Fox header hit the crossbar.

With nothing more to lose, the Jets bombed forward and started to create chances.

Lewis Italiano denied Hoole, then Nabbout with a double save in the 57thminute.Hoole blazed high two minutes later and Morten Nordstrand also overcooked a shot from distance.

The Jets finally found the back of the net in the 66thminute, but unfortunately it was at the wrong end, with Jason Hoffman slotting an innocuous Hamish Watson cross into the visitors’ own goal.