Longmire hails his AFL assistant Dew

Sydney coach John Longmire has sung the praises of his senior assistant Staurt Dew, who is considered one of the frontline candidates for the Gold Coast job.

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The Suns earlier this week opted not to renew Rodney Eade’s contract and assistant Dean Solomon is filling their head coaching post on an interim basis for their last three games of the season.

Dew is widely considered a head coach in waiting and is highly regarded by the Swans, to whom he is contracted for next season.

A premiership player with both Port Adelaide and Hawthorn, Dew has been with Sydney since late 2009.

Dew has held a number of positions at the Swans, overseeing the defence, development and stoppage areas at different times.

“He plays a key role at our footy club week in week out, either in preview or review, at training sessions,” Longmire said.

“He’s highly experienced and a very good coach for what he’s doing now.

“He’s very well prepared and he’s very important to what we do.”

Longmire, who served his own apprenticeship at Sydney under his predecessor Paul Roos, said Dew had taken time to broaden his knowledge in numerous areas, and not just coaching.

“He’s been able to do that at this footy club and get involved in other areas that are important to have that experience in if you want to go on and be a senior coach,” Longmire said.

“We’ve been keen to help him with those areas and he’s certainly been very good at it; so he’s a fantastic coach for this footy club and I’m sure whatever he wants to do going forward that he’ll be very good at it.”

Asked if Dew handled stress well Longmire laughed and said, “You don’t really know what stress is until you’re a senior coach.”

Controversial removal of homeless tent city to be done ‘compassionately’, NSW Premier says

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says homeless people will be treated “compassionately” when police forcibly remove occupants from Sydney’s CBD tent city.

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Ms Berejiklian says she expects legislation empowering police to tear down the tents in Martin Place, which passed parliament late on Wednesday, will be enacted on Friday but wouldn’t confirm when police will move in to dismantle the camp.

“Everybody knows my attitude, that everybody on the site needs to be treated compassionately, respectfully and in a way in which will help them,” she told reporters on Thursday.

The man dubbed the “Mayor of Martin Place”, Lanz Priestley, says the camp is still searching for another location in the interim, but the government’s promise to fund extra hours at the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross isn’t a solution to their needs.

Mr Priestley says those living in the camp aren’t “looking for a babysitting service”.

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“They’re looking for something that they can be part of, and that something they can be part of might even be more necessary in rebuilding people than a house,” he told AAP.

Wayside Chapel chief executive Rev Graham Long says the service has no space for sleeping, but could offer a warm shower, low-cost meals and support services.

“The Department of Family and Community Services has asked Wayside if we would extend our hours to 11pm closing each night,” he said in a statement, clarifying that the department had requested the charity consider operating 24/7 but nothing had been confirmed.

Rev Long pointed out nothing Wayside could do would disguise the lack of affordable housing in the city, a problem he described as “complex”.

That lack of housing is the real issue at the heart of the whole debate, according to Mr Priestley, who says revelations about his criminal past that emerged on Thursday were distracting from the problem.

The camp’s unofficial leader did not deny he had a criminal history, pointing out there were many in the tent city whose pasts had left them trapped in homelessness.

“It’s unfortunate that there’s this obfuscation away from the actual issue, which is that these guys don’t have anywhere to go of choice,” he told AAP.

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Mexican football hero sanctioned by US over alleged ties to drug kingpin

Rafael Marquez, 38, along with a popular singer known as Julion Alvarez and nearly two dozen other Mexican nationals, is accused of financial ties with Raul Flores Hernandez, a suspected drug trafficker with links to the Sinaloa cartel and the Jalisco New Generation gang.

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The US Treasury Department said the designation was “the largest single Kingpin Act action against a Mexican drug cartel network that OFAC (the Office of Foreign Assets Control) has designated,” and comes after US President Donald Trump promised to crush Mexico’s drug cartels.

“Raul Flores Hernandez has operated for decades because of his longstanding relationships with other drug cartels and his use of financial front persons to mask his investments of illegal drug proceeds,” OFAC Director John E. Smith said in a statement, calling the move a “major joint action” with Mexico.

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Marquez denied the accusations in a news conference Wednesday evening and vowed to cooperate with authorities.

“I deny categorically any type of relation with this organisation,” he said.

“I understand the legal situation in which I find myself, and I will immediately focus my energy on the clarification of the facts with the support of my team of lawyers.”

