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October 19, 2020

Australian bushfires extinguished, but climate rows rage on

first_imgBut the after-effects will endure, and national soul searching has already begun.”We know events like these can challenge the way we think about the world, undermine our perceptions of safety, and rupture social bonds,” said disaster response expert Erin Smith. Dozens of families have lost loved ones, thousands of homes and farms have been gutted, swathes of the east coast are scarred charcoal-black and millions have had their sense of security shaken.”It will likely take years and a great deal of imagination for us to figure out where we go from here,” said Smith. The question of what is next for Australia is already being asked, most of all of political leaders, and it is being met mostly with finger-pointing and recrimination.’Heads above the parapet’While scientists agree climate change created favorable conditions for the blazes, politicians of all stripes are acutely aware how sensitive the issue is in Australian politics.In an arid nation whose economic strength is intimately tied to the mining and export of fossil fuels, at least four prime ministers have been ousted in part over their climate policies.In recent weeks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has seen his ruling conservative coalition threatened by members in rural constituencies demanding funding for more coal-fired power plants.At the same time, the centrist wing of his party has criticized his climate targets as inadequate.Meanwhile rebel members of opposition Labor met secretly to steer the center-left party’s leadership toward a more overtly pro-coal stance.The party’s deputy leader awkwardly refused to rule out more coal subsidies, months after vowing they should end.”They don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet, at least when it comes to suggesting substantive policy,” said Matt McDonald, an expert in climate politics from the University of Queensland.One reason, he explained, is that while the hot and dry Australian continent is uniquely susceptible to the impact of climate change, it is also a world-beating source of coal.Coal accounts for around 75 percent of Australia’s electricity generation and exports of the fossil fuel are worth Aus$60 billion a year, the country’s largest export after iron ore. People in affluent suburbs may call for emissions cuts and green energy, but coal accounts for thousands of jobs in election-deciding districts of Queensland and New South Wales, and many more in the related aluminum smelting business.Independent MP Zali Steggall — a former barrister and Olympic medal-winning skier — who ousted climate-sceptic former prime minister Tony Abbott from his Sydney seat at the last election, wants to take some heat out of the debate.She has introduced a bill that would reduce Australia’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and divert some contentious issues to an independent expert body.”The debate has been very divisive,” in part because of the blame game, Steggall told AFP. “There was a certain defensiveness in the early days of this debate because the finger was so squarely pointed at coal and fossil fuels.” “You have to think about a generation that worked really hard at building Australia’s prosperity on fossil fuels. You have to be very careful in the debate about apportioning blame. It’s not like it was done on purpose.””It’s about recognizing and being thankful for that contribution, but acknowledging that we do need to evolve,” she added. “We’re all going to get there in the end.”With bushfires projected to get ever more deadly and the next season a little over six months away, the risk, Steggall says, is that politicians take so long to reach consensus “it will be too late to do anything”. Australia’s “black summer” of devastating bushfires is finally coming to a close, but bitter arguments over how to tackle climate-fuelled disasters are raging on.When firefighters announced this week that all blazes in the hard-hit state of New South Wales were under control for the first time since September, the relief was palpable.In other regions, a few fires are still being contained, but most Australians can finally abandon the grim rituals of the last half-year — morning checks of smog monitors and “Fires Near Me” apps, deciding whether the kids can play outside, whether to flee or defend their homes. center_img Topics :last_img read more

