More heat on Henry, Hayne as Titans flop

Gold Coast captain Ryan James challenged teammates to rally around Neil Henry after St George Illawarra heaped more pressure on the embattled Titans coach.


The futures of Henry and Jarryd Hayne at the club were again questioned after the under-performing superstar once more failed to fire a 42-16 drubbing at OWI Jubilee Oval on Saturday.

Sacked by North Queensland four years ago, Henry is fighting to save his job again following four-straight heavy defeats.

The Titans have leaked 96 points in their past two losses alone.

Henry, though, is remaining stoic amid talk he won’t see out his contract.

“It’s media banter,” he said.

“Coaches are under pressure all the time. I’ve got to get on with my job and that’s to prepare my team with my assistant coaches as best we can each week and we’ll continue to do that.

“I can’t stop the speculation. It’s up to all of us to play some decent footy and to get on with our jobs..

“I don’t need to make decisions around the governance of the club.

“I’m contracted for next season and that’s how I’m preparing.”

Henry’s relationship with Hayne is said to have been frosty for much of the season.

After initially offering “no comment” when asked if the issue was becoming a distraction, Henry suggested the NSW State of Origin star needed to lift.

“He’s a player in the team and we talk and we converse as we do all the time,” Henry said.

“There’s been a lot of media about him … the thing that makes the media go away is his performance, for the team and for individuals, and that will take care of things.”

Asked to assess Hayne’s performance against the Dragons, Henry said he needed to check the tape.

“I thought he had a couple of strong touches early and brought the ball back,” he said.

“It’s very hard to get into a game when you haven’t got a lot of possession.”

James said it was unfair to blame the coach for the Titans’ woes.

“He’s not the one out there taking hit-ups or making the tackles so everyone’s quick to chuck the blame on someone else,” the front-rower said.

“But it falls on the players. We’ve talked to ourselves and we know we’re not playing good enough footy.

“So fair enough if ‘King’ was out there kicking the ball or making the tackles, but he’s not.

“So it’s up to us as a group to come together and play some good footy.”

Storm need to improve to win title: Smith

They have one hand firmly on the NRL minor premiership but Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith said there wasn’t too many happy faces in the Storm sheds following their last gasp 16-13 win over the Sydney Roosters.


The Storm snatched the three-point win an enthralling and at times bizarre contest fitting of a top-of-the table clash at AAMI Park.

Melbourne only need one more win from their remaining three matches to secure the JJ Giltinan Shield but Smith said the near-miss was a reminder the premiership race was far from over.

“It shows we’ve been a little bit consistent and that’s why we’re six points ahead,” Smith said.

“Sitting in the sheds I know everyone isn’t completely happy with where we’re at with our performances and we know that that result could have gone either way.

“We’re at absolutely no stage thinking that it’s us and then daylight, absolutely no way.”

Second-rower Joe Stimson, in his debut NRL season, was the man-of-the-moment, scoring in the 77th minute for his team to regain the lead.

The Roosters hit the front for the first time in the match four minutes earlier thanks to a Luke Keary field goal.

But in typical Storm fashion, the match was far from over.

The Roosters were on the wrong end of a 9-3 penalty count in the first half which had them trailing 10-6 after a penalty try, with the bunker ruling Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu had been taken out by Mitchell in the race to the tryline.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson said it shouldn’t have been awarded.

“I thought there was too much doubt for it to be a penalty try,” he said.

Melbourne’s lead was out to 12-6 until the 61st match when Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell converted Mitch Aubusson’s try from the sideline.

That tryscoring opportunity came when Vunivalu collected a kick and then attempted an unorthodox hurdle of two Roosters players, ending up on report which had Storm coach Craig Bellamy perplexed.

“I’m not quite sure what Suli was trying to do there … it was probably a bit of a brain fade,” Bellamy said.

“They scored on the end of that penalty so hopefully he learns a lesson and he doesn’t do it again.”

With Roosters co-captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend back in the line-up after long injury spells Robinson felt there was a lot of upside.

“I thought we played well and it was an improvement on last week but if we wanted to win the game we should have finished it off a bit better,” he said.

Inquiry into deadly Egypt train crash as death toll rises to 40

Under floodlights, rescue teams combed wrecked carriages all night for casualties, also using torches on their mobile phones.


