Bishop moves to calm Jerusalem furore

The federal government will advise Islamic counterparts there is no shift to its Middle East policy as it seeks to calm an “overreaction” to its decision to stop calling East Jerusalem “occupied”.

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Islamic nations are furious at the change, which they say was made without consultation, and there are fears a diplomatic row could affect Australian exports.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is blaming Labor for what she says is a “complete and utter overreaction”, while she prepares to meet ambassadors in Canberra in coming days to try to quell tensions.

“We support a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace behind internationally recognised boundaries,” she told Network Ten on Sunday.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb stood by the government terminology, which he said was “most fitting” for the long-disputed section of the ancient holy city.

“There was a misunderstanding or an overreaction,” he told Sky News.

“Once it’s clarified that our position on Israel has not changed one iota then hopefully this issue will pass.”

A group of ambassadors from Islamic countries – including key cattle and sheep export markets – have warned they could block Australian farm exports to the Middle East if the position isn’t reversed.

The move would be disastrous for Australian farmers and could jeopardise the government’s efforts to break into new export markets in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Ms Bishop will meet ambassadors in Canberra to explain the government position and advise them there had been no change in policy.

“There’s been a terminological clarification,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Houston in the US on Saturday.

“We absolutely refuse to refer to ‘occupied’ East Jerusalem.”

Mr Abbott said people were reading too much into what began merely as an argument between Attorney-General George Brandis and Greens senator Lee Rhiannon.

“In the end, given the particular sensitivities in the Middle East right now … we all have to be conscious of being constructive,” he said.

Some Islamic nations are reportedly considering a motion in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Australia.

The issue comes just a few weeks out from a yet-to-be formally announced visit to Australia by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Netanyahu, who will be the first sitting Israeli PM to visit Canberra, told the opening of his most recent cabinet meeting that Australia’s change of words was “courageous” and “refreshing”.

He said Australia had refused to “sanctify a lie”, and anyone who was interested in a peaceful resolution should realise it must be based on truth, and not “historical lies”.

Taylor set to be let off Origin leash

A teammate has affectionately compared him to a big Labrador but Queensland will hope for a lot more than a few licks when they unleash Dave Taylor in State of Origin game two.

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In the past Taylor’s bark had been worse than his bite, and the hulking Gold Coast utility’s attitude has been questioned as he failed to reach his obvious potential.

Considered to be in the Origin doghouse in recent times, Taylor seems poised to cap a turnaround by ending a two-year exile and coming off the Maroons bench in Wednesday night’s must-win clash with NSW in Sydney.

Queensland coach Mal Meninga appeared to reveal his hand when Taylor, Ben Te’o, Jacob Lillyman and Chris McQueen started on the bench in the team’s Origin dress rehearsal, Sunday’s opposed session against the Maroons Under-18s at their Gold Coast camp.

Taylor was considered such a lost cause in his last Origin campaign in 2012 that Meninga contemplated never picking the Gold Coast giant again.

But Gold Coast and Queensland teammate Nate Myles predicted Taylor would be a howling success in game two after witnessing his transformation first hand.

“You can never question Dave’s heart. He is like a big Labrador,” Myles said.

“He’s always got the right intentions.

“But he’s always going to be the one who decides his own fate.

“He’s changed a few things at training and you can just see how his form is getting better and better.

“I try to help him because of the person he is.

“A lot has been said about his talent but, once he realises that he can decide his own destiny, his potential will be endless.”

Apart from his attitude, Myles believed his teammate had also collared his on-field unpredictability, at least partly.

“You know what he can do. You just don’t know if he is going to do it at the right time and situation,” he said.

“Hopefully he gets on when we are in a good position and then he can do some good things to help the team.”

Queensland backrower Sam Thaiday could barely recognise the man he first met as a cocky – but still very large – 17-year-old at the Broncos.

“His wife and his two girls have really settled him down and he is enjoying the Gold Coast lifestyle,” he said.

“When I first met him at the Broncos he was a child superstar.

