By Damien McCartney and Lachlan Harper

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has labelled his side “embarrassing” and refused to answer a question around Jarrod Croker‘s retirement after a 48-2 loss to the Storm.

Reports around Croker’s decision broke at half-time of the game, and has been confirmed by a Raiders spokesperson to Wide World of Sports.

Stuart wasn’t prepared to discuss it immediately after the massive loss. 

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“I’ll talk tomorrow about it … I’m not trying to be disrespectful to you mate, but I ain’t in the mood for talking, I’m here because I have to be here,” he said to media.

The Raiders kicked the first points when Jamal Fogarty slotted a penalty goal in the fourth minute.

From there it was all one way traffic with the Storm scoring nine tries.

To make matters worse, the Raiders also copped two sin bins with Jordan Rapana departing in the 70th minute for a professional foul.

Matthew Timoko followed him eight minutes later for high contact.

Stuart was scathing in his assessment of the performance as the Raiders drop to sixth. 

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“It was embarrassing, absolutely embarrassing … we went away after 20 minutes,” he said.

“We weren’t prepared to fight for the 80 and they were. Fighting for a top four spot today and we delivered up that crap. That’s the embarrassing part about it, I’m lost for words on a lot of it.”

Canberra will play the Bulldogs next Sunday while the Storm face the Dragons on Saturday. 

In this article, we’ll shed light on the top seven most deadly foods in the world that should be approached with utmost care or, in some cases, avoided altogether:

Blood clams, also known as cockles, are considered a delicacy in China, where they are boiled and enjoyed by many. But indulging in this delicacy comes with its fair share of risks. These clams have often been found to harbour viruses such as hepatitis A, typhoid, and dysentery due to their harvesting from polluted waters.

In fact, the dangers associated with blood clams go way back to 1988 when Shanghai witnessed a devastating outbreak of Hepatitis A. Over 300,000 people fell ill, and tragically, 31 lives were lost as a result.

In spite of this terrible incident, the sale of blood clams continues in food markets in Asia.

Casu Marzu is a disgusting delicacy that hails from the island of Sardinia.

This peculiar cheese takes the concept of fermentation to a whole new level. The process involves purposely leaving the cheese uncovered to attract maggots, which then lay their eggs on its surface. Once the eggs hatch, the maggots consume the cheese, causing it to reach a highly decomposed and rather disgusting state.

The risks associated with Casu Marzu go beyond its looks as consumption of this cheese poses severe health hazards. If ingested while the larvae are still present, the maggots can potentially bore holes through the intestinal walls, leading to serious health complications and even death.

Needless to say, this is one delicacy that should be avoided at all costs.

Dragon’s Breath takes the concept of spiciness to a whole new level. Although I know quite a few people that wouldn’t mind the heat.

The intensity of Dragon’s Breath comes from its high concentration of capsaicin, the compound responsible for its peppery properties. It is essential to exercise caution when dealing with this pepper.

Consuming an excessive amount can lead to not only a burning sensation but also potential airway closure and even anaphylactic shock. So, if you’re considering Dragon’s Breath for that pepper stew, don’t.

This seemingly harmless-looking fish has its hidden dangers.

The preparation of feseekh involves drying the fish under the sun and then preserving it in salt for a whole year. This fermentation process gives rise to the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Improper preparation of feseekh can lead to botulism, a paralytic condition that starts with facial paralysis and progressively affects the entire body.

The danger of consuming this fish becomes even more intense when considering that if the paralysis reaches the lungs, it can disrupt breathing and result in death.

While the octopus being eaten is technically dead, the tentacles of the freshly killed animal may have suction cups that are still active.

These suction cups could attach themselves to the throat which could sometimes lead to death.

Eating monkey brains is not only unappetizing but also very deadly. If consumed one can run the risk of contracting a disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob. This disease affects your brain and causes it to gradually deteriorate, leading to problems with memory, thinking, and eventually, death.

