No time to celebrate win over Chelsea for Palace’s Allardyce

But Palace have arguably the toughest run-in of any of the teams battling to escape the drop, with five of their remaining nine games against sides in the current top six.


“We’ve got a game midweek so I told the boys to enjoy the victory at home. No real time to celebrate. There’s still a way to go,” Allardyce told reporters.

Palace host Arsenal on Saturday and must also face Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United before the end of the season.

“Never an easy game at our level,” Allardyce said. “We’ve still got City, United, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester. Hull are in good form.”

Palace beat Southampton in the reverse fixture in December, but have lost on their last five league visits to St. Mary’s Stadium, and Allardyce is hoping his team can come away with a more positive result on Wednesday.

“You’d hope we could target a point, given the form we’re in. We have to be 100 percent. Every player was at their top level on Saturday.”

Allardyce praised forward Wilfried Zaha, who has scored twice in his last three games, but warned the 24-year-old not to lose focus.

“I’m very pleased with Wilf. He’s maturing as a person, producing consistent performances on the field. Hopefully Wilf isn’t listening to what the papers say, good or bad. I don’t want it to distract him.”

Defender Scott Dann may miss the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury, while Patrick van Aanholt (ankle) is still out. Striker Loic Remy is back in training after recovering from an ankle injury.

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Trump son-in-law Kushner visits Iraq, meets PM

The visit comes as Iraqi forces battle to retake Mosul from IS with support from US-led air strikes that have recently been criticised for causing civilian deaths in the city’s west.


Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office said the prime minister met with General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as Kushner and other officials including White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert.

They discussed “the battle of Mosul and the international coalition’s support for Iraq and the training and arming of Iraqi forces in addition to the [issue] of displaced people,” Abadi’s office said in a statement.

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Iraqi forces have been engaged in a grinding battle for west Mosul since last month, fighting that has pushed more than 200,000 civilians to flee.

Dunford asked Kushner – who has no previous experience in government – and Bossert to accompany him on the trip, Navy Captain Greg Hicks said in an emailed statement.

“General Dunford invited Mr Kushner and Mr Bossert to meet with Iraqi leaders, senior US advisors, and visit with US forces in the field to receive an update on the status of the counter-ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria,” Hicks said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

“As well as receiving briefings and updates, Mr Kushner is travelling on behalf of the president to express the president’s support and commitment to the government of Iraq and US personnel currently engaged in the campaign,” he said.

Civilian casualties

“Mr Bossert is travelling in his role as assistant to the president and will participate in meetings and briefings to reinforce the strong US-Iraqi partnership to defeat ISIS,” he added.

Dunford and Kushner were also to meet Iraqi Defence Minister Irfan al-Hayali, ministry spokesman Colonel Laith al-Nuaimi said.

The United States is leading an international coalition that is carrying out air strikes against IS and providing other support to forces fighting the jihadists in both Iraq and Syria.

The operation to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second city, began last October, with security forces recapturing its eastern side before setting their sights on the smaller but more densely populated west.

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The coalition has admitted that it “probably” played a role in recent civilian casualties in the city, but has sought to place responsibility for the deaths on IS, saying the jihadists are gathering civilians together and seeking to provoke strikes.

Despite his inexperience, Kushner has become one of the most powerful men in Washington as a trusted adviser to the president with a broad portfolio of responsibilities.

Valued by Trump for his discretion and loyalty, the baby-faced 36-year-old is officially a White House senior adviser with far-reaching influence over domestic and foreign policy.

Among other responsibilities, Trump has tapped Kushner to play a leading role in efforts to secure an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal – an achievement that has eluded experienced policymakers for decades.

Kushner’s wife Ivanka, the 35-year-old first daughter, also plays a key role in advising her father.

A regular presence in the White House since Trump’s election, she officially became assistant to the president last week amid accusations about possible conflicts of interest involving the couple’s business interests, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Watch: Trump meets Egyptian President at White House

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Liverpool dealt injury blow as Mane’s season hangs in balance

The 24-year-old’s departure to the African Nations Cup in January coincided with Liverpool’s worst run of results all season – the club won just one of seven games in all competitions without him.


