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Australian News

Brisbane Heat international cricketer Mujeeb Ur Rahman tests positive to COVID-19 in hotel quarantine



Brisbane Heat cricketer Mujeeb Ur Rahman has tested positive for coronavirus while in hotel quarantine in Queensland.

The Afghanistan international travelled from Kabul last week for his third season with the Heat before reporting COVID-19 symptoms during his mandatory quarantine period this week.

He has been admitted to Gold Coast University Hospital at Southport.

The 19-year-old spinner will remain in the care of the Queensland Health Department until he is cleared to play with the Heat in the upcoming Big Bash League season.

It comes as Queensland recorded two new cases of coronavirus on Friday, both in hotel quarantine.

Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson said the welfare of Mujeeb was of the highest concern for the state’s cricket officials.

“We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the integrity of the competition and wellbeing of the player are suitably addressed,” he said.

Mujeeb has represented Afghanistan in one Test and 32 one day internationals and plays in the Indian Premier League for Kings XI Punjab.

Making his international debut at the age of 16, Mujeeb was named Brisbane Heat player of the season last year.

The world’s number two ranked T20 bowler, he played in Afghanistan’s first-ever Test match against India in 2018.

Brisbane Heat will begin its BBL 10 campaign against the Melbourne Stars at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on December 11.

Queensland has a total of 10 active cases remaining across the state.



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Australian News

Quarantine worker tests positive in NSW


A hotel quarantine worker has tested positive to coronavirus in Sydney after working across two hotels – with one housing returned travellers.

The woman worked at the Novotel and Ibis hotels in Darling Harbour.

She carried out domestic duties at the hotels and would travel to work from Minto, in Sydney’s south, by train and light rail.

Five family members, who the woman lives with, have so far tested negative to COVID-19 but will complete 14 days isolation.

It is too early to tell how she caught the virus.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard told Sunrise he was alerted to the new case in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“We would have been saying today is 26 days without any cases, but we now have one case,” he said.

“I have woken up Dr (Kerry) Chant this morning and spoken to her. We are working through the issues.”

Health authorities are now racing to alert close contacts and investigations are underway.

The woman worked at the Ibis on Friday November 27 and the Novotel – which is one of the city’s quarantine hotels – on November 28, 29 and 30.

Anyone who worked at those two hotels on those days have been told to monitor for symptoms and self-isolate until they are tested and receive a negative result.

News of the case came just hours after Gladys Berejiklian revealed the latest wave of eased restrictions, particularly around venues and stadiums.

Mr Hazzard confirmed the new case would not influence those changes.

When asked whether Thursday’s case would trigger any change to restrictions he said “I doubt it very much”.

“We have a fantastic public health team that manages these things extremely well,” he said.

“We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.”

He acknowledged when the government revealed changes to restrictions, Ms Berejiklian was transparent in the fact she expects more cases to pop up.

“As Health Minister, I anticipate that because we are in a pandemic,” Mr Hazzard said.

“If you’ve got any symptoms, no matter how mild, please don’t go to work, please don’t go shopping and stay home and wait for test results.”

NSW Health released a statement which said it is conducting wider testing of hotel staff.

“The person, who lives in southwestern Sydney, travelled from Minto to Central and on the Light Rail from Central to Darling Harbour on a number of occasions while potentially infectious,” the department said in a statement.

“NSW Health will be asking people who travelled on the same services to get tested immediately and self-isolate, until further advised by NSW Health. The route and line details will be provided later today.”

Just last week the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state would move to a “hot spot” system and there would have to be a “massive outbreak” for them to slam the border shut again.

“There are so many variables here, each particular case has got to be looked at on its merits and (we have to) work out what the risk is to Queensland,” she said.

The revelation also comes after West Australian Premier Mark McGowan revealed the state would open its border to NSW on December 8. This is now likely to be at risk, given NSW needed to go 28 days without a case to trigger the reopening.

More to come



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Lewis Hamilton tests positive for coronavirus, will miss Sakhir Grand Prix


Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix, the sport’s governing FIA says.

Hamilton, who has already secured a record-equalling seventh world title and won Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, was experiencing mild symptoms but was otherwise fit and well, his Mercedes team said.

“Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing program,” the Formula 1 champions said in a statement.

“However he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive.

“Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”

The 35-year-old Briton was isolating according to local health guidelines, the team said, with a replacement driver to be announced in due course.

Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne was already scheduled to travel to Bahrain after Formula E testing in Valencia.

Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 this season, following Sergio Perez at Silverstone and Lance Stroll in Germany.

Formula One organisers said Hamilton would needed a negative test before being allowed to return to the F1 paddock, therefore remaining a doubtful starter for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton stands with his hands on his head wearing a black face mask
Hamilton has already won the world title, the seventh of his career.(AP: Joe Klamar)

Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the Bahrain GP, which was marred by a crash that left Romain Grosjean with minor burns to his hands and ankles after his Haas car crashed and burst into flames moments after the start.

“It’s physical, this track has always been physical,” Hamilton said following Sunday’s race.

“We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it.

“I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”

Hamilton clinched the drivers’ championship last month in Turkey.

He has a big lead in the standings with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on 201 points and Max Verstappen on 189.

Reuters/AP



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Australian News

Lewis Hamilton tests positive for coronavirus, will miss Bahrain Grand Prix



Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix, the sport’s governing FIA says.

Hamilton, who has already secured a record-equalling seventh world title and won Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, was experiencing mild symptoms but was otherwise fit and well, his Mercedes team said.

“Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing program,” the Formula 1 champions said in a statement.

“However he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive.

“Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”

The 35-year-old Briton was isolating according to local health guidelines, the team said, with a replacement driver to be announced in due course.

More to come.

Reuters



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WBBL, ODIs show cricket passed its post-coronavirus tests of TV popularity with flying colours


The 10cc song Dreadlock Holiday is often used in cricket promotions with the line “I don’t like cricket, I love it!” apparently reflecting a devotion to the summer game.

Usually ignored is that the tourist in Jamaica, who utters the famous line, does so at knifepoint during a mugging and only feigns a love for cricket and reggae to avoid being robbed, or worse.

Yet it turns out — to the apparent surprise of those who have paid hundreds of millions to broadcast the game — you don’t have to put a blade to the throats of Australians to get them to like cricket. Indeed, they still love it.

Last Saturday night, a peak audience of 429,000 watched Sydney Thunder upset Melbourne Stars in the WBBL final, despite Seven’s decision to show the animated movie Frozen on its primary channel and bump the tournament decider to Seven Mate.

But surely after 86,174 turned up at the MCG for this year’s stupendous T20 World Cup final it was apparent young girls were now as enamoured by hard-hitting batters as they are with cartoon princesses?

The WBBL final was sandwiched between — but not overshadowed — by the first two men’s one-day internationals between Australia and India. Those games drew a peak audience of almost 400,000 on Friday night and 448,000 on Sunday (this made it one of the day’s top 10 most-watched programs despite being shown only on pay-per-view TV).

This exclusivity remains a bugbear for those fans who do not have access to Fox Sports or its little cousin Kayo Sports, and who remain understandably aggrieved by the absence of Steve Smith’s eminence and Glenn Maxwell’s almost comedic batting stylings from their screens.

An Australian male batter points his bat to his right after scoring a century against India in Sydney.
Free-to-air viewers did not get to see Steve Smith’s exploits in the first two men’s ODIs.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

This controversial contractual arrangement brings the possibility that cricket will lose viewers in the long term, as it did in England when the game disappeared from free-to-air screens.

But to put the dilemma in its brightest context for Cricket Australia (CA), the fact potential viewers are complaining that they can’t watch the current ODI series when the 50-over game was supposed to have been usurped by its little brother T20 only emphasises the enduring popularity of international cricket as a whole.

Yet it was only a few weeks ago that it seemed cricket would be broadcast at knifepoint this season with reluctant TV networks attempting to wriggle out of water-tight contracts or demanding considerable discounts.

The obvious assumption was that Seven and Fox Sports were suffering a severe case of buyer’s remorse for their combined six-year $1.182 billion deal and were using the cover of COVID-19 to abandon the game.

Seven’s chief executive James Warburton, particularly, used the blunt instrument of inflammatory and even insulting statements toward CA in order to argue Seven could not have been handed worse content if Australia played a nine-Test series against Angola.

At the same time, the inevitable delay in releasing the summer schedule was weaponised against CA and unflattering comparisons made with the AFL and NRL, which had swiftly agreed to modified rights deals that would ensure revenue flow as they cobbled shortened seasons together.

Never mind that anyone who has so much as tried to read an ICC schedule could tell you putting together a pandemic-era cricket fixture would involve more moving pieces than a Meccano set, and certainly more complexities than any domestic football competition.

