Victorian election: apathy and ambulance anger on the streets of Frankston – video

In the swing seats of Melbourne's outer southeast suburbs, a distinct lack of charisma in the men vying to be Victoria's premier is leaving the electorate unmoved. Guardian Australia's Gay Alcorn hears of angry ambulance workers and needy schools, while meeting a new breed of environmental activists and a whole band of apathetic potential voters
Full coverage of the Victorian election Continue reading...

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Posted in Australia news, Coalition, Daniel Andrews, Denis Napthine, Labor party, Victorian election 2014, Victorian politics, World news | Comments Off

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys: Thanksgiving NFL – live!

Philadelphia Eagles 30-10 Dallas Cowboys 12:27, 4th quarter

Yep, McCoy was down already so the Eagles keep the ball. It’s a 1st and 10 on the Cowboys 13.

Philadelphia Eagles 30-10 Dallas Cowboys 12:27, 4th quarter

McCoy is silcing thr... ah. Another fumble for McCoy - his second of the game. They’re reviewing it though, McCoy may have been down before it came out.

That INT was Romo's first since his return from his most recent back injury. Might have another back injury if pressure keeps up #BirdDay

Philadelphia Eagles 30-10 Dallas Cowboys 0:27, 3rd quarter

LeSean McCoy brings up 1,000 rushing yards for the season and has 141 for the game so far today. The Eagles are up to the 50.

INTERCEPTION! Philadelphia Eagles 30-10 Dallas Cowboys 2:37, 3rd quarter

Yep, that one was coming. Romo had looked flustered and rushed as the Eagles put plenty of pressure on him this drive. He hurries his throw and it’s picked off by Williams.

Philadelphia Eagles 30-10 Dallas Cowboys 4:48, 3rd quarter

The Eagles have an interception scratched off after a holding penalty. That could be the crucial difference between the Cowboys losing 31-17 rather than 35-13.

Tony Romo reimagined. You’ll notice this isn’t taken today because Romo is wearing a blue jersey and doesn’t actually have a turkey on his head.

Romo'd #CSNTurkeyTalk

Superb job from the Eagles’ offensive line, opening up a huge hole for McCoy, who blazes through for a 38-yard TD run.

Philadelphia Eagles 23-10 Dallas Cowboys 7:35, 3rd quarter

“Happy Thanksgiving, Tom,” writes Jess Abbey. Thanks, it means something. Sanchez has his neck snapped back and gets a roughing the passer call in his favour. That takes the Eagles to their own 42.

There’s an extended trailer for the Exodus movie in the ad break as Moses’s Jews take on the physical Egyptians, who have home field advantage. I fancy the chances of Moses’s men though, they’ve got a strong special teams unit what with the locusts, frogs, river of blood and God.

The Eagles do a fine job of holding up Dallas though. They stop Murray and then get pressure on Romo and the Cowboys are forced to settle foe the three points.

FUMBLE! Philadelphia Eagles 23-7 Dallas Cowboys 11:18, 3rd quarter

McCoy, who has only had one lost fumble this season, coughs it up and The Cowboys have it on the Eagles’ 12. Murray takes it down to the Eagles’ 1.

Philadelphia Eagles 23-7 Dallas Cowboys 11:48, 3rd quarter

Right, that didn’t last long. Dunbar can only make a short gain on 3rd and 3 and Sproles takes the fair catch on his own 10 after the punt.

Philadelphia Eagles 23-7 Dallas Cowboys 12:27, 3rd quarter

Pitbull signs off by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. He is the only person to have done so so far today. Cowboys get off to a decent start after halftime. They’ve stopped Pitbull and are soon on their own 45 after some good work from Murray.