Marquez gave a voluntary declaration before the Mexican attorney general’s office on Wednesday, the office said in a statement.

Marquez, who hails from the cartel-riddled state of Michoacan, is one of the country’s best know sportsmen and has played in Europe for club sides FC Barcelona and Monaco.

He still occasionally captains the Mexican national team, having represented his country in four World Cup football tournaments.

According to documents on the Treasury’s website, Marquez was linked to Flores Hernandez’s organization via a football school called Escuela de Futbol Rafael Marquez as well as various other sports and health outfits.

Marquez’s current team, Club Atlas in Guadalajara, could not immediately be reached for comment.

“Everything I have, I’ve earned,” says popular Mexican singer Julion Alvarez in response to allegations that he has links to a drug kingpin.Getty Images

The US Treasury said it had sanctioned 43 entities linked to Flores Hernandez’s holdings, from sectors including sport, hospitality and tourism and health.

Julio Cesar Alvarez, more commonly known as Julion Alvarez, is a popular “banda” singer. In a folksy video posted to his official Facebook page, Alvarez, 34, rejected the accusations against him.

“Everything I have, I’ve earned,” he said. “I dedicated myself to making music, and thank God, I don’t have the necessity to do many of the things they’re accusing me of.”

He added that he knew Marquez, and may invite him to join forces legally to defend themselves against the accusations.

In an awkward twist, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had posted a photo of himself with Alvarez to his Instagram page this week, but deleted it just before news of the sanctions against Alvarez broke.

A spokesman from the president’s office declined to comment on why the photo was deleted.

Trump vowed to dismantle transnational crime groups in a February executive order. Little change in strategy has been seen so far, although there are some signs of increased cooperation with Mexican security forces.

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Eels’ French set to miss Knights NRL clash

Parramatta are taking no chances with fullback Bevan French as they turn their attention to a first NRL top-four finish in 12 years.

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The Eels are guaranteed to move into the top four with a win over last-placed Newcastle on Friday but look set to do it without their No.1 because of a hamstring injury.

The hype is building in Sydney’s west after Brad Arthur’s side strung together six wins in a row – the first time they have done so since they made the grand final in 2009.

With Cronulla and Brisbane facing off on Friday night, two points will see the Eels jump into fourth.

The Eels haven’t finished in the top four since their minor premiership win under coach Brian Smith in 2005 and Arthur’s side is charging at the right time of year.

“It’s exciting, you can sense the excitement around Parramatta, you can sense the excitement in the playing group,” Arthur said

“You work all year to try and play finals football, we’re no different from any other club and it has been a long time.

“We need to make sure we continue to play to our standards and expectations.”

The Eels look set to rule out French for the clash as they gear up for a finals push.

After French sat on the sidelines during the second half of last week’s win over Canterbury, Arthur said he would be taking no risks.

French is in form – having scored in each of his past six matches – and key to their chances after Clint Gutherson was ruled out for the year with an ACL injury.

“He’ll train today but it’s unlikely, we don’t want to take a risk with him,” Arthur said.

Will Smith and Josh Hoffman have been named on an extended bench and with one to come into the side should French be ruled out.

The Knights have shifted Dane Gagai to fullback to cover the loss of Nathan Ross (back) while veteran Shaun Kenny-Dowall returns.

The game will also be Eels skipper Tim Mannah’s 200th first grade match and Arthur urged his charges to do it for their teammate.

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Eels have now won nine of their past eleven games at their adopted home ground ANZ Stadium.

* The Knights’ victory over the Warriors last week represented their first back-to-back home wins since rounds one and four in 2015.

Blewett out, Haddin is new fielding coach

Australia’a new fielding coach Brad Haddin wants his side to reach the lofty standards set by Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting.

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Haddin, who has pursued a coaching career since retiring in 2015, will serve as one of coach Darren Lehmann’s assistants until the end of 2019.

The former wicketkeeper, who played 66 Tests and 126 ODI, was appointed Greg Blewett’s replacement on Thursday.

“I grew up in an era of players like Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting, who gave Australian cricket a real identity in the standards of world-class fielding,” Haddin said.

“They were the type of players who took it personally if the team wasn’t fielding well and that created a level for the rest of the group to aspire to.

“I want to hold this group accountable to that kind of standard and I believe we have the talent to do that.”

