Matildas triumph 3-0 over Uzbekistan in first Olympic qualifier

Michelle Heyman has scored her first international goal in almost eight years to inspire a 3-0 victory over Uzbekistan and drag the Matildas one step closer to a place at the Paris Olympics.

In their first match since superstar skipper Sam Kerr tore her ACL in January, Australia understandably missed one of the world’s best strikers at the Milliy Stadium in Tashkent.

The Matildas were scratchy and lacked cohesion, while Emily van Egmond had a horror night up forward, missing one sitter and failing to convert two other chances she would normally bury.

Coach Tony Gustavsson turned to Canberra United star Heyman, 35, to replace van Egmond off the bench in the 65th minute, and the veteran delivered just eight minutes later.

In her first appearance since 2018, Heyman headed home her 21st goal for Australia and her first since netting twice against Zimbabwe at the Rio Olympics on August 9, 2016.

Mary Fowler, who was wonderful in the second half, scored a sublime individual goal in the 84th minute, and Caitlin Foord headed home in the 86th to seal victory.

It means Australia will head into Wednesday’s second leg at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium with a crucial 3-0 lead in the tie.

Debutant Kaitlyn Torpey started on the wing, wearing Kerr’s number 20 but was hooked for Foord, who was having her game time managed, at half-time.

Australia had 75 per cent of possession in the first half but just four shots and one on target, but they finished with 26 (eight on target).

They should have taken the lead in the 21st minute when Torpey tried to square for van Egmond instead of shooting.

Hayley Raso dragged a first-time strike wide on the half-hour mark, and shortly afterwards van Egmond hooked over the bar.

Just before half-time, van Egmond failed to get a header on target from point-blank range.

In the 54th minute, Fowler curled a wonderful ball behind the Uzbekistan defence and van Egmond inexplicably failed to tap home.

Heyman headed over the bar a minute after coming on, then delivered the lead when she nodded a corner onto the bar before following up with a second header.

Fowler then intercepted a clearance with a wonderful first touch, weaved between defenders and ripped a fantastic long-range strike inside the near post.

Foord found space and turned home a Steph Catley cross to wrap up proceedings.

Check out how all the action unfolded in our live blog below.

Key events

Final thoughts

 First of all: whew.

That first half was pretty rusty, as expected, but Tony Gustavsson’s substitutes gave the Matildas exactly the energy and dynamism they needed to unlock what had been, until then, a very solid Uzbekistan defence.

Michelle Heyman will be absolutely buzzing, scoring her first goal since 2016 upon her return to the national team after a four-year retirement, while Mary Fowler and the excellent Caitlin Foord added goals two and three.

You’d have to think the Canberra striker is a lock to start in the second leg in Melbourne on Wednesday: she provided Australia with a target player, height, power, and important movement to bring other players into the game around her.

Now that they’ve made it through this chilly first game, the Matildas return home with wind in their sails and a 3-0 advantage, which is exactly what they would have wanted.

Thanks so much for joining me on the blog for tonight’s game, and I can’t wait to be back here on Wednesday as we see whether the gals can qualify for their third Olympic Games in a row!

See you then!

Full-time: Uzbekistan 0 – 3 Australia

Crowd numbers

Robbie Thompson has said the crowd in Tashkent is just under 2,500 people.

As of today, almost the entirety of Marvel Stadium is sold out for Wednesday’s second leg.

The Uzbekistan players won’t be ready for noise like that, I reckon.

Permutations

What happens if Tillies win tonight and Uzbekistan wins Wednesday night? Who goes to Paris?

– EveWintergreen

It depends on how much Uzbekistan hypothetically win by.

If Australia finish this game 3-0 winners, Uzbekistan would need to win at least 4-0 in Melbourne on Wednesday to qualify for Paris.

90′ Three minutes of time added on

Same, honestly

UZB’s goalie kicking the ball back in the net after the third goal is so real. I would be so frustrated

– Em for Matildas

89′ Australia substitution

Ellie Carpenter comes off for Charlie Grant.

Catchy!

The song we sing here, Hey hey Heyman ooohh ahhh, I wanna know if you’ll kick that goal!

– Canberra is cool

Yiew!!!

And again ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️
Mary Fowler

– Vic in Vic

HaHAAAAAA! Heyman + Fowler

– Big Ben

Mary Mary Mary you beaute

– Em for Matildas

Just my luck. I step out to put stuff in the fridge, and the Tillies score a goal. Belated Hooray, anyway!

– SeonaBath

Floodgates open. Thanks Caitlin! ⚽️💚💛

– Leo

85′ GOAL AUSTRALIA

Caitlin Foord makes it three!

The Matildas have been trying this move all night: a winger chipping a pass in behind Uzbekistan’s defenders to find the head of an attacking player, and this time Caitlin Foord is there, all alone, to nod home a perfectly-weighted cross from Steph Catley.

3-0!

Hail Mary!

Mary Fowler you superstar! 😍⚽️💚💛

– Leo

83′ GOAL AUSTRALIA!

MAGIC MARY FOWLER MAKES IT TWO!

The midfielder has been chipping away at Uzbekistan’s defenders all night, and this time she just goes route one: picking up the ball in deep midfield and dancing past three players all by herself.

She skates towards the top of the box and steadies herself, unleashing her lethal right foot through the rubber to send a shot low and hard across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner of the net.

2-0!!!

82′ Australia substitutions

Aivi Luik replaces Alanna Kennedy, while Tameka Yallop comes on for Hayley Raso.

80′ Chance Australia!

Goodness me, that was almost a bizarre second goal for the Matildas.

A long, dipping cross from Mary Fowler far out on the left wing is falling perfectly into the Zone Of Hesitation between Caitlin Foord and Uzbekistan’s goalkeeper, with both of them thinking the other was going to touch it, only for neither of them to get it at all.

Instead, the ball bounces past all of them and a gasp goes around the ground as it almost nestles into the far corner of the net, but bounces just wide instead.

77′ Matildas want a second

They’ve been attacking Uzbekistan in waves for the past five minutes, coming in at all angles and trying to keep the tempo and pressure up on their opponents.

Catley’s corners have been on-point all night, and are looking like Australia’s best attacking weapon at the moment. Alanna Kennedy could have nodded home the Matildas’ second goal a few minutes ago, but she mistimed her jump. Clare Hunt did the same just now.

You’d think they’ll be working a bit more on finishing their headers in the interim before the second leg of this series on Wednesday night, but wouldn’t it be great to snag one or two more goals here so that the pressure is off in Melbourne?

I sure would love that.

Woohoo!!!!

YYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

– Natty

Finally ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️ Michelle Hayman

– Vic in Vic

Oh Michelle! I’m in tears! ⚽️💚💛😍

– Leo

CRYING SCREAMING THROWING UP I AM SO HAPPY

– Em for Matildas

Finally! Tillies score off a corner in how long? Thank you Ms Heyman and welcome back.

– Big Ben

72′ GOAL AUSTRALIA!

MICHELLE HEYMAN SCORES IN HER COMEBACK GAME!

A brilliant corner from Steph Catley angles in towards the front post, bobbling off Heyman’s shoulder and clanging off the crossbar.

It could have deflected anywhere, but it fell straight back to her, and she nodded it over the scrambling Uzbekistan defender on the line and into the net.

1-0!

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Michelle Heyman’s Matildas recall highlights Australian football’s striker problem

When news broke in January that Matildas captain Sam Kerr had torn her ACL, keeping her on the sidelines of the sport for the better part of the next year, a question that had been simmering in the background of Australian women’s football for the past few years suddenly reached boiling-point.

How can the country’s greatest ever goal-scorer be replaced? Which player is ready to step into the 30-year-old’s golden shoes? Who is next in the production-line of Australian strikers?

This question was being asked even when Kerr was fit and healthy. Since the 2019 Women’s World Cup, doubts were festering that the Matildas had become too reliant on the Chelsea forward, and that the team struggled to find the back of the net without her.

Sam Kerr’s ACL injury has put a spotlight on Australian football’s ongoing struggle to develop strikers.(AAP Image: Richard Wainwright)

The 2022 Women’s Asian Cup quarterfinal against South Korea was a case in point: Kerr started that game and had a handful of open-net chances which, for some reason, she failed to finish. The Matildas lost 1-0 and exited the competition at the earliest point in their history.