I may be on my own eating non-traditional leftovers on Thanksgiving but at least I’m not at the Cowboys being forced to watch Pitbull at the half-time show. Although I am being forced to watch him on television. Hmmm. Anyway:

"I don't get his popularity at all, I guess I'm too old" - my 91 year old grandma on Pitbull #takesgiving @sportspickle

The Eagles were superb in the first half, with Sanchez in complete control. He threw for 202 yards and completed 17 of his 24 passes. And ran for a tocuhdown. Apart from that he was rubbish. Still, it could easily have been 31-7 to the Eagles and Dallas are still in this.

Well, things could have been a lot worse for the Cowboys, who have held the Eagles to two field goals in their last two trips in the red zone.

Philadelphia Eagles 20-7 Dallas Cowboys 0:35, 2nd quarter

Poor old Beasley is on the sidelines looking like a man who just fumbled the ball at a crucial stage of a crucial game. He’s a method actor.


Romo looks like he’s starting a promising drive as he picks out Beasley but the ball is stripped from his loving arms and the Eagles dive on it. That’s a big play as we rumble toward half-time. They’re reviewing it now ... and yup, the Eagles have the ball.

Barry Church, who has been excellent for the Cowboys today stops McCoy on the three-yard line. Moore leaps brilliantly to bat away a Sanchez pass that was heading for Riley Cooper on third down. Plenty of time for Dallas to score before half-time

Philadelphia Eagles 17-7 Dallas Cowboys, 1:53 2nd quarter

Two minute warning comes and the Eagles are dominating. They’re in the redzone. The Cowboys haven’t been bad as much as Sanchez and the Eagles have been pretty much perfect. The Cowboys defense look VERY tired. And remember they played on Sunday night.

Philadelphia Eagles 17-7 Dallas Cowboys, 4:09 2nd quarter

The NFL has just used Thanksgiving to thank its UK fans. Well done, Britain. You may even get the Jaguars one day as a reward. The Cowboys are doing a better job of stopping the Eagles now but Sproles converts on 3rd and 5. He scampered.

Philadelphia Eagles 17-7 Dallas Cowboys, 5:44 2nd quarter

Hmmm. That didn’t end well for the Cowboys with Romo sacked. Jones puts up a huge 58 yard punt, which Sproles scampers back for 12 yards. I am contractually obliged to say Sproles has “scampered” at least four times a quarter. Did I mention Sproles just scampered?

Philadelphia Eagles 17-7 Dallas Cowboys, 6:50 2nd quarter

Murray gets his team away from their own end zone, bringing it out to the 15 - he’s got 42 yards so far today without doign anything spectacular.

Philadelphia Eagles 17-7 Dallas Cowboys, 9:27 2nd quarter

The Cowboys are showing a bit of fight in defense now. Moncey stuffs McCoy for a six yard loss. Sanchez can’t summon any magic on third down and the Eagles actually have to punt. Cowboys will start on their own 2 though.

Philadelphia Eagles 17-7 Dallas Cowboys, 10:31 2nd quarter

The Cowboys are forced to punt after Romo fails to find Witten. Sproles returns the punt for 10 yards to the Eagles’ 33.

Philadelphia Eagles 17-7 Dallas Cowboys, 11:55 2nd quarter

“How’s that chicken and pasta Thanksgiving meal going,” asks Dan Jenkins. I haven’t been able to eat it because of the Eagles’ pesky offensive efficiency, Dan. So now I’m lonely AND hungry. The Eagles drive comes up short but they so get a FIELD GOAL

Philadelphia Eagles 14-7 Dallas Cowboys, 12:55 2nd quarter

“You think you’re lonely for Thanksgiving,” says Joe Davey, who I suspect is about to tell us he’s lonely. “I’m currently on my own in the office. Even the cleaners have left. Although I do live in Canada so it’s not that bad.” Oooh, fumble from the Eagles. But then Maclin picks up a 59-yard gain after Sanzhez finds him on his own.