The toll from Friday’s accident when two trains hurtled into each other near Alexandria has risen to 40 dead and 123 wounded, said health ministry spokesman Khaled Moujahed, as local media said the number of fatalities was likely to rise.

People view the wreckage after two passenger trains collided in Alexandria, Egypt, 11 August 2017.AAP

The crash on the route to Cairo, derailed the engine of one train and two cars of the other, the Egyptian Railway Authority said.

A railroad switching error was the most likely cause of the collision, according to a security source. 

Workers used cranes to lift four knotted sheet-metal carriages blocking the normally busy Cairo-Alexandria line.

Transport ministry officials, quoted on state television, have said the crash in farmland on the outskirts of Alexandria was probably caused by a malfunction in one train that brought it to a halt.

The other train then crashed into it.

One train had been heading to Alexandria from Cairo and the other from Port Said, east along the coast.

Egyptian President: ‘hold accountable’

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has sent his condolences to the victims’ families and ordered a probe to “hold accountable” those responsible for the disaster.

It was the deadliest train accident in the North African country since a train ploughed into a bus carrying schoolchildren in November 2012, killing 47 people. 

That accident jolted the government which ordered an investigation and sacked the transport minister and the head of the railway authority.

The accident was blamed on a train signal operator who fell asleep on the job.

The probe, however, did not prevent further accidents. Just months later, a train carrying military conscripts derailed, killing 17 people.

Around a year later, a collision between a train and a bus killed 27 people south of the capital.

They had been returning from a wedding when the train ploughed into their bus and a truck at a railway crossing.

Chronic transport problems

Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with chronic transport problems, with roads as poorly maintained as railway lines.

There have been many other fatal crashes on the busy rail network.

In July 2008, at least 44 people died near Marsa Matruh in northwestern Egypt when a runaway truck hurtled into a bus, a lorry and several cars waiting at a level crossing, shunting the vehicles into the path of a train.

Army attend the scene of a train collision just outside Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.AAP

At least 58 Egyptians were killed and 144 injured in August 2006 in a collision between two trains travelling on the same track.

In the wake of that crash, a court sentenced 14 railway employees to one year in prison for neglect.

The deadliest accident on Egypt’s railways dates back to 2002 when 373 people died when a fire ripped through a crowded train south of the capital.

Different coach, same result for AFL Suns

Different coach, same result for the besieged Gold Coast AFL club.


Brisbane took a step toward avoiding the wooden spoon with a thumping 58-point win on Saturday at home, as an injury-hit Suns began life after sacked coach Rodney Eade just like it ended – with another loss.

There was no doubt Suns interim coach Dean Solomon faced a huge job to unite the team after Eade revealed on Saturday he would never have taken the Gold Coast job if he knew the full extent of their problems.

Eade’s three-year tenure came to an abrupt halt when axed on Monday night with three regular-season games left.

But even Solomon might be surprised by the enormity of the task he faces. The Suns faded badly in their 22.10 (142) to 12.12 (84) Gabba loss.

“I am going to do everything I can to turn this around,” Solomon said.

“The only way we will get out of this is hard work, galvanising and believing in what we have in place and turn it around.

“We can’t sulk, we can’t mope. We have to get back to work on Monday morning.”

But it seems it will take some time to reverse their fortunes based on Eade’s revealing claims on Saturday.

Asked if he would have accepted the Suns’ job if he had known the club’s issues, Eade told ABC radio: “Not at all, no.

“There’s a lot of things that surprised me and then keep happening.

“You turn over another rock and, whether it’s June or July, and you think you’re on top of it and something else happens.

“There’s a few things that got out publicly but there’s a lot of things that were kept in-house as well that people don’t know about.”

But Solomon tried to put on a brave face when asked how hard it was to get up after Eade’s sacking.

“It wasn’t hard (to get up). It’s AFL footy. Unfortunately, it’s a ruthless business,” he said.

“We’ve got to stop talking about who is out and talk about who is in as a football club.”

Despite being without Pearce Hanley (hamstring), Gary Ablett (hamstring) and Tom Lynch (knee), Gold Coast began full of energy and led by 22 points in the second term after Jack Martin (four goals) cut loose.

Lions skipper Dayne Beams (four goals, 32 touches) stood tall during the early Suns onslaught, before sparking Brisbane’s brutal response in front of 17,772 Gabba fans.

Brisbane kicked 17 goals to four from the second quarter to boost their hopes of dodging the wooden spoon.