The question was the subtext to Kerr’s calf injury on the eve of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, too: how on earth would the team perform without their star player? Who else do we have waiting in the wings to take over?

While head coach Tony Gustavsson was able to rapidly shuffle the team’s structure and rely more on other players like Caitlin Foord, Hayley Raso, Mary Fowler and Emily Van Egmond to step up in her place, Kerr’s memorable goal against England in the semifinal — the only bright spark in an otherwise fatigued performance from the rest of the team — left many wondering how much further the Matildas could have gone had she been available the whole time.

But there is no day-by-day countdown clock on Kerr’s return now, as there was last July. Today, we have certainty that she won’t make a miraculously speedy recovery to be fully fit for the Olympic qualifying play-off against Uzbekistan in about two weeks, nor for the Olympic Games in Paris in just five months’ time. The question has now come into full and urgent focus.

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Socceroos lose to South Korea in extra time of quarterfinal to be eliminated from Asian Cup

The Socceroos have crashed out of the Asian Cup in heartbreaking fashion, suffering a dramatic 2-1 extra-time loss to South Korea after throwing away a 1-0 lead in Qatar.

Craig Goodwin gave Australia the lead when he volleyed home in the 42nd minute in front of 39,632 fans at the Al Janoub Stadium.

Australia then spurned multiple chances to double their lead before a nightmare stint off the bench from right-back Lewis Miller, and two big moments from Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min turned the game in South Korea’s favour.

With Graham Arnold’s charges up 1-0 deep into stoppage time, Miller needlessly dived in late on South Korea’s superstar captain Son, giving away a penalty.

Hwang Hee-chan coolly slammed the spot-kick into the top corner in the seventh minute of injury time to take the game to extra-time.

In the 104th minute, Miller then brought down Hwang on the edge of the area, only for Spurs’ Son to lift a wonderful free kick into the top corner to put South Korea in front.

Australia’s hopes of a comeback were then made all but impossible minutes after the goal when they were reduced to 10 men.

Aiden O’Neill lunged in to attempt to win the ball and caught Hwang with his studs, with his initial yellow card upgraded to a straight red after a VAR referral.

South Korea comfortably saw out the game from there to send Australia packing and tee up a semi-final against Jordan, who beat Tajikistan 1-0 earlier on Friday local time.

For the Koreans, the result partly avenged their 2-1 extra-time loss to the Socceroos in the 2015 Asian Cup final in Sydney. 

Check out how the match unfolded in our live blog below.

Key events

Final thoughts

Thanks Sam. A disappointing, but not unexpected result. The Socceroos gave all that they had.

Will you be blogging the Tillies v Uzbekistan Olympic qualifier?

– Mark

Football can be a cruel game, and this is one of the cruellest Socceroos games I can remember.

They were literally a minute away from a heroic 1-0 win over South Korea, only for Lewis Miller’s panicked slide tackle in the box handing their opponents a comeback on a platter.

Hwang Hee-Chan’s penalty took the wind out of Australia’s sails, as did the straight red card to Aiden O’Neill after a dangerous tackle on Hee-Chan in the first stanza of extra-time, taking the Socceroos down to ten.

From there, the team faded and faded. Overall, South Korea were good for this win, but Australia will know that this is an enormous opportunity missed, and will linger in the heads and their hearts for a while.

South Korea now progress to the Asian Cup semi-final against Jordan, while the Socceroos will debrief and then go back to their clubs.

There will be plenty of conversation in the coming days about this game and this tournament, but all I’ll say for now is that I am really proud of how the Socceroos played tonight: they did what they do best, showing us the grit and the fight that captured the whole country in 2022.

Like then, it was a joy to bring you their journey here. I’ll be back on the ABC Sport liveblog later this month to cover the Matildas’ Olympic qualifying games against Uzbekistan, which I hope you’ll join me for.

Until then!

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Full time: Australia 1 – 2 South Korea

119′ Chance Korea!

Son Heung-min picks up the ball on half-way and just… jogs forward towards Australia’s defence, with no yellow shirts flooding back with urgency.

He has so much time to choose what to do here as three team-mates flood around. He opts left, sending a perfectly-weighted pass angled left into the box, and his team-mate rockets a shot towards the far post… only for Mat Ryan to throw two big hands at it and palm it away.

The ball rolls out to the other Korean winger, who tries to fire it over Ryan who’s still splayed out in the grass, but somehow it spins out for a goal kick.

Incredible keeping.

116′ Long bombs

Both teams are just pinging the ball over the top of each other’s defences now, hoping one of their fresh-legged forwards can speed in behind the slowing centre-backs and nick a goal.

It’s pretty rudimentary stuff, though. A ball floats in, and is headed away by a centreback. It’s hoofed up-field, only for the opposing centre-back to head it away. It’s been like this for a few minutes as both teams try to figure out what on earth else they can do.

114′ Referee error!

A lovely cross-field pass out to the left for the charging Aziz Behich sees the full-back bring it down beautifully before turning and aiming for a through-ball, but the referee whistles the game dead and points for a free kick to… Korea.

What? The referee gestures for a handball on Behich, but the replay shows the ball was nowhere near either of his arms.

That was such a shame: the Socceroos could’ve carved a rare opening with that run down the wing, but the ref has decided otherwise.

111′ Mat Ryan still flyin’

The Socceroos captain is still on his toes, even if most of his team-mates aren’t anymore.

Australia’s players are making more and more mistakes as they fatigue and lose concentration, but lucky for them Ryan is still wide-awake.

He snapped a shot out of the air a minute ago, and just came sprinting out of his box to calmly collect a through-ball with his foot before passing neatly to a team-mate.

Son Heung-min found too much space a moment later, opening up his body as a sliding Behich came across, but he hooked his shot just wide as Ryan was ready for it to come at him.

So at least we’ve got that.

108′ Behich is down

He’s run a marathon in this game, has Aziz.

Somehow he’s found himself up near Korea’s box, throwing himself around, trying anything to get a foot on the ball and send a cross in.

He tries to work with Bruno Fornaroli, but the ball just doesn’t settle. It’s hoofed into his stomach, and he tries his best to loft the deflection over the Korean defenders and towards the six-yard box, but it floats harmlessly into the goalkeeper’s hands.

Behich then leans down into the grass and clutches at his stomach. Winded, maybe? He gets up and jogs gingerly away a moment later after the Koreans had lumped the ball out so he could receive attention.

He looks cooked.

106′ Big Man Up Top

Harry Souttar is a centre-forward now.

If you were wondering what Graham Arnold’s “break glass in case of emergency” plan was.

Second half of extra time kick off!

105′ South Korea substitutions

Park Yong-Woo is replaced by Park Jin-seop.

Hwang Hee-Chan, who’s been epic in this match, comes off for Oh Hyeon-gyu.

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Social justice advocates, TV presenters, doctors and scientists among those recognised in Australia Day 2024 Honours

For only the second time in the Australian Honours history, more women than men have been recognised in this year’s Australia Day list.

Governor-General David Hurley said all recipients, including those from the fields of science, community service and the arts had made a profound contribution.

“Recipients come from all parts of the country. They have served and had an impact in just about every field you can imagine. Their stories and backgrounds are diverse,” he said.

“In my experience most are humble and often try to deflect attention or praise – please enjoy the moment because your country has decided that you deserve recognition.”

This year 1,042 Australians are recipients of the country’s highest honours, which includes 20 in the military division of the Order of Australia, 224 meritorious awards and 59 awards for distinguished and conspicuous service.

There are also 49 people who have been recognised for their contribution in support of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Father (Bob) Robert John Maguire AM RFD

Father Bob Maguire was parish priest of Sts Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in South Melbourne for close to 40 years.(AAP: Julian Smith)

Late social justice campaigner Father Robert John Maguire has been recognised as an Officer of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the community.

Best known as Father Bob, the Catholic priest and media personality died in April last year after a life dedicated to standing up for the poor and marginalised.

Frank O’Connor, the director of the Father Bob Maguire Foundation, said it was “hard to know” how the late maverick priest would have responded to being awarded an AO.

“I think he would have been fairly chuffed,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Certainly the foundation and Father Bob’s family are absolutely delighted that his commitment to this sort of work is continuing to be recognised.”

Father Bob was ordained in 1960 and spent close to 40 years as a parish priest in Melbourne, leaving after a clash with the church hierarchy over the mandatory retirement age of 75 for priests.

