Manly stun Raiders in golden-point NRL win

After two missed shots at goal in normal time, Manly’s Dylan Walker redeemed himself to become the hero in Friday night’s thrilling 20-18 golden-point NRL victory over Canberra.

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The 22-year-old broke Raiders’ hearts in the first period of extra time, landing a 40m penalty goal which had first struck the right-hand upright.

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett hailed Walker as a special player after his decisive kick in front of 15,976 at GIO Stadium.

“He’s born for those sort of moments,” Barrett said.

“There wasn’t a question of him not taking that kick.”

When Jordan Rapana scored a contender for try of the season, the Raiders led 18-14 inside the last 10 minutes of regulation time.

With the ball in the air but close to the deadball line, from a Blake Austin grubber kick, Rapana dived, somehow retrieved the ball and grounded in the corner with only millimetres to play with.

But, unlike Walker in extra time, Canberra skipper Jarrod Croker hit the upright and missed the conversion.

Minutes later, Manly forward Frank Winterstein burst through a hole before setting up fullback Tom Trbojevic for the try to level at 18-18.

But the twists weren’t finished yet.

Walker missed the conversion and a Daly Cherry-Evans field-goal attempt was charged down by Josh Hodgson ensuring the game would go to golden point.

After the Raiders gave away a penalty for stripping, Walker stepped up to spark wild celebrations from the Eagles’ players.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said his side were fortunate the match went to golden point after Walker sprayed a conversion and penalty goal attempt in the second half.

“Walker should have kicked those two goals,” Stuart said.

“He’ll kick the next 10 out of 10 from that spot. We just had a leg up in regard to his misses.”

Canberra led 6-2 after a cagey first half, and came out firing in the second stanza.

Josh Papalii broke through Cherry-Evans and Walker tackles to drive over the line for a brilliant try.

Croker converted to extend the lead to 10 points but, in a sign of things to come, the Sea Eagles refused to be beaten.

A lucky deflection allowed Jake Trbojevic to cross for Manly’s first try and, two minutes later, Walker sliced through the Raiders’ line with a superb run to level the scores, before putting his side in front with a sideline conversion.

In a rollercoaster night, he was placed on report in the first half for a head slam on Aidan Sezer, sparking the first of many spotfires during a spirited contest.

Despite the loss, Stuart said he was proud of his team, who have a 4-4 record.

“We played extremely well tonight and we’ll learn some stuff out of that,” Stuart said.

“The scoreline is a disappointment but not the performance or the effort.”

Manly, also 4-4, face South Sydney next Friday, while the Raiders play Canterbury on Saturday (April 29) at ANZ Stadium.

‘Bringing stories together’: 14 China-Australia film co-productions announced in Beijing

An Australian film delegation in Beijing this week joined Chinese cinema executives to unveil 14 upcoming co-productions, which are backed by $400 million worth of investment.

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“It’s about bringing those stories together and having that cultural exchange, so it’s about genuine creative and cultural collaboration on stories which really make sense,” Screen Australia’s Head of Business and Audience, Richard Harris, said.

An existing project currently in post-production, ‘Nest’, is a science-fiction thriller starring Chinese megastar Li BingBing. The film follows a group of scientists who are pitted against a cluster of dangerous spiders after they discover an ancient tomb.

Production company Sydney Films has been helping Chinese crews operate in Australia. Managing Director Weinan Song hopes the announcement will encourage more Chinese directors to film down under.

“There’s a great opportunity for more Chinese films to come to Australia,” he said. “They’d all love to, they want to, but they need a path.”

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Debra Richards, from Ausfilm, says the quality of the Australian film expertise is a major drawcard for Chinese productions.

“They really want to access Australia for the skills and innovation that we bring,” she said.

The China-Australia co-production treaty has been in place since 2006, but since then only five China-Australia co-productions have been made, including ’33 Postcards’, starring Guy Pearce, and ‘Dragon Pearl’ with Sam Neil.