The Lions (5-15 tally) are on 20 points along with Carlton and North Melbourne, but have played an extra game.

Nobel laureates urge Saudi to hold off on execution of 14 Shiites

Fears are mounting of the imminent mass execution of the 14 Shiites convicted of charges linked to protests in 2012, including rioting, theft, armed robbery and armed rebellion.



Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have accused Saudi authorities of coercing confessions which were later retracted in court and of failing to grant fair trials to defendants, including juveniles. 


Signed by anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi and former East Timor president Jose Ramos-Horta, the letter released late Friday urged King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his son, to “extend the hand of mercy” and refrain from ratifying the death sentences. 

“Mujtaba al-Sweika, a bright 18-year-old student in Saudi Arabia, was on his way to visit Western Michigan University in 2012 when he was arrested in the airport in Riyadh. Among his charges is starting a Facebook group and posting images of a demonstration online,” read the letter. 

“Another defendant, Ali al-Nimr, was charged with setting up a Blackberry page named ‘The Liberals’ and posting photos of the demonstrations, inviting people to participate,” it added. 

Other signatories to Friday’s letter include US anti-landmine activist Jody Williams, Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, South African former president F.W. De Klerk, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, Polish labour rights activist Lech Walesa and peace activist Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland. 

Saudi Arabia: 14 Shia at Risk of Imminent Execution 长沙桑拿,长沙SPA,/uku7ekAkhi

— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) August 10, 2017

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of execution. This year alone, it has so far executed 75 people.

In July, the supreme court upheld the death penalty for the 14 men, all Saudi citizens. The sentences must be ratified by the king or the crown prince for the executions to go ahead. 

The 14 are all linked to protests in Qatif, an eastern province home to most of the Sunni-ruled kingdom’s Shiite minority, who have long complained of marginalisation.

The east is also the source of most of Saudi Arabia’s oil. 

Saudi authorities, who have regularly cracked down on protests in Qatif, this week seized control of the town of Awamiya after increasingly frequent clashes between residents and police. 

Authorities have said drug traffickers and “terrorists” were behind the unrest in Qatif.

Awamiya was the epicentre of a short-lived Arab Spring-inspired protest movement in 2011, partly led by Nimr al-Nimr, a senior Shiite cleric from the town. 

Nimr was executed in January 2016 on a “terrorism” indictment. 

Rockliff salutes cousin in Lions’ AFL win

An emotional Tom Rockliff has fought back tears while paying tribute to his cousin, after helping Brisbane to thump Gold Coast by 58 points and boost their hopes of avoiding the AFL wooden spoon.


Rockliff was a standout with 24 touches in Saturday’s 22.10 (142) to 12.12 (84) Gabba win, kissing a black armband after each of his three goals.

Every Lions player wore an armband to salute former Fitzroy player Eric Moore.

But Rockliff had a second in honour of his cousin and almost broke down post-match when asked about his inspiration.

“I lost my cousin earlier in the week – he was only 27,” a teary Rockliff told the Seven Network.

“It’s been a pretty tough week for the family.

“To get the result and get on the end of a couple (of goals), I know he is watching up there, down on us.

“It’s been a tough week but we will fight through it as a family.”

Rockliff combined with skipper Dayne Beams (four goals, 32 touches) and midfield livewire Lewis Taylor (25 touches, two goals) to help Brisbane seal their fifth win of the year.

Lions coach Chris Fagan praised Rockliff for his mental toughness after his inspirational display in such a tough week.

“He had a great game. He is a clever forward,” Fagan said.

“He was quite upset about it. The fella who passed away was only quite young.

“It hit home pretty hard but he held himself together and had an effective game for us.”

Gold Coast led by 22 points in the second term before Brisbane kicked 17 goals to four.

The Lions (5-15 tally) are equal last on 20 points with Carlton and North Melbourne, but have played an extra game.

Since the round-11 bye, Brisbane are 4-6.

“We are hell bent on trying to get off the bottom,” Fagan said.

“If you look at the ladder after the bye, we are nowhere near the bottom – that’s exciting for us.P

“The belief is growing. It’s a slow process; every now and again it takes a hit.

“By and large, they are seeing themselves as a team that can compete, with an attitude of refusing to be beaten or downtrodden.

“Hopefully, that keeps us in good stead as we try and rise up the ladder and, hopefully, our fans can see there is something to get excited about.”