He was allowed to remain a priest until age 77, retiring in 2012 after 50 years of service to the church.

Lorraine Ann Mazerolle AC

Professor Lorraine Mazerolle smiling in a profile photo leaving against a wall

Lorraine Mazerolle is a recipient of the Companion of the Order of Australia.(Supplied: UQ)

For eminent service to education, in her work as a criminologist, and for the development of evidence-based policing reforms, Lorraine Mazerolle has been a leader in her field.

She has worked extensively in research, policing, criminology and legal remedies both in Australia and the United States.

Professor Mazerolle said she was “honoured” to be a recipient of the Companion of the Order of Australia.

“It’s a recognition of a life working in criminology,” she said.

“This is a really significant award to me.”

When asked about her greatest achievements, Professor Mazerolle said she was “proud” of her work researching partnerships in policing and her PHD students.

David James Koch AM

A man wearing glass smiles for the camera at a press event.

David Koch is one of two TV presenters on this year’s honours list.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

David James Koch, better known as “Kochie” by the public, has been made a Member of the Order of Australia.

He has been recognised for his significant service to the media as a television presenter, and to economic journalism.

Koch trained as an accountant before beginning his career in journalism with a cadetship at The Australian followed by a stint with BRW magazine.

He continued working extensively in economic journalism, business and gave commentary for multiple publications in relation to business and finance.  

He is best known for hosting Channel Seven’s morning program Sunrise, which he did for 21 years.  

In that time, he said he’d done more than 5,300 shows, adding up to about 16,000 hours of live television.

Sandra Lee Sully AM

A woman in a red dress poses for the camera at the Logies.

Sandra Sully is a recipient of the Member of the Order of Australia.(AAP: Steve Markham)

Sandra Sully is a recipient of the Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to the media, to charitable organisations, and to the community. 

Her journalism career began in the mid-1980s at the Seven Network in Brisbane.

After a stint at Prime in Canberra, she joined Network Ten’s Parliament House bureau in 1989.

She has worked for Channel 10 for more than three decades as a newsreader and reporter for Ten News First and The Late News.

She was the first Australian journalist to cover the September 11 attacks, one of the first at the scene of the Thredbo landslide, and has interviewed former US Vice President Al Gore and Douglas Wood, who was held hostage in Iraq before he was rescued. 

Sully has also starred on numerous reality and game TV shows including The Masked Singer, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Australia’s Brainiest.

Sully is a contributor to multiple charities.

She’s an Ambassador for National Adoption Awareness, Ambassador for the NSW Crime Stoppers, National Ambassador for Do Something and Co-Patron of Spinal Cure.

Lilian Margaret Ries OAM

An elderly woman wearing a blue shirt with white flowers smiles at the camera.

Lilian Ries has been recognised for her service to community health.(ABC News: Liam Patrick)

At 100 years old, Lilian Ries is the oldest recipient of this year’s honours.

While most unwind in their 80’s, Ms Ries dedicated her twilight years volunteering with sick children and their families through the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

“I used to say to my husband, when they advertise in the paper for volunteers, I’m going to be the first one there, and I was the first one there,” she said. 

“I was there for over 20 years just helping the families. It was great.”

The great grandmother of 12 said she never expected to win an award.

“Never in the world did I think I’d get anything like that.”

Fiona Melanie Wood AO

A woman wearing a large broches and black glasses poses for a photo

Fiona Wood was behind the development of “spray on skin” technology.(ABC News: Grace Burmas)

In Western Australia, prominent plastic-surgeon and 2005 Australian of the year Fiona Wood is receiving her second honours, this time as an Officer of The Order.

“It is extraordinary to be recognised by one’s peers and the community in this way. It really sort of takes your breath away,” she said.

“This is an award that is not just for me individually, it’s for the whole of the team and the extended team and what we’ve been able to do over a long period of time, so this is very special.”

Ms Wood’s “spray on skin” technology has been hailed as an “answered prayer” for burn victims.

Using the world-first technique, she managed to treat 28 patients in the aftermath of the Bali Bombings and greatly reduced their scarring.

Her work still helps burn victims decades after its inception, but she says some cases never leave her. 

“It’s part of what we do is having the empathy to actually step along that journey with the patients and their families and carers as well.”

David Arley Squirrell OAM

A man in a dark blue shirt and black pants holds a woman's hand as they sit on couches in a lounge room.

David Squirrell (right) is a passionate disability advocate.(ABC News: David Frearson)

In 2008, when David Squirrell lost his medical registration due to his disability, he turned his focus to advocacy. Since then, he has worked towards making various public spaces more accessible.

He is now the Vice-President of Deaf-Blind Australia and a passionate disability advocate.

Dr Squirrel is a recipient of the Medal of The Order Australia due to his work.

He said there’s still a lot of work to be done in the space, with bureaucracy creating barrier for many people with a disability.

“Bureaucrats sit in chairs, ticking boxes, they don’t look at the person. And every person is an individual,” he said.

“I believe we need to leave this world a better place. To leave it a better place, you have to understand what is wrong, and hence where you can make a difference so that other people’s lives can be enriched.”

Majida Abboud-Saab OAM

An elderly woman sitting on a couch smiles at the camera.

Majida Abboud-Saab said being the recipient of the Medal of The Order of Australia makes her proud to be Australian. (ABC News)

Majida Abboud-Saab was a founding staff member of the Special Broadcasting Station before it became known across the nation as SBS.

She was one of the initial volunteers participating in a three-month experiment in 1975 to broadcast settlement information in minority languages. 

“Not everyone had a phone, but everyone had radio. Herein Australia, they would be…listen to information, settlement information in their own language,” she said.

Ms Saab went on to become the director of the SBS Arabic program, the most notable language program the public broadcaster ran for many years.

Her work brought Australian news to the Arabic community in the country which would have otherwise been inaccessible, in a time before the internet. 

She said being the recipient of the Medal of The Order of Australia makes her proud to be Australian. 

“It means to me that Australia has come of age and maturity to recognise the importance of multiculturalism and multilingual contribution to the country,” she said.

Larissa Tahireh Giddings AO

A woman smiles at the camera while sitting on a bench in a park.

Former Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings said she is incredibly humbled and excited to be made an Officer of the Order of Australia.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

Former Tasmanian premier Larissa Tahireh Giddings has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished to the people and Parliament of Tasmania and the community.

In 1996, when Ms Giddings was just 23, she became the youngest women elected to an Australian parliament before eventually becoming the state’s first female premier in 2010.

She said she’s incredibly humbled and excited to receive the prestigious title.

“To be honest, I”m more thrilled for my Dad,” Ms Giddings said.

“[He’s] no longer with is, but he was a man who loved his medals, and had an Order of Australia medal himself. I know how much that meant to him, and just how proud he would be today to know that his daughter has [also] been provided with receiving this great honour.”

Bill Henson AO

An elderly man stares at the camera as he leans on a canvas inside his art studio.

Bill Henson said he was pleased to see the visual arts recognised in this year’s honours.(ABC News: Steven Martin)

Australian artist Bill Henson has been recognised for his distinguished service to visual arts and the promotion of Australian culture.

Henson, whose career began in the 1970s, is one of the country’s most prominent photographers and his works are held in galleries around Australia and the world.

Over the years his work has sparked controversy. In 2008, one of his exhibitions was closed and his images depicting nude child models were seized by police.

Reflecting on a career that has seen highs and lows, Henson said it had been fascinating to see how different people respond to his work depending on the time in history and their location.

Humbled by being made an Officer of the Order of Australia, Henson said he was pleased to see the visual arts recognised and that it raises the profile of artists who often work quietly on their own.

“It reflects the importance with which arts are regarded by other parts of our community,” he said.

“It unites people in a very profound way, art. And it’s not always a loud bang and it’s not always hit and run … it hits you in the face and then it’s over but there’s a much deeper and longer lasting effect that the arts have.”

Sophie Jessica Trevitt AM

A woman stands with street art on a wall behind her.

Sophie Trevitt has been posthumously appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia.(ABC News: Emmy Groves)

Social justice advocate and solicitor Sophie Trevitt spent years fighting to keep First Nations children out of the criminal justice system, work she continued in spite of a brain tumour diagnosis.

The Canberran former executive director of Change the Record and ACT co-chair of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights died on 27 July 2023 at the age of 32, but not before leaving behind an incredible legacy.

