India turn down day-night Test in Adelaide

India have been accused of running scared from a day-night Test in Adelaide after rejecting ‘s requests to play the opening match of this summer’s tour under lights.
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Cricket (CA) confirmed on Tuesday the December 6-10 clash at Adelaide Oval will be a day match after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) declined the invitation for a pink-ball clash.

It stops a run of three day-night Tests at the ground over the past three summers against New Zealand, South Africa and England.

The decision is expected to impact the overall attendance and comes as a major blow to the South n Cricket Association, who are bracing for a financial loss.

have won all four Tests under lights with the Gabba – against Pakistan in 2016 – the other venue to host a match. India and Bangladesh are the only Test-playing nations to have not played a day-night Test match.

SACA chief Keith Bradshaw suggested India’s batsmen would have been reluctant to face ‘s bowlers with the pink ball swinging under lights.

“Perhaps there is some hesitation around the twilight period, some feeling that the bowlers will be offered some extra assistance,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“I think that’s disappointing … Test cricket is about challenging the skills of the Test players. It’s the pinnacle of our game.

“To have the ball moving around a little more in that twilight period, I think that adds extra excitement for the fans and the viewers so I think it would have added an extra component to the Test which would have been really exciting.”

Bradshaw said the benefits of hosting the world’s most popular Test team would outweigh the loss of the day-night fixture.

“It will be ‘s first home Test of the season – against the world No.1-ranked Test side India – and there will be enormous interest both here and abroad,” he said.

“The last time India played a Test at Adelaide Oval, in 2014, 113,009 fans attended across the five days – a venue record for Tests against India.

“With a Thursday start and then a full weekend of cricket, we are confident we will set another record next summer.”

After Adelaide, ‘s four-match series against India moves to Perth Stadium – for the venue’s maiden Test – before Melbourne and Sydney host the traditional Boxing Day and New Year Test matches.

“Whilst we appreciate some Adelaide fans may be disappointed, we know how popular the Adelaide Test is and look forward to hosting India there in December,” said a CA spokesman.

“We are committed to hosting at least one day-night Test each home summer as part of our continued focus to grow Test cricket, and we are excited about the day-night Test against Sri Lanka at the Gabba in January.”

Lockheed resumes F-35 jet deliveries

The US is again receiving Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets after a production error was detected.The US Department of Defense has resumed accepting F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin after agreement was reached on covering the costs to fix a production error, the Pentagon says.
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Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but people familiar with the situation have previously told Reuters the cost of the fix was $US119 million.

The Pentagon stopped accepting the jets on March 29, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program office told Reuters in a statement on Monday. The dispute was over responsibility for paying to fix corrosion related to an error discovered in the second half of 2017.

Foreign customers, including and Norway, were also affected and had their jets caught up in the acceptance pause.

The Pentagon says the US military, US allies that own F-35s and Lockheed Martin are now making the necessary repairs to all aircraft.

The majority of aircraft will be repaired within two years, the statement said.

Lockheed shares added to gains after the news and closed up 2 per cent at $US317.71.

Last year, the Pentagon stopped accepting F-35s for 30 days after discovering corrosion where panels were fastened to the airframe, an issue that affected more than 200 of the stealth jets.

During routine maintenance at Hill Air Force Base in Utah last year, the Air Force detected “corrosion exceeding technical limits” where the carbon fibre exterior panel is fastened to the aluminium airframe.

Once a fix had been devised, the deliveries resumed and Lockheed hit its target aircraft delivery numbers for 2017.

A lack of protective coating at the fastening point that would have prevented corrosion was identified as the primary problem, the Pentagon said at the time.

The fastening issue on the F-35 fleet did not affect flights, nor was it a safety concern, the Pentagon said last year.

On Monday, Lockheed said an agreement had been reached with the Pentagon, adding that it expected to hit its F-35 delivery target of 91 aircraft for 2018.

Christensen enters other kind of ministry

Outspoken Nationals MP George Christensen is set to be ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church.Outspoken Nationals MP George Christensen is set to be ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church.
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However, Mr Christensen has re-nominated to run for his Queensland seat of Dawson at the next federal election and won’t be throwing the Turnbull government’s numbers into a spin.