Murray finds the gap and rumbles over for the Cowboys’ first score of the day

Philadelphia Eagles 14-0 Dallas Cowboys, End of first quarter

Right that average per play for the Cowboys may just have gone up slightly. Romo finds Bryant for 38 yards and it’s first and goal for the Cowboys. Murray then takes it to the one-yard line

Philadelphia Eagles 14-0 Dallas Cowboys, 2:30 1st quarter

The Cowboys start their drive with the shocking decision to hand off to Murray. Then follow it up with the shock decision to hand it off to Murray. This is all very well but the Eagles are averaging 10.5 yards per play at the moment to the Cowboys’ 3.3.

Philadelphia Eagles 14-0 Dallas Cowboys, 4:01 1st quarter

Some good news for the Cowboys at last as Dunbar gets a good kickoff return, taking it back for 28 yards to the Cowboys 33.

Mark Sanchez advancing on the Cowboys if he was a storm in Australia rather than a football player in Texas. Look it’s symolic, not literal.

Like a movie scene #brisbanestorm (Credit Kai Linkerhof)

TOUCHDOWN! Philadelphia Eagles 14-0 Dallas Cowboys

Another one. Eagles are unstoppable. Sanchez rumbles out of the pocket and connects with Matthews for a 27-yard touchdown. He’s 9/11 for 99 yards. Decent.

Philadelphia Eagles 7-0 Dallas Cowboys, 5:00 1st quarter

Cowboys are forced to punt and Sanchez connects with Maclin, who now has 1,000 receiving yards for the season (yay). Cooper then bobbles a catch but clutches it to his chest and the Eagles are on the Cowboys 35

Philadelphia Eagles 7-0 Dallas Cowboys, 6:55 1st quarter

Hey! DeMarco Murray can catch too. He picks up a first down, although Connor Barwin should have stopped him shy of the marker. This is what happens when you let hipsters play football. Cowboys on the Eagles 45

Philadelphia Eagles 7-0 Dallas Cowboys, 8:55 1st quarter

My word, that opening drive from Sanchez couldn’t have been more clinical if it was led by a surgeon. A very athletic surgeon. The Cowboys start their opening drive with a few DeMarco Murray runs. And why not, it’s worked so far this season. Romo misteps slightly and is nearly picked off by Williams on 2nd and 6. Beasley then squirms over just for a first down after a short pass.

Damn the Eagles and their 0.0004 seconds between plays, it makes them very hard to liveblog. Their commitment to entertainment and winning must be stopped. A superbly orchestrated drive form Sanchez who ends the drive with another pass to Cooper before the QB himself crashes into the end zone with a two-yard run on the next play. And the extra point is good.

Philadelphia Eagles 0-0 Dallas Cowboys, 13:30 1st quarter

Sanchez gets off to a peppy sttart with a nine yard pass to Riley Cooper. Sproles then does his wriggly stuff to scamper for a first down. The next play McCoy powers through for a 36 yard pick-up and the Eagles are closing in on the red zone.


It’s a touchback. So the Eagles will start at the 20. Because that’s the rules.

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are having a stubble off on Fox. Despite the fact the Alpha Male blood that oozes through Aikman’s veins, I’m actually going to give Buck the edge here. Here you go, it offsets his forehead issues:

Joe Buck 2.0 probably drives a Camaro. (via @smartfootball)

Predictions? You want predictions? We’ll give you predictions. Well, the Eagles have never lost on Thanksgiving, with a 5-0 record. Having said that they were completely different games played with different sets of players in different conditions so that means absolutely nothing. I think it’s going to be the Cowboys who end the Eagles Thanksgiving run - Philadelphia have struggled on contain the top level of QBs this season and Romo is playing out of his skin of late. I was thinking Eagles 10-24 Cowboys. but in an effort to keep you reading about a stone cold classic I’m predicting it will end Eagles 49-52 Cowboys. Do not put money on that.