“He was really good in the junior ranks and thought he could just walk into the NRL but he’s learned lessons and hard ones over the years.

“It’s good to see the big fella back.

“In Origin you need that spark and an X-factor.”

Emissions cuts still on target: Hunt

Environment Minister Greg Hunt says Australia will hit greenhouse gas reduction targets easily, despite his government’s push to dismantle the carbon tax and a reported backflip on funding for solar energy.

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Climate change mitigation was a focus during Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recent visit to the White House, where US President Barack Obama said he accepted the government’s mandate to repeal the carbon tax.

But Mr Obama urged Australia and other nations to adopt “ambitious domestic climate policies as the basis of a strong international response”.

“The big point here is that the carbon tax hasn’t been doing its job,” Mr Hunt told Seven Network on Sunday.

“Why did the Australian people vote to get rid of it? Because you had a $7.5 billion tax on electricity and gas … [and] emissions went down by 0.1 percent in the first full year of the carbon tax.”

New modelling by energy advisory firm RepuTex suggests Australia can expect to fall well short of its target of five per cent emission reductions by 2020.

Its analysis predicts that by 2020 the emissions reduction fund alone will purchase between 30 and 120 million Australian carbon credit units, leaving a carbon shortfall of more than 300 million tonnes.

Mr Hunt says the country is still on track.

“We will hit our targets and we’ll do it easily,” he said.

The assurance comes as Fairfax Media reports Mr Hunt was forced to back down from a promise to the Clean Energy Council last November that the coalition was still committed to its $500 million “1 million solar roofs” program, a policy leftover from the 2010 election.

Mr Hunt reportedly described the flagship solar rebate program as a “shining beacon” of the government’s direct action climate policy – though the policy had not been reaffirmed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Asked to respond to the report, Mr Hunt said: “We’ve added $1 billion during the course of the budget process to the emissions reduction fund … we’ve had to make some difficult choices.”

The solar “debacle” is the latest in a string of broken government promises on renewable energy policy, opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said.

“When Greg Hunt talked about this the Australian people [and] the solar industry were of the view that the renewable energy target was a bipartisan position,” he told Sky News.

‘Awful’ Cowboys to step up against Manly

After an “awful” golden point win, North Queensland backrower Gavin Cooper hopes a step up in the class of opposition will lift his side in Saturday night’s crunch NRL home clash with Manly.

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Cooper baulked at saying they took wooden spooners Cronulla for granted but admitted they “put the foot off the gas” before a late Johnathan Thurston field goal sealed the dramatic 20-19 win on Monday night.

“That was awful,” he said of their display.

North Queensland booked a finals berth with the less than convincing victory and can finish as high as fourth if they defeat the table-topping Sea Eagles.

Easier said than done – the last time the Cowboys downed Manly was their 22-20 triumph way back in round eight 2011 in Townsville.

Manly will back themselves to seal the minor premiership on Saturday night after winning the last six clashes against North Queensland.

But Cooper – nominated as North Queensland’s Ken Stephen Medal finalist for community work – believed Manly would bring the best out of them.

“I don’t want to discredit Cronulla but when we have played the better teams we have aimed up a little bit better – hopefully that is the case on Saturday,” he said.

“There is a bit to play for.

“They have been a speed bump for the club for a while.

“We took a step back (against Cronulla). It gets really serious next week but this is when we need to start playing our best footy.”

North Queensland made an encouraging start against a Cronulla outfit without 17 regular first graders when boom lock Jason Taumalolo scored within the first 90 seconds.

“I think we put the foot off the gas after that first try,” Cooper said.

“I don’t think we are allowed to score in the first two minutes any more.

“We didn’t take them lightly during the week…(but) they nearly blew us off the park.”

Cooper said they wouldn’t be able to get out of jail if they produced a similar effort against Manly, who again showed their fighting spirit to seal a Jamie Lyon-inspired, last gasp 26-25 win over Penrith last round.

“They showed on the weekend that you can never discount them, they plucked one out of thin air,” he said.

“They will be coming up here looking to ruin our night.”

