Reynolds suffers suspected jaw break

In scenes reminiscent of John Sattler, South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has revealed Adam Reynolds returned to the field with a suspected broken jaw in their 30-8 NRL loss to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

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NSW Origin hopeful Reynolds will undergo scans and know by Monday whether he has suffered a jaw fracture for the second time this season.

Reynolds left the field after copping a 56th-minute high shot from Brisbane prop Adam Blair that went on report on Friday night.

The Rabbitohs playmaker was in just his second game back from a jaw injury suffered in round one.

Yet remarkably Reynolds demanded to return in the second half despite nursing a suspected fracture after South Sydney fought back to trail 14-8 before Brisbane found another gear.

“They (medical staff) do their assessments but players make those courage calls and he felt he wanted to get back out there for the team,” Maguire said of Reynolds.

Asked about Reynolds’ injury, Maguire said: “It’s not looking great”.

Maguire admitted he had to be tight-lipped about Blair’s tackle in order not to influence the match review committee.

But he added: “If he has another broken jaw he collected him in the head, simple as that.”

Another broken jaw would be a cruel blow to Reynolds just as he had hoped to stake a NSW Origin No.7 claim ahead of June’s series opener in Sydney.

Rabbitohs centre and former Queensland flyer Dane Nielsen dipped his hat to Reynolds after word filtered out about the halfback’s second half heroics.

“He is a tough fella. He punches above his weight,” he said.

“He is the smallest bloke on our team and plays tough week in, week out and that was his 100th game.

“Hopefully he hasn’t done anything more with his jaw.”

Reynolds was not the only casualty of a spiteful NRL clash.

South Sydney centre Hymel Hunt was inconsolable in the dressing sheds after suffering a suspected pectoral tear in the seventh minute.

Paul Carter came off the field for treatment after copping a 55th-minute high shot from Joe Ofahengaue that was placed on report but later returned.

Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett was not concerned about his players being booked.

“There was nothing serious, nothing that put the game into disrepute, nothing to spend three of four weeks out of the game for which is important,” he said.

Meanwhile, Maguire hoped forward George Burgess (groin) would be available next round after being a last minute withdrawal against Brisbane.

“He’s been struggling the last month, people don’t know that,” Maguire said.

“People have been having pot shots at him the way he has been playing.

“He just got to a period at training where it became too sore.

“If he is able to come back next week he will put his hand up because he is very passionate about this club.”

Nielsen caps NRL comeback

All seemed lost for Dane Nielsen.

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Barely 12 months ago Nielsen was sacked two games into a two-year St George Illawarra contract after a woman claimed he bit her on the leg during a drinking session at a Cronulla nightspot.

Suddenly Nielsen was running around in the Mackay competition in the state’s north.

He was a former Queensland Origin player.

He had won premierships with Melbourne.

How the mighty had fallen.

Nielsen managed to snag a 2015 contract in England, albeit with semi-professional, second tier outfit Bradford.

He lasted just five games.

At 30, Nielsen never thought he would play NRL again.

No wonder he was surprised about making his South Sydney debut in Friday night’s 30-8 loss in Brisbane.

“To be honest I wasn’t sure whether it (NRL return) was going to happen after last year,” Nielsen said.

“But I got the chance to come back to a good club and put my head down and worked my backside off.”

In a twist of fate, Nielsen was thrown an NRL lifeline by South Sydney coach Michael Maguire after losing Dylan Walker to Manly and missing out on James Roberts to Brisbane in the pre-season.

He arrived in January – two months behind his teammates in their pre-season preparation.

Maguire offered no promises.

“I spoke to him after New Year’s. He didn’t guarantee me anything but he said if an opportunity came up he had full trust in me to do the job,” Nielsen said.

“I returned in January. I had a lot of catching up to do – it was pretty tough.

“I am not sure that will happen from here but I want to make the most of it.”

Nielsen held his own on Rabbitohs debut – much to Maguire’s delight.

“It’s a really good story,” he said.

“To see him have the highs then face some resilience the last couple of years says a lot about him as a person.

“He didn’t have a pre-season but he worked extremely hard to get himself this opportunity.

“And to have a senior player in this organisation is going to help the younger players through this sort of period.”

South Sydney have slumped to their fifth loss in six games.

Mirabella scores spectacular own goal as she attempts Indi comeback

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Sophie Mirabella, who lost the seat in 2013, made the assertion in a Sky TV forum on Thursday night.