Some of her notable achievements include spearheading the campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility, creating exclusion zones around abortion clinics in the ACT, and the banning of spit hoods in the ACT.

“She just had this tenacity and stubbornness, pigheadedness you might say, when she saw something wrong – and then she fought to change it,” Ms Trevitt’s partner at the time of her death, Tom Swann, said.

“Even when she was sick, she kept fighting for what she believed in.

He said Ms Trevitt would be “honoured” to be recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia but “would only really want the attention to be on the work she was doing to keep kids out of prison and fight for justice, in particular for Aboriginal Australians.”

Bettina Danganbarr AM

A woman standing near plants smiles at the camera.

Bettina Danganbarr said to be recognised for her efforts was “very empowering”. (ABC News)

Yolgnu woman Bettina Danganbarr, from Galiwin’ku in east Arnhem Land, is being recognised for her work as an Aboriginal community police officer.

She has been pivotal in bridging Yolgnu and balanda (non-indigenous) ways of life, and working with NT Police to create culturally appropriate support and responses to conflict.

“I get to share our culture, our knowledge, our language, with other fellow officers, and get to teach them how to approach our people,” she said.

“It’s helped repair some of the fractured relationships between Aboriginal communities in the Territory, and the Police.

She’s also a fierce advocate for women’s rights, and was instrumental in the creation of a women’s shelter in Galiwin’ku for victims of Domestic and Family violence. It’s something she said is her proudest achievement.

Being made a Member of the Order of Australia serves as motivation for Ms Danganbarr.

“To be recognised, it’s very empowering. Especially coming from a small community, sometimes we struggle. But these sort of things, they empower and motivate us to keep going.”

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Socceroos draw 1-1 with Uzbekistan to top Asian Cup group

The Socceroos have sealed top spot in their Asian Cup group but will head into the knockout stage with a dent in their confidence after a flat 1-1 draw with Uzbekistan.

Australia were already guaranteed to reach the round of 16 but needed a win or draw at Doha’s Al Janoub Stadium to finish top of Group B.

Martin Boyle’s spot-kick in the opening minute of first-half injury time, after a dubious hand-ball call on defender Odiljon Hamrobekov following a VAR review, gave Australia a much-needed lead after an uninspiring opening half.

A handful of personnel changes were made after Australia’s 1-0 win over Syria on Thursday, with Riley McGree in particular offering a point of creative difference in an otherwise stale Socceroos attack that was spear-headed by the inexperienced Kusini Yengi, who had replaced the injured Mitch Duke up front.

However, Uzbekistan grew into the match and, come the second half, took almost total control of possession and chance creation. Their effort and energy paid off when substitute Azizbek Turgunboev leapt over Aziz Behich and headed home the equaliser in the 78th minute.

It was Uzbekistan’s first goal against Australia in five meetings, also ending a run of six consecutive clean sheets for the Socceroos.

Uzbekistan finished second on five points, while Syria beat India 1-0 to finish third on four points, sealing progression as one of the best third-placed finishers while knocking out both India and China, who came third in Group A but cannot now progress.

The Socceroos will play the best third-placed team from either group C or D, and will likely be on the opposite side of the draw to tournament favourites Japan.

But there is plenty for Arnold to address, with Australia’s struggles to break down a defence, lack of creativity and a second-half fade-out among the concerns.

Harry Souttar had hearts in mouths in the ninth minute when he turned the ball over to Oston Urunov, only to recover to make the crucial tackle at the last moment.

Australia had the ball in the back of the net in the 11th minute through Kusini Yengi, but it was chalked off for an offside in the build-up.

Yengi’s best moment of the game came at the end of the first half as the striker went on a wonderful weaving run through Uzbekistan’s defence and cut the ball back for McGree, who inexplicably shot wide.

But luck was in Australia’s favour. During Yengi’s run, he attempted to get past Hamrobekov and the ball flicked off the defender’s arm, which he was using to brace his fall, then back into the striker’s path.

After a lengthy VAR review, Hamrobekov was penalised and booked and Boyle drilled the penalty into the bottom corner.

Uzbekistan’s Umar Eshmurodov headed home in the 60th minute but was offside.

It proved a warning shot.

Eighteen minutes later, Turgunboev brilliantly buried a wonderful dipping cross from Jaloliddin Masharipov to ensure Uzbekistan’s progression.

Check out how the game unfolded in our live blog below.

Key events

Final thoughts

They’d already qualified for the round of 16, but this draw against Uzbekistan means Australia have topped Group B and will play the best third-placed team from somewhere else in the tournament.

Like their first two group games, this was an awkward and rusty performance from the Socceroos. A handful of personnel changes perhaps contributed to that, though Australia’s best players was probably Riley McGree, who earned his first start of the Asian Cup.

But there’s still a question of where more goals can come from. There was a lack of creativity tonight, as there has been over the past two games, and too much sideways possession with not enough activity or improvisation through the central channels.

Graham Arnold will have to solve these problems now. There are no second-chances in knock-out football, and while Australia have done themselves a favour by topping the group and therefore facing a theoretically weaker opponent in the round of 16, they haven’t got long to figure this stuff out before they face a serious title contender.

In any case, there’s one more game on the horizon in five days’ time. And you bet I’ll be here to take you through all the action once again.

Until then, enjoy the rest of your week!

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Full-time: Australia 1 – 1 Uzbekistan

96′ Chance Australia!

A long ball from Souttar is controlled nicely by Kusini Yengi, who eases it out to Marco Tilio on the left.

The winger shimmies past two defenders and clips a cross into the six-yard box, but an Uzbekistan player beats Yengi to the header near the back post.

Help!

Someone needs to do something! …. Sam! … HELP THEM!…

– Mike

I’M TRYING TO MANIFEST THEM ANOTHER GOAL BUT I DON’T KNOW IF IT’LL WORK AHHH

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93′ Long throw

Lewis Miller’s first touch is launching a gigantic long throw into the box, which is chaotically headed out towards the D.

I’m not sure who that is running in – Tilio, maybe? – trying to use their momentum to deflect the ball off their chest and back towards the pack of players, but an Uzbekistan defender gets in the way. The ball is cleared.

92′ Australia substitutions

Jordan Bos and Nathaniel Atkinson are off.

Marco Tilio and Lewis Miller are on – the latter for his Asian Cup debut.

90′ Masharipov pulling strings

The substitute has been excellent since coming on, involved in all of Uzbekistan’s best attacks.

He’s at the heart of one again, connecting beautifully with two team-mates in a tight space as they make their way collectively towards the top left corner of Australia’s box.

His pass almost slices two Socceroos apart, but Kye Rowles flies in to the rescue and hoofs the ball upfield.

90′ Seven minutes of added time

Thanks for reading, Phil!

Thanks for this coverage!

– Phil J

88′ Atkinson is down

The right-back tried a long cross-field switch but totally shanked it and it rolled out for a throw-in near the half-way line.

The defender falls into the grass with his legs stretched out in front of him. It looks like cramp. Yep – an Uzbek player comes along and stretches out his calf for him. He’s up a minute later. He’ll have to keep pushing.

86′ Behich gets forward

Jordan Bos and Aziz Behich have been more involved towards the back-end of this half, with the two trying to muscle and race their way down the left wing.

Behich’s endurance has been particularly impressive given his age and the fact he’s the only defender aside from Harry Souttar to have played every minute of this tournament so far.

He gets in behind Uzbekistan’s three defenders here thanks to a cheeky backwards pass by Bos, but his cross is a tired one and sails all the way across the field for a throw-in.

82′ Uzbekistan substitution

The substitute has to be substituted as Igor Sergeev is carried off the field with that calf problem.

He’s replaced by Jamshid Iskanderov.

82′ Australia double change

The brilliant Riley McGree is replaced by Bruno Fornaroli.

Keanu Baccus is off, too, in place of Aiden O’Neill.

81′ Play paused

Some cheeky footwork by Jordan Bos to nip around Uzbekistan’s substitute Igor Sergeev sees the blue-shirted defender reach down to his calf as he tumbled into the grass.

The Socceroos could have kept charging forward there, but the referee whistles play dead as the physios run onto the field. The stretcher is out, too. It looks like the sub may have popped a calf. Unlucky.

78′ GOAL UZBEKISTAN!