Gillett’s head spinning over blunder, Hunt

A bizarre sin binning is not the only thing Brisbane backrower Matt Gillett has been coming to terms with of late.

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Gillett may still be getting his head around referee Ben Cummins’ last round clanger but the Broncos forward says teammate Ben Hunt’s meteoric rise has also been something to behold.

Gillett not only tipped surprise Dally M Medal contender Hunt to match Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk in their must-win NRL away clash on Friday night but also one day usurp the Storm playmaker’s Test and Queensland No.7 jersey.

Gillett was left scratching his head – along with most watching the game – when he was incorrectly sin-binned by Cummins in last round’s win over the Dragons for being offside, despite running 40m to make a tackle.

“It was one of those decisions that was out of my hands, I just had to cop it and take a 10 minute rest,” Gillett said.

“I was a bit confused but you can’t change those decisions.

“I just had to get off the field and do my time.”

Gillett says he is now more worried about Brisbane downing Melbourne for the first time since round nine 2010 and clinching their NRL finals berth.

And he believes Hunt will be the key.

Gillett has marvelled at Hunt’s transformation in 2014.

Hunt won the NYC 2009 Player of the Year but struggled to find his feet in first grade, spending more time on the bench as a back-up hooker.

But thrown the starting No.7 jersey this year by coach Anthony Griffin, Hunt hasn’t looked back.

Hunt received a sobering reality check with a flat performance the last time he tangled with Cronk in round 20’s 30-8 home loss.

However, Gillett backed him to bounce back at AAMI Park on Friday night.

“He’s been a pleasure to watch,” he said.

“I am sure Ben was looking forward to this challenge (against Cronk).

“Obviously Cooper is the Australian and Queensland halfback.

“One day Ben probably wants to be in those shoes. I am sure he will be up to it.”

Hunt is one player grateful for the faith shown by Griffin, who marks his 100th and possibly last game at the helm before Wayne Bennett reclaims the reins.

“A lot of players are here because of Hook (Griffin),” Gillett said.

“I think a lot of us here owe him a fair bit. He stuck by us so we want to stick by him and do a good job for him.

“I am sure he doesn’t want us to be thinking that way but he is why a lot of players are around here – it’s because of him.”

Marsh spearheads big Aussie win

Explosive allrounder Mitchell Marsh has spearheaded a crucial 62-run bonus point win over South Africa to book Australia’s place in the one-day tri-series final in Harare.

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Looking to save face after their embarrassing defeat at the hands of lowly Zimbabwe two days ago, Australia came out with renewed purpose with both bat and ball, setting the Proteas a target of 288 to win.

Faf du Plessis scored his second consecutive hundred against Australia this series, but Marsh’s incredible 86 not out from 51 balls and two wickets proved the difference as the Proteas were all out for 220 after 44 overs.

Had Australia lost, they would have opened the door for Zimbabwe to beat South Africa in the last round-robin match on Thursday and bump them out of the final to be played on Saturday.

But now the decider will pit Australia against fierce rivals the Proteas.

After Australia were sent in, in-form opener Phil Hughes played beautifully for 85, before late in the innings Marsh came in at No.6 and found the middle of the bat with the most memorable knock of his career.

In the 47th over, the 22-year-old opened the shoulders to blast Dale Steyn for three consecutive sixes – the first time that’s happened to the Proteas star in his career.

Marsh crunched 64 off 24 balls as Australia clubbed 70 runs from the final five overs to lift out of trouble in the middle overs and post a competitive 7-287.

The seven giant sixes Marsh piloted over the fences – but mostly over the grandstands – is the most by an Australian in an innings since Shane Watson hammered 15 against Bangladesh in 2011.

Australia’s decision to open the bowling with Glenn Maxwell paid immediate dividends as the part-time spinner claimed the wicket of Quinton de Kock.

Marsh further proved why he’s considered to have a massive future in all three forms of the game for Australia when he knocked over danger man Hashim Amla.

However, the match really tipped into Australia’s favour when spinner Nathan Lyon took the crucial wicket of South African captain AB de Villiers, who posted an unbeaten century in the Proteas’ seven-wicket win over Australia last week.