Because it’s a national holiday and I don’t technically have a desk, they’ve let me report on this game from the comfort of my own home. I’m not saying I’m lonely but on a day where thoughts inevitable turn to family I’m sat on my own with just Fox for company. I had pasta and chicken for lunch. My dinner will consist of:

Hello and happy Thanksgiving! And for our non-US readers: hello and happy Thursday, the poor man’s Friday.

We’re all set for a tasty clash between the Eagles and Cowboys for (semi) control of the NFC East. To my mind this is the best Cowboys team since 2007 when they lost to the Giants in the divisional playoffs (and the season didn’t end too badly for New York). The good news for the Cowboys is that, unlike last weekend, they won’t be up against this kind of devilry today:

Continue reading...

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Saudis block OPEC output cut, sending oil price plunging

VIENNA (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia blocked calls on Thursday from poorer members of the OPEC oil exporter group for production cuts to arrest a slide in global prices, sending benchmark crude plunging to a fresh four-year low.

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Rooney Rule likely to be introduced in English football, says Greg Dyke

• FA chairman says inclusion advisory board mulling NFL model
• ‘Everyone’s got to agree. There will probably be an equivalent’

The Football Association chairman, Greg Dyke, expects to see some form of the Rooney Rule introduced in English football to help boost the number of black and ethnic minority managers and coaches. The rule, which was established in the United States in 2003 and requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions, has been widely hailed as a successful model.

There have been many calls for it to be introduced in England to try to address the persistent lack of black and ethnic minority managers in the Football League. Currently only three of the 92 league clubs in England have black managers, while the numbers are similarly stark among top-level coaches.

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Mexican president tackles corruption after ‘the tragedy in Iguala’

Enrique Peña Nieto announces package designed to address violence and corruption Continue reading...

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P. D. James, Novelist Known as ‘Queen of Crime,’ Dies at 94

A consummate stylist, the British author and baroness accumulated numerous awards for the 18 crime novels produced during her writing career.

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Interest rate rise will come next summer, economists predict

Poll of economists finds that July to September 2015 is the likely time for Bank of England action

The UK’s first interest rate rise will come no earlier than July next year but probably by the end of September, according to economists polled by Reuters.

It found that 32 of 50 mainly City economists forecast the Bank of England’s base rate will increase to 0.75% in the third quarter of 2015, six months later than previously thought.

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Paddington review – charming and cheeky

This big-screen outing for Michael Bond’s intrepid ursine hero is a treat for grown-ups as well as kids

Paddington first look review – bear baits Ukip with fluffy immigrant tale
Homicidally ever after: did Paddington really need a murderer?

Here’s a nice surprise. The new CGI-live-action Paddington Bear could easily have been another garish, cheapo Brit-movie. Instead, writer-director Paul King (who has worked on The Mighty Boosh TV show) and co-writer Hamish McColl have created a charming and sweet-natured family film, full of wit and fun, skewed towards young children but cheekily speckled with sly gags pitched at the older audience.

After an origin myth sequence set in darkest Peru (incidentally packed with some outrageous campery), our young, ursine hero arrives in England, to be adopted by the Brown family in their west London townhouse. It is updated from Michael Bond’s original tales from the 1950s and 60s. Well, updated a bit.

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Poroshenko aims to change laws to allow foreigners into Ukrainian govt

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gives a speech during a parliament session in Kiev on November 27, 2014. (AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky)

READ MORE: EU chief calls for decentralization and federalization of Ukraine

“My idea is to change the laws in order to give the right to engage foreigners in state service, including government,” President Petro Poroshenko said in his address to Parliament on Thursday. “Or to expand the list of people whom Ukraine’s president may provide with Ukrainian citizenship in a speedy procedure,” he added.

He stressed that those foreigners’ willingness to accept Ukrainian citizenship in order to take the posts will “confirm” the “strong commitment of our potential partners and candidates.”

Poroshenko also suggested appointing a foreigner as the head of the newly-created National Anti-corruption Bureau. He elaborated that foreigners would have a particular powerful “advantage,” due to their “absence of links to the Ukrainian political elite.”

