Kohli fuming as Aussie loosen grip on second Test

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India 4-213, lead by 126
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???BANGALORE: Under-the-pump India captain Virat Kohli was left seeing red as tensions escalated further between both sides after another white-knuckle day left the second Test hanging in the balance.

Steve O’Keefe is set to come under the scrutiny of match referee Chris Broad while Kohli’s angry reaction to his controversial dismissal will also be reviewed.

“The temperature’s rising a little bit, it’s intense out there,” paceman Josh Hazlewood said after stumps.

Australia’s reprogrammed batsmen are facing the supreme test of their character with a thrilling finish looming after India continued their bold revival on Monday.

Steve Smith’s men twice had the world No.1 on the ropes but were unable to land the knockout punch against an Indian side that has responded impressively to Kohli’s dressing-room call to arms.

Led by an unbeaten 79 by Cheteshwar Pujara, who gave difficult chances on three and four, India did not lose a wicket in the final session and reached stumps on the third day on 4-213, a lead of 126.

“The real India has arrived in the last two days,” former India team director Ravi Shastri said on Star Sports.

“You had the feeling there was only one team playing the series until then and today they’ve showed they have the stomach for the fight.”

Australia have made all the running since Nathan Lyon’s career-best performance on the first day but India have gradually pegged them back.

Both teams will start the fourth day with genuine belief of pulling off a win for the ages however it’s the Indians who are carrying the momentum.

A total in excess of 200 beckons for Australia and it will take some running down even if the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch does not deteriorate much further.

Hazlewood, who has claimed three wickets, threatened to trigger another Indian collapse after tea but Australia’s bowling has lacked the consistency of their previous three efforts.

“We did bowl a bit wide, that Australian line,” Hazlewood said. “We can improve tomorrow morning.”

The day’s flashpoint came when Kohli failed to have his dismissal on 15 overturned by the video umpire. Adamant he had hit the ball first, he instantly challenged Nigel Llong’s call but replays failed to prove his case conclusively. Kohli stood stunned after receiving Richard Kettleborough’s verdict to the mirth of the Australians.

“The skipper’s angry again,” Smith quipped, shortly before Kohli left the crease.

A furious Kohli pointed the bottom edge of his bat to the crowd and exchanged terse words with fans as he left the field and was later seen stewing inside the dressing room.

Kohli, however, may get the last laugh in Bangalore after India’s beleaguered batsmen rediscovered their mojo.

Pujara, their dependable No.3, is making most of the chances given to him by Matthew Wade and Smith.

Wade failed to land a glove on a desperately hard chance, while Smith could not hold on to a hot offering low to his left at slip.

The Australian captain made amends with a one-handed screamer to dismiss the impressive Lokesh Rahul. “That’s one of the best catches I’ve ever seen live,” former Australian Test speedster Brett Lee, who had a 21-year career at the top levels, said on Star Sports.

Emotions ran high as O’Keefe celebrated by getting up close and personal with Pujara, earning a rebuke from both on-field umpires. India were only 25 runs in front when Kohli departed but Pujara has given them a very real chance of victory.

Australia squandered a golden opportunity to turn up the heat on India after their tail folded meekly against India’s spinners.

A first innings lead beyond 100 seemed on the cards while Wade and Mitchell Starc were at the crease but the end came quickly after the latter holed out in the deep.

Australia lost 4-7 in 29 balls to be dismissed for 276, while Jadeja finished with 6-63.

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Man evades police over 900km in north west Queensland

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LONG RIDE: Police eventually caught up to the offender in Charters Towers after he stole fuel in Camooweal and a car in Julia Creek. Photo: stockA Victorian man has been arrested for stealing a motor vehicleand a string of other offences afterPolice tracked him over900 kilometres through north -Queensland.
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Police pursuedthe driver of a stolen vehicle just before midday onMarch 1after he stole petrol from a service station at Camooweal.

He was monitored through Mount Isa and Cloncurry before stealinga vehicle in Julia Creek and driving all the way to Charter’s Towers.

The 23-year-old man has been charged with various offences includingunlawful use of a motor vehicleand stealing, and has been remanded in custody, facing court on March 9.

Acting Detective InspectorSean Wade from Mount Isa Police says it was not a “police chase” as police were unsure whether the man carried a firearm.

He described it asan intercept operation involvingpolice teams across the district.

“Upon intercepting the vehicle in Camooweal for a fuel drive off, the vehicle drove in an erratic manner and sped off towards Mount Isaat a rate of knots,” Inspector Wade said.