In simpler terms, turns your brain turn to mush and sadly, there is no cure for this.

Pufferfish is incredibly dangerous that only trained chefs can handle and serve. This is because the fish contains a deadly poison that can kill someone instantly with just a single bite.

The internal organs of the puffer fish contain a toxin called tetrodotoxin, which is up to 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide. Shockingly, one fish carries enough toxin to fatally harm 30 people.

In a typical year, the Japanese Ministry of Health reports around 50 cases of fugu poisoning, with half of all food-poisoning deaths in the country being attributed to consuming puffer fish.

That being said, it is best to prioritise safety when it comes to trying adventurous foods.

The decision to indict former President Donald J. Trump in Miami, rather than Washington, eliminated the risk of a potentially thorny fight over where the charges should have been filed, but created a different risk entirely: that the case would end up before a Trump-friendly judge, Aileen M. Cannon.

On Friday, five people familiar with the matter said that Mr. Trump’s criminal case was assigned, at least for now, to Judge Cannon, who last fall issued a series of rulings unusually favorable to him. That assignment was earlier reported by ABC News.

For months, prosecutors had used a grand jury in the nation’s capital to question witnesses and hear evidence before abruptly bringing a still-sealed indictment in the Southern District of Florida that apparently includes at least one violation of the Espionage Act, obstruction and false statements.

Because Mr. Trump was holding the documents at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Florida, it was not clear that Washington would be the proper venue to charge crimes like unauthorized retention of national security documents and obstruction.

In federal law, “venue” refers to the proper place to hold a trial: Prosecutors cannot choose any federal courthouse in the country, but rather must charge a defendant in a district that has a sufficient connection with the events that gave rise to the matter.

There was some connection to Washington. the National Archives and Records Administration, the legal custodian of White House records after a president leaves office, is based there, as is the grand jury the Justice Department used to obtain a subpoena in 2022 requiring Mr. Trump to return all documents marked as classified in his possession.

And there would have been some advantages to prosecutors to bringing a case in Washington. For one thing, that is where the team working on the investigation lives and works. For another, it would have ensured that the case stayed away from Judge Cannon.

Bringing the case in Washington would have given Mr. Trump’s defense team an argument for having the charges thrown out for being in the improper venue. Dennis M. Fitzpatrick, a former prosecutor who handled national security cases in Virginia, noted that Mr. Trump’s own actions under investigation appear to have happened in Florida rather than Washington.

Not only were the documents improperly stored at Mar-a-Lago, but investigators have also tried to determine whether Mr. Trump had sought to have the files at his estate moved or concealed after the Justice Department issued a subpoena for their return.

The known charges did not make clear where the false statements are suspected to have taken place, but if it was in Florida, that would also be the appropriate place to charge them, former prosecutors said.

“When a prosecutor thinks he has a strong case, the objective becomes protecting the legal case by taking legal issues off the table,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said. “Venue in D.C. would have been a legal fight.”

The decision to indict Mr. Trump in Florida also means prosecutors might lose the advantage of putting a case in front of a potentially more liberal Washington jury. (Mr. Trump received 4 percent of the vote in the District of Columbia in the presidential election of 2016, and 5 percent in 2020.)

Juries in Washington have swiftly convicted rioters egged on by Mr. Trump in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Although there were doubts about whether prosecutors would win complex cases charging members of the far-right groups the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys with seditious conspiracy, a law rarely tested, Washington juries have not acquitted a single Jan. 6 defendant.

In Florida, which is more conservative, the jury pool could be far different. To convict Mr. Trump of a crime, the 12-member panel must be unanimous.

Brandon L. Van Grack, a former federal prosecutor who also worked on complex cases involving national security and classified material, wrote in a legal publication last year that there were many reasons to bring the case to Washington, including the number of judges there who are more familiar with handling cases involving classified information and the Espionage Act, and a jury pool in Washington that “appears to be less deferential toward” Mr. Trump.