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She told a questioner: “I had a commitment for a $10 million allocation to the Wangaratta Hospital that if elected I was going to announce the week after the election … that is $10 million that Wangaratta hasn’t had because Cathy got elected.”

But no evidence for the claim was produced and Mirabella was quickly on the back foot over it.

The claim put Treasurer Scott Morrison on the spot when he campaigned with Mirabella on Friday.

Asked at their joint news conference at Wodonga whether behind the scenes the money was being considered before the 2013 election, Morrison said: “There was no public commitment and that means that is not an election commitment and it is not something that the government would have proceeded with on the basis that there was no public commitment.”

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All the public commitments made by the Coalition before the last election when Mirabella was the member and candidate had been followed through on, he said. “We have met those commitments.”

Mirabella told the news conference it was decided locally that the hospital matter was such an important issue not to fall into the pork barrelling arguments “but for me to wait till after the election. Now I lost the election. I left it to the new member to carry on the campaign to get funding for hospitals”.

She said if she were elected this time she would “fight damn hard to get that money in a Turnbull Coalition government” and she was sure McGowan would make the same commitment.

The “real question” was who was going to be able to get that funding for local needs from a Turnbull government.

Labor is capitalising on the affair by asking the Auditor-General, Grant Hehir, to investigate. In her letter to Hehir, opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King wrote: “Punishing the people of Indi for electing an independent MP is not legitimate grounds on which to base decisions about the expenditure of a significant sum of taxpayer money.” She asked him to report his findings to parliament “at your earliest convenience”.

Mirabella is involved in another controversy. The Benalla Ensign reported that at the recent opening of a new wing of an aged care facility Mirabella pushed McGowan out of the way to stop her having her photo taken with Ken Wyatt, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care and the plaque to mark the occasion. McGowan got a photo with Wyatt but not in front of the plaque, the paper said. Mirabella has said: “I emphatically reject reports I pushed Cathy McGowan.”

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

Roos jersey last thing on Inglis’ mind

A Kangaroos jersey is the last thing on Greg Inglis’ mind despite the South Sydney captain finally reclaiming his mojo.

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South Sydney coach Michael Maguire declared the “Inglis of old” was back after the fullback shone in their gutsy 30-8 NRL loss in Brisbane on Friday night.

Inglis finally blew off the rust to show sparks of greatness and enjoy a points decision win over Brisbane rival Darius Boyd at Suncorp Stadium.

And not a moment too soon with Kangaroos selectors set to finalise their 17 for next month’s one-off Test against New Zealand in Newcastle.

But asked about Kangaroos selection, Inglis said: “That’s the last thing (I am thinking about).

“I am worried about this team, getting them back on track – that is my main focus.

“The main thing is we stick together and work through this together.”

Maguire was a little more forthcoming after the spiteful clash against the ladder leaders.

After copping weeks of criticism, Maguire clearly liked what he saw from Inglis who capped a stellar display by stepping two Broncos to score in the 52nd minute.

A penalty five minutes later reduced the 14-0 halftime deficit to just six points.

Brisbane found another gear to score another three tries and condemn South Sydney to their fifth loss in six games.

However, Maguire believed his side – and more importantly his skipper – had turned the corner.

“Definitely, I was proud of him,” Maguire said of Inglis.

“A lot has been said by certain people and that’s up to them what they say but I know what he is doing in the background and I thought his effort was a good captain’s effort.

“He will keep working hard on his game like he normally does.”

Maguire said his maligned team – dismissed as a “shadow of itself” by Matt Johns this week – would also start proving their critics wrong.

“My boys are having a lot said about them at the moment but I know what they are capable of,” he said.

Jenny Morris remembers touring with Prince

As the world mourns Prince, ARIA-award winning singer Jenny Morris considers herself one of the lucky few people who met and performed with the influential musician.

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Morris, now the chair of APRA, was invited by Prince to open for him as his support act around Europe in 1990.

At the time she had a hit with her song Saved Me, which Prince heard in a club and liked so much he invited her to perform on his tour.

As Morris remembers, everyone on the tour was given a list of instructions on how to behave around Prince, such as not being able to look him directly in the eye.

“He was very reclusive, especially at that time in his life, so we had this list of rules that we had to adhere to like `Don’t look Prince in the eye, don’t approach him and don’t talk to him’,” Morris told AAP on Friday.