“It’s not 100 percent clear. We have to wait a little bit. I can say for sure he won’t be available for tomorrow,” Klopp told a news conference on Tuesday. “The knee is swollen. We wait for the final assessment. It’s possible (his season could be over) but why should I say that now?”

Liverpool will also be without skipper Jordan Henderson and midfielder Adam Lallana for the visit of Bournemouth, but forward Daniel Sturridge is back in training for the first time since the start of February.

Striker Divock Origi came off the bench to score Liverpool’s third goal against Everton, and Klopp indicated that the Belgium international could start on Wednesday.

“As long as we have 11 players to start then everything is fine,” he added. “It’s good to have Divock. The season is long. He’s a very important option for us now.”

Bournemouth, who are 11th in the table, seven points above the relegation zone, beat third-placed Liverpool 4-3 in the reverse fixture in December, and Klopp said his team had learnt a valuable lesson from that defeat.

“We learned a lot. One situation changed the game. We felt too confident in a specific moment. It was our responsibility. We are responsible for all the results. You learn the hard way,” Klopp said.

“They have 34 points. They are still fighting. They have no points to waste, we have no points to waste.”

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Bodies of ‘heroic’ mum, two children recovered from NSW Tweed River

A “heroic” mother who perished with two of her three children after their car plunged into a northern NSW river died trying to save her kids, police say.


Stephanie King, 43, was behind the wheel in the flood-ravaged town of Tumbulgum when the vehicle veered off the muddy Dulguigan Road and into Tweed River on Monday afternoon.

Her eight-year-old daughter Chloe May was somehow able to escape from the sinking vehicle but Ms King, her seven-year-old son Jacob and 11-year-old daughter Ella Jane drowned.

Tweed Byron Superintendent Wayne Starling said it was difficult to imagine the family’s pain.

“I’ve got no doubt whatsoever that that woman is a hero,” he told reporters in Tumbulgum on Tuesday.

“She’d be alive today if she wasn’t trying to save the children.”


Supt Starling described the conditions as “horrific” and said police had to hose down the slippery road before moving in a crane to retrieve the vehicle.

Four police divers from Sydney recovered the bodies on Tuesday afternoon and Supt Starling said many of the officers had children of a similar age to Ms King’s.

“We want those children and their mother treated with the respect they deserve,” he said.

The workplace of father Matt Kabealo, a chef at the Kingscliff Beach Bowls Club, has been quick to step in and organise financial help.

“Matt and Chloe are going to need a lot of support and we’re going to do what we can,” general manager Phillip Kelly said.

The club initiated a GoFundMe page and more than $10,000 was donated in three hours on Tuesday.

As news of the incident spread through the small town, locals including Pastor Rob Stuttle disputed claims the family was driving along a closed road.

He said the incident came just as the emotional toll of three days of mopping up was hitting exhausted residents.

Former police officer Matthew Grinham told of a frantic rescue effort on Monday afternoon, joining several others who dived into the freezing water of the Tweed and unsuccessfully tried to reach the car.

Ms King’s car was located several hours later on Monday with sonar equipment about five metres from the northern bank of the river.

Chloe May suffered scratches and cuts during her escape.

“She’s obviously traumatised by the incident,” Tweed Byron LAC Chief Inspector Mick Dempsey said.

Tumbulgum, with a population of just 400, remains under evacuation orders, while SES crews complete Rapid Impact Assessments.

“Many of the roads are treacherous,” SES spokeswoman Becky Gollings told AAP.

It’s the latest tragedy in a devastating few days for flood-ravaged northern NSW that’s already claimed the lives of two women, aged 36 and 64, and a man, aged 46.

WATCH: We must prepare for floods, Turnbull says

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It’s the latest tragedy in a devastating few days for flood-ravaged northern NSW that’s already claimed the lives of two women, aged 36 and 64, and a man, aged 46.