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September 17, 2020

UW tennis heads to East Lansing

first_imgStarting today, the University of Wisconsin women’s tennis team will travel to East Lansing, Mich., to compete in the ITA Midwest Regional Championship. This tournament will feature some of the region’s best players, all of whom will be vying for a chance to go to the ITA National Championship. Players will be able to participate in the singles or the doubles competition, with several Badgers participating in both.UW sophomore Alaina Trgovich will be one of the Badgers competing in both singles and doubles this weekend.“I like playing singles, but I enjoy playing doubles as well,” Trgovich said. “I think it’s more fun.”Her teammate, freshman Angela Chupa, expects Trgovich to continue her success this weekend. Chupa and Trgovich also expect big things out of Liz Carpenter.“Liz is a senior; she has experience and heart, and she wants her last year to be her best,” Trgovich said.Chupa also hopes to continue her recent success this weekend. After winning her flight in Evanston last week, she now sets her sights on succeeding in the singles tournament in East Lansing. She will have a tougher road than most, however, as she will be playing in the single elimination qualifier to earn her spot in the final field.Trgovich and Chupa have been working along with their teammates to improve their conditioning in preparation for the tournament — as well as the rest of the season.Individually, the players have all been working to eliminate weaknesses in their game. Chupa has put emphasis on “staying aggressive, good shot selection and eliminating mental errors.”Trgovich, on the other hand, has been more focused on her forehand and has been working on her doubles game as well.After putting in hard work off the court, the Badgers believe they belong among the best.“If we can stay focused, we can compete with anyone,” Trgovich said. “There’s not a huge difference between the best player and the worst player out there. It just comes down to how bad you want it.”Wisconsin also hopes to use the ITA Regional to gain some momentum moving into the team play portion of the schedule.“Overall, it’s experience that matters,” Trgovich said. “Matches are the key to improvement … even for the seniors.”Chupa echoed the belief of her teammate.“You’re put in different situations, and you learn how to react to them,” she said.Though the Badgers want to win now, they also know that gathering experience is an integral part on the path to victory.Trgovich and the rest of the Badgers are eager to go head-to-head against some of the region’s best competition as they prepare for the spring season.“[I’m] excited to see what we’ve got,” Trgovich said.last_img read more

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September 8, 2020

New coach at Baylor, where QB Brewer may finally slide more

first_img Written By COMMENT Last Updated: 2nd September, 2020 07:07 IST New Coach At Baylor, Where QB Brewer May Finally Slide More Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer never spent a lot of time thinking about how beat up he was at the end of last season after a tough finish for the Bears Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer never spent a lot of time thinking about how beat up he was at the end of last season after a tough finish for the Bears.But he just might slide a little more in his fourth year as the Baylor starter, when the Big 12 runner-up Bears hope to get a step farther with new coach Dave Aranda after he was part of a national championship last season.“I’m not going to be asked to do kind of the same stuff I was asked to do last year, so I think the system is going to protect me a little bit in that way,” Brewer said. “Obviously I could be smarter at times and go out of bounds, or slide and not take the hit. I’ve probably heard that a million times now.”Led by their hard-nosed quarterback, who threw for 3,161 yards and 21 touchdowns while running for another 11 scores, the Bears last year got to their first Big 12 championship game. They lost in overtime to Oklahoma, the only team that beat them in the regular season, though Brewer didn’t play after halftime of the title game. He sustained a concussion after he delivered his own blow on a defender to finish a running play, and later took a hard sack.Brewer’s final play of the season came when he took a late hit that left him on the ground for several minutes after running toward the sideline in the fourth quarter of a Sugar Bowl loss to Georgia.Days after the Sugar Bowl, the Bears lost coach Matt Rhule to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. He had taken Baylor from a 1-11 record in his 2017 debut to 11 wins last season.Aranda, a first-time head coach, was the defensive coordinator for LSU’s 15-0 national championship team. His staff in Waco, Texas, includes new offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, who long before being head coach at Southern Miss and North Carolina was a Baylor assistant from 1991-96, and who has gotten well-acquainted with his new quarterback.”The thing that I can tell you is football is extremely important to him. He wants to know everything about what we’re doing,” Fedora said of Brewer. “He’s got great football savvy. … He’s a heck of a leader. He does not want to let anybody down.”FRONT LINE EXPERIENCEAmong seven returning starters on offense are four offensive linemen, a group that wants to improve after allowing 38 sacks last season.“That’s always a big topic,” junior left tackle Connor Galvin said. “We’re trying to keep him up and safe and playing for as long as possible.”Galvin said the changes in the new offense and with new line coach Joe Wickline are subtle, mostly small techniques and terminology.JACK IS A KINGBaylor will no longer solely employ a three-man defensive front, not with the Jack position, which can be an outside linebacker one play and a defensive end the next. Arkansas State transfer William Bradley-King, an All-Sun Belt Conference pick last year with 8 1/2 sacks, is the projected starting Jack. Junior middle linebacker Terrel Bernard, the Bears’ top tackler with 112 last year, said changing fronts and extra movement should free up linebackers to make even more plays.VIRUS UPDATEThe coronavirus pandemic hit before the Bears were able to start spring practice under Aranda. There was classroom work before that and Zoom calls when everyone was away from campus, but time on the field together has been a huge step for everybody.“I think the gelling and the coming together has happened both player-wise and coaches-wise. It’s the first time we’ve been on the field coaching together,” Aranda said. “Before, it’s one thing to be in sweats, maybe you’ve got a clean shirt on and you’ve turned on the light and you’re in the Zoom call. … All the stuff that the Zoom meetings were talking about, now you’ve got to live it.”SCHEDULE SCRAMBLEBaylor was supposed to open at the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans against Ole Miss, a team Aranda was familiar with at LSU. That went away when the SEC opted to play only conference games and the Big 12 chose a plus-one model with only one nonconference game that had to be at home. The Bears moved up a home game against Louisiana Tech to be their opener Sept. 12. The Bulldogs, who beat Miami to start last season, had been scheduled to visit Waco on Sept. 26, now the opening day of Big 12 play.Image credits: AP SUBSCRIBE TO US First Published: 2nd September, 2020 07:07 ISTcenter_img FOLLOW US Associated Press Television News WATCH US LIVE LIVE TVlast_img read more