De Villiers picked George Bailey out at square leg and South Africa were 3-64.

Du Plessis (126 off 109 balls), who has had most of his success against Australia over the years, played a magnificent innings featuring eight fours and six sixes.

But he was running out of partners when Mitchell Johnson (2-30) decimated the stumps of David Miller.

The No.6 had two stumps sent flying out of the ground as Johnson showed his fearsome pace can be effective on even the slowest of wickets.

Du Plessis was ultimately out hit wicket to Kane Richardson, who took two wickets.

US, Slovenia remain unbeaten at World Cup

Slovenia and United States both remained undefeated at the World Basketball World Championships with comfortable wins on Tuesday while Australia surprised Lithuania and Mexico picked up a historic win.

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Phoenix Suns playmaker Goran Dragic led Slovenia with 22 points and the other four starters also scored in double digits in an 89-72 win over South Korea to improve to 3-0 atop Group D.

Korea, who dropped to 0-3, were led by 20-year-old Lee Jong Hyun with 12 points, five rebounds and four blocks.

Group D also saw the biggest surprise of the day as Australia handed Lithuania their first loss of the competition, an 82-75 victory in Gran Canaria.

Australia saw their 19-point halftime lead dwindle to three points late in the game but managed to hold on – thanks to 18 points from Joe Ingles while Aron Baynes scored 14 points.

Renaldas Seibutis led all scorers with 21 points for Lithuania while Darjus Lavrinovic had 14 points. But they were not enough as the Europeans dropped to 2-1 and were joined by Australia on the same mark in the group.

In the other Group D game, Mexico beat Angola 79-55 for their first win in this year’s competition – and their first victory at the worlds in 40 years.

Mexico, whose last win dates back to their 85-84 defeat of Australia at the 1974 World Championship, were paced by Hector Hernandez’s 24 points while Gustavo Ayon had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Yanick Moreira led Angola with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Both teams are 1-2 in the group.

Group C is topped by the United States, who breezed past winless New Zealand 98-71 thanks to 21 points from Anthony Davis while Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Ukraine picked up another victory in their first World Cup by knocking off Turkey 64-58 behind 19 points from Olexsandr Mishula.

Ukraine improved to 2-1 while Turkey dropped to 1-2 despite 14 points and 20 rebounds from Omer Asik.

Dominican Republic also jumped to 2-1 with a 74-68 win over Finland, who fell to 1-2. Eloy Vargas scored 18 points to lead four Dominicans in double figures

Finland wasted a 23-point showing from Petteri Koponen in the loss.

Groups A and B had a rest day on Tuesday. All four groups will be in action on Wednesday.

Parents who prevented ill son from being treated freed from jail

“We’ll go as soon as possible to see my son.

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We have been dying to see his face for so long,” Ashya’s father Brett King, 51, told reporters on Tuesday as he and his wife Naghemeh King, 45, left the Soto del Real prison north of Madrid.

A Spanish judge ordered their release after British prosecutors withdrew an extradition order for the couple in a case that prompted an outpouring of public support for them in Britain.

The pair were free to leave Madrid and be reunited with their son, who has a brain tumour and is being treated in a hospital in Malaga, southern Spain.

They were arrested in Spain under a European arrest warrant for taking five-year-old Ashya out of hospital in England after disagreeing with doctors over his cancertreatment.

Prosecutors had said they suspected the parents of “cruelty” but the British Crown Prosecution Service said on Tuesday it was withdrawing the warrant as Ashya had been properly looked after.

A Madrid judge promptly ordered the case to be shelved, judicial sources said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the news on his Twitter feed, saying: “It’s important this little boy gets treatment & the love of his family.”

Ashya’s parents took him out of a hospital in Southampton, southern England, last week, in search of alternative treatment for Ashya.

The Kings are planning to sell their apartment in Malaga to fund proton beam therapy, an alternative to radiotherapy, for Ashya, according to their Spanish lawyer Juan Isidro Fernandez Diaz.