Just as I say that – Uzbekistan have equalised!

Australia’s record run of clean sheets and minutes without conceding comes to an end as the substitute Azizbek Turgunboev rises above Aziz Behich to head home a gorgeous dropping cross from Masharipov on the left wing.

1-1!

Elsewhere…

Syria have taken a 1-0 lead over India, which takes them just below Uzbekistan on goal difference in Group B.

If Syria score twice more, and the current score in our game stays at 1-0 (or Australia score another), Syria could leap-frog Uzbekistan into second.

How good is tournament football!

73′ Uzbekistan keep trying

A very neat series of zig-zag passes by Uzbekistan down the left side sees them slice smoothly through the swarming Socceroos, with Masharipov on the ball near the top corner of the box.

His final pass undoes all that good build-up play, though, as he sends the ball through two yellow shirts where he thought a team-mate would be ghosting in behind but finds green grass instead.

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US and UK strike Houthi targets in Yemen after weeks of Red Sea attacks

US and British forces struck rebel-held Yemen early on Friday after weeks of disruptive attacks on Red Sea shipping by Iran-backed Houthi rebels who say they act in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The pre-dawn air strikes add to escalating fears of wider conflict in the region, where violence involving Tehran-aligned groups in Yemen as well as Lebanon, Iraq and Syria has surged since the Israel-Hamas war began in early October.

Iran “strongly condemned” the strikes, which the United States, Britain and eight other allies said aimed to “de-escalate tensions”.

Nasser Kanani, spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, said that the Western strikes “will have no result other than fuelling insecurity and instability in the region”, while “diverting the world’s attention” from Gaza.

China said it was “concerned about the escalation of tensions in the Red Sea”, and news of the strikes sent oil prices up more than 2 percent.

The Houthis have carried out a growing number of attacks on what they deem to be Israeli-linked shipping in the Red Sea, a key international trade route, since October 7, when the Hamas-led attack on Israel sparked the war which is still raging in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The rebels have controlled a major part of Yemen since a civil war erupted there in 2014 and are part of a regional Iran-backed “axis of resistance” against Israel and its allies.

Friday’s strikes targeted an airbase, airports and a military camp, the Houthis’ Al-Masirah TV station said, with AFP correspondents and witnesses reporting they could hear heavy strikes in Hodeida and Sanaa.

“Our country was subjected to a massive aggressive attack by American and British ships, submarines and warplanes,” said Hussein al-Ezzi, the rebels’ deputy foreign minister.

“America and Britain will have to prepare to pay a heavy price and bear all the dire consequences of this blatant aggression,” he added, according to official Houthi media.

US President Joe Biden called the strikes a “defensive action” after the Red Sea attacks and said he “will not hesitate” to order further military action if needed.

With fighter jets and Tomahawk missiles, 60 targets at 16 Houthi locations were hit by more than 100 precision-guided munitions, US Central Command said in a statement.

Unverified images on social media, some of them purportedly of Al-Dailami airbase north of the rebel-held capital Sanaa, showed explosions lighting up the sky as loud bangs and the roar of planes sounded.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said at least five people had been killed.

‘Repeated warnings’

In a statement, Biden called the strikes a success and said he ordered them “against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways”.

Biden called the strikes a “direct response” to the “unprecedented” attacks by the Houthis which included “the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history”.

Blaming the Houthis for ignoring “repeated warnings”, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement the strikes were “necessary and proportionate”.

Britain’s defence ministry released footage of Royal Air Force jets returning to their Cyprus base after the mission, and US Centcom video showed warplanes apparently taking off from a sea-based carrier.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes “targeted sites associated with the Houthis’ unmanned aerial vehicle, ballistic and cruise missile, and coastal radar and air surveillance capabilities”.

A joint statement by the United States, Britain, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and South Korea said the “aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea”.

The Houthis said they will not be deterred.

“We affirm that there is absolutely no justification for this aggression against Yemen, as there was no threat to international navigation in the Red and Arabian Seas,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam posted on X, formerly Twitter.

He said there was no threat to any vessels apart from “Israeli ships or those heading to the ports of occupied Palestine”.

Prior to Friday’s strikes, Gerald Feierstein, a former US ambassador to Yemen, said bombing the Houthis would be “counterproductive”.

Strikes against the Houthis, who have weathered years of air raids by a Saudi-led coalition, would have little impact and would only raise their standing in the Arab world, said Feierstein of the Middle East Institute think-tank in Washington.               

Saudi Arabia calls for ‘restraint’

Yemen’s neighbour Saudi Arabia is trying to extricate itself from a nine-year war with the Houthis, though fighting has largely been on hold since a truce in early 2022.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is following with great concern the military operations,” a foreign ministry statement said after the US and British strikes.

Riyadh called for “self-restraint and avoiding escalation”.

US and allied forces in Iraq and Syria, where they are part of an anti-jihadist coalition, have also faced stepped-up attacks since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, with Washington responding to several by bombing the sites of pro-Iran groups.

Israel has also stepped up strikes against targets in Syria, and has exchanged regular fire with Lebanon’s Hezbollah over its northern border.

Washington, which has said it seeks to avoid a spreading conflict, in December announced a maritime security initiative, Operation Prosperity Guardian, to protect shipping in the Red Sea route which normally carries about 12 percent of global maritime trade.

Twelve nations led by the United States warned the Houthis on January 3 of “consequences” unless they immediately stopped attacks on commercial vessels.

On Tuesday, however, the Houthis launched what London called their most significant attack yet, with US and British forces shooting down 18 drones and three missiles.

The final straw for the Western allies appeared to come early Thursday when the US military said the Houthis fired an anti-ship ballistic missile into a shipping lane in the Gulf of Aden.

It was the 27th attack on international shipping in the Red Sea since November 19, the US military said.

The intensifying attacks have caused shipping companies to divert around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. Electric car manufacturer Tesla said it was suspending most production at its German factory because of a parts shortage due to shipping delays linked to Houthi attacks.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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Sydney, Auckland are first major cities to kick off 2024 New Year’s celebrations

Sydney and Auckland have become the world’s first major cities to ring in 2024, with more than a million revelers cheering spectacular fireworks displays that lit up the skies over Sydney Harbor and New Zealand’s tallest structure, Sky Tower.

As the clock struck midnight in Australia‘s largest city, tons of explosives erupted in a 12-minute display that focused on the Sydney Harbor Bridge. More than 1 million people, a number equivalent to one in five of the city’s residents, watched from the shore and from boats in the harbor.

“It’s total madness,” said German tourist Janna Thomas, who had waited in line since 7:30 a.m. to secure a prime waterfront location in the Sydney Botanic Garden. “It’s not so easy to find a good place to sit, but the view is incredible.”

In Auckland, the light rain that fell all day had cleared as forecast by midnight over the city of 1.7 million people before the countdown began on an illuminated digital display near the top of the 328-meter (1,076-foot) communications and observation tower.

The ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and heightened tensions in parts of the world, are affecting this year’s New Year‘s Eve celebrations in a myriad of ways. Many cities were deploying extra security, and some places canceled New Year’s Eve events altogether.

More police than ever were deployed throughout Sydney. The waterfront has been the scene of heated pro-Palestinian protests after the sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated in the colors of the Israeli flag in response to the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas that triggered the war.

Eight tonnes of fireworks launched in Sydney to celebrate the New Year


At the Vatican, Pope Francis recalled 2023 as a year marked by wartime suffering. During his traditional Sunday blessing from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, he offered prayers for “the tormented Ukrainian people and the Palestinian and Israeli populations, the Sudanese people and many others.”

“At the end of the year, we will have the courage to ask ourselves how many human lives have been shattered by armed conflict, how many dead and how much destruction, how much suffering, how much poverty,” the pontiff said. “Whoever has interest in these conflicts, listen to the voice of conscience.”

In New York City, officials and party organizers said they were prepared to ensure the safety of tens of thousands of revelers expected to flood Times Square in the heart of midtown Manhattan.

Mayor Eric Adams said there were “no specific threats” to the annual New Year’s Eve bash, which was set to feature live performances from Flo Rida, Megan Thee Stallion and LL Cool J, as well as televised appearances from Cardi B and others. Organizers said in-person attendance was expected to return to pre-COVID levels, even as foot traffic around Times Square remains down slightly since the pandemic.