A massive clean-up operation is under way as communities pick up the pieces of ruined homes and businesses in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reached out to the families of people who went missing during the flood crisis.

“The thoughts and prayers of all Australians are with the families,” he said in Canberra.

“We share the anxiety and concern of those who have loved ones that are missing in the floods,” Mr Turnbull said.

Confident Conte says Chelsea still on track for title

“I think we didn’t deserve to lose the game against Crystal Palace but football is wonderful also for this type of result,” the Italian told a news conference.


“It’s normal that with 27 points available anything can happen in the league, but we are in a really good position.

“We must play with great attention when we go forward because of Manchester City’s counter-attacking threat. We haven’t had many days to prepare for this game but it’s the same for Manchester City,” he said.

“Both teams will be trying to win the game tomorrow. It won’t be easy because they are a very good team.”

Chelsea beat City 3-1 in the reverse fixture in December – an ill-tempered contest in which Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho were sent off and players and coaching staff from both teams were involved in a melee on the touchline.

“I have great respect for Sergio Aguero and what has happened in the past is not important,” Conte said, while revealing he had not changed his approach in training in the wake of the defeat by Palace.

“The training sessions are always the same, if you win or lose or draw. It doesn’t change our ideas, our philosophy, our methods,” Conte said.

“We have to continue in the same way to work, to prepare every game in the right way, and to keep concentration. At this moment, I’m pleased with my players. I’m seeing, always, great commitment from my players,” he added.

“Nobody thought that Chelsea could fight this season for the title … We want to keep this position.”

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Party watchdog examines Hanson books

The electoral watchdog is examining claims Pauline Hanson’s One Nation may have breached disclosure laws.


Former Queensland One Nation treasurer Ian Nelson told the ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday he urged Senator Hanson and chief of staff James Ashby to declare the use of an aircraft, but was told not to worry about it.

Mr Nelson also alleged Mr Ashby had pressured him to conceal the fact that Bill McNee, a Victorian property developer, had donated $70,000 to the party.

A spokesman for the Australian Electoral Commission said the information was “being reviewed in the context of the disclosure provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act”.

It is understood One Nation was already being looked at as part of a regular program of compliance reviews by the AEC.

Special Minister of State Scott Ryan, who has spoken with AEC commissioner Tom Rogers, is expected to have further talks with the commissioner in coming days.

Labor senator Murray Watt says the AEC needs to check whether electoral laws have been broken, in terms of One Nation’s financial disclosure obligations.

Senator Hanson’s office declined to comment on Tuesday when contacted by AAP.

Mr Ashby, a registered pilot, told Sky News on Tuesday his company had bought the plane and its use for party purposes had been properly declared.

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts insisted Senator Hanson may pay for the fuel on her trips.

“The use of the plane is declared as a gift in kind, everything above board,” he told Sky News.

“The plane was there before Pauline became a candidate.”

Senator Roberts also denied claims Mr Ashby ran a “dictatorship” within the party.

“He is very direct, very honest but he’s also personable and engaging. He doesn’t get rude and nasty unless someone wants to do that to him,” he said.

“He’s not a Peta Credlin (former prime minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff) at all, he listens extremely well… he’s one of the best people I’ve ever worked with.”

Ghani visit: Extra Australian troops to Afghanistan a ‘sovereign decision’

Afghanistan’s president insists Australia’s military commitment to his country is a “sovereign decision”.


Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has been in Canberra for two days of official talks including meetings with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Marise Payne.

Australia has 270 defence personnel deployed mostly in the capital Kabul where they provide support and security along with some mentoring recruits at the Afghan National Military Academy.

Earlier this year, the US Army General John Nicholson, who leads American and international forces in Afghanistan, called for thousands more troops to advise Afghan forces on the ground to beat the stalemate.

Dr Ghani clarified that General Nicholson had requested about 5200.


Asked if Australia should provide more troops, Dr Ghani said: “These are sovereign decisions.”

“We always defer to national authorities in terms of the decision-making process,” he told ABC radio.