After the family left Britain with their seven children, police applied for an arrest warrant over fears that the condition of Ashya, who has undergone surgery and has to be fed through a special piece of equipment, could deteriorate.

The parents were detained on Saturday but the case prompted an outcry in Britain, where some 130,000 people signed a petition calling for the boy to be reunited with his parents.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was “not appropriate” to “throw the full force of the law” at Ashya’s parents for their actions.

The chief of police in Hampshire, the force which originally applied for the arrest warrant, said that all involved needed to ask what was best for Ashya.

“It is my view as Chief Constable that the situation today is not right,” said Andy Marsh in a statement.

“Irrespective of what has happened it is our view that Ashya needs both medical treatment and for his parents to be at his side.”

Dethroned beauty queen demands apology before returning crown

May Myat Noe, 16, was training to become a K-pop star in South Korea after winning the Seoul-based Miss Asia Pacific World beauty pageant in May.

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But last week the organisers stripped her of the title for alleged dishonesty, accusing her of absconding with the crown and the $10,000 implants, which they say they funded to enhance her budding singing career.

On Tuesday the beauty queen hit back and demanded an apology from the organisers.

“It is natural for me to feel that an apology should be demanded to rectify the damage they have done to the integrity of my country,” she told a packed press conference in Yangon.

“I will return the crown only when they apologise to Myanmar, for the dignity of our country.”

May Myat Noe also denied accepting free breast implants.

“I was put under duress to undergo head-to-toe cosmetic surgery which I refused… I didn’t have breast implants, but I don’t want to go into details, to preserve my dignity,” she said.

Her comments appear to have deepened the acrimony between pageant organisers and their former queen.

Young Choi, founder of Miss Asia Pacific World, told AFP the organisers had photographic evidence of the breast implant operation and that they would consider legal action against May Myat Noe.

“She has been lying. She also lied at today’s news conference. She must return the crown,” he said, declining to give the cost of the tiara but explaining it was made over several weeks by ten specialists.

“It’s not for us but for her to apologise. She has been hurting our image and credibility,” he said in Seoul.

Choi said his organisation hoped to handle the sensitive matter “quietly in consideration of relations between South Korea and Myanmar” but was ready to consider a lawsuit “if she refuses to cooperate.”

Myanmar women are eyeing success in international beauty pageants as the country opens up after decades of military rule.

Despite undergoing sweeping political and social reforms, Myanmar remains a deeply conservative nation.

But new fashions and overseas products are creeping into the once cloistered nation, supported by a proliferation of magazines for young consumers and an increasingly vibrant pop culture.

Last year a US-educated business graduate was selected as the first Miss Universe contestant to represent Myanmar in more than 50 years.

May Myat Noe is the latest in a growing list of beauty queens from Southeast Asia to run into trouble.

In June Thailand’s contender for the Miss Universe pageant relinquished her crown after she allegedly called for supporters of the ousted government to be “executed”, sparking a barrage of online criticism.

Why men should change their last name when they get married

More than 50 per cent of Americans think the woman should be legally required to take her husband’s name in heterosexual marriages.

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The reason typically given is that having the same name increases a sense of family identity.

Making it into a legal requirement would be bizarre, but I agree such identity is important and sharing a name helps in its creation. Even on its own, marriage is, among other things, a way of tying yourself to the mast: deliberately making public declarations, taking vows, and arduously organizing an unnecessarily expensive party, all in order to increase your investment in each other, and make it more difficult to end the relationship during future difficult phases. Having the same name is one more way of making public and concrete your intention to stay together for the long haul.

But why should that mean that the woman takes the man’s name in heterosexual marriages?  Why should the man not take the woman’s name or, as my fiancée and I have chosen to do, both choose a new name? (We’ve gone with “MacAskill”, her maternal grandmother’s maiden name. When I tell people I’m changing my name, I’ve met raised eyebrows, confusion, or aggressive questioning. No one’s batted an eyelid when she’s told others the same.)