If he was to quit early, it could put the government’s one-seat majority in jeopardy.

When he was 21, the conservative MP was accepted into a Catholic seminary in Melbourne, but left after a few weeks.

In 2014, he joined the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

More recently he became an Anglican, but retained his conservative Christian position by attaching himself to one of the few Anglican dioceses in that does not ordain women priests, The Murray, in South .

In July he will be ordained a deacon by Bishop John Ford.

Mr Christensen told AAP on Tuesday he intended to stay on in parliament, as his unpaid deacon role would allow him to carry on with his day job.

He won’t be moving to South , but rather is expected to be attached to a parish in Mackay, in his home diocese of north Queensland, where he will assist with services and other activities.

“I am humbled to have my vocation to ordination in the church discerned,” he said.

Mr Christensen said he had explored a number of Christian traditions over his life, but slipped out of church-going in his 20s.

However since then he had been “outed as a strong Christian”.

“It’s no real surprise, but it’s another step on my faith journey that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.”

Mr Christensen has been studying theology through the Sydney College of Divinity and says he could be ordained a priest in the future, but only once he leaves parliament.

Asked whether he planned to be a chaplain to fellow MPs, he said, “We have a chaplain in Parliament House. I don’t intend to usurp his role.”

“The role of a deacon and a member of parliament – there is some synergy element to it,” he said.

Mr Christensen has had a controversial career in parliament, calling for a burqa ban and cuts to immigration, and speaking out against action on climate change and same-sex marriage.

Mum fights deportation to stay with son, 8

A Filipino woman has gained her first desperate wish – to enjoy Mother’s Day with her three children – but is still braced for the fight of her life to keep her family together in .
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Brisbane-based Bernadette Romulo is begging Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to save her from deportation, saying she’ll be torn away from her eight-year-old son, who cannot go with her.

Giro was born in and cannot leave due to partial custody arrangements with his Filipino-n father.

Ms Romulo met with immigration officials on Tuesday afternoon, on the day her bridging visa expired, fearing she and her overseas-born daughters – half-sisters to Giro – would be deported after 11 years living in .

But she was given some renewed hope with another bridging visa extension until May 26.

“I have my fingers crossed but I’m still hanging in the air,” she told AAP.

Ms Romulo arrived in in 2006 on a 457 visa with her first husband and two daughters before that marriage failed.

She has lived on a bridging visa since applying for permanent residency in 2012 when her second marriage to Giro’s father broke down. Her bid for permanent residency was rejected last December.

Ms Romulo has been waging a social media campaign in a desperate bid to remain in , including a change苏州模特佳丽招聘 petition that’s generated more than 22,000 signatures of support.

The single mother has also produced a tearful video, begging Mr Dutton not to take her son away from her.

“The Family Court said Giro must live with me. But the department of immigration is deporting me. Should I cut myself in half?” she told AAP on Tuesday.

“I don’t know what to do. But I’m not going to just give up. Because it’s cruel, very cruel. He’s only eight.”

Mr Dutton’s office says he’s not handling the case, and the matter is with Assistant Home Affairs Minister Alex Hawke.

Mr Hawke’s office says the case has already been comprehensively assessed by the department and the assistant minister only intervenes in a “relatively small number of cases”.

“Child custody matters are beyond the scope of this department and are addressed through the appropriate jurisdiction of family law,” the department said in a statement.

Ms Romulo still fears imminent deportation along with her 12- and 13-year-old daughters from her first marriage.

But she said it was a great relief for them all that they can stay together for Mother’s Day. Giro had already made his mother a card for Sunday, worried he wouldn’t be with her.

“Dear mummy. You have a heart better than a universe and love from Pluto to Venus. You are smarter than Einstein and greatly loveable. You are more important to me than anything else,” it reads.

Ms Romulo said her six years of fighting for permanent residency was all about staying together as a family.

“If we get deported, doesn’t matter as much, as long as we can keep my son,” she said.