Australian producers say there’s momentum now for more, but ‘Nest’ producer Mark Lazarus says the collaborative process is complex and compromise is necessary.

“The size of the Chinese market is really large, and it’s important not to alienate them,” he said. “You can’t be too violent, you can’t be too sexy, and I guess there is a political dimension and you have to take that into account.”

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The upcoming slate of films will primarily target China’s booming box office, and feature Chinese actors in Mandarin storylines.

“It’s not free money, it’s money that enables you to create a product that attracts an audience,” producer Todd Fellman said.

His film, ‘At Last’, follows a couple from Beijing who find themselves caught in a complex art heist while on holiday on the Gold Coast.

In production later this year, the project is expected to provide around 200 jobs and inject $10.8 million into the local economy.

The Australian professionals involved say the cross-cultural challenges of filming co-productions are worth it. The new films will also showcase Australia as a tourist destination for Chinese audiences.

“They’re going to offer people access and a perspective to parts of Australia that normally they wouldn’t know about,” Mr Fellman said.

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Shanghai Ballet brings ‘Swan Lake’ to Australia

Champs Elysees attack: Suspect turns himself in to Belgian police

A suspect sought by France in the wake of the Champs Elysees attack has turned himself in to Belgian police, France’s interior ministry said Friday.

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“The man in the wanted notice issued by Belgian authorities presented himself to a police station in Antwerp,” ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told AFP.

Brandet told Europe 1 radio it was “too early to say” if the man was linked to Thursday night’s shooting on the famous Paris boulevard, where a 39-year-old known radical shot dead a policeman and wounded two others before being killed in a shootout.

Shields up, weapons drawn on the iconic Champs-Élysées in #Paris overnight… business as usual this morning @SBSNews pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/r5PuvVl6MJ

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) April 21, 2017

A foreign tourist was also injured in the attack.

The Islamic State group claimed the shooting, which came three days before the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday in which security is a major concern after a string of bloody jihadist assaults since 2015.

A source close to the French investigation said the 35-year-old man being questioned in Antwerp, described as “very dangerous”, had been sought by Belgian police as part of a separate probe.

During a search of his home, Belgian police found weapons, balaclavas and a train ticket for France departing Thursday morning, hours before the Paris assault.

In France meanwhile, three people known to the attacker were being questioned by anti-terror police, judicial sources said.

The three were arrested during overnight raids in the eastern suburbs of Paris.

Watch: Eyewitness describes the attack

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‘Close the borders’

Presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen reacted on Friday morning to the previous evening’s attack on the Champs Elysees.

Le Pen called for France to close its borders in response to the attack.

“For years now, I’ve been saying what needs to be done,” she said.

“I will say it once again [at later press conference], detail my battle plan to protect the French from this terrorist threat starting with taking back control of our national borders because terrorists come through our borders in all circumstances and with absolute peace of mind.

“That’s because of Schengen, which imposed the removal of our borders and this was accepted by our political leaders for a number of years.”

She said France needed to “stop being naive and handle this this with a clear head and a firm grip”.

“We need to expel foreign suspects on the S-database [threat to State security], prosecute bi-national people with an S-note and strip them of their French nationality, and prosecute French people from the S-database through the use of article 411.4 for collaboration with the enemy; increase police budgets and improve their equipment,” she said.

Watch: Marine Le Pen says ‘we need a president who acts’

0:00 Share  In contrast, Macron declined to “come up with an anti-terrorist platform overnight. That is simply irresponsible”.

“What our assailants want is panic and for us to change our propositions and programs every day, depending on circumstances, and divide us and put on halt the presidential campaign,” he said.

“What I put forward in my project is to go further and strengthen the capabilities of our territorial intelligence services, which were unravelled with the 2008-2010 reform and that was wrong.

“And we need to strengthen and improve coordination and that is why one the pledges I have made if I were elected, is to create within the first few weeks an anti-Daesh Task Force under the president’s direct authority, which will be in charge of coordinating all intelligence services.”

