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LeBron fails to close for Cavs in NBA

Oct 13 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Arguably the best closer in the game, LeBron James failed to deliver when it mattered most.

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James scored 37 points but missed a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds left in overtime, and the Houston Rockets held on for a 105-103 victory over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, in a physically intense playoff-type matchup.

“There is no excuse, I didn’t come through,” said James, who shot 15-of-35 from the floor and just 3-of-11 from the stripe.

“Guys put us in position to win, but I missed the two biggest free throws of the game to put us up with seconds on the clock. I failed my teammates.”

League top scorer James Harden had 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Terrence Jones netted 19 for Houston (41-18), winners of five in a row.

“It was a good, physical, hard-fought game,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “It was kind of a gritty win for us.”

In other matches the visiting LA Clippers beat Chicago Bulls 96-86.

Chris Paul had 28 points and 12 assists, while league top rebounder DeAndre Jordan grabbed 26, helping the Clippers (39-21) beat the injury-decimated Bulls.

Montenegrin rookie big man Nikola Mirotic scored a career-high 29 for Chicago (37-23), playing without Derrick Rose (right knee surgery) Taj Gibson (left ankle sprain) and losing All-Star Jimmy Butler (left elbow sprain) early in the third quarter.

Portland Trail Blazers also had a win on the road, downing the Sacramento Kings 110-99.

Damian Lillard dropped in 31 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 with 15 rebounds, and the visiting Trail Blazers (39-19) beat the Kings for a third straight victory.

Rudy Gay scored 24 points for Sacramento (20-37), playing without All-Star centre DeMarcus Cousins (ankle sprain and bruised hip) for the second straight game.

Indiana Pacers had too much in the tank for the Philadelphia 76ers with a 94-74 victory.

George Hill scored 17 points, Roy Hibbert had 14 with 15 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Pacers (25-34) used a 17-3 closing run to beat the visiting Sixers (13-46) for their eighth win in the last 10 games.

Also Charlotte Hornets beat Orlando Magic 98-83, Oklahoma City Thunder edged the LA Lakers 108-101 and New Orleans Pelicans enjoyed the same margin over Denver Nuggets 99-92.

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Myer shares tumble on change of CEO

Oct 13 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Myer shares have tumbled after the dual resignations of its chief executive and chief financial officer triggered fears the department store giant will deliver a horror half year earnings result.

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Bernie Brookes is leaving Myer after nine years at the helm of the struggling retailer, with supply chain boss and former supermarket executive Richard Umbers parachuted in as his replacement.

Mr Brookes’ exit coincides with that of chief financial officer Mark Ashby, who will leave in May for a job overseas.

News of their departures rattled investors, who pushed Myer’s shares down 20 cents, or 10.8 per cent, to $1.655.

Market analysts say the management shake-up just two weeks before Myer reports its half year earnings has stoked fears of a weak result.

“It suggests that the fact they have brought in Richard Umbers, giving him three weeks of clear air to tell the world that the results coming up on March 19 won’t be brilliant,” IG markets strategist Evan Lucas said.

But chairman Paul McClintock rejected the suggestion.

He said Myer had been carrying out a strategic review aimed at reshaping the business and it had become clear a new chief executive was needed to oversee the multi-year turnaround project.

“The board and management team have agreed that the transformation work has reached a pivotal point and it is appropriate for a new CEO to be given the opportunity to own, lead and drive the transformation program over the coming years,” he said.

Myer has been battling disappointing sales growth for several years amid weak consumer sentiment and growing competition both from online and international retailers.

Its first quarter sales for 2014/15 were flat and well short of market expectations of a 2.5-3.0 per cent rise, with womenswear particularly disappointing.

In his new role, Mr Umbers will be charged with overseeing a significant program of change, indicating the top level executive departures mark the start of a change in direction for the retailer.

Mr Umbers was executive general manager for Australia Post’s parcel and express services, where he led an ecommerce initiative designed to take advantage of the online shopping boom.

The 48-year-old Brit was also an Aldi executive in England before running the grocery operation of Woolworths New Zealand.

He moved to Australia in 2006 to take on the role as Woolworths’ general manager.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, he was reticent to give any details about how he’ll turn around Myer’s flagging sales.

“We are looking to reshape the business in response to changing customer behaviour and to make sure we are well positioned to take advantage of these changes rather than be knocked over,” he said.

Mr McClintock described Mr Umbers as a “lifetime retailer” with the right leadership and ecommerce skills for the role.

Mr Brookes wished him the best in revitalising the brand and building a sustainable business.

“It’s the right time for me to go because that would take a while, therefore signing on for extended period was not on my agenda,” he said.

Mr Brookes was reappointed as Myer’s boss in February 2014.