Despite these directions, she remembers how warm he was, even taking time to play with her then two-year-old son, Hugh, who she had on tour with her.

“Lots of times Prince would play with him in the catering room. He would take him over to the other side of the room with him and throw balls or bread rolls or whatever,” she said.

He may not have said much, but Morris remembers his warm gaze, something he bestowed upon her a number of times.

“Prince was a very warm person. On several occasions he stood on the route between my dressing room and stage and when I went past he would look at me and was very warm and engaging, kind of that Prince flirty thing that he did,” she said.

The US musician also sent Morris flowers on her birthday.

But most of all, she remembers his love for music.

Morris travelled all over France, Germany and Scandinavia on the tour and watched Prince every single night, either from the side of the stage or standing out front with the crowd.

“It was a very otherworldly experience because of the kind of person that Prince was,” she said.

One of her highlights of the tour was when Prince played her song.

“He plugged in side of stage and played along to my song Saved Me that he liked from the club, just one night.

“We got that on tape and it was one of the highlights of my life that he was playing on my song,” she said.

The Purple One was recognisable for his flamboyant onstage style, which was something he cultivated almost on a daily basis.

According to Morris, he had a team of dressmakers on standby 24/7 and, if he spotted something he liked in a club after his gig, he would get them to create it.

“So he could wear it on stage the next night,” she said.

“He had more clothes than everyone could ever imagine.”

Morris, who is devastated, said she understood why he was sort of reclusive.

“Prince had a tough life as a kid and that coupled with the fact that he had this sort of genius brain, he obviously saw the world differently and I think he was very protective of himself but inside of himself he was a very engaging person,” she said.

“At those shows and tour he just wanted to just give and give and give.”

Queensland Nickel to be wound up after creditors vote

Liquidators expect federal MP Clive Palmer to fight the recovery of assets that could see Queensland Nickel creditors get some of the $200 million they’re owed.

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Creditors, including almost 800 sacked refinery workers, voted unanimously on Friday to wind up the company in the hope of clawing back some of their money.

One ex-worker, who didn’t want to be named, had a blunt message for Mr Palmer as he left the meeting: “This is a big f-you to Clive. He’s never cared about what he’s done to us”.

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Administrators FTI Consulting were appointed to liquidate Queensland Nickel, after earlier this month saying there was evidence of gross, and possibly criminal, corporate misconduct by Mr Palmer and the company’s sole appointed director, his nephew Clive Mensink.

John Park, from FTI, told creditors to expect a lengthy fight to recover assets, and warned much of that was likely to play out in court.

In his sights are two Palmer-related companies that own Queensland Nickel, and hold assets including the refinery and the land it sits on.

“It’s now time to start to chase the money,” Mr Park told a packed conference room.

But he also questioned what the refinery might be worth, at a time when nickel prices are severely depressed.

“These are difficult assets,” Mr Park said. “Some may say it’s scrap metal, some may say someone will put money in and run it as a going concern.

“Is there enough assets out there to get us $190 million? I’m not an expert, I don’t know.”

Applause erupted in the room when ex-worker David Marks said those who’d lost their jobs would rather see Mr Palmer’s personal assets on the block.

“It would be terrible to cut up Queensland Nickel assets for scrap steel, recover a small amount of money but have it unusable for anyone else,” he said.

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“We’d much prefer to be able to sell a few mansions.”

Mr Palmer has denied any wrongdoing and said he was “not at all” worried about personal claims against him, rating their prospects of success as zero.

“The administrators just put their report in so they could get another $5 million fee,” he told AAP.

“That’s how they work.”

He described the situation as a “human tragedy”, largely due to the resources sector worldwide.

“I feel a lot of sympathy for the workforce and the people of Townsville, but they’re not alone.”

Mr Park repeated FTI claims there was strong evidence suggesting Mr Palmer had acted alongside Mr Mensink as a shadow director, and Queensland Nickel was trading while insolvent from November 27 last year or earlier.

But he warned insolvent trading was difficult and expensive to prove, and that would be up to the corporate regulator.

“There are other cherries on the cake that are a bit easier to get to for the benefit of creditors, quickly,” he said.

Mr Park pointed to about $224 million in transfers from Queensland Nickel to other businesses and interests linked to Mr Palmer, but most of those debts were forgiven.