Dhawan hits hundred before Sri Lanka strike back

India reached the close of play on 329 for six, after losing no wickets in the first session, with Wriddhiman Saha unbeaten on 13 and Hardik Pandya not out on one at stumps.


After winning the toss and opting to bat, India captain Virat Kohli could not have asked for a better start as his side began their bid to complete a series whitewash over the hosts.

Following wins inside four days in Galle and Colombo, the world’s top-ranked side have opened an unassailable 2-0 lead and the injury-hit hosts face another stiff task against Kohli’s men in the finale.

On a surface ideal for batting, India’s openers picked up boundaries at will and made Sri Lanka pay for their profligacy with Dhawan given a reprieve on one, his edge flying through the slip cordon off left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando.

The left-handed batsman went on to hit 17 fours in his 123-ball knock before he was out for 119, hitting a sweep shot off left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara straight to Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal at square leg.

Pushpakumara had also provided Sri Lanka a breakthrough in his first over when he dismissed Rahul for 85. The 30-year-old, playing only his second test, later bowled an out-of-sorts Ajinkya Rahane for 17, to end the day with figures of 3-40.

A century once again eluded Rahul, who was dropped twice during his innings, as he was caught at mid-on trying to hit a lofted shot. It was his seventh consecutive score of 50 or more.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan then got Cheteshwar Pujara (eight) to edge one to slip as Sri Lanka continued to fight back.

The 26-year-old, replacing the injured Rangana Herath, also removed the dangerous Kohli with the right-handed batsman out for 42 after getting an edge to slip.

Ravichandran Ashwin (31) was the only wicket to fall to the faster bowlers when he edged Fernando to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella after the hosts had taken the second new ball.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the only change for the touring side, called up as a replacement for suspended left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

The hosts have been hurt by injuries throughout the series and will be missing both spin spearhead Herath and paceman Nuwan Pradeep. Middle-order batsman Dhananjaya de Silva was dropped after scores of nought and 17 in Colombo.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien/Peter Rutherford/Toby Davis)

Panthers down injury-hit Cowboys in NRL

Penrith have consolidated their position inside the NRL top eight with a Nathan Cleary-led 24-16 win over an injury-ravaged North Queensland at Pepper Stadium.


Cleary came up with arguably the try-saver of the year and scored two decisive second-half tries to lead his side to victory on Saturday night over a gutsy Cowboys.

The Cowboys, already missing Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Gavin Cooper, Antonio Winterstein and Te Maire Martin, were struck two massive blows when they lost Michael Morgan and Justin O’Neill to injury.

It’s feared O’Neill’s season is over with a suspected dislocated elbow. Halfback Morgan didn’t return in the second half after suffering a concussion.

The Cowboys were brave, playing the entire second stanza with two men on the bench, while fullback Lachlan Coote seemed to be playing through ankle and leg injuries.

After taking a 10-6 lead into halftime, the Cowboys extended their advantage when front-rower-turned-halfback John Asiata threw a short ball for Jason Taumalolo to get over.

After Cleary pulled his side back within four points with a 50th-minute try, he pulled off a memorable try-saver when he held up Cowboys big man Coen Hess to prevent North Queensland taking a 10-point lead.

The Cowboys ran out of gas with Cleary scoring twice in the last 30 minutes to give his side a valuable two points which jumps them into sixth.

After James Tamou crashed over against his old club, the teenage halfback delivered the coup de grace in the 70th minute for his side’s sixth win in a row.

“I’m always proud of this club. We didn’t write ourselves off,” Panthers coach Anthony Griffin said.

“It’s just business as usual. We’re not thinking all of a sudden ‘look what we’ve done’. We worked really hard to get to this point, the season’s on a knife edge and we need to get back and attack it again.”

It was the Cowboys’ third loss on the trot to put them in danger of missing the finals, however coach Paul Green declared they were still in the hunt.

“They didn’t roll over – we kept competing. I was really proud of the character,” Green said.

“While you’ve got that, you’re a chance in any game. We’re not done yet.

“It just feels like there’s a few things going against us the last couple of weeks.”

Eleven dead in Kenya post-election riots

Kenyan police have killed at least 11 people in a crackdown on protests as anger at the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta erupted in the western city of Kisumu and slums ringing the capital.


The bodies of nine young men shot dead overnight in Nairobi’s Mathare slum had been brought to the city morgue on Saturday, a security official said.

