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FIBA suspends 13 players, 2 coaches, match officials over World Cup brawl

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2018

The FIBA Disciplinary Panel on Thursday (July 19) sanctioned Australia and Philippine players over a World Cup qualifying brawl in Manila on July 2.

According to FIBA Basketball’s official website, the decision suspends 10 Philippine Gilas players – Japheth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche, Jeth Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jim Gallon – and Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico for unsportsmanlike behaviour. Head coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes was also suspended for inciting unsportsmanlike behaviour and was ordered to  pay a disciplinary fine of $13,500.

Likewise, the Philippines’ national federation Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas, Inc. (SPB) is sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of its team and of its public, and for “insufficient organisation of the game.” The federation is ordered to pay a disciplinary fine of $337,000

The Philippines will play the next home game behind closed doors while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of 3 years.

Meanwhile, FIBA suspended three Australian Boomers – Chris Goulding, Then Maker, and Daniel Kickert – also for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

No sanction was imposed, however, on Australians Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee, who were also on the court during the brawl.

Basketball Australia also ordered to pay a disciplinary fine of $134,850 for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of its players for abusing and tampering of equipment.

The money from the fines will be used to support a social program called “Basketball for Good” launched by International Basketball Federation (IBF). – UNTV News and Rescue

Philippines Sanctions

Japheth Aguilar (1 game)

Matthew Wright (1 game)

Terence Romeo (3 games)

Jayson Castro William (3 games)

Andrey Blatche (3 games)

Seth Rosario (3 games)

Roger Pogoy (5 games)

Carl Cruz (5 games)

Jim Jalalon (5 games)

Calvin Abueva (6 games)

Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico (3 games)

Head Coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes (1 game and $13,500 fine)

Philippines’ national federation (Fined $340,000 and 3 years probation)

Australia sanctions

Chris Goulding (1 game)

Then Maker (3 games)

Daniel Kickert (5 games)

Basketball Australia (Fined $135,000)


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Starving koalas dying on overpopulated Australian island

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

A koala (Image courtesy to Reuters)


Koala rescuers in Australia are struggling to cope with growing numbers of the starving animals on an island off the state of Victoria, as bush-fire prevention laws force residents to cut down trees, further threatening the populations of the iconic animals.

Koala rescuers on Raymond Island, a 770-hectare area near Victoria’s eastern coast, that is home to about 300 koalas and 470 humans, said on Tuesday (July 31) that koalas are starving to death as the captive population grows amid a shrinking pool of trees to feed on.

The Department of Environment regional manager, Ryan Incoll said the ideal population number for koalas on the island is around fifty.

Koalas are listed as a “vulnerable” species under an Australian conservation law and are only naturally found in the eastern and southern states of Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, which are also the most populated states. — Reuters

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Australian farmers say drought eating away at land like ‘cancer’

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018


Australian drought. Image courtesy of Reuters

From ground level, Australia’s drought looks like a featureless, brown dustbowl, but from the air, it transforms into an artistry of color and texture as the land cracks open under a blazing sun.

Circular dry plough tracks resemble the concentric circles in Aboriginal dot paintings which tell of an ancient mythology, starving cattle queuing for feed look like an abstract painting with their black shadows stretching across the land a surrealist image.

But for Ashley Whitney there is no such beauty, just blood, sweat, and tears as he struggles to feed his cattle, cutting the drying branches of Kurrajong trees — a last resort during the worst of droughts.

A despairing Whitney said the drought feels like it could be around for a while. His property — near the town of Gunnedah on the Liverpool Plains — usually fertile plain, is now withered having received the lowest average rainfall in more than 25 years.

Cattle farmers Margo and Tom Wollaston are afraid of what this drought will mean for their children, who aim to take over the running of the 2,300-hectare (5,600 acres) property when they “hang up their boots”.

Margo said droughts have a very negative impact not only on her family but the whole farming community around the nearby town of Tamworth in northwest New South Wales (NSW) state.

“I find droughts a little bit like cancer — it sort of eats away at you,” she said.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said parts of Australia experienced the second-warmest summer (December-February) on record in the past year and had also just been through one of the driest and warmest autumns (March-May) on record.

Still, for the farmers struggling to water their charges, the dry spell — which has left over 80 percent of NSW in drought according to Department of Primary Industries — looks to be a prolonged and dusty road. — Reuters

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World Cup final stirs memories of 1998 victory in France

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2018

Soccer Football – World Cup – Final – France v Croatia – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia – July 15, 2018 France coach Didier Deschamps celebrates winning the World Cup with Alphonse Areola and Blaise Matuidi REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

France’s place in the World Cup final on Sunday (July 15) has left many hoping that Les Bleus will be able to recreate the magic that saw them crowned world champions on home soil in 1998.

The 3-0 victory over Brazil on July 12, 1998, remains seared in the memories of a generation of French football fans and made legends of the team which included current France coach Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc and Thierry Henry.

Crowds watched the match on giant screens in front of the Paris town hall then headed to the 2 kilometer-long Champs Elysees avenue where the party continued into the night.

Interviewed by France Inter radio on Friday morning, member of the winning team Lilian Thuram, who scored two goals against this year’s finalists Croatia in the 1998 semi-final, said he would love to be back on the pitch.

“When I found out that it was going to be France-Croatia in the final I said to myself, ‘Lilian, get ready’,” he joked, adding he would be watching the final in Moscow from the stands.

The ’98 heroes were treated to a victory parade down the Champs Elysees and a reception at the Elysee Presidential Palace with then-president Jacques Chirac and the same star treatment is expected for the 2018 team if they bring home the cup. -Reuters

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