NBA: Ben Simmons vows to help 76ers create play-off history

FLYING: Newcastle raised guard Ben Simmons take the ball to the rim in the 76ers’ series saving win over the Celtics. Picture: AP​Ben Simmons, with a smile on his face and a diamond-studded boxing kangaroo chain hanging around his neck, declared the Philadelphia 76ers were ready to make NBA playoffs history.
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The 21-year-old n rookie made the bold proclamation minutes after his Sixers staved off elimination in their series against the Boston Celtics with a 103-92 victory in Philadelphia on Monday.

“I’m not ready to go home and start my vacation,” Simmons, who had a double-double of 19 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, told reporters in the post-game press conference.

“Definitely not.”

It was the 76ers’ first win in the series and they still trail 3-1, with Boston needing just one victory to move on to the eastern conference finals.

Simmons and the 76ers are aiming to win four-straight games to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 0-3 series deficit in the best-of-seven series.

There have been 129 teams attempt a comeback from three losses in a row to start a series.

All failed.

Simmons and his 76ers now head to Boston for Wednesday’s game five knowing a loss will end their season.

“We believe our time is now,” he said.

“It is going to take a lot, but it is just the way our mindset is.”

The 76ers were so confident of winning game four they arrived at the Wells Fargo Center arena with their luggage and a plane on the tarmac ready to fly them to Boston.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been the master strategist in the series but Brown countered with the game-winning move by shaking up his starting line-up.

He replaced forward Robert Covington, who missed all eight field goal attempts in game three, with the energetic but unheralded TJ McConnell.

The back-up point guard took some of the ball-handling pressure off Simmons and made inspirational plays with a career high 19 points.

“There’s an injection of energy you immediately know you are going to get with him,” Brown said.

Simmons had error-filled games in the game two and three losses but was determined to play more aggressively and take open shots in the game four victory.

His aggression backfired early, missing five of his first six field goals, but midway through the second quarter he found his range.

Simmons frustrated Brown with reckless passes leading to turnovers in the final quarter but he was more relaxed in the press conference when asked about his boxing kangaroo chain.

“The bling?” Simmons replied.

“That’s just something to represent home.”

The Celtics’ n centre Aron Baynes had another strong game battling with 76ers’ All-Star Joel Embiid with nine points and six rebounds.

Baynes hit two three-pointers, although he missed four others including an air ball, while Embiid had 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Ben Simmons bounced back to formto record a double-double as Philadelphia 76ers staved off elimination from the NBA playoffs with a 103-92 victory over the Boston Celtics.

The 76ers faced being swept by Boston but with the Philadelphia crowd behind them on Monday they earned their first win in the series.

The 76ers still face an ominous fight for survival with no team having come back from being down 0-3 in the NBA post-season.

The Celtics lead 3-1 and need just one more win in the best-of-seven series to progress to the eastern conference finals.

Game five is in Boston on Wednesday.

Simmons was determined to play more aggressively and take open shots but it backfired early with the Newcastle-raised 21-year-old missing five of his first six field goals.

He was not deterred and midway through the second quarter found range and ended the game with 19 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.

Simmons did frustrate his coach Brett Brown with reckless passes leading to turnovers in the final quarter, as his team attempted to preserve their sizeable lead.

The Celtics’ n centre Aron Baynes had another strong game, battling with 76ers’ All-Star Joel Embiid, to finish with nine points and six rebounds.

[email protected] just muscled his way though! 😤#NBAPlayoffs | #PhilaUnitepic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/gfPWVI4n04

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 7, 2018TweetFacebook Big BenPictures: AP

NPL: Josh Rose savours that winning feeling at Edgeworth in next stage of football career

STAR ADDITION: Josh Rose in action for Edgeworth against Maitland at Cooks Square Park on Sunday. Picture: Annette Bercli
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JOSH Rose admits he wasn’t sure about playing on at a lower level after retiring from professional football following a 17-year career.

But after a win in his first game with Edgeworth on Sunday, the 36-year-old former Central Coast Mariner was glad he did.

After just one training session at Edgeworth, the left-back showed his class in a 2-1 victory over Maitland at Cooks Square Park on debut for the three-time defending Northern NSW NPL premiers, who moved to the top of the table.