He had been due to retire in August that year, but the board extended his contract indefinitely so he could focus on a merger with rival David Jones – a deal that ultimately failed.

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Nuclear waste dump search restarts

Oct 13 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

The federal government has called for voluntary nominations of sites for a national nuclear waste dump.

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Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says any landholder could nominate a site to store intermediate level radioactive waste and dispose of low-level waste.

Australia has 4248 cubic metres of low level and 656 cubic metres of intermediate level waste in temporary storage across more than 100 sites.

The waste has been generated by medical, research and industrial processes.

An independent advisory body will assess the nominated sites against a number of criteria.

These include community well-being, stable environment, environmental protection, health, safety and security and economic viability.

At the end of the assessment and public consultation the government will negotiate with the landholder of the selected site.

Site nominations close on May 5.

The South Australian government’s royal commission into the nuclear industry is looking at the prospects of nuclear waste facilities in that state.

Northern Territory chief minister Adam Giles has also shown an interest in putting forward a site.

But last year he said it would not be done without “full information and dialogue with Territorians”.

In June 2014 the Northern Land Council withdrew its nomination for a section of Muckaty Station, north of Tennant Creek, as the site for Australia’s first nuclear waste dump amid a legal dispute.

Further talks on alternative sites failed, triggering the new selection process.

Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear campaigner Dave Sweeney says the decision should not be rushed.

“We have time to get this issue right,” he said.

“The minister’s revised process is significantly better than the previous one, but we are still a long way short of where we should be.”

The first concerted effort to build a dump occurred under the Labor government in 1992, identifying a site near Woomera in SA.

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Warrnambool buys leading cheese brands

Oct 13 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

One of Australia’s best known cheese brands, COON, is about to change from Japanese to Canadian ownership.

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Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, which is majority-owned by Canadian dairy giant Saputo Inc, is set to acquire the everyday cheese business of Lion Dairy and Drinks for $137.5 million.

The everyday cheese business includes the cutting and wrapping, distribution, and sales and marketing of the COON, Cracker Barrel, Mil Lel and Fred Walker brands.

Lion Dairy and Drinks is part of Japanese beverages and pharmaceuticals giant Kirin Holdings.

COON cheddar cheese has been manufactured in Australia since 1935 and was originally made by Kraft.

The brand is named after Edward William Coon who developed the “cooning process” of cheese making.

“The transaction will enable Warrnambool Cheese and Butter to increase its presence in consumer branded everyday cheese products segment in Australia, with strong market positions in this segment,” Warrnambool said on Monday.

The everyday cheese business generates annual sales of about $160 million.

Lion Dairy and Drinks said the everyday cheese business was performing very well in the market, but Lion wanted to focus on higher-value categories such as milk-based beverages, specialty cheese and yoghurt.

The cut-and-wrap operations of the everyday cheese business are located in a building owned by Warrnambool which is next to its cheese making facility at Allansford in Victoria.

Lion said Warrnambool had indicated that it will run the cut-and-wrap facility as a going concern and retain the staff of about 170 employees.

The acquisition is subject to approval by Warrnambool shareholders under sharemarket listing rules on related party transactions.

Lion holds just over 10 per cent of the shares of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter.

Canadian dairy giant Saputo holds a stake of 87.92 per cent of Warrnambool shares.

Warrnambool said Saputo had advised that it would vote in favour of the acquisition.

Warrnambool shares gained 10 cents to $8.30.

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Quickflix suffers another big loss

Oct 13 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

As Australia’s nascent online video streaming sector finally comes to life, the company that pioneered the local industry has suffered a massive first half loss.

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Quickflix posted an $8.6 million loss for the six months to December 31, more than double the size of its loss a year ago and almost two and a half times the company’s entire current market value.

The company has now accumulated total losses of nearly $61 million since its establishment, originally as a mail DVD rental service, in 2004.

The dismal result comes as the company faces an onslaught of competition from media heavyweights Netflix, Foxtel, Seven West Media, Fairfax and Nine.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Monday gave the all clear for Channel Seven owner Seven West to take a 50 per cent stake in Foxtel’s Presto TV streaming service.

Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein said the move would boost TV streaming offering and help grow its broader Presto offering.

“We have big plans for Presto Entertainment to be a leading player in the SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) space and are excited we can accelerate plans for Presto TV with our partners Seven West Media now that the ACCC has given their consent to our joint venture,” he said.

Fairfax and Nine launched their joint venture Stan on Australia Day with a marketing campaign focused on Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul.

And Netflix will make its entry to the Australian market this month, using the third season of House of Cards to headline its offering.

Quickflix founder Stephen Langsford has publicly welcomed the competition, arguing it will help grow awareness of streaming in Australia.

But the company is very much at risk of being overtaken by its rivals: Stan is already on track to have 100,000 subscribers by mid-March, according to its owners.