And that was without considering the delicate negotiations required to put India’s cricketing princes in quarantine and working out where they could be transported and accommodated and when.

But despite the gloom and doom created by broadcasters who might normally do cartwheels to promote the game, cricket has passed its initial post-COVID tests of televisual popularity with flying colours.

BBL, Tests striving for eyeballs

On December 10, potentially the most contentious element of the cricket viewing schedule arrives, the BBL, a competition which now includes various bells and whistles aimed at maintaining viewer interest over 40 overs, let alone the marathon 61-game season.

But far more than Power Surges, Bash Boosts and hastily recruited imports, perhaps the greatest gift to the BBL is the likely postponement of the Australian Open tennis, which could remove a fearsome rival for eyeballs from the second half of January and hand the sports-minded TV audience to Seven and Fox Sports.

Nathan Lyon raises his hand to high-five Marnus Labuschagne
Cricket Australia and its broadcast partners are desperate for the men’s Test series to draw in the viewers.(Photosport via AP: Andrew Cornaga)

As for the Test series?

An unexpected fear created by two crushing ODI victories is that the Australians might prove dominant this summer, especially with India captain Virat Kohli to leave for paternal duties after the first Test.

Although it should be remembered that almost two decades of ritual humiliations inflicted by the stellar Australian teams of the 1990s and 2000s only got the patriotic juices of local viewers flowing as Shane Warne, the Waugh twins, Glen McGrath and others became daytime TV superstars.

Now Steve Smith’s back-to-back centuries provide the promise of a run-soaked summer, while an injury to opener and part-time selector David Warner only enhances the prospects of a much-anticipated debut by young Victorian prodigy Will Pucovski.

All of which has 10cc’s misunderstood earworm ringing in your head — we don’t like cricket, we love it.

So much so that, if you were a TV executive with the rights to such a popular product, you would surely be happy to put it to air without having a contractual knife held to your throat.



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Business

You want to work as what? The real problem with career-matching tests


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A review has just been published by the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations and the Statistical Society of Australia looking into the pollsters underestimating the Liberals’ chances of winning the last election. It observes that the polls were “likely to have been skewed towards the more politically engaged and better educated voters with this bias not corrected”.

They mean they listened to too many Labor voters. Similarly in the UK, the pollsters didn’t see Brexit coming.

One line of argument after the recent high-profile misses or failures in predicting political outcomes is that polls are just not that accurate. This makes a lot of sense. The world is complex and subject to continual change, and some of it can be relatively sudden and dramatic.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is hardly a bastion of extremist anarchist ideology, yet their discussion paper from 1983 called Are Economic Forecasts Accurate includes these warnings: “the legitimate criticism of the accuracy of economic forecasts is that they are only good at predicting the predictable.

“When the movements of economic variables are within the range of recently observed movements, forecasting accuracy can seem to be quite good.

“When movements are outside the range of recent experience, forecasts look poor.”

COVID-19, anyone?

This brings me to predictions about our careers. Our appetite for a certain future is clearly evident in our seemingly insatiable consumption of careers “tests” that hold out the promise of matching our supposedly carefully measured interests to possible future occupations. Some of these things will even rank the order of very best possibilities.

Putting aside the observation of one colleague in the testing industry — that, taken as a whole, including of all the free internet quizzes, “90 per cent of tests are crap” — even the high-quality interest tests struggle when it comes to prediction. Most good-quality studies show very modest correlations between measured interests and subsequent occupation, and over a period longer than a couple of years, there is a negligible relationship.

It is about time we focus on exploring, using curiosity, conducting experiments and remaining open to new avenues.

It is about time we focus on exploring, using curiosity, conducting experiments and remaining open to new avenues.Credit:Kerrie Leishman

Imagine you are 100 per cent uncertain about a future occupation. The best instruments might reduce that uncertainty by between 5 per cent (typically) and 16 per cent (to be very generous). If you think about getting a job your interests didn’t predict as being like getting the flu, and getting a job that was predicted as avoiding the flu, then measured interests reduce your chances by a tiny amount, whereas the real flu vaccine reduces your chances of flu by an estimated 59 per cent.

You take a vaccine to increase certainty about your future health. A vaccine that reduces your chances of infection by less than 20 per cent may be useful across society as a whole in reducing disease burden, but at the individual level, I doubt people would see the value. Luckily, per World Health Organisation, most routine childhood vaccines are 85 per cent to 95 per cent effective.