Unfortunately police were not able to catch up to him in Mount Isa, and the vehicle continued on toJulia Creek where the offender jumped out and stole another vehicle.

Inspector Wade blamed radio communications for their failure to apprehend the driver in Mount Isa.

“Onceofficers inCamoowealreachedradio reception they notified Mount Isa and Townsville police,” Inspector Wade said.

“We tried to intercept him before he got into Mount Isa but due to the tyranny of distance and the lack of communication, he got throughbefore we received that information,” he said.

Police put interception strategies in place outside Cloncurry, which were ineffective in stopping the car.

Inspector Wade said police kept their distance, as a chase could have put the public’s safety at risk.

“When we try and intercept vehicles we have considerations to take into account, including the safety of our officers and the public.”

“We have to consider all the possible implications of intercepting, what the offence might be, who they are, whether we can readily IDthem, whether they are carrying any weapons.”

Inspector Wade said that in ruraltowns, there may only be one or two officers covering a lot of ground.

“We don’t have police on every corner in small country towns unfortunately, and as luck would have it police weren’t in the location where he dumped the vehicle, so we weren’t able to apprehend him before he got into another vehicle,” Inspector Wade said.

Residents of Julia Creek advised the police about the second stolen vehicle, and Inspector Wade said members of the public are often instrumental in solving crimes in the rural areas of Queensland.

“We were able to then identity the vehicle that he had stolen, and we were also able to identify that he was not in possession of a firearm,” Inspector Wade said.

Police forRichmond, Hughenden, and Charters Towers took over the operation once it was established they had enough resources.

The abandoned vehicle was located early on Thursday morningby an off duty police officer west of Charters Towers.

Shortly after this the manwas arrested ata business in Charters Towers and taken into custody.

He has been charged with three counts offailing to stop a motor vehicle,one charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, one charge of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, one charge of bringing stolen goods into Queensland for the second stolen car, one charge of stealing, and various other traffic offences.

The Victoria man is due to appear incourt in Townsville on March 9.

North West Star, Mount Isa

Papua and Montara oil spill raised with Julie Bishop in Jakarta talks

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Jakarta: The sensitive topics of Papua and the impact of the worst oil spill in the history of Australia’s offshore petroleum fields have been raised in talks with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Indonesia.
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The Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said the “openness of Papua” had been discussed and revealed Ms Bishop had agreed to visit the province later this year.

“We love to see other countries visit Papua to have a look at what is really going on,” Mr Pandjaitan said.

The proposed visit comes as seven Pacific nations last week called on the United Nations to investigate allegations of widespread human rights violations in Indonesia’s restive Papuan province.

Vanuatu’s Justice Minister Ronald Warsal said various UN bodies had raised concerns about extrajudicial executions and beatings of West Papuan activists committed by Indonesian security forces.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry replied last week that Vanuatu’s statement did not reflect the current situation in Papua, which had seen big changes under the leadership of President Joko Widodo, with infrastructure development boosted to improve the quality of life of the Papuan people.

Ms Bishop said she planned to return to Indonesia later this year for a range of reasons including the opening of the new Consulate General in Surabaya.

“There hopefully will be an opportunity for me to visit Papua at that time,” she said.

There has been a deep-seated mistrust of Australia’s position on Papuan independence among some elements of Indonesian society ever since Australia’s intervention in East Timor in 1999.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull emphasised that he had assured President Jokowi, as he is popularly known, of Australia’s commitment to Indonesia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity during his visit to Sydney last month.

He said the 2006 Lombok Treaty, which recognises Indonesian sovereignty over Papua, was “the bedrock of our strategic and security relationship”.

Meanwhile Mr Pandjaitan said he and Ms Bishop had also discussed the 2009 Montara oil spill, which fishermen and seaweed farmers from East Nusa Tenggara say devastated their livelihoods.

More than 13,000 seaweed farmers have launched a $200 million class action in the Federal Court in Sydney against PTTEP Australasia, a subsidiary of Thai state-owned oil company PTTEP.

The Indonesian Government is also planning to file a lawsuit against PTTEP Australasia in the Central Jakarta District Court.

“Australia as a very good partner can do something also to help the people of the area in eastern part of Indonesia especially in that Montara area,” Mr Pandjaitan said.

Ms Bishop said the Australian Embassy was continuing to work with Indonesian authorities in relation to the oil spill.

“It will be a matter before the courts so there is a limit to what I can add to it,” she said.