Amid near-daily protests sparked by the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, New York City police said they would expand the security perimeter around the party, creating a “buffer zone” that would allow them to head off potential demonstrations.

Officials also planned to monitor any protests with drones, the mayor said.

“We will be out here with our canines, on horseback, our helicopters, our boats,” Adams said. “But as we saw last year, after having no specific threats, we get a threat.”

During last year’s New Year’s Eve party, a machete-wielding man attacked three police officers a few blocks from Times Square.

Paris celebrations to highlight 2024 Olympics

Security also will also be heightened across European cities on Sunday.

In France, 90,000 law enforcement officers were set to be deployed, domestic intelligence chief Céline Berthon said Friday.

Of those, 6,000 will be in Paris, where French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said over 1.5 million people are expected to attend celebrations on the Champs-Elysees.

Darmanin cited a “very high terrorist threat” because, in part, of “what is happening in Israel and Palestine,” referring to the Israel-Hamas war.

Darmanin said that police for the first time will be able to use drones as part of security work and that tens of thousands of firefighters and 5,000 soldiers would also be deployed.

New Year’s Eve celebrations in the French capital will center on the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, including DJ sets, fireworks and video projections on the Arc de Triomphe, highlighting “changes in the city and faces of the Games,” according to the press service of the City of Paris. Other planned events include “the largest Mexican wave ever performed” and a “giant karaoke.”

New Year celebrations a ‘test’ for Paris ahead of 2024 Summer Olympics


The security challenge ahead of the Olympics was highlighted when a tourist was killed in a knife attack near the Eiffel Tower on Dec. 2. Large-scale attacks — such as that at the Bataclan in 2015, when Islamic extremists invaded the music hall and shot up cafe terraces, killing 130 people — also loom large.

In Berlin, some 4,500 police officers are expected to keep order and avoid riots like a year ago. Police in the German capital issued a ban on the traditional use of fire crackers for several streets across the city. They also banned a pro-Palestinian protest in the Neukoelln neighborhood of the city, which has seen several pro-Palestinian riots since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

In Russia, the country’s military actions in Ukraine have overshadowed end-of-year celebrations, with the usual fireworks and concert on Moscow’s Red Square canceled, as last year.

After shelling in the center of the Russian border city of Belgorod Saturday killed 24 people, some local authorities across Russia also canceled their usual firework displays, including in Vladivostok. Millions throughout Russia are expected to tune into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s New Year’s address.

In Muslim-majority Pakistan, the government has banned all New Year’s Eve celebrations as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians.

In an overnight televised message, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar urged Pakistanis to “show solidarity with the oppressed people of Gaza” by beginning the new year with simplicity.

Kakar said Muslims across the world were saddened over Israel’s attacks on Gaza that resulted in the killings of thousands of innocent people.

(AP)

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Climate action or distraction? Sweeping COP pledges won’t touch fossil fuel use

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A torrent of pollution-slashing pledges from governments and major oil companies sparked cries of “greenwashing” on Saturday, even before world leaders had boarded their flights home from this year’s global climate conference.  

After leaders wrapped two days of speeches filled with high-flying rhetoric and impassioned pleas for action, the Emirati presidency of the COP28 climate talks unleashed a series of initiatives aimed at cleaning up the world’s energy sector, the largest source of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. 

The announcement, made at an hours-long event Saturday afternoon featuring U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, contained two main planks — a pledge by oil and gas companies to reduce emissions, and a commitment by 118 countries to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity and double energy savings efforts. 

It was, on its face, an impressive and ambitious reveal. 

COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber, the oil executive helming the talks, crowed that the package “aligns more countries and companies around the North Star of keeping 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach than ever before,” referring to the Paris Agreement target for limiting global warming. 

But many climate-vulnerable countries and non-government groups instantly cast an arched eyebrow toward the whole endeavor.

“The rapid acceleration of clean energy is needed, and we’ve called for the tripling of renewables. But it is only half the solution,” said Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands. “The pledge can’t greenwash countries that are simultaneously expanding fossil fuel production.” 

Carroll Muffett, president of the nonprofit Center for International Environmental Law, said: “The only way to ‘decarbonize’ carbon-based oil and gas is to stop producing it. … Anything short of this is just more industry greenwash.”

The divided reaction illustrates the fine line negotiators are trying to walk. The European Union has campaigned for months to win converts to the pledge on renewables and energy efficiency the U.S. and others signed up to on Saturday, even offering €2.3 billion to help. And the COP28 presidency has been on board. 

But Brussels, in theory, also wants these efforts to go hand in hand with a fossil fuel phaseout — a tough proposition for countries pulling in millions from the sector. The EU rhetoric often goes slightly beyond the U.S., even though the two allies officially support the end of “unabated” fossil fuel use, language that leaves the door open for continued oil and gas use as long as the emissions are captured — though such technology remains largely unproven.

Von der Leyen was seen trying to thread that needle on Saturday. She omitted fossil fuels altogether from her speech to leaders before slipping in a mention in a press release published hours later: “We are united by our common belief that to respect the 1.5°C goal … we need to phase out fossil fuels.” 

Harris on Saturday said the world “cannot afford to be incremental. We need transformative change and exponential impact.” 

But she did not mention phasing out fossil fuels in her speech, either. The U.S., the world’s top oil producer, has not made the goal a central pillar of its COP28 strategy. 

Flurry of pledges  

The EU and the UAE said 118 countries had signed up to the global energy goals.

The new fossil fuels agreement has been branded the “Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter” and earned the signatures of 50 companies. The COP28 presidency said it had “launched” the deal with Saudi Arabia — the world’s largest oil exporter and one of the main obstacles to progress on international climate action.

Among the signatories was Saudi state energy company, Aramco, the world’s biggest energy firm — and second-biggest company of any sort, by revenue. Other global giants like ExxonMobil, Shell and TotalEnergies also signed.

They have committed to eliminate methane emissions by 2030, to end the routine flaring of gas by the same date, and to achieve net-zero emissions from their production operations by 2050. Adnan Amin, CEO of COP28, singled out the fact that, among the 50 firms, 29 are national oil companies.  

“That in itself is highly significant because you have not seen national oil companies so evident in these discussions before,” he told reporters.

The COP28 presidency could not disguise its glee at the flurry of announcements from the opening weekend of the conference.

“It already feels like an awful lot that we have delivered, but I am proud to say that this is just the beginning,” Majid al-Suwaidi, the COP28 director general, told reporters. 

Fred Krupp, president of the U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund, predicted: “This will be the single most impactful day I’ve seen at any COP in 30 years in terms of slowing the rate of warming.” 

But other observers said the oil and gas commitments did not go far beyond commitments many companies already make. Research firm Zero Carbon Analytics noted the deal is “voluntary and broadly repeats previous pledges.”

Melanie Robinson, global climate program director at the World Resources Institute, said it was “encouraging that some national oil companies have set methane reduction targets for the first time.” 

But she added: “Most global oil and gas companies already have stringent requirements to cut methane emissions. … This charter is proof that voluntary commitments from the oil and gas industry will never foster the level of ambition necessary to tackle the climate crisis.” 

Some critics theorized that the COP28 presidency had deliberately launched the renewables and energy efficiency targets together with the oil and gas pledge. 

The combination, said David Tong, global industry campaign manager at advocacy group Oil Change International, “appears to be a calculated move to distract from the weakness of this industry pledge.”

The charter, he added, “is a trojan horse for Big Oil and Gas greenwash.” 

Beyond voluntary moves 

A push to speed up the phaseout of coal power garnered less attention — with French President Emmanuel Macron separately unveiling a new initiative and the United States joining a growing alliance of countries pledging to zero out coal emissions.

Macron’s “coal transition accelerator” focuses on ending private financing for coal, helping coal-dependent communities and scaling up clean energy. And Washington’s new commitment confirms its path to end all coal-fired power generation unless the emissions are first captured through technology. U.S. use of coal for power generation has already plummeted in the past decade. 

The U.S. pledge will put pressure on China, the world’s largest consumer and producer of coal, as well as countries like Japan, Turkey and Australia to give up on the high-polluting fuel, said Leo Roberts, program lead on fossil fuel transitions at think tank E3G. 

“It’s symbolic, the world’s biggest economy getting behind the shift away from the dirtiest fossil fuel, coal. And it’s sending a signal to … others who haven’t made the same commitment,” he said. 