Australia’s main base in Afghanistan had been in Uruzgan province, before the withdrawal in 2013.

The Taliban have now overrun that area.

But Dr Ghani insisted “temporary setbacks” should not be seen as reversals.

“It is not trending in the wrong direction,” he told ABC TV.

He acknowledged the threat of Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan and said authorities were dealing with them relentlessly.

“Given what has happened in Iraq and Syria, the likelihood of them migrating or jumping like cancer cells elsewhere is significant,” Dr Ghani said.

During the president’s visit thousands of Hazara protesters rallied in Canberra against a 2011 deal between Australia and Afghanistan to send failed Afghan asylum seekers back to their homeland.

Dr Ghani said it had not been a subject of conversations during his meetings with Australian government ministers.

He argued thousands of refugees had returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan in recent years and the level of participation in public life by Hazaras was increasing.


Asked if Afghanistan would take back failed asylum seekers detained on Manus Island or Nauru, he said due process was important to follow.

“An Afghan who has gone through the full legal process has a right to return. We never refuse if the host country wants to expel them, then the due process should be observed,” he said, adding that international human rights agreements need to be taken into account.

Dr Ghani earlier on Tuesday marvelled at Australian-designed gadgets that are protecting his country’s soldiers and police from improvised explosive device attacks.

In the past two years, Australia has supplied 150,000 Redwing contraptions to Afghanistan security personnel with a further 34,000 to be delivered later this year.

The devices, which jam radio signals that can set off IEDs, cover both individuals and vehicles and are made in Brisbane.

“It’s truly amazing,” Dr Ghani said.

“You’ve taken the request to save lives extremely seriously.”

WATCH: Thousands of Hazaras protest Afghan president

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Grevsmuhl thankful for Titans lifeline

By his own admission, Chris Grevsmuhl wasn’t the easiest kid to get along with during his junior playing days in North Queensland.


Still, Neil Henry saw something special in the cheeky youngster. And now years later, Grevsmuhl is sure glad Henry did.

Grevsmuhl, 24, has plenty of people to thank after emerging from a well-documented battle with personal issues that saw him leave the Panthers before making his NRL return in Gold Coast’s last round loss to the Warriors.

Grevsmuhl says he owes a lot to Henry, especially as the Townsville-born backrower admitted he didn’t make life easy for then Cowboys coach Henry during his 2011-13 North Queensland under 20s stint.

“I had Neil at the Cowboys coming up through the grades so for him to give me an opportunity again is wonderful,” Grevsmuhl said.

“I wasn’t the easiest kid to get along with. I had a very strong personality and liked to voice my opinion compared to now.

“But I like to listen to what he (Henry) has to say now and take it on board and grow as a person.”

Henry admitted Grevsmuhl wasn’t the best student at North Queensland but could not deny his talent.

“He was a young kid with a heap of potential but he wasn’t as focused on his footy as much as he could have been to take that next step,” Henry said.

“He needed to get his out-of-football like in order, but he has done that now.

“No doubt he loves playing and that is a catalyst for a lot of his happiness – he has found that hunger to play again.”

The Titans signed Grevsmuhl on a two-year deal in March – five months after the backrower walked away from the game.

In a tumultuous 2016, Grevsmuhl left South Sydney mid-season after falling out with coach Michael Maguire and linked with Penrith, where he lasted just six months.

By season’s end Grevsmuhl had fallen out of love with the game and received a Panthers release to address his personal issues.

He ended up working on building sites in the NSW country town of Orange before rediscovering his passion playing bush footy with mates.

“I used to put so much pressure on myself when I was playing football before,” Grevsmuhl said.

“It’s a different mindset now. I can just go out and enjoy myself.”

Grevsmuhl will line up for his second Titans game on Saturday – their home clash against Canberra.

“I am not in the shape I would want to be playing football but I am enjoying every moment of it,” he said.

“Being around good blokes and having a laugh every single day – it’s what I missed the most about playing in the NRL.

“Last year I didn’t like league, I didn’t like watching it, didn’t like hearing about it away from football. Now I love watching it and everything it has to give.”