But in an interview, Mr. Van Grack said Jack Smith, the special counsel, must have believed that there was real legal risk in bringing a case in Washington and that bringing the case in Florida would be more prudent.

“There is a constitutional right to be charged in the location where the crime occurred and Jack Smith took a cold, hard look at the facts and determined that venue was appropriate in Florida,” Mr. Van Grack said.

  • Opinion by Isabel Ortiz, Matti Kohonen (london / new york)
  • Inter Press Service

All this weighted heavily on the IMF outlook, pointing to a bleak future ahead.

This is particularly bad news for developing countries. Using IMF data, our research showed that recovery spending in the last two years of the pandemic in the Global South was only 2.4% of GDP on average, a quarter of the level recommended by the UN and a fraction of what rich countries spent.

Meanwhile, only 38% of the total went to social protection, with corporate loans and tax breaks getting the lion’s share.

Things will get worse unless there is a fundamental policy change. This year recovery funds have dried up and, as most countries are heavily indebted, the IMF projects large expenditure cuts.

In 2023, at least 94 developing countries are expected to cut public spending in terms of GDP. Our report estimates that 85% of the world’s population living in 143 countries will live in the grip of austerity measures by 2023, and the trend is likely to continue for years.

Unless these policies are reversed, people in developing countries will suffer as a result cuts to social protection and public services at a time they are most needed, with 3.3 billion people (or nearly half of mankind) expected to be living below the poverty line of US $5.50/day by the end of 2022.

This crisis will affect especially women who received half less COVID-19 recovery funds than their male counterparts.

But the impact goes far beyond women. Elderly pensioners and persons with disabilities will receive lower pension benefits. Workers around the world will see less job security, poorer pay and working conditions as regulations are dismantled.

A recent study on inequality found that the vast majority of countries were making labor markets more flexible to help big corporations. As inflation keeps rising, worsened by higher consumption taxes, families will be much affected while any support they receive will be less due to austerity cuts.

South Africa reflects the crisis of countries falling into the austerity trap. The government provided Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants of R350 (US$24 in 2021) per month that were instituted at the start of the pandemic, supporting for the first-time low-income individuals who are of working age.

These grants have been extended several times, providing a lifeline for those worst hit by the pandemic.

However, despite the cost-of-living crisis, the government -advised by the IMF- is now considering reducing social expenditures and helping only the most vulnerable, leaving many low-income households without any support. Other austerity measures being discussed include cuts to the salaries of civil servants, and labor flexibilization reforms.

Instead of these austerity cuts, the South African government and the IMF should focus on raising additional revenues to fund social protection and public services, making sure everyone pays taxes, reducing corporate tax loopholes and exemptions, taxing excess profits and wealthy individuals.

Similarly, Ecuador has been shaken by social unrest because of austerity reforms. In 2019, after large riots, the government of Lenin Moreno flew from the capital and had to stop a loan with the IMF that had proposed cuts to subsidies and other austerity reforms.

In 2021, the same austerity policies were proposed again by the IMF, such as cuts to subsidies and public services, reducing social protection and labor regulations.

In 2022, farmers, indigenous men and women, marched again to the capital with pitchforks to join students and workers protesting austerity policies, forcing President Lasso to back down and agree to grant subsidies and other demands.

These are only two examples reflecting the austerity storm gathering around the world. This is extremely unfair and will generate unnecessary social hardship, as populations are struggling with a severe cost-of-living crisis, especially at a time when many countries are losing significant amounts of revenue to tax abuses, illicit financial flows and tax exemptions to large corporates that are wholly unnecessary.

Austerity cuts are not inevitable, there are alternatives even in the poorest countries. Instead of austerity cuts, governments can increase progressive tax revenues, restructure and eliminate debt, eradicate illicit financial flows, and re-allocate public expenditures, among other options.

Policy makers must act on this. All the human suffering and social unrest that austerity inflicts is unnecessary.