As with so many gender-biased traditions, this one has pretty disturbing roots. The legal concept of coverture came from England and caught on in 19th century America: the idea was that a woman, upon marriage, becomes the property of her husband. She had no right to vote or take out a bank account because she could rely on her owner to do that for her. And, of course, she couldn’t be raped by her husband—because she was essentially her husband’s property, and he was free to do with her what he wished.

We’ve made progress on these issues (though some remarkably late). But the tradition of taking the man’s name remains and, given its background, it seems to me it’s simply bad taste to carry on with it, in the same way that it would be bad taste to put on a minstrel show, no matter how pure the intentions.

You might say that we need some rule, and that taking the man’s name is as good as any other. But is this true? Why not go with whichever name sounds better? Or which name is associated with the coolest people? (MacAskill clearly beats my birth surname “Crouch” on both counts, having a better ring and being the name of both Giant MacAskill—a forebear of my fiancée’s who has a claim to be the world’s strongest ever man—and Danny MacAskill, a trial-biking legend who, also being descended from Giant MacAskill, must be a very distant cousin.)  Or any other choice made by both parties.

In general, we are happy with the idea of molding our self-image in a whole number of ways, including how we dress, look, and talk. And having the right name is a big deal—affecting expected grades, likeability, success at job applications, and likelihood of having your Facebook friend request accepted. So why the double standard when it comes to marriage?

This article was originally published on Quartz. Click here to view the original. © All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

 

What’s wrong with checking out stolen nude photos of celebrities

It is not difficult to look at naked women on the Internet.

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There are, after all, a lot of men and women who post nude photos of themselves online hoping for pageviews, extra income, or just exhibitionist titillation. So with the news over the weekend of “leaked” nude photos of various celebrities, can we please all agree not to search these pictures out? If we want to look at nude people, let’s restrict ourselves to photos of people who actually want us to see them nude. It’s not like there’s a lack of them to choose from.

Because, look: When people seek out stolen images like the ones just released of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and other celebrities, those people are violating these women in much the same way that the person who stole the pictures did.

There’s a reason why the public tends to revel in hacked or stolen nude pictures. It’s because they were taken without consent. Because the women in them (and it’s almost always women who are humiliated this way) did not want those shots to be shared.

If Jennifer Lawrence was to pose naked on the cover of Playboy, for example, I’m sure it would be a best-selling issue. But it wouldn’t have the same scandalous, viral appeal as private images stolen from her phone. Because if she shared nude images consensually, then people wouldn’t get to revel in her humiliation. And that’s really the point, isn’t it? To take a female celebrity down a notch? (We have a term for when this is done to non-celebrity women:“revenge porn.”)

There is an obsessive tendency in American culture with elevating women—young, beautiful women, especially—to celebrity status just to bask in their eventual fall. There’s also a tendency in American culture, meanwhile, to shame women for their sexuality. So I would not be surprised in the days ahead to see arguments as to why this is somehow the fault of the celebrities whose phones were hacked—that these women took the pictures, that they were posing, that generating publicity is part of their job.

But victim-blaming is just that, no matter how famous the victim is. We live in a culture with a peculiar relationship to female celebrity. In much the same way that misogyny tells men that women are there for male consumption, the public and media tell us that famous women are public property. It’s why models and pageant queens are expected to smile graciously and respond to horny teen boys asking them to prom, or why they’re called uptight bitches if they don’t smile for every camera shoved in their face. The underlying premise is that these women have consented to being there for public entertainment—whether they like it or not.

The fact that photos have been shared already is beside the point and a weak justification for violating someone’s privacy and sense of safety. Even if we’re not the people who stole the pictures, and even if we’re not publishing them on blogs or tweeting them out, looking at naked photos of someone who doesn’t want us to goes beyond voyeurism; it’s abuse.

This article was originally published on The Atlantic. Click here to view the original. © All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

 

NFL suspends and fines Colts owner

The NFL suspended Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for the first six games of the season and fined him $US500,000 ($A540,000) for violating its personal conduct policy.