Watch: Hollande responds to Champs Elysees shooting

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“Al-Azhar strongly condemns this sinful terrorist attack,” the Cairo-based Sunni institution said in a statement.

“Al-Azhar affirms its categorical rejection of such terrorist acts that contradict Islamic teachings,” it added.

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GWS not taking Swans lightly in AFL derby

Greater Western Sydney are unlikely to be claiming they are the harbour city’s best AFL team, even if they score their first SCG win over the Swans and deal their rivals a potentially season-smashing loss.

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For the first time in 12 Sydney derbies, the Giants will start favourites in Saturday’s game.

After Sydney had dominated the early years of their growing rivalry, the pendulum has started to swing westward.

The Giants are 12 points clear of Sydney, who they have convincingly beaten in their past two games and they no longer have a massive disadvantage in experience as in their first few years.

Sydney will field seven first or second-year players at the SCG, while the Giants will have just one.

A Swans loss would send last year’s minor premiers and losing grand finalists tumbling to 0-5. This mark invariably spells doom for a team’s finals aspirations.

Giants forward Devon Smith said that prospect wouldn’t be an additional motivating factor for his side.

“They’ve got the credit in the bank and obviously a great contested side,” Smith said.

“Any team with Buddy (Lance Franklin) in it, they are going to be dangerous so I’ve got full respect for them.

“I still think they are the best in the comp at contested footy and we match that tomorrow and we should win.”

One key match-up will be in-form Giants key defender Phil Davis up against Franklin, who needs just three goals to reach the 800 mark.

Despite their season seemingly on the precipice, Sydney remain confident they can regain form.

“We haven’t lost confidence at all in the standard of football that we can play,” Swans vice-captain and midfielder Luke Parker said.

“We’ve been a good team for a number of seasons and you don’t just lose that in a month of football, so I have full faith that we’ve got the right team to be able to bounce back and get our season back on track.”

Sydney welcome back impact players Isaac Heeney and Gary Rohan and ruckman-forward Kurt Tippett.

The Giants also get a significant dose of X-factor and experience back with the return of veteran forward Steve Johnson.

US, Indonesia seek to cut trade barriers

Indonesia and the United States have agreed to find ways to reduce barriers to US companies operating in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, visiting US Vice President Mike Pence and Jakarta’s investment chief say.

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The Trump administration has put Indonesia on a list of 16 countries whose trade surpluses with the US will be put under review. A series of disputes between Indonesia and American firms has also ruffled ties.

“We will work with President Jokowi to reduce barriers to trade and investments and to create a truly level playing field where all our businesses have equal opportunity and market access,” Pence said. Jokowi is the nickname of Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo.

“The president and I spoke about that very candidly and very respectfully,” Pence told a roundtable discussion with business executives in Jakarta before flying to Australia on the last leg of his 10-day Asia-Pacific tour.

Indonesia’s investments barriers include a lack of intellectual property protection, insufficient transparency with regulations and requiring local content for manufactured goods sold in the Indonesian market, Pence said.

Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board chief Tom Lembong said Widodo agreed “we still have too many regulations, too many barriers to trade, and these are bad for local and international industries”.

Lembong said Indonesia needs both investment and imports from the US, “especially productivity-enhancing products and services. You need imports to boost exports”.

Neither side disclosed any discussions about the disputes Indonesia has had with American companies of late.

Over the past six months, Indonesia has wrestled with mining giant Freeport McMoRan, demanding the company divest 51 per cent of its shares in its Papua-based gold and copper mine, and has demanded that Google Inc settle unpaid taxes and fines of more than $US400 million ($A531 million). Jakarta also scrubbed JP Morgan from its list of primary bond dealers after what was deemed a negative research report.

Pence did, however, witness the signing of more than $US10 billion in memoranda of understanding with US companies in Indonesia on Friday.

Among the 11 agreements were ones by Exxon Mobil to sell liquefied natural gas to Pertamina, Lockheed Martin to provide upgrades to the Indonesian Air Force’s F-16s, and General Electric to develop electrical infrastructure in Indonesia.