The U.S. also unveiled new restrictions on methane emissions for its oil and gas sector on Saturday — a central plank of the Biden administration’s climate plans — and several leaders called for greater efforts to curb the potent greenhouse gas in their speeches. 

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley called for a “global methane agreement” at COP28, warning that voluntary efforts hadn’t worked out. Von der Leyen, meanwhile, urged negotiators to enshrine the renewables and energy efficiency targets in the final summit text. 

Mohamed Adow, director of the think tank Power Shift Africa, warned delegates not to get distracted by nonbinding pledges. 

“We need to remember COP28 is not a trade show and a press conference,” he cautioned. “The talks are why we are here and getting an agreed fossil fuel phaseout date remains the biggest step countries need to take here in Dubai over the remaining days of the summit.”

Sara Schonhardt contributed reporting.



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South Africa vs Australia Semi-Final Live Updates, World Cup 2023: David Miller’s Lone Battle Sees South Africa Set 213-Run Target For Australia | Cricket News

SA vs AUS Semi Final Live Score, Cricket World Cup 2023: Aus need 213 runs to win© AFP

SA vs AUS, World Cup 2023 Semi-Final, Live Updates: David Miller’s powerful century propelled a struggling South Africa to 212 against Australia in ODI World Cup 2023 semi-final match on Thursday. Opting to bat, South Africa kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Miller scored 101 runs while Heinrich Klaasen scored 47. For Australia, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins scalped three wickets each while Josh Hazlewood and Travis Head scalped two wickets each. South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma won the toss and opted to bat against Australia. (Live Scorecard)

World Cup 2023 Live Updates: South Africa vs New Zealand Semi Final Score | SA vs AUS Semi Final, Straight from Eden Gardens, Kolkata

  • 18:17 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: South Africa 212 all out

    South Africa got bundled out for 212 in 49.4 overs against Australia. For South Africa, David Miller scored 101 while Heinrich Klaasen scored 47. For Australia, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins scalped three wickets each while Josh Hazlewood and Travis Head scalped two wickets each. 

  • 18:09 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! After bringing up his ton, David Miller gets dismissed by Pat Cummins for 101. Miller smashes it hard for a six but Travis Head takes a brilliant catch the long-on. Ninth wicket gone for South Africa. 

    SA 203/9 (47.2 overs)

  • 18:07 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Miller hits 100

    David Miller hits a six off Pat Cummins’ delivery and brings up his century. It is his sixth half-century in the ODI format and he brings it up in 115 balls. Terrific batting from Miller. 

    SA 202/8 (47.1 overs)

  • 17:59 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Mitchell Starc takes his third wicket of the day as he dismisses Keshav Maharaj for 4. Maharaj tries to steal a boundary but fails to time the shot as it goes up in the air and Steve Smith takes a brilliant catch at the mid-off. 

    SA 191/8 (46.2 overs)

  • 17:56 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Miller nears 100

    FOUR!!! David Miller continues to provide momentum to South Africa as he hits another boundary off Pat Cummins’ delivery. Miller plays a pull shot towards the deep mid-wicket as the ball goes across the boundary line for a four. With this, Miller has gone past the 90-run mark and inching closer towards his century. 

    SA 190/7 (46 overs)

  • 17:51 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! David Miller hits another boundary off Adam Zampa’s delivery. Miller goes on the back foot to pull between deep mid-wicket and deep square leg and steals a terrific boundary. 

    SA 178/7 (44.1 overs)

  • 17:44 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Pat Cummins has provided Australia with another breakthrough as he dismissed Gerald Coetzee for 19. Coetzee fails to judge the ball as it touches the edge of the bat and wicketkeeper Josh Inglis takes a brilliant catch behind the stumps. Seventh wicket gone for South Africa. 

    SA 172/7 (43.3 overs)

  • 17:38 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Good over from Cummins

    Pat Cummins bowls an economical over and controls the flow of runs. In the previous over, he concedes only four runs as David Miller and Gerald Coetzee continue to stitch a good partnership. 

    SA 164/6 (42 overs)

  • 17:28 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Gerald Coetzee also opens his arms and smashes a boundary off Mitchell Starc’s delivery. Coetzee leans forward and unleashes a powerful shot to the wide of cover and steals four runs. With this shot, South Africa go past the 150-run mark. 

    SA 153/6 (38.2 overs)

  • 17:20 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! David Miller continues to provide momentum to South Africa as he gets another boundary off Glenn Maxwell. Miller smears it across the line and he clears mid-wicket and beats long-on to his left and steals four runs. 

    SA 149/6 (38 overs)

  • 17:16 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! David Miller hits a boundary off Glenn Maxwell’s delivery. Miller patiently waits for the ball and then comfortably hammers it between the deep mid-wicket and deep square leg. 

    SA 139/6 (36 overs)

  • 17:12 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: 2 runs off the over

    After leaking few boundaries in the recent overs, Australia are now back in the game. In the previous over, Glenn Maxwell concedes only two as Australia aim to scalp the remaining wickets at the earliest. On the other hand, South Africa batters David Miller and Gerald Coetzee eye some boundaries in the coming overs. 

    SA 129/6 (34 overs)

  • 17:01 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Miller hits 50

    David Miller hits a boundary off Glenn Maxwell’s delivery and brings up his half-century. It is his 25th half-century in the ODI format and he brings it up in 70 balls. Terrific batting from Miller. 

    SA 123/6 (31.3 overs)

  • 16:59 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Head on a hattrick

    OUT!!! Travis Head completely changes the phase of the game as he takes two wickets back-to-back. Firstly, he clean bowled Heinrich Klaasen for 47. Later, he went on dismiss Marco Jansen for duck, who got LBW out. Sixth wicket gone for South Africa. 

    SA 119/6 (30.5 overs)

  • 16:53 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Heinrich Klaasen smashes two back-to-back boundaries off Travis Head’s delivery. With this, Klaasen has crossed the 40-run mark and inching closer towards his half-century. On the other hand, David Miller is also inching closer towards his 50. 

    SA 119/5 (30.4 overs)

  • 16:49 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: SIX

    SIX!!! David Miller smashes a huge six off Adam Zampa’s delivery. Miller makes a good use of the full-toss delivery and he smashes it hard towards the leg side as the ball lands safely into the crowd for a maximum. 

    SA 108/4 (28.4 overs)

  • 16:41 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: SIX

    SIX!!! Heinrich Klaasen smashes two back-to-back sixes off Adam Zampa’s delivery. The first one comes after Klaasen makes a good use of the short delivery and punches it hard over the deep mid-wicket for a maximum. The second one comes after he goes on the back foot and unleashes a powerful shot in the same direction. 

    SA 95/4 (26.4 overs)

  • 16:32 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Heinrich Klaasen smashes a boundary off Pat Cummins’ delivery. Klaasen places a shot towards the backward point as the ball races across the boundary line for a four. 

    SA 77/4 (24 overs)

  • 16:26 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: 1 run off the over

    Glenn Maxwell bowls an excellent over and controls the flow of runs. In the previous over, he concedes only one run as Australia need to break the budding partnership between  Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller. 

    SA 71/4 (23 overs)

  • 16:18 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! David Miller has brought some momentum towards the South Africa as he starts dealing in boundaries. In the previous over of Pat Cummins, he smashes a boundary as the pacer leaks five runs. The Proteas are gradually getting back on track. 

    SA67/4 (20 overs)

  • 16:07 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: SIX

    SIX!!! David Miller gives a sigh of relief to South Africa as he smashes a huge six off Adam Zampa’s delivery. Miller gets an on slot delivery after which he clears the deep mid-wicket as the ball lands straight into the crowd for a huge six. 

    SA 55/4 (17 overs)

  • 16:03 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Maiden Over

    Josh Hazlewood continues to cast his magic in the game. In the previous over, he bowls yet another maiden as Australia still enjoy an upper hand over South Africa. David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen are steady at the crease and aim for some boundaries in the coming overs. 

    SA 46/4 (16 overs)

  • 15:54 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Match restarts

    The second semi-final match between South Africa and Australia begins. Adam Zampa will be bowling the opening over with David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen resuming the innings at 44/4 in 14 overs. 

  • 15:46 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Rain stops, game to restart soon

    A good news is coming from Eden Gardens that the rain has stopped and the covers have been taken off. The restart time of the game has been announced as 3:55 PM. Stay tuned for all the live updates. 