By comparison, Quickflix had 117,000 paying customers at the end of December, which represented a five per cent decline since June.

Quickflix has also taken the unusual step of asking its customers to buy shares after investors snubbed its $5.7 million capital raising in December.

The capital raising, which was to be used to fund working capital and buy new content, ended up securing just $650,000.

Quickflix shares closed steady at 0.2 cents.

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Strong bench key to South Africa’s World Cup campaign

Sep 08 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Rookie batsman Rilee Roussow scored 61 off 39 balls after replacing Duminy in the middle order, while Kyle Abbott, in for seamer Philander, took two wickets, including the prized scalp of West Indies talisman Chris Gayle for three runs.

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All-rounder Farhaan Behardien said building a strong bench had been an “emphasis” for South Africa for some six months leading into the World Cup.

“We played against the West Indies in South Africa, and… our bench was so strong,” Behardien told reporters at Canberra’s Manuka Oval, where they play Ireland on Tuesday.

“Rilee, what a wonderful player. He came in and scored two hundreds in South Africa against the West Indies when he was on the bench.

“(All-rounder Wayne) Parnell was on the bench against West Indies, picked up four wickets in the last ODI, and similarly (left-arm spinner) Aaron Phangiso is waiting in the wings, and when he steps up to the plate, he’ll be asked to do a job.

“The squad of 15 is vitally important to our cause, and going forward, you never know there might be an injury or somebody might pick up a stomach bug or whatever. The emphasis is on the 15 instead of 11.”

After playing West Indies in Sydney following the India loss in front of 87,000 at Melbourne, Behardien said the team were enjoying the relative quiet of the Australian capital.

Two players, paceman Dale Steyn and batsman Faf du Plessis, have been worried about events back home however, tweeting pictures of a bush-fire near family homes south of Cape Town.

Family members have travelled with the South Africa camp to Canberra and Behardien said a good support structure was in place to help Du Plessis and Steyn, who will play his 100th one-day international against Ireland.

“We all know what a wonderful performer he’s been over the years,” Behardien said of the 31-year-old fast bowler.

“We’ll try and celebrate his 100th game with a win and we’ll be fighting tooth and nail come tomorrow.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by John O’Brien)

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Netanyahu in US for Congress speech

Sep 08 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who’s arrived in Washington ahead of a controversial speech to Congress, claims the trip is a “fateful mission, and even historic”.

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Netanyahu arrived on Sunday evening at his downtown Washington hotel just one block from the White House under police escort.

He passed through a white marquis set up at the back entrance of the hotel while black-cloaked security agents kept watch from the building’s perches.

Netanyahu hopes his speech on Tuesday will convince politicians and the American public that an initial framework agreement being negotiated between Iran and Western powers is “dangerous”.

The prime minister was invited to speak to Congress by Republicans who didn’t consult the White House, which angered President Barack Obama.

Critics have slammed the speech as an intervention into US politics and inappropriate given that Netanyahu is in the midst of a re-election campaign. Parliamentary polls are set for March 17.

Netanyahu’s aides insist the speech can’t be put off because of the timetable of the Iranian nuclear negotiations.

“I feel a representative of all Israeli citizens, also those who don’t agree with me,” Netanyahu said before boarding his plane.

“I feel a deep and honest concern about the security of all the citizens of Israel, the fate of the state and the fate of our people. I will do all in my power to safeguard our future,” he said.

Obama will not meet Netanyahu during his stay in Washington.

Netanyahu said Saturday in Jerusalem during a visit to the Wailing Wall he respected Obama and believed in the strength of US-Israeli relations.

Republicans who control both chambers of Congress are seeking greater sanctions against Iran, but Obama has called on them to hold off while negotiations continue.

Iran is negotiating a deal with Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany to curb Tehran’s uranium enrichment and other parts of its nuclear program in return for ending economic sanctions on Tehran.

They hope to reach a framework agreement by the end of March and a final deal by mid-year that would end longstanding concerns over Iran’s nuclear program and its military capabilities.

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Cummins an injury doubt, Faulkner nears Australia return

Sep 08 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Injury-prone Cummins reported a “slight side strain” after making his World Cup debut in the one-wicket loss to the Black Caps on Saturday but scans revealed “nothing serious”, a team spokeswoman told reporters in Perth on Monday.

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The 21-year-old, who took 2-38 against New Zealand, will be monitored by team medical staff ahead of Wednesday’s match against Afghanistan with Josh Hazlewood likely to replace him if he is not passed fit to play at the WACA.

Faulkner, meanwhile, told a news conference that he would be fit to face the Afghans if he got through Monday’s training session without further mishap.

The 24-year-old suffered a side strain in the one-day tri-series final against England in Perth in early February and has missed both of Australia’s matches so far.