Calls to break down barriers as young migrants face institutionalised prejudice

Advocates on Tuesday made recommendations to the Inquiry into Migrant Settlement Outcomes, to combat what they said were dangerous misconceptions.


Youth Action, one the many groups that made a submission to the inquiry, said migrants continued to face prejudice, despite figures that indicated they may be less likely to commit crime.

“There is this idea they are a criminal or have some connection to criminal behaviour or anti-social behaviour of any way, shape or form,” CEO Kate Acheson said.

“Actually white young males are more likely to be committing crime than that particular community, and we are not seeing the vilification happening across the cultures, just these communities and we need to stop that.”

Youth ambassador for the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW Apajok Biar also believed many South Sudanese migrants were being unfairly linked to issues like gang violence, and that many people in her community were considered guilty until proven innocent.

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“People, [what] they see in the media is just a small percentage of the South Sudanese community,” Ms Biar said.

“There are so many of us achieving such great things and we are really contributing to Australia as a whole and they should really consider that, not just profile us because of what one person has done.”

When Tamara Mirzada was just 13 when she moved to Australia as an Afghani refugee.

“When I was growing up, I wore the hijab in high school and I faced a lot of discrimination and being called a terrorist when I just came here,” she said.

It’s something Tamana said happened daily within the Muslim community formed part of a phenomenon migrant support groups want to stop.


Research from the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW found that young people in NSW who spoke a language other than English were less likely to be involved in crime than their English speaking counterparts.

Victorian youth born overseas were also less than half as likely to be alleged offenders compared with other young people.

Arash Bordar came to Australia as an Iranian refugee in 2015 and, in the years since, he said he has encountered prejudice and felt excluded from society.

“Sometimes when you are on the train they check your ticket and you’re the only one, they don’t ask everyone,” he said.

“We want to build the country with everyone together. But when we face the problems and all the challenges we have, it makes us a bit depressed.”

One of the recommendations made to the federal government was that migrant youth be able to access support services earlier, from the age of 12, instead of 15.

Advocates including Ms Acheson said earlier intervention is crucial.

“When you don’t have that they feel displaced, they feel devalued … that’s not really good.

“Young people will look for identity wherever they can find it,” Ms Acheson said.

There is currently no national record of crimes connected to ethnicity – something advocates are pushing to change.

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Johnson to launch Masters title bid with Watson, Walker

Johnson, who has won his last three starts, will tee off in the final group at 2:03 p.


m. ET (1803 GMT) in Thursday’s opening round at Augusta National.

World number two Rory McIlroy, who can complete the career grand slam of golf’s four majors with a win this week, will set off with red-hot Spaniard Jon Rahm and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara at 1:41 p.m.

Australian world number three Jason Day, who took a short break from golf as his mother had surgery in her battle with lung cancer, has been paired with England’s Justin Rose and American Brandt Snedeker.

The trio will set off at 10:56 a.m., right behind gallery favourite and three-times Masters champion Phil Mickelson, Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello and South Korea’s Kim Si-woo.

Defending champion Danny Willett will tee off at 12:24 p.m. along with Matt Kuchar and Australian amateur Curtis Luck.

Former champion Spieth, who was leading in the final round last year until falling apart by dropping six shots in three holes, will set off with Germany’s Martin Kaymer and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia’s bid for his maiden major title will open with England’s Lee Westwood, who finished runner-up here last year, and Ireland’s Shane Lowry.

In other groupings, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama will set off with Rickie Fowler and Scotland’s Russell Knox while Swedish world number five Henrik Stenson was paired with twice major winner Angel Cabrera of Argentina and England’s Tyrrell Hatton.

First off at 8:00 a.m. following ceremonial tee shots by golfing greats Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will be Americans Daniel Summerhays and Russell Henley, who secured his Masters invite by winning in Houston on Sunday.

Groupings remain the same for the second round, though the tee times change, with those who play early on Thursday going out late on Friday, and vice-versa.

(Editing by Andrew Both)