It came just three weeks after Rose ended his 218-game A-League career with an 8-2 loss to the Newcastle Jets at Central Coast Stadium.

The victory with Edgeworth was Rose’s first since Central Coast beat Sydney 2-0 on November 10 last year.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the league but I thought all the boys were really good,” Rose said.“It’s a good quality team, they knocked the ball around well andit was really enjoyable.

“I was joking with the boys after, that it was nice to have a win.It’s been a while.

Josh Rose on Sunday. Picture: Annette Bercli

“It was good to get a win on the board and get that winning feeling back, so I just really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to more games.”

Rose has joined former Mariners teammate Daniel McBreen at Edgeworth following an almost 400-game league career also taking in stints with Brisbane Strikers, New Zealand Knights, Romanian clubUniversitatea Craiova and Melbourne City.

And after all that, Rose admitted playing on was not a priority as his focus turned to his coaching career and growing the Rose Football Academy.

However, he said the link toMcBreen and Edgeworth’s help in developing his nextcareer convinced him to stay on the field. He hopes now to learn from Eagles coach Damian Zane while taking on a junior role at the club.

“I wasn’t too sure to be honest,” he said of playing.

“It wasn’t something that I’d thought too muchabout. I thought a few offers might come in but I wasn’t sure if I’d continue to play or not.

“But after speaking to Macca, [Edgeworth treasurer] Warren Mills and Zaney, the Edgeworth offer came in. I’d met the boys before so I knew it was a good group. I’d heard a lot of good things about Zaney and from the chats we’ve had, his football knowledge is quite good.

“So for me it’s about learning off these guys and I’m looking forward to continuing in my coaching role. Ijust want to learn off as many people as I can.”

Zane was excited about what Rose has brought to the club as they chase more NPL silverware and a fourth consecutive FFA Cup round of 32 appearance.

“He just looks so smooth,” Zane said.

“He’s not one of those flashy type players. He’s just really effective and the quality of him, he just lifted the training session on Friday night. Ithink the boys wanted to impress and show him that the level is decent around here.

“Our boys, when the cup comes around, there’s a real buzz and it was there on Sunday. He’s been a good addition at a really good time.”

Rose, who lives in Bateau Bay on the Central Coast, said “it’s fantastic to be able to join a successful club like Edgeworth” and he was keen to do his part in the push for trophies.

“The expectation, Zaney has been good in trying to tone that down a bit, but obviously coming from where I’ve come from, the expectation is there,” he said.

“But guys like us –Macca, the Griffiths brothers, Matty Thompson, Leo Bertos – in the comp,we’re all competitors anyway. We always strive to get the best out of ourselves no matter whatand that competitive edge never dies within us.”

John LewisMeet the family behind innovative wine brand Fossil Hill

FORMIDABLE TEAM: The Crossings at their Angullong property. From left, Heidi, Ben, Hatty, Jim and Edwina.BACK 450 million years ago the area that contains Angullong vineyard on the foothills of Orange’s Mount Canobolas was awash by sea and home to some of the earliest forms of marine life.
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As the seas retreated they left behind limestone and a rich residue of fossils gradually covered by basalt loam from Canobolas volcano.

Which explains why the Crossing family has called one of its most innovative brands Fossil Hill.

It’s highly appropriate because the fossil sites first discovered in the 1890s are classified as internationally significant – as are the network of limestone caves extending under Crossings’ land and that of neighbouring properties.

Known as the Cleifden caves, they were added to the NSW Heritage Register in 2017.

The caves are not open to the public, although experienced cavers are able to get permits to abseil down into the caverns.

The Fossil Hill range includes familiar grapes like riesling, a shiraz-viognier red and a chardonnay-pinot noir sparkler, but it’s also a fine showcase for alternate varieties, largely of Mediterranean origins.

The Crossings are no “Johnny-come-latelies” with these varieties, planting pinot gris, sangiovese, barbera and viognier 19 years ago.

Their current releases feature the Spanish-origin tempranillo variety and Italian-origin vermentino, sagrantino, barbera and sangiovese – the latter producing a table red and the Rosato rosé – and montepulciano will soon be added to the portfolio.