Australia’s sloppy fielding has angered both Lehmann and skipper Steve Smith at various points in recent years.

Haddin will also work closely with Matthew Wade, the gloveman who temporarily claimed his place in the Test XI between 2012 and 2013, and back-up stumper Peter Handscomb.

“Having someone with a pedigree such as Brad’s to bounce ideas off and fine tune their skills will be immensely valuable for our keepers,” Lehmann said.

Haddin has already worked with the national side in a coaching capacity. He mentored Handscomb on an ODI tour of New Zealand earlier this year, when Lehmann was with the Test squad in Dubai.

Blewett, who had been the national fielding coach since August 2014, resigned to spend more time at home and will now take charge of South Australia’s under-19 team.

The 45-year-old will also be an assistant coach with the Redbacks and Big Bash League franchise Adelaide Strikers.

Wilkinson faces big surfing test in Tahiti

Matt Wilkinson’s narrow lead in the surfing world title race faces a major test at the Tahiti Pro, where he’s never progressed past the quarter-finals.

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The Australian has long struggled at Teahupoo in French Polynesia, enduring third-round eliminations in the past four years after reaching the final eight in 2011.

The 28-year-old took the yellow leader’s jersey after winning in Fiji in June before his lead was cut to a mere 250 points when he lost in the quarter-finals last month at J-Bay.

Reigning world champion John John Florence is Wilkinson’s closest title rival this season and looms as a major threat in Tahiti after being second to Kelly Slater in 2016.

Wilkinson was also world series leader last year heading into Teahupoo — the seventh of 11 stops on the elite tour — before being overtaken by Florence.

The Hawaiian held onto the championship lead for the rest of the season, while Wilkinson fell away to fifth.

Wilkinson has vowed not to relinquish the yellow jersey this year and three-time world champion Mick Fanning said his compatriot’s result in Tahiti, with surfing scheduled to begin on August, could be decisive.

“His win in Fiji gave him a lot of confidence,” Fanning, ranked 11th in the title race, told AAP.

“I wouldn’t want to say he should try to ‘hold on’ because he still has to fight.

“But if he can get another big result in Teahupoo, he’ll be looking pretty good.”

Eleven-time world champion Slater won’t return to defend his title after sustaining a foot injury in South Africa.

World No.4 Australian Owen Wright will also contend for his first title after reaching the semi-finals in 2012 and 2015 before missing the 2016 season due to a head injury.

Wright sits 1800 points off the lead, while seventh-ranked Filipe Toledo of Brazil looms large after winning the J-Bay Open.

What more do banks have to do?: Labor

Labor wonders what the banking industry has to do before the federal government calls a royal commission into any misconduct.

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Treasurer Scott Morrison insists the government has left all options on the table to deal with the “epic failure” of the Commonwealth Bank board which is engulfed in another financial scandal.

But he ruled out a royal commission into the banking sector following CBA’s alleged 50,000 breaches of anti-money laundering laws.

Action needed to be taken now, Mr Morrison said, citing the government’s decision to increase the powers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and making senior bank executives more accountable.

In contrast, a royal commission would be a three-year “lawyers’ picnic”.

The government won’t be rushing its response out of concern it may frustrate financial transactions regulator AUSTRAC bringing the bank to court.

“That is priority one,” Mr Morrison said on Thursday.

“We are not going to give the Commonwealth Bank any leave passes by any actions we might take.”

But shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said the treasurer had taken the “biggest and best” option off the table in ruling out a royal commission.

“How much more evidence does the government need?” he asked.

Questioned about the position of CBA boss Ian Narev, Mr Bowen said neither the treasurer or alternative treasurer choose bank chief executives.

“What you do is move policy levers and the policy lever the treasurer has available is a royal commission,” he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

“Mr Narev’s position is between him and the board.”

Greens lash Forrest’s welfare card push

Billionaire businessman Andrew Forrest has been accused of using shock tactics to scare people into supporting cashless welfare cards.

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Mr Forrest has joined Western Australian indigenous and community leaders calling for the cards to be rapidly expanded, releasing a graphic video depicting welfare-fuelled violence and sexual abuse across the state.

He said opponents of the cards, including the Greens, were covering themselves in shame.

Greens senator Rachel Siewert said the mining magnate was using the same tactics as the Howard government in 2007 over the Northern Territory intervention and so-called “Basics Card”.