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The NFL came down hard on Tuesday just hours after Irsay pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stemming from an embarrassing March traffic stop.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Irsay was barred from team facilities, practices and games and cannot represent the Colts and NFL meetings or events. The fine was the maximum allowed under league rules.

“I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players,” Goodell told Irsay in a letter released publicly by the NFL.

“We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunteering that owners should be held to the highest standard.”

The 55-year-old Irsay pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated and acknowledged during his appearance before a Hamilton County judge that he was under the influence of the painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone when he was arrested on March 16 near his home in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel.

Irsay did not comment outside the courtroom, but he apologised to Colts fans in a prepared statement.

“In retrospect, I now know that the incident opened my eyes to issues in my life that needed addressing and helped put me on the path to regain my health,” he said.

“I truly hope and pray that my episode will help in some small measure to diminish the stigma surrounding our country’s terrible and deadly problem of addiction. It is a disease.”

Irsay’s case was closely watched around the NFL – not least among players – because there are few examples of the league punishing an owner like Irsay.

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand was suspended for 30 days and fined $US100,000 ($A108,000) in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following his guilty plea to driving while impaired.

A player with a first-offence misdemeanor DUI would not be suspended and would be fined no more than $US50,000 ($A54,000) under terms of the collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association.

Police said an officer spotted Irsay driving slowly, stopping in the roadway and failing to use a turn signal.

Officers said he had trouble reciting the alphabet and failed field sobriety tests. Various prescription drugs were found in his vehicle, along with more than $US29,000 ($A31,000) in cash.

Irsay acknowledged in 2002 that he became dependent on painkillers after years of orthopedic operations but said he had overcome the problem.

He will be on probation for a year and is prohibited from drinking or possessing alcohol during that time. He must submit to drug testing during his probation and successfully complete a substance abuse rehabilitation program. Less than 48 hours after his arrest, the Colts said Irsay entered a treatment facility.

Irsay’s driver’s license also was suspended for one year by Judge J. Richard Campbell. Less than 48 hours after his March arrest, the Colts said Irsay entered a treatment facility. He resumed his duties with the Colts at the NFL draft in May.

Irsay became the Colts owner in 1997 after the death of his father, Robert Irsay, and a lengthy legal battle with his father’s second wife. Forbes magazine has estimated Irsay’s net worth at $US1.6 billion ($A1.73 billion).

Contador takes Tour of Spain lead

Two-time Tour of Spain winner Alberto Contador has taken the overall lead in this year’s edition as German Tony Martin won the 10th stage, a 36.

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7-kilometre time-trial.

Contador, 31 and who finished fourth, 39 seconds slower than triple time-trial world champion Martin, replaced Colombian rider Nairo Quintana in the overall leader’s red jersey.

For Contador it represents quite a comeback after, like Chris Froome, he failed to finish the Tour de France because of injury, in his case a broken tibia.

“Nobody could have imagined that I would be in red today, it is an enormous surprise,” the Tinkoff team leader told Spanish TV station TVE.

“As a result of that I really believe I can win.”

Quintana, who took a three-second lead on Sunday, came to grief when he fell after a dozen kilometres, as he was bending down to fiddle with his right shoe, and lost more than three minutes to Contador.

Quintana, bidding for a second Grand Tour win this season having won the Tour of Italy, limited the damage somewhat in the remainder of the stage and lies in 11th spot.

“It seems at first sight that I have only grazes,” said Quintana on crossing the line.

“We will see tomorrow how I feel. My objective in this Tour after all is to help Alejandro Valverde and we will see in the mountains if I can do something for him.”

Contador, winner of the Vuelta in 2008 and 2012, extended his lead over all his major rivals for overall victory as he was 21sec faster than compatriot Valverde and 53sec quicker than Britain’s 2013 Tour de France winner Froome, who failed to fire even though on paper he was the best of the time-triallists amongst the race favourites.

Meanwhile, Cadel Evans was the highest finishing Australian in the stage, coming in sixth, 49sec behind Martin.

Adam Hansen is the highest Australian in the general classification, in 42nd, 22.15 behind Contador.