“But we most certainly had a very open and frank discussion about the matter and we will continue to work closely with Indonesian authorities to the extent we can.”

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Moama tragedy: NSW Police told snatched boys’ gran to call Victoria, lawyer says

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A mass search of the Murray was carried out. Photo: Luke Hemer/Riverine HeraldNSW police told a Deniliquin woman whose grandchildren had been snatched by their mother on Thursday morning that she should contact their Victorian counterparts in Echuca, her lawyer has claimed.
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One of the children is now dead and the other recovering in hospital in Melbourne after their mother allegedly tried to kill them that afternoon in the River Murray at Moama in NSW.

The 27-year-old mother has been charged with the murder of her five-year-old son and the attempted murder by drowning of her nine-year-old son.

The body of the five-year-old boy was found in theMurrayRiver, near Moama, on Saturday morning.

The motherrefusedto appear via video link in the Deniliquin Local Court on Monday morningwhere, in abrief hearing, the charges were revised to formally include murder.

Her lawyer, Peter Hebbard, asked the court if a psychological assessment of his client could be completed before the next court appearance on May 2.

Outside the court, he told reportersthat his clienthad been cryingand sounded “very remorseful”, but still didn’t understand what had happened.

“The words she used to me was ‘I would never hurt my children, I do not know what happened’,” Mr Hebbard said.

“She knows that something’s happened and she knows she’s done something. She was crying and she wanted to know how the little fellow was going down in Melbourne.

“I told her to the best of my knowledge he was okay, that her mother was down there with him and she seemed happy with that.”

Lawyer, Dale Brooks, who represents the boys’ grandmother, said his client was “absolutely devastated”.

“There was ample time to save these children,” Mr Brooks said.

“There’s a running joke here among criminals that if you want toavoidpolice you simply head for the border.”

The two boys had lived with their grandparents in Deniliquin for more than 18 months, and were only reunited with their motherin the past few weeks.

The grandparents are understood to have been forced to takeout an apprehended violence order against their daughter last May and had recently alerted NSW Police, the Department of Family and Community Services in NSW and Corrective Services about her deteriorating mental state.

Mr Brooks said several “warning signs” had been ignored.

“[The mother] was obviously a very troubled woman, the mother of these kids, and there just does not appear to have been enough action taken about some of these early warning signs.”

NSW Police hasbeen contacted for comment.

NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward said her department was undertaking a comprehensive reviewas a result of the incident.

“The death of this little boy and the serious injury suffered by his older brother are a tragedy,” Ms Goward said. “This incident has shocked us all, and [Family and Community Services] staff are supporting the family.

NSW homicide detectives are expected to complete their brief of evidence by April 17.

The woman handed herself into police in Echuca at about 10pm on Friday,and is understood to have made a range of admissions before she was extradited to the NSW town of Deniliquin.

The woman is understood to have collected her two boys on Thursday evening and taken them fishing at a spot on the Murray River near Moama.

It has been alleged in court that she first attempted to drown the older boy, who managed to break free when his mother was distracted by her younger child’s terrified screams.

As he returned to the riverbank, the older brother was mauled by a dog. He was later flownto Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

Bernadette Murphy, principal of St Michael’s Primary School in Deniliquin, where the younger boy had only recently joined classes, said the school community was devastated.

“It is a dark time for students, staff and parents,” Ms Murphy said.

“While he had only been in our school community for six weeks, the start of his learning journey has left a footprint in all our hearts.

“We are a close-knit community and this tragedy has had a profound affect that will require much support.”

Mr Brooks said he would hold PremierGladys Berejiklian to account on her pledge to investigate the government agencies responsible for dealing with the boy’s mother before the tragedy.

“A lot of these departments express their condolences and then go to ground and deny any responsibility for what happened. It’s just not good enough,” Mr Brooks said.

He also called for greater co-ordination between Victorian and NSW police on the border.

At the weekend, the father of the two boys, who lives in Brisbane, launched a crowd funding campaign to raise $5000 to fund a trip to Melbourne to visit his injured son.

He has not seen the boy for about six years and never met his five-year-old son who drowned in the Murray River.

Jack’s stock is on the rise

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THERE were probably more spectacular tries in round one of the NRL season, but I doubt anyone gained more satisfaction from getting the ball over the stripe than Jack Stockwell.
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TRY TIME: Newcastle’s Jack Stockwell crashes over to score against the Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday. Picture: Getty Images

Front-rowers aren’t renowned for scoring many “meat pies” and in Jack’s case this was only the third of his 54-game career.