“Using violent imagery then offering a one-dimensional, paternalistic and previously failed approach to a complex problem shows that Andrew Forrest is more concerned about furthering his ideologies than looking at what works,” she said.

“We should stop wasting money on income management-style approaches and start looking at real solutions that work.”

The cards quarantine 80 per cent of welfare payments, which cannot be used to buy alcohol or gamble but can be used to pay for housing, food, clothing, household supplies and essentials.

The remaining 20 per cent of a welfare payment is placed in a person’s regular bank account and can be withdrawn as cash.

A recent review of two trials – the East Kimberley in WA and Ceduna in South Australia – found the cards had been effective in reducing alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and gambling.

The federal government will continue the trials and is looking for two more pilot sites.

Labor human services spokeswoman Linda Burney said the video circulated by Mr Forrest and supporters of cashless welfare cards was shocking.

But the opposition will not be making any decisions until the results of the first two trials are clear.

“It should not be the case that people and children are fearful to go home,” Ms Burney said on Thursday.

“Of course it had an impact but Labor’s position, as I said, is that we are waiting to see the evaluation which I’m told is imminent.”

Crows expect Talia, Mackay to face Bombers

Adelaide expect key defender Daniel Talia and winger David Mackay to overcome niggling injuries and play against Essendon in Saturday night’s AFL game.

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Talia (groin) and Mackay (corked thigh) were in some doubt but completed training on Thursday, Crows coach Don Pyke says.

“Both travelled well so we expect they’ll both be available for selection,” Pyke told reporters.

Ladder leaders Adelaide travel to meet the Bombers with a six-point buffer at the top of the table.

However, Pyke ruled out resting players in the run to the finals.

“We are probably not entering that space,” he said.

“I’m probably more a believer of continuing on, if guys are in good form, keeping them playing good footy.

“(Resting players) isn’t something have thought about significantly, to be honest.

“Where we sit on the ladder, we want to maintain that position.

“We have given ourselves an opportunity to go into the finals in a really strong position.

“And that, for us, starts with another four points in Saturday night.

“From there, I think players want to play.

“The reality of the system at the moment is there is a bye between the last game and the first final.

“If we start getting too cute and over-manage it … it’s sometimes hard to get back and going or it takes a bit of time.

“And certainly this is not the time of year where I want to experiment too much.”

Pyke was braced for an attacking onslaught from a Bombers outfit playing for the first time since club stalwart Jobe Watson announced he will retire at season’s end.

“A fantastic career, it’s always sad when you see great players bow out,” Pyke said of Watson.

“But I think Essendon would want to perform well for Essendon and we’re they are at in the season as well as for Jobe.

“But we have got a lot to play for as well.”

Anti-corruption laws: PM attacks Bill Shorten’s union past

The prime minister says the opposition leader would have spent time behind bars if new laws passed by the senate last night had been in effect when Bill Shorten was a union leader.

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He has reignited his attack on Mr Shorten’s trade union past after claiming the legislative win without Labor’s support.

“Bill Shorten has been defending tooth and nail, corruption and secrecy, defending big unions and union officials doing dodgy deals with employers at the expense of the workers,” the prime minister told reporters in Canberra.

“Like the puppet that he is, he has gone in there, sending his senators there to vote against legislation which does no more than require employers and unions to act honestly.”

Labor demands apology for “grubby” attack

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has slammed the comments as unbecoming and called for the prime minister to apologise.

“This was a desperate, shrill and grubby attack,” he told reporters in Canberra.

The bill was passed in the upper house with help from the senate crossbench.

It makes it a criminal offence to allow payments between employers and unions that do not benefit employees but rather encourage union officials to act improperly.

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“Employers and unions who are negotiating enterprise agreements must now disclose to the relevant workers, prior to voting on the agreement, any benefits that are being exchanged between the employer and the union,” Employment Minister Michaelia Cash told reporters in Canberra.

“If you’re doing the right thing, you should be able to tell the workers exactly what you are doing.”

Labor believes the legislation is flawed.

“This bill subjects people to serious penalties for conduct that is not corrupt, dishonest or improper,” Labor senator Doug Cameron said.

“Nowhere else in the corporate and professional world does this apply,” he said.

The legislation follows a recommendation from the Heydon Royal Commission into union corruption where Mr Shorten was required to give evidence about his time as national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union.

There were no adverse findings against him.