“Nobody will be anybody’s godfather or matchmaker,” he said, referring to political nepotism.

Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenuk suggested the creation of a new position – deputy prime minister of European integration affairs. He proposed that a European leader be appointed to the post.

On Thursday, Yatsenyuk received approval from lawmakers to remain Ukraine's premier, while five Ukrainian parties formed the new ruling European Ukraine coalition during the first session of the new parliament.

‘Does Poroshenko believe all Ukrainians are corrupt?’

If Kiev is truly planning to suggest that top government positions be filled by citizens of other countries, the situation is unprecedented, a Ukrainian political expert told RIA Novosti, also questioning the legitimacy of such a move.

"Such cases are exempt from modern [political] practice, when someone who does not have the right to even theoretically have access to state secrets – because he is a citizen of another country – is invited to take a post of minister in the government of a sovereign country. I think this is another demonstration of the degraded status and allegiance to the so-called European choice,”
said Mikhail Pogrebinskiy, head of Kiev's Center of Political Studies and Conflict Management.

He questioned whether Poroshenko’s plans to appoint a foreigner as head of the anti-corruption government department suggests a total lack of confidence in his own people.

The president’s “reasoning is also surprising – does Poroshenko believe that every citizen of Ukraine will certainly be corrupt while holding this post?”

Reports cited by RIA Novosti claim that foreigners may be offered top jobs in the ministries of finance, energy and coal production, and infrastructure, as well as the post of deputy prime minister.

Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Poroshenko’s close friend and Poland's president from 1995 to 2005, has reportedly been suggested for an unnamed position, Denis Denisov, the head of the Ukrainian branch of the Institute of CIS, told RIA Novosti.

‘Ukraine not welcome as EU, NATO member’

Many foreign experts – predominantly from the US and Europe – are already advising Ukraine while working in various government departments and ministries. Such practice of foreign administration puts Ukraine under external control, said Denisov.

In his Thursday address to Parliament, Poroshenko said that Ukraine's neutral out-of-bloc status had proved unjustified and should be abandoned.

"For this reason we have got back to the idea of integration with NATO," he added. "We are deepening our cooperation and the compatibility of our army with NATO's armed forces and reorienting to NATO standards.”

He stated that implementing the reforms in Ukraine will allow the country to apply for EU membership in five years. EU membership was the key demand of those taking part in the Maidan protests, which led to the armed coup earlier this year.

Despite Poroshenko’s aspirations, EU officials have repeatedly said that the union is not ready to welcome Ukraine as a member.

On Monday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview with Der Spiegel that he does not believe it is realistic for Ukraine to join the EU in the foreseeable future, as the economic and political modernization of Ukraine is a “project for several generations.”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in an interview to i-Tele right after Poroshenko’s pro-EU inauguration speech said that the idea of Ukraine entering the EU doesn’t find support among “his Western colleagues.”

Nor have NATO members said that they support Ukraine's hope of joining the alliance. On Monday, Steinmeier said he is against Ukraine joining NATO, and would only consider supporting the possibility of a partnership.

On Thursday, Poroshenko also put the issue of Ukraine’s federalization out of question, saying that "100 percent of Ukrainians are in favor of a unitary state."

Meanwhile, Ukraine's federalization has been a key demand of residents in the country's eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, and was a major point in the September Minsk agreement between Kiev and eastern authorities.

As Kiev authorities continue to repeatedly reject the idea of federalization, the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said on Wednesday that Ukraine should indeed undergo federalization, stressing that this may be a comprehensive solution to the current crisis.

READ MORE: #Euromaidan 1st birthday: Nothing happens, twice (OP-ED)

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Sausage and cornbread stuffed mushrooms

Mushrooms filled with sage scented sausage and cornbread stuffing are an easy way to use up some leftover cornbread stuffing.

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