Civil society organizations have launched a global campaign to End Austerity, including, among others, ActionAid International, European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), Fight Inequality Alliance, Financial Transparency Coalition and Oxfam International.

Austerity campaign calls on citizens and organizations from all around the world to fight back against the wave of austerity sweeping the globe, supercharging inequality and compounding the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

Our decision-makers need to wake up and change course. There is no time to lose.

Matti Kohonen is Executive Director of Financial Transparency Coalition; Isabel Ortiz is Director of the Global Social Justice Program at Joseph Stiglitz’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue

IPS UN Bureau

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

The jury in the school shooting trial of Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday recommended life in prison for the Broward County, Florida man.

Cruz avoided the death penalty after the jury could not come to the unanimous agreement needed to recommend the ultimate punishment.

Cruz pleaded guilty in 2021 to entering Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, when he roamed the hallways and classrooms armed with a rifle, eventually killing 14 students and three staff members.

The verdict stunned family and friends of the victims.

Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter was killed in the shooting said, “This should have been the death penalty 100 percent. I am so beyond disappointed and frustrated by this outcome.”

Another parent who lost a child, Ryan Petty, was overheard expressing his view that the jurors didn’t understand the case.

Cruz’s mental health appears to have played a big part in the jury’s decision on whether to recommend life in prison or the death penalty, and played a role in the defense’s arguments.

During deliberation, the jury asked to have testimony from two doctors read back to them about Cruz’s mental health, including the claim that he suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome.

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Actions (Or Inaction) Of Law Enforcement

In addition to the horrific fact that as students and staff lay wounded, Nikolas Cruz was able to come back and shoot some of them a second time, was the inaction of law enforcement.

Deputy Scot Peterson was the school resource officer at the high school that day. After Nikolas Cruz entered the building, Peterson did not enter the school after him. Instead, he remained outside.

Supervising officer Sgt. Brian Miller was also on campus. He claimed that when he arrived, he heard three or four gunshots but believed they were coming from outside the school.

Miller stayed behind his car and put on a bullet-proof vest, and made no radio contact to direct other law enforcement until five minutes after arriving. 

One of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ first acts as governor was to fire Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for neglect of duty and “incompetence.”

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Gun Control In 2022

Unfortunately, more school shootings have occurred since Parkland. Every time it occurs, the debate over gun laws reappears, and the Second Amendment rights of Americans are put in jeopardy.

After the Uvalde Texas shooting in May, President Joe Biden passed gun control legislation that incentivized states to pass so-called “red flag” laws that would give permission for the government to confiscate weapons from people “deemed” a threat to themselves or others without constitutional due process protections.

It also expands a law that prevents those convicted of domestic violence from owning firearms, and requires more background checks for those age 18-21.

But 2022 is also an election year, and a recent Harvard CAPS/ Harris poll shows guns as number six on Americans’ list of important issues.

Sentencing for Nikolas Cruz by Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer is slated for November 1. Victim impact statements will also be read.

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Nigerian comedian cum filmmaker Ayo Makun popularly known as AY has revealed why he’s currently at loggerheads with his colleague Basketmouth.

This comes after a curious fan asked Ay if he was having any issues with the comedian cum singer.

Responding, AY said there are no issues between him and Basketmouth noting that people having unnecessary issues sometimes pay with being progressive in life.

According to AY, his colleague Basketmouth has been battling an uncontrollable superiority complex for a long time.

The father of two who seemed not comfortable with the character of Basketmouth added that avoiding his incessant childishness became necessary for his own sanity.

When pressed further if they do not talk to each other, AY said people only talk to those who want to talk to them.

He said: “I don’t have issues with him. But people having unnecessary issues sometimes pay for being progressive. He has been battling with an uncontrollable superiority complex for the longest. So avoiding his incessant childishness only became necessary for my own sanity. We only talk to those who want to talk to us. Does this make sense?”

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