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August 26, 2020

Lakers’ Luke Walton pushing for Brandon Ingram to be more of a vocal leader

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error EL SEGUNDO — Once the Lakers gathered in the locker room, coach Luke Walton did not just express his displeasure with his team’s play.He became so disgusted with the Lakers’ 30-point halftime deficit to the Clippers on Tuesday that he informed his starters they would begin the second half on the bench. Walton then turned to rookie forward Brandon Ingram.“It (stinks) for you that you have to sit out, too,” Walton said. “You’re out there playing your tail off.”Ingram had just 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 21 minutes, leaving Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell to openly question Walton’s tactic. As Russell said, “I don’t think he deserved that.” Before Ingram finished with a team-leading 21 points and five rebounds while shooting 8 for 14 from the field against the Clippers, Walton found the normally quiet Ingram be just as incredulous.“He looked mad, but he should’ve been mad,” Walton said. “I think he understood it.”That’s because the Lakers (20-52) enter Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves (28-42) at Staples Center with Walton wanting Ingram to take on a bigger leadership role.“It’s part of your responsibility to make sure everyone is ready to play,” Walton said. “It’s unfair that it happened for him with the way he was playing. I thought it was important to keep the message that this was about team first and individual second.”After scheduling practice on a previously scheduled day off on Wednesday, Walton called Ingram’s effort “awesome.” Walton added Ingram “busted his tail” and finished first in most of the team’s sprints. Though Ingram has allowed his work habits to speak louder than his soft words, Walton wants Ingram to raise his voice.center_img “Even if you’re playing well yourself, we need more out of you. Grab someone by the jersey, lift your teammates up,” Walton said. “It was more his work ethic that allows him to be that guy. I don’t know how vocal he’s ever going to get. But we’re going to keep pushing him to keep seeing what we can get out of him with that side of the leadership role.”Finger pointingAfter the Lakers lost to Cleveland on Sunday by only five points, Walton told his players he “was really proud of the way they played.” Walton openly wondered if that praise contributed to the Lakers’ 24-point loss to the Clippers.“Maybe that let up a little bit on that hunger and desire to get that win,” Walton said. “It shouldn’t be the case.”Walton has praised his players even in losses if he feels they have shown growth in their play.“That’s the message we give, but we still want to win a game,” Walton said. “We’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s nice to get rewarded with wins every once in a while.”Taking attendanceMagic Johnson wished he could honor the Lakers’ past by attending Shaquille O’Neal’s statue unveiling on Friday outside of Staples Center. But as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, Johnson wants to help the team’s future. So instead of attending O’Neal’s statue unveiling, Johnson will be in Michigan to scout the NCAA Tournament game between UCLA and Kentucky.Injury updateLakers center Timofey Mozgov missed the end of Wednesday’s practice after spraining his left ankle. Though the Lakers technically listed him as questionable for Friday’s game against Minnesota, Mozgov will not play after receiving healthy scratches in the past eight games. Walton has shut him down for the rest of the season to give more minutes to his younger players.last_img read more

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