To top it off, Dr Jo Earl at Macquarie University reported in a 2019 study that “people may be better off taking well‐designed jobs than holding out for matched interests”.

Interests tests do have a place and can be useful in provoking further thought about options. However, the inevitable emphasis on the results and matches tends to breed a false sense of certainty that might be the opposite of what is helpful.

It is about time we focus on exploring, using curiosity, conducting experiments and remaining open to new avenues. In other words, focus more on possibilities than dubious predictions and just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street.

Jim Bright, FAPS is Professor of Career Education and Development at ACU and owns Bright and Associates, a Career Management Consultancy. Email to opinion@jimbright.com. Follow him on Twitter @DrJimBright

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Local News - Victoria

Victoria records no cases or deaths for 19th consecutive day, tests loom for truck drivers from South Australia


“We’ll also be asking the same principles that the South Australian Premier has asked his community to do, that if you are travelling from South Australia to Victoria, please don’t come right now and only restrict it to essential travel,” he told Nine’s Today program.

“The exception to this of course is the border communities where we’ll continue the bubble that is in place between the Victorian and South Australian small regional border towns.”

South Australian police still operate the South Australia-Victoria border post near Nelson.

South Australian police still operate the South Australia-Victoria border post near Nelson. Credit:Tony Wright

The SA outbreak has caused Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory to close their borders to SA travellers – requiring any inbound passengers two quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.

Victoria, alongside NSW and the ACT, is keeping borders open and screening South Australian passengers at airports. From Thursday only truck drivers will be screen at the land border.

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“No border restrictions have been imposed at this stage, but we are continuing to monitor the situation in South Australia,” Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Professor Allen Cheng said on Tuesday.

Current border ‘bubble’ arrangements allows South Australian cross-border residents to travel to Victoria for any reason anywhere within a 70km cross-border corridor.

“All cases in the outbreak in South Australia have known links and are currently within metropolitan Adelaide, so the risk to Victoria’s border communities is low.”

Two flights carrying 122 passengers arrived at Tullamarine airport from Adelaide on Monday, with 81 tested for COVID-19. No flights arrived at Melbourne or Mildura on Tuesday, with two more flights expected on Wednesday afternoon.

Screening entails taking names and contact details of SA travellers, an interview about where they have been and temperature and symptom checks. Only certain passengers are being required to be tested and quarantine.

“People in South Australia who have been at a high-risk location are required to quarantine, and the South Australian border is closed to most travellers from Victoria,” said Professor Cheng.

“We are also putting in place a range of other measures, including screening arrivals at Melbourne Airport, alerting aged care facilities and hospitals and continuing wastewater testing in western Victoria.”

No flights are scheduled into Melbourne airport or Mildura airport today from Adelaide. The next flights expected from Adelaide are due to arrive tomorrow.

There still remains three active cases in Victoria, two of which were still in hospital as of Tuesday.

Public health officials have explained the long active period for the remaining three cases as being attributed to people who may be immuno compromised or still have symptoms beyond the 10 day isolation period.

People recover from COVID at different rates, according to the Department of Health.

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100m world champion Christian Coleman handed two-year ban for missed drug tests, will miss Olympics


Men’s 100-metre world champion Christian Coleman was banned for two years on Tuesday and lost his chance to succeed Usain Bolt as the fastest man at the Olympic Games.

Track and field’s Athletics Integrity Unit said it banned the American sprinter for two years, until May 13, 2022, because of three violations of doping control rules.

Coleman missed two visits by sample collection officials and failed to file correct information on another occasion, all in 2019 — the year he won his first world title.

“We see this case as involving behaviour by the athlete as very careless at best, and reckless at worst,” the three-person judging panel said in its published ruling.

Coleman can appeal against his ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 24-year-old had been provisionally suspended from competition since May. Weeks later, details of his three so-called “whereabouts failures” were revealed.

Athletes face a two-year ban if they have three violations in a 12-month period.

A previous similar case against Coleman was dropped weeks before the 2019 world championships in Doha, Qatar.

That cleared him to take gold in the individual 100m and 4x100m relay and established him as favourite to win titles at the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed to next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jamaican icon Bolt won the marquee 100m dash at the past three Summer Games.

Justin Gatlin of the U.S. wins the final ahead of Christian Coleman of the US and Usain Bolt of Jamaica.
Christian Coleman (second from right), finished behind Justin Gatlin in the 2017 world championships, ahead of Usain Bolt.(Reuters: Matthew Child)

The judges said there was no suggestion Coleman ever took a banned substance.