They were killed during police anti-looting operations, he told Reuters news agency.

Separately, a young girl in Mathare was killed by police firing “sporadic shots”, a witness said.

The run-down neighbourhood is loyal to 72-year-old opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose party rejected Tuesday’s vote as a “charade”.

Tear gas and live rounds were fired in Kisumu. One man had been killed, a government official said.

The unrest erupted moments after Kenya’s election commission announced late on Friday that Kenyatta, 55, had secured a second five-year term despite opposition allegations the tally was a fraud.

Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i said the trouble was localised and blamed it on “criminal elements” rather than legitimate political protest.

Odinga’s NASA coalition provided no evidence for its rejection of the result.

Kenya’s main monitoring group, ELOG, said on Saturday its tally matched the official outcome, undermining NASA’s allegations of fraud.

In addition to the deaths, Kisumu’s main hospital was treating four people for gunshot wounds and six who had been beaten by Kenyan police, its records showed.

One man, 28-year-old Moses Oduor, was inside his home in the impoverished district of Obunga when police conducting house-to-house raids dragged him out of his bedroom and beat him with clubs.

“He was not out fighting them. He was rescued by my sister who lives next to him. She came outside screaming at the police, asking why they are beating people,” his brother, Charles Ochieng said, speaking on behalf of a dazed Oduor.

More shooting was heard outside the hospital on Saturday morning.

In Nairobi, armed police units backed by water cannon moved through the rubble-strewn streets of Kibera, another pro-Odinga slum.

Interior minister Matiang’i defended the police against accusations of brutality.

“Let us be honest – there are no demonstrations happening,” he told reporters.

“Individuals or gangs that are looting shops, that want to endanger lives, that are breaking into people’s businesses – those are not demonstrators, they are criminals and we expect police to deal with criminals how criminals should be dealt with.”

As with previous votes in 2007 and 2013, this year’s elections have exposed the underlying ethnic tensions in the nation of 45 million, the economic engine of East Africa and the region’s main trading hub.

In particular, Odinga’s Luo tribe, who hail from the west, had hoped an Odinga presidency would have broken the Kikuyu and Kalenjin dominance of central government since independence in 1963.

Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first president, is a Kikuyu.

Crows too good for Bombers in AFL shootout

Adelaide have left Essendon’s AFL finals hopes in tatters, downing the Bombers by 43 points in an Etihad Stadium shootout.


The top-of-the-ladder Crows led at every break on Saturday night and survived a Cale Hooker-inspired Bombers comeback to post an 18.15 (123) to 12.8 (80) victory.

Gun forwards Josh Jenkins and Mitch McGovern booted three goals apiece while Matt Crouch (35 disposals, seven clearances) was dominant in the middle.

Adelaide had powered their way to a comfortable lead before Hooker turned the game with a huge second half.

The reinvented key forward booted two goals in quick succession midway through the third quarter to rouse the crowd from their slumber.

Former skipper Jobe Watson, who earlier in the week announced he would retire at the end of the season, brought the house down moments later when he kicked truly on the run.

Hooker then booted a 55m goal – his fourth for the night – to cut the margin to 19 points and give the Bombers hope of a miracle comeback.

But the Crows had all the answers, snatching the momentum back with goals to Brodie Smith and Jenkins on the verge of three-quarter time.

Jenkins proved the chief destroyer for the Crows in the final quarter, adding two more majors to his tally to put the result beyond doubt.

“There were probably a couple of times where Essendon really surged on us,” Adelaide coach Don Pyke said.

“It was a night where we were challenged in a number of ways and I thought we just found a way in the end.”

Hooker and excitement machine Joe Daniher combined for seven goals in a positive for the Bombers.

Top draft pick Andrew McGrath meanwhile achieved the rare feat of holding Crows genius Eddie Betts goalless in an excellent shutdown role.

But the clinical Crows ultimately proved too polished and too potent up forward.

“In areas of our game, we learnt that we’re not quite at the elite level yet,” Essendon coach John Worsfold said.

“Our ball use wasn’t as good as theirs … they took their opportunities and didn’t miss too many when they won the ball back.”

The result leaves the Crows six points clear of second-placed Greater Western Sydney, with a home final virtually guaranteed.

Essendon will finish the round outside of the top eight with just two games remaining.

The Bombers will start favourites against Gold Coast (away) and Fremantle (home) but even if they win both games, it may not be enough to secure a finals berth.