Angullong had its genesis in 1950 when Bill and Hatty Crossing bought the 1838-hectare Panuara property overlooking the Belubula RiverValley, 40 kilometres from Orange.

They built a successful fodder cropping, Angus cattle, Boer goat and sheep grazing operation. In 1998, with the help of their sons Jim and Ben, they diversified into wine on part of the property.

Bill Crossing died at the age of 77 in 2015 but Hattie remains an active participant in the family business and regularly presides over the cellar door in the beautifully restored bluestone stables next door to the historic Commercial Hotel in the thriving village of Millthorpe, on the outskirts of Orange. Ben’s wife Heidi and Jim’s wife Edwina are also key parts of the Angullong team.

Ben and Jim are joint owners of the wine and grazing operation. With Ben as general manager andJim as vineyard manager.

Angullong winemaking is supervised by wine master Jon Reynolds, well remembered for his days in the Hunter and his Orange Region trail blazing.

WINE REVIEWSSPICY CHERRY BARBERATHISbeautAngullong 2016 Fossil Hill Barberais bright garnet and has 14.5% alcohol and potpourri scents. The front palate shows spicy cherry flavour, the middle palate plum, briar, cloves and savoury oak and the finish minty tannins. It and today’s other wines areatangullong苏州夜总会招聘.au, theMillthorpecellar doorandwine stores.

PRICE: $26

DRINK WITH:veal scallopine.

AGEING: eight years.

RATING: 5 stars

COOL-TAKE TEMPRANILLOBEN Crossing saysthe vines that produced thisAngullong 2016 Fossil Hill Tempranillohave taken well to Orange’s cool climate. The wine has 14% alcohol, purple hues, berry pastille scents and juicy blackberry front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows Maraschino cherry, peppermint, spice and vanillin oak and the finish ferric tannins.

PRICE: $26.

DRINK WITH:moussaka.

AGEING: six years.

RATING: 4.5 stars

CLONAL SWITCH PAYOFFFROMGrosso clone sangiovese vines grafted in 2011 to the small-bunch and berry Brunello clone, theAngullong 2016 Fossil Hill Sangiovesehas 14.5% alcohol, ruby red hues and herbal scents. The front palate displays juicy mulberry flavour, the middle palate bramble jelly, spearmint, licorice and cedary oak and the finish chalky tannins.

PRICE: $26.

DRINK WITH: lasagne.

AGEING: eight years.

RATING: 4.5 stars

Dodgy shoulders leave Lynn on ODI outer

Chris Lynn has scored 277 runs in 10 innings for Kolkata Knight Riders in this year’s IPL.Chris Lynn’s troublesome shoulders continue to hurt his international prospects with the Queensland master blaster overlooked for ‘s next two series of white-ball fixtures.
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Lynn was a notable omission as Cricket (CA) on Tuesday named squads for the first one-day international (ODI) and Twenty20 assignments under new coach Justin Langer.

The 28-year-old Lynn has returned to playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League after dislocating his shoulder while diving in the field during the T20 tri-series in New Zealand in February.

But it’s understood his fielding capacity remains a concern with national selectors not convinced he has recovered to the level required for international cricket.

Lynn is set to undergo a review with a specialist upon returning from the IPL with the aim of him returning to national duties next summer.

will play five ODIs against England in June, followed by T20 fixtures in England and Zimbabwe.

The ODI series looms as a key warm-up for next year’s World Cup with selectors keen to assess performance on the lively English pitches.

Lynn did not require surgery after dislocating his right shoulder in New Zealand but it was the latest in a long list of injuries for one of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket.

He also had his left shoulder reconstructed last year, prompting him to pass up a state contract with Queensland, while a calf injury forced him to pull out of last summer’s home ODI series against England.

With suspended duo Steve Smith and David Warner’s $2.4 million IPL contracts torn up in the wake of the ball-tampering saga, Lynn’s $1.86 million Kolkata deal is the biggest among all n players.

Live export has let farmers down: govt

The live export industry has let down farmers and animals and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud doesn’t intend to let those in the business to dictate their future.
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Mr Littleproud insists he’ll be the one giving the industry directions to change its culture.