However, even the panel noted Coleman was in a pool of top-level athletes targeted for no-notice testing since 2016, and “has received anti-doping education for a number of years”.

“The evidence indicated a complete failure to [comply with the rules] by the athlete,” the judges said.

Coleman previously wrote in his blog that his third and decisive whereabouts failure — on December 9 last year — occurred when drug testers showed up at his residence while he was Christmas shopping.

Elite athletes are required to fill out a “whereabouts form” to make it possible for anti-doping authorities to carry out surprise testing outside of competition.

A violation means an athlete either did not fill out forms telling authorities where they could be found, or that they weren’t where they said they would be when testers arrived.

Coleman also got silver in the 100m and relay at the 2017 world championships in London.

AP



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Local News - Victoria

Preston school closes after student tests positive for COVID-19


The principal said he believed there had been a misunderstanding that led to the family sending their child to school.

“We’re not trying to find a fault in this one,” he said. “The best thing is to see what we can do from now on.”

Mr Ozyurek has closed the school as a precautionary measure, although he said he wasn’t advised to by the Health Department.

“We can’t take any chances,” he said.

“I’m hoping and praying that the classroom teacher has not picked up anything.”

Mr Ozyurek said he received a call from the Health Department on Tuesday inquiring about the student’s attendance at the school

East Preston Islamic College is a not-for-profit school with about 600 students from kindergarten to year 12.

Primary-aged students at the school had only returned to face-to-face learning last week.

Members of the public in the Preston and Heidelberg areas received text messages on Wednesday advising anyone with symptoms to get tested immediately.

Comment has been sought from the Health Department.



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Giro d’Italia rider Fernando Gaviria tests positive to coronavirus, as race faces uncertain fate


Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria has become the latest cyclist to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus as the race heads toward an uncertain conclusion this weekend.

A staff member for Team AG2R La Mondiale was the only other positive out of 492 tests carried out on Sunday and Monday to coincide with the race’s second rest day, organisers RCS Sport said.

The race is scheduled to end on Sunday in Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region, which is putting in place a nightly curfew beginning on Thursday because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in an area already hit hard during the first wave of infections.

Two other stages in the final week of the race are also slated to ride through Lombardy.

Race director Mauro Vegni has said from the start that the race’s greatest achievement would be reaching the finish in Milan.

The three-week event was already rescheduled from its usual slot in May because of the pandemic.

Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates said the rider “was immediately isolated following the test result and is feeling well and is completely asymptomatic”.

The team noted that Gaviria also had COVID-19 in March.

Gaviria has won five stages at the Giro during his career — four in 2017 and one in 2019, plus two stages at the 2018 Tour de France.

Overall contenders Simon Yates and Steven Kruijswijk had already been withdrawn from the race after testing positive, as had Australian standout Michael Matthews.

Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott team and Kruijswijk’s Jumbo-Visma team withdrew their entire squads last week following a series of positive results from the first rest day.

Team Emirates said all of its other riders and staff came back negative in the latest round of exams. The team added that its medical staff was “monitoring the situation closely and doing all they can to ensure that we can proceed safely”.

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Italy added another 10,874 confirmed coronavirus infections to its official toll on Tuesday.

The Government has implemented new restrictions to curb nightlife and socialising in hopes of slowing the resurging outbreak.

Another 89 people died, bringing Italy’s official COVID-19 death toll to 36,705, the second highest in Europe after Britain.

A face-mask wearing cyclist in a pink jersey sprays champagne after a Giro d'Italia stage.
João Almeida still holds the leader’s pink jersey with five days left in the Giro d’Italia.(AP/LaPresse: Marco Alpozzi)

Portuguese rider João Almeida leads the race by 17 seconds ahead of Dutch rival Wilco Kelderman.

Team Bahrain-McLaren’s Jan Tratnik earned his first stage victory in a Grand Tour by winning the 16th stage, beating Australian rider Ben O’Connor by seven seconds at the end of the hilly 229 kilometre route from Udine to San Daniele del Friuli.

Neither of them had ever won a stage in a Grand Tour and both entered the final stretch together.

However, it was Tratnik who crossed the line first, with his arms outstretched and tears streaming down his face. O’Connor — riding for NTT Pro Cycling — thumped the handlebars in frustration.

AP/ABC



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