  • 15:38 (IST)

  • 15:23 (IST)

    South Africa vs Australia Live: Seems like a light drizzle!

    No restart time as of yet but this looks like a passing shower. The umpire are having a chat. What happens if the match gets washed out today? Click here to read

  • 15:16 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Rain stops play!

    Rain is back at the Eden Gardens. The covers are out and players are back in the dressing rooms. Hoepfully, this is just a passing shower.

  • 15:10 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Heinrich Klaasen smashes a boundary off Pat Cummins’ delivery. After getting a full delivery, Klaasen leans forward to cream this through cover for his first boundary. 

    SA 36/4 (13.1 overs)

  • 15:07 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: 4 runs off the over

    Mitchell Starc bowls yet another brilliant over as Australia continue to enjoy an upper hand over South Africa. In the previous over, Starc concedes only four runs as David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen aim to stitch a good partnership. 

    SA 32/4 (13 overs)

  • 15:00 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Josh Hazlewood strikes again and this time he dismisses Rassie Van Der Dussen for 6. The ball hits the thick outside edge as Steve Smith takes a simple catch at the slip. Fourth wicket gone for South Africa. 

    SA 24/4 (11.5 overs)

  • 14:55 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Mitchell Starc has taken his second wicket of the day and this time he dismissed Aiden Markram for 10. Markram tries to steal a boundary by David Warner intercepts and takes a stunning catch at the backward point. 

    SA 22/3 (10.5 overs)

  • 14:51 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Aiden Markram smashes a boundary off Mitchell Starc’s delivery. Markram smashes it hard towards the mid-wicket as the ball dodges the fielder and races across the boundary line for a terrific four. 

    SA 22/2 (10.1 overs)

  • 14:48 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Australia in control

    In the first 10 overs of the match, Australia clearly have the upper hand over South Africa. The Proteas are visibly struggling against pace of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood and have lost two early wickets in the form of Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock. 

    SA 18/2 (10 overs)

  • 14:44 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: FOUR

    FOUR!!! Some relief for South Africa as Aiden Markram hits the first boundary of the day. Markram gets a loose ball from Mitchell Starc, which he brilliantly flicks it towards the square leg as the ball races across the boundary line for a four. 

    SA 16/2 (8.4 overs)

  • 14:42 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Interesting stat

    Here’s an interesting stat about Josh Hazlewood. Batters dismissed most often by Josh Hazlewood in ODIs

    8 – Quinton de Kock

    5 – Jimmy Neesham

    5 – Virat Kohli

  • 14:36 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Maiden Over

    Mitchell Starc bowls yet another brilliant over and gives an upper hand to Australia. In the previous over, he bowls a maiden as Australia aim to bundle out the Proteas at the earliest. South Africa, on the other hand, rely on the partnership between Aiden Markram and Rassie Van Der Dussen. 

    SA 8/2 (7 overs)

  • 14:29 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: OUT

    OUT!!! Josh Hazlewood has provided Australia with their second breakthrough as he dismissed Quinton de Kock for 3. In desperation of a boundary, De Kock smashes it hard but the ball goes up in the air and Pat Cummins takes a stunning catch at the mid-on. Second wicket gone for South Africa. 

    SA 8/2 (5.4 overs)

  • 14:26 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: 2 runs off the over

    Australia bowlers continue to dominate South Africa and keep the run flow in check. In the previous over of Mitchell Starc, Quinton de Kock and Rassie Van Der Dussen score only two runs as Australia enjoy the upper hand. 

    SA 8/1 (5 overs)

  • 14:17 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: SA batters struggle

    South Africa batters Quinton de Kock and Rassie Van Der Dussen are visibly struggling against the lethal pace attack of Australia. In the previous over of Mitchell Starc, the duo scores only two runs as Australia aim to get another wicket at the earliest. 

    SA 4/1 (3 overs)

  • 14:11 (IST)

    SA vs AUS Semi-Final Live Score: Good over from Hazlewood

    After a dominating start from Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood also follows his footsteps and continues to trouble the South African batters. In his previous over, Hazlewood leaks only one run as Quinton de Kock and Rassie Van Der Dussen aim for some momentum. 

    SA 2/1 (2 overs)

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Australia offers refuge to Tuvaluans as rising sea levels threaten Pacific archipelago

As sea levels continue to rise due to global warming, Tuvalu, a small archipelago in the Pacific, is seeing its territory disappear underwater, threatening the survival of its more than 11,000 inhabitants. A new treaty with Australia, however, will soon allow Tuvaluans to move to the largest country in Oceania, whose greenhouse gas emissions are partly responsible for the islanders’ plight.  

Canberra announced on Friday that it is offering climate refuge to Tuvaluans, unveiling the terms of a pact that would enable citizens of the 26-square kilometre archipelago – the fourth smallest state in the world – to move to Australia to “live, study and work”. 

Located near the Equator, the island nation of Tuvalu is comprised of nine reef islands and atolls that rise an average of only two metres above sea level. Due to rising sea levels driven by climate change, the low-lying land is forecast to be submerged by Pacific waters by the end of the century. 

The new pact between Australia and Tuvalu, signed by prime ministers Anthony Albanese and Kausea Natano, has been described as “groundbreaking ” by University of New South Wales professor and refugee law expert Jane McAdam. 

“It’s the first agreement to specifically deal with climate-related mobility,” McAdam said. 

Natano hailed the agreement as a ” beacon of hope” for his nation. 

According to the pact, which will have to be ratified by both countries before coming into effect, Tuvaluan refugees will have access to education and healthcare, as well as financial and family support in Australia. 

To avoid a damaging “brain drain”, the number of Tuvaluans able to move to Australia will initially be capped at 280 per year. 

Climate migrants 

Australia’s offer to host its South Pacific neighbours marks a new step towards the recognition of climate change refugees. 

In previous years, Tuvaluans and people from other Pacific islands seeking asylum in nearby countries such as New Zealand have seen their requests rejected, as climate change is not recognised as a basis for obtaining refugee status by the 1951 Refugee Convention

Even the term “climate refugee” has no legal definition and is not endorsed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) meanwhile defines “the movement of a person or groups of persons who, predominantly for reasons of sudden or progressive change in the environment due to climate change, are obliged to leave their habitual place of residence, or choose to do so, either temporarily or permanently, within a State or across an international border,” as “climate migration”.   

This could be applied to the entire Tuvaluan population which is currently threatened by the consequences of climate change. As the archipelago’s shorelines continue to recede, its inhabitants could eventually all be driven from their homes and become some of the world’s first climate migrants.  

Foretold threat 

Many have already warned against the climate challenges that Tuvaluans currently face. 

Fanny Héros, a project officer and scientific journalist in French climate action association Alofa Tuvalu, warned back in 2008 that “the inhabitants of Tuvalu will become the world’s first climate refugees“. 

In 2009, then Tuvaluan prime minister Apisai Ielemia said his archipelago was threatened by rising sea levels due in part to global warming caused by human activity, at the Copenhagen Summit. 

Tuvalu sounded the alarm once again in November 2021 at COP26 in Glasgow.  

“Climate change and sea level rise are deadly and existential threats to Tuvalu and low-lying island atoll countries,” Tuvalu’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Kofe said in a video statement, standing knee-deep in water. 

“We are sinking, but so is everyone else,” he said.  

“No matter if we feel the impacts today like in Tuvalu, or in a hundred years, we will all still feel the dire effects of this global crisis one day,” Kofe said. 


Tuvalu’s top diplomat delivered the same message again the following year, at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, as he urged the international community to act swiftly to stop the devastating effects of global warming on the archipelago. 

The Tuvaluan government announced earlier this year the creation of a digital version of its territory, “The First Digital Nation“, to raise awareness of the island nation’s plight, and to allow it to continue to exist as a state even after all of its land has been submerged.

“We want to be able to take a snapshot of what culture is today, and allow my children and grandchildren to have that same experience wherever they are in the world,” Kofe said in an interview with nonprofit organisation Long Now.

“So even if the physical territory is lost, we would never lose the knowledge, culture, and way of life that Tuvaluans have experienced and lived for many centuries,” he said. 


According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sea levels have risen by around 23 centimetres since 1880. This increase has accelerated steadily over the past quarter-century