But that doesn’t mean he will rush a decision on the future of live exports, saying Labor had “panicked” by announcing it would phase out the trade following the release of footage showing the horrific treatment of animals on board a Middle East-bound ship in 2016.

“You can’t lead a nation through tough times if you don’t have the ticker, if you don’t have the temperament to wait for the facts, to wait for the science,” Mr Littleproud told parliament on Tuesday, reaffirming his intention to wait for a report due later this month.

“Two weeks is all (Labor) had to wait but instead they put the uncertainty of the livelihoods of those people in Western , those people who have done no wrong, on the chopping block.”

WA is by far the biggest exporter, accounting for 85 per cent of ‘s live sheep exports.

Labor’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the debate extended beyond animal welfare to the rights of workers on export ships and the economics of the trade.

The opposition wants to transition to a red meat industry.

“We can’t transition sheep meat producers out of the live export trade in a hurry but we can do it and we’re best placed to do it if we’re working together,” Mr Fitzgibbon said appealing for a bipartisan approach.

But farmers are digging in, arguing the under-fire trade can be cleaned up despite horrific revelations of animal cruelty.

WAFarmers president and sheep farmer Tony York said ending the $250 million industry would hurt farmers.

“Clean up the trade. If the trade is stopped it will have very significant consequences, particularly in Western ,” Mr York told AAP.

Mr York is adamant Labor’s pledged transition to processed meat is no solution.

“The customers want live animals, they don’t just want boxed and processed meat,” he said.

Mr York suggested improving standards on ships, greater oversight, reducing sheep density and targeting voyages to visit less humid ports first to help clean up the industry.

Senior federal Nationals MPs rejected growing calls to ban the trade from Liberal backbenchers, the Greens and independent senator Derryn Hinch.

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said mums and dads would be hurt by ending live exports, similar to the Gillard government’s ban on cattle exports in 2011.

NSW Nationals senator John Williams conceded the industry was going through a tough time, but said it could be fixed.

Hezbollah and allies gain in Lebanon vote

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has blamed new voting rules on why his party lost 12 seats.Hezbollah and its political allies have made significant gains in Lebanon’s parliamentary election, official results show, boosting an Iranian-backed movement fiercely opposed to Israel and underlining Tehran’s growing regional clout.
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The leader of Shi’ite Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, called the result “a very big political, parliamentary and moral victory for the choice of resistance”.

The number of Hezbollah MPs was the same or little changed, but candidates supported by the group or allied to it gained in major cities. Hezbollah and its political allies won just over half the seats in parliament, according to final results late on Monday from all but one of Lebanon’s 15 electoral districts.

Branded a terrorist group by the US, heavily armed Shi’ite Hezbollah has grown in strength since joining the war in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad in 2012.

The strong showing by parties and politicians who support Hezbollah’s possession of weapons risk complicating Western policy in Lebanon, which is banking on foreign aid and loans to revive its stagnant economy and receives US military support.

An Israeli minister said the outcome showed the Lebanese state was indistinguishable from Hezbollah, signalling the risk of Israel hitting Lebanon’s government in a future war.

Western-backed Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri lost over a third of his seats, the results showed. He blamed a complex new voting law and gaps in his party’s performance.

But with 21 MPs, down from 33 in the last parliament, he still emerged as the Sunni Muslim leader with the biggest bloc in the 128-seat house, making him the frontrunner to form the next government.

The staunchly anti-Hezbollah Lebanese Forces, a Christian party, emerged as a big winner, nearly doubling its lawmakers to around 15, according to initial indications.

Lebanon’s prime minister must be a Sunni under its sectarian power-sharing system. The new government, like the outgoing one, is expected to include all the main parties. Talks over cabinet posts are expected to take time.

“Hariri is going to be further weakened in any kind of government going forward,” said Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute. “His ability to substantially tame or restrain Hezbollah… in Lebanon is going to be very limited.”

Official results showed that Hezbollah, along with allied groups and individuals, secured at least 65 seats. The final results for Akkar district have yet to be announced.