“I’m going to bowl half a dozen overs today and if I get through that, I’ll be available for selection and hopefully I’ll get picked,” he told a news conference at the WACA.

“I’ve been batting since two or three days after the injury to be brutally honest. Being a right-handed batter and left-handed bowler, it’s not the same side.”

But for his injury the left-arm seamer would have been one of the first names on the team list after his form this season, not least the unbeaten 24-ball 50 he scored in his last outing to drive Australia to victory over England.

Australia need a victory over the Afghans to kickstart their campaign after their second match against Bangladesh was washed out and their batting line-up was skittled for 151 runs in 32.2 overs by New Zealand at Eden Park.

“We all know we didn’t perform as well as we could over in New Zealand and that’s probably just going to make the team hungrier,” Faulkner said.

“So far we’ve been very successful as a team and you’re going to come across these little setbacks from time-to-time. Hopefully we can get back on the winning path on Wednesday.”

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O’Brien)

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Injured Dawson re-signs with Dockers

Sep 08 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Fremantle defender Zac Dawson has set his sights on returning to full fitness within the next month, but his hopes of making the start of the AFL season don’t appear good.

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Dawson’s topsy-turvy career will extend for a few more years yet after he re-signed with Fremantle until the end of 2017.

The 29-year-old has battled a lingering groin issue throughout the summer, and he’s almost certain to miss the season opener against Port Adelaide on April 5 while he builds up match fitness.

“It’s coming along slow and steady,” Dawson said.

“We’re aiming for another four weeks.

“Hopefully, without any other hiccups, I’ll be good to go early in the season.”

Dawson was playing just the fourth match of his AFL career when Collingwood spearhead Anthony Rocca took him to the cleaners with an eight-goal haul.

After four maligned years at Hawthorn, Dawson was de-listed before earning a reprieve under Ross Lyon at St Kilda.

Despite his occasional contributions to the blooper reel, Dawson played an important role in St Kilda’s surge to the 2009 and 2010 grand finals.

Dawson followed Lyon to the Dockers at the end of 2011, and after a shaky start in Perth, he has become one of the club’s most important defenders.

“Having such a good group and a great environment to live and play footy in is something that’s really important to me,” Dawson said.

“Feeling that I’m worth something and belong here is something that I treasure and I feel like I get that from all the guys and the administration and the coaches.”

Dawson has now played 141 games since making his debut in 2005.

And with Luke McPharlin almost certain to retire at the end of this year, Dawson’s retention was important for Fremantle to shore up their defence.

Dawson’s spoiling ability and reading of the play remain his key strengths, but his kicking ability remains his Achilles heel.

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Wollongong NBL club in financial strife

Sep 08 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

The Wollongong Hawks will fold next month unless they can come up with some new sponsors to keep the cash-strapped NBL club afloat.

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The club placed themselves into voluntary administration on Monday after experiencing a tough season on and off the court.

The foundation club collected only their second wooden spoon in their 36-year history this season with a 6-22 win-loss record.

Then they lost major sponsor Wollongong Coal, who have also experienced well-documented financial troubles.

The company withdrew their sponsorship 18 months into a five-year deal, leaving the club facing a $1.8m deficit over the next three years.

Hawks owner James Spenceley remains committed to the club and intends paying all staff, players and coaches during the month-long period of administration out of his own pocket.

Spenceley, who took over as owner last July, said he hoped the shock announcement would prompt local Wollongong businesses to invest in the team.

“We’ve approached every big business that we have a contact for but unfortunately no one has wanted to step up,” Spenceley told AAP.

“There are a lot of businesses that make money in Wollongong but they don’t seem to be keen on supporting the local team.

“We’d like to get a few in to split it.”

The Hawks were almost forced to withdraw from the competition in the middle of the 2007-08 season but a group called the “Friends of the Hawks” helped out.

The following season then Hawks captain Mat Campbell started the “Save the Hawks” campaign which kept the club in the NBL.

Spenceley said he didn’t think it was fair that the fans and community had to keep putting in.

“It really comes down to the businesses that make money, they should be the ones who also put up,” he said.

“It’s really in the hands of the business community in Wollongong now.”

The telecommunications entrepreneur said since he took over, sponsorship dollars dropped because businesses thought they no longer needed to contribute.

He is hopeful of additional investors becoming part-owners as an avenue to raise additional funds.

Spenceley said the lack of a lucrative television deal made it tough for all NBL clubs.

“It’s very difficult to survive as a regional team.

“We really need, like AFL, part of the TV deal and TV money.

“That what keeps sporting clubs alive.”

Hawks players such as captain Oscar Forman as well as coach Gordie McLeod are free to negotiate with other NBL clubs given the uncertainty at the Wollongong club.

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