He said those payments could be voided if found not to have been in the best interests of Queensland Nickel, but he had no doubt such moves would be litigated.

FTI had one piece of good news for workers, saying a federal guarantee scheme would cover an estimated $68 million of $74 million in unpaid entitlements.

As for whether the refinery will re-open, Mr Park said that would depend on improvements in the nickel price and someone “coming with an open chequebook” to make it safe.

Senate to look further at Panama Papers tax havens

Revelations of international tax avoidance outlined in the so-called Panama Papers have prompted a Senate committee to defer its final report on corporate tax practices.

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But it said foreign multinationals operating in Australia did engage in aggressive tax practices and the public was understandably sceptical that some paid little tax and others none at all.

The Senate economics references committee launched its inquiry into corporate tax avoidance in October 2014.

In hearings last year, a succession of big multinationals appeared before the committee, insisting they paid the appropriate amount of tax and that their activities were consistent with Australian law.

In evidence to the final hearings on Thursday, Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan revealed the Australian Taxation Office was investigating Australian residents identified in the Panama Papers, a vast trove of documents leaked from a Panama law firm.

That includes some 800 individual Australian taxpayers. Already, 80 names have matched those on the Australian Crime Commission’s serious and organised crime intelligence database.

The committee said because the ATO was still examining this information, it will defer further consideration of use of tax havens.

“Consequently, the committee intends to consider Australians’ use of offshore facilities to avoid paying their due taxes and will seek an extension to the final reporting date in order to examine and report on this matter,” it said in its second report, released late on Friday afternoon.

The committee said their hearings had made it clear that some multinationals go to extreme lengths to conceal tax minimisation practices, even under the intense scrutiny of a parliamentary committee.

It cited “their contrariness in answering questions, propensity to obfuscate and in some cases, simply not answering or deliberately misunderstanding the question”.

“The secrecy about their tax arrangements together with the complicated nature of such arrangements pose a challenge for the ATO in unravelling and assessing the legitimacy of transactions,” it said.

60 Minutes child-abduction case: Faulkner farewells children in Beirut, heads home to Australia

Sally Faulkner is on her way back to Australia after saying goodbye to the two young children she has been forced to leave behind in Beirut following a botched child recovery attempt.

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Ms Faulkner was in tears after leaving the children she kissed and hugged – possibly for the last time in a long while – at a play centre in Beirut, far from the cramped prison cell she had been in for the past fortnight as the saga played out in Lebanon’s courts.

Forced to trade custody of Lahela, 5 and Noah, 3, for her freedom, Ms Faulkner ate ice cream with them before saying goodbye.

“The visit was good, Sal had fun, the kids had fun, that’s all that matters,” her estranged husband Ali Elamine said outside the court later on Thursday.

“She’s their mother and obviously they are going to enjoy time with her.”

There were no tears while the children were present, but their mother cried once they left, he said.

Ms Faulkner is reportedly flying back to Brisbane.

When asked whether it was right to separate the children from their mother, Mr Elamine replied: “No, no, we are discussing that, Sal and I, right now. If she is not here, she can Skype them and whenever she feels the need or wants to come over.”

He confirmed he would not be letting the children go back to Australia any time soon, saying he wanted things to settle down.

“Then maybe a few years down the line, yeah, why not?”

But he said he was open to a visit in a third country such as the UAE or Cyprus.

Speaking to Nine Network shortly after her release, Ms Faulkner said: “I love them and Mummy’s sorry that it all worked out this way. I tried.

“I hope I can see them one day again in Australia, I really do.”

Ms Faulkner’s lawyer, Ghassan Moughabghab, said under the custody agreement that secured her release, she can visit the children in Lebanon or a third country, but not in Australia.

Mr Elamine agreed to drop the personal charges against Ms Faulkner and the 60 Minutes TV crew who were arrested with her, allowing them to be released on bail while investigations into the state’s case continue.

Ms Faulkner’s time with the children on Thursday was her last chance to see them before returning to Australia, where her three-month-old baby and new partner await.

The visit was expected to take place in the office of Judge Rami Abdullah, who oversaw Mr Elamine’s decision to drop charges against his estranged wife, 60 Minutes journalist Tara Brown and her crew, Ben Williamson, David Ballment and Stephen Rice.

However, Mr Elamine arrived without the children, and the visit ultimately took place under the supervision of an Australian embassy official away from the court.