He certainly picked the ideal time to put his stamp on ourgame against the Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium last Sunday.

Trailing 20-8 early in the second half, we desperately needed a special effort from someone, and the big fella kicked off our fightback, bursting onto a quick tap, finding a slight opening with some clever footwork, powering through two defenders and reaching out one-handed to touch down.

I reckon any prop in the NRL would have been proud to call that try his own.

For Jack, it was a reward for hard work, positive attitude willingness to learn and dedication to the club. These are the people you want to be playing with.

It has been well-documented that last season was a tough one for him, and the easy option might have been to try his luck at another club.

But he kept believing in himself, busted his backside during pre-season training and his performance against the Warriors was a bit of a statement.

He’s got some confidence under his belt now and hopefully he continues to build on that.

At 25, I’ve got no doubt his best football is still ahead of him and he can become one of the best big men in the competition.

His try gave us a massive lift on Sunday and suddenly we had all the momentum. I was lucky enough to add a couple of tries, which put us 22-20 in the lead after 66 minutes. From there we should have pushed on and won the game.

A couple of handling errors, a big kick-return from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, and before we knew it Ryan Hoffman had scored and the Warriors were back in front.

A lot of fans are telling us it was a brave effort, but much as their support is appreciated, we don’t deserve any pats on the back.

Last year we might have accepted that result. That’s not what we’re about this year. We want to start winning games, and not just every now and again, but consistently.

It needs to start on Saturday when we host Gold Coast at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Our fans are the most loyal in the competition, and they have backed us for the past two seasons, no matter how tough things got.

They part with their hard-earned at the turnstiles, and our job is to repay that with 100 per cent desperate effort.

It will take 80 minutes of working together as a team for the victory, but we believe in ourselves, and getting to represent this great town is motivation enough. So be loud this weekend. Can’t wait to see you there.

‘Do I want plastics for dinner?’ Impact of plastic pollution revealed

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More than half the world’s turtles and two-thirds of some bird species along Australia’s east coast are being found to have ingested plastics as the toll from pollution mounts, a leading CSIRO researcher said.
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With plastic production almost doubling each decade, the world’s oceans are receiving a proportional increase in plastic waste.

On current projections, by mid-century, some 95 per cent of all sea birds will be found with plastic inside them, said Denise Hardesty, a senior CSIRO research scientist, said.

“Birds are top predators and a really good indication of the eco-system health of our oceans,” Dr Hardesty told Fairfax Media. “Humans are increasingly reliant on our oceans for our food and livelihood.”

The threat of rising marine pollution will this week be discussed at a workshop of the G20 group of nations for the first time. “It’s clearly an issue that’s gaining increased global attention,” she said.

While Australia contributes a relatively small share of the world’s marine plastic pollution, waters near the continent are among the areas where wildlife is suffering disproportionately.

According to a research paper Dr Hardesty co-wrote in 2015, the impacts on sea birdlife are expected to be concentrated in regions such as the southern Tasman Sea and the south-west Indian Ocean. These areas deserve particular attention because they are currently relatively rich in biodiversity and face multiple threats.

“Many seabird species in this region also suffer from other sources of mortality, including ongoing bycatch in fisheries and predation by invasive species on breeding colonies, and achieving effective management in these remote and often international regions is a significant challenge,” the paper noted.

While the findings were “a bit of wake-up call”, the CSIRO is leading the response such as by developing techniques to detect plastics within birds. These include swabs that can identify plasticising chemicals found in the preening oil birds produce naturally to waterproof their wings, Dr Hardesty said.

The research agency’s modelling has also been used by US agencies and will soon be made available to about 20 nations from India to South Africa and Thailand to China to help them model and managed plastic waste ending up in their coastal waters.

“It’s a tractable, solvable problem,” Dr Hardesty said. “Most of what ends up in the oceans was in somebody’s hand at some point.”

Since sea birds are often near the top of the food chain, their health can also be indicator of the condition of other marine life – much of which is also ingesting plastics.

“Do I want plastics on my dinner plate?” Dr Hardesty said, noting that while consumers would be unlikely to eat the digestive tracts of fish, many of the toxins and chemicals contained in plastic are absorbed in the tissue of fish.

The physical effects on sea birds that consume plastic include gut obstruction and death. Those that survive typically experience reduced available stomach volume that may lead to lower weight.

The poor condition of fledglings is also likely to lead to increased mortality among juveniles. In addition, high plastic loads are correlated with increased organic pollutants, straining bird populations further, the paper noted.

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