Ball control key for Storm in NRL: Hoffman

Ryan Hoffman says the stats tell the story of their loss to NRL leaders St George Illawarra.It’s back to the drawing board for the Melbourne Storm after their poor completion wrecked their game plan to topple NRL front-runners St George Illawarra.
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The reigning premiers headed to Jubilee Oval with high hopes after three big wins but couldn’t match the Dragons.

An obvious statistic was their poor set completion rate of 65 per cent, with the figures telling the story in each of the Storm’s defeats this season.

Each time they have completed sets at more than 70 per cent they’ve won but failure to reach that mark has resulted in defeat.

Veteran forward Ryan Hoffman said the team had worked hard to get on top of their ball control and it was frustrating to take a step backwards.

“We turned over way too much ball and that’s been a common thread after a loss,” the second-rower said on Tuesday.

“If you look at the stats we had to make a hell of a lot more tackles than them but that was all our own doing.

“It’s disappointing but we need to see it as a bit of a blip so we need to refocus ourselves.”

Melbourne’s next task is stopping Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon after selling their home game.

While it may have paid off financially when they did the same last year it didn’t on the scoreboard, when the Titans caused a 38-36 boilover.

Gold Coast are struggling with injuries and form but Hoffman said the Storm wouldn’t be taking them lightly.

“It’s an interesting fixture with us taking our home game up there,” he said.

“We’re not going to take their form into account, just as I’m sure they won’t either.

“It’s a matter of focusing on our own performances and tidying up the things we didn’t do well last week.”

The 34-year-old has been in impressive form after returning to his first NRL club after three seasons with the Warriors.

Hoffman said he was yet to make a call on 2019 but was relishing playing alongside young guns Cameron Munster, Josh Addo-Carr, and Curtis Scott.

“I’m really enjoying my football and being a part of an edge with them; some real young, exciting players who love the ball” he said.

“I think I’m older than them by about 10 years but you can’t help but feel young around them.”

Chinan Water Polo League: Hunter Hurricanes pair Gordon Marshall, Rachel Fattal earn All Stars selection

FORM: Hunter Hurricanes captain Gordon Marshall. Picture: Josh CallinanHunter Hurricanes captain Gordon Marshall has put himself in the sights of national selectors after capping off an excellent comeback campaign by making the All Stars team.
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The 23-year-old was named in the seven-player merit side following the completion of the n Water Polo League season on the weekend.

Hurricanes men’s squad manager Mark Robinson said thisannouncement will only re-spark the interest already shown in Marshall.

“He [Marshall] was approached prior to the recent New Zealand tour, getting a call the week before, but couldn’t organise the time off work, otherwise he would have gone,” Robinson said.

“So he’s already in the sights ofnational selectors and this will only help his cause. It’s great for him.”

The n Sharks, which features Novocastrian pair Richie Campbell and Nathan Power, have three major tournaments coming up in as many years –the World Cup in Berlin in September, World Championships in Korea next July and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Marshall, after returningfrom US college UCLA in 2018,was instrumental during the Hurricanes’ best-ever second-placefinish despite being knocked out of the Sydney-basedfinals series in straight sets.

“He helped out to no end,” Robinson said.“Plus the three quality players he brought back with him from UCLA.”

IN: Rachel Fattal (centre). Picture: Josh Callinan

Marshall wasn’t the only Hurricanes player recognised for their efforts this season.His girlfriend, Olympic gold medalist and US representative Rachel Fattal, made the women’s All Stars team.

“She’s just on a different level to everyone else in the pool,”Robinson said.

MEN’S ALL STARS:Tyler Martin (Drummoyne),Goran Tomasevic (Sydney University), Gordon Marshall (Hunter), Jared Gilchrist (UNSW), Joe Kayes (Cronulla), Nick Elphick (Melville), Nick Porter (Queensland).

WOMEN’S ALL STARS:Elle Armit (Drummoyne),Bronwen Knox (Queensland),Keesja Gofers (Sydney University),Ash Southern (UNSW),Erin Redbond (Melville) andKiara Holden (Cronulla), Rachel Fattal (Hunter).

PREVIOUS:Hunter Hurricanes’ national title bid

RECRUITS:Women welcome northern triofor 2018