The TV crew returned to Australia from Beirut on Thursday night and were met in Sydney by a media throng.

Ms Brown told reporters she was glad to be home, before the group was escorted to two vans waiting outside.

Judge Abdullah has warned the criminal case against them would continue to be investigated.

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If charges of kidnapping and being a member of a criminal gang are laid, they would be expected to return to Lebanon to face the court, he said.

Ms Faulkner says she spent nine months trying to regain custody of her children, who were taken to Lebanon for a three-week holiday by Mr Elamine early last year and not returned.

She and the Nine crew were arrested and jailed earlier this month after a child-recovery team seized the children from a Beirut street as they were walking with their Lebanese grandmother.

The case against the two men heading the recovery team, dual Australian-British citizen Adam Whittington and Briton Craig Michael, is ongoing.

Both men were questioned by Judge Abdullah on Thursday before being taken back to their cells.

Two Lebanese men involved in the April 6 abduction plot are also facing charges.

Crowds celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 90th

Queen Elizabeth has greeted thousands of well-wishers from across Britain and beyond as she celebrates her 90th birthday, demonstrating that the world’s oldest monarch is intent to keep doing the job she has performed for more than six decades.

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Usually the Queen’s birthday passes with little ceremony, but to mark Thursday’s milestone, a beaming Elizabeth, attired in a light green outfit, mingled with crowds during a lengthy walkabout near her Windsor Castle home, west of London.

In a rare move in recent years, she then drove through Windsor in an open-topped car with Prince Philip, her husband of 68 years, by her side.

“All of us are here to respect the queen and to show her our affection and how much we appreciate all her years of service and to wish her a happy birthday,” said Donna Werner who had travelled to Windsor from the US.

Werner, like many others in the crowd festooned with red, white and blue, had been camped out since before dawn along with three English friends she met during the 2011 wedding of William and Kate.

Later the Queen will light a beacon, the first of about 1000 across Britain and worldwide to mark the occasion.

There were also artillery gun salutes in London and other British cities, while the Houses of Parliament were to be illuminated later in red, white and blue.

“I send my best wishes to those who are celebrating their 90th birthday … on this shared occasion, I send my warm congratulations to you,” a post on the Queen’s Twitter account said.

Close aides say Elizabeth, who has been on the throne for 64 years and is by far the oldest monarch in British history, was far more interested in events to mark her 90th birthday than she had been about overtaking her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria last September as Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign.

Born on April 21, 1926, the Queen shows no signs of retiring, let alone abdicating.

An Ipsos MORI poll last week found 70 per cent wanted her to stay queen compared to 21 per cent who thought she should abdicate or retire.

Qld voting system’s snap overhaul

The Queensland government denies it has broken an election promise to be consultative by rushing through the reintroduction of compulsory preferential voting.

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The government on Thursday evening responded to a Liberal National Party (LNP) bill to increase the number of seats in Queensland’s parliament, set to pass with crossbench support, by adding an amendment that further overhauled the state’s voting system.

Left with just 18 minutes notice, the opposition was out-foxed and forced to vote against its own bill, which subsequently passed.

It undid a two decades old reform that was recommended in the wake of the Fitzgerald inquiry.

Parties have been able to run “just vote one” strategies under the optional preferential voting system, which has since 1992 let voters mark one or all of the boxes on the ballot paper.

Some predictions suggest Labor would have won up to nine more seats under the compulsory system.

Leader of the House Stirling Hinchliffe said the change would deliver consistency between state and federal elections.

He said the LNP allowed electoral matters to be discussed when it pushed for a debate on having more seats in parliament.

“Compulsory preferential voting … has been a matter that has been broadly discussed in Queensland for a number of years,” he said.

“We’ve been able to deal with it because the door was open.”

Asked whether he thought Labor had broken its promise to be a consultative government, he replied: “No I don’t.”

Mr Hinchliffe added: “We are a government that is out there and engaged with the community on a whole range of topics and issues – far more consultative, in every way, than the former government.”

LNP leader Lawrence Springborg vowed to repeal the change.

He accused the government of “tearing up” the principles set in place by the Fitzgerald inquiry, which recommended optional preferential voting.

“If this was such a good idea, why wasn’t it taken to the people of Queensland and referenced to them by the normal parliamentary committee process,” he said.

Mr Hinchliffe argued “just vote one” strategies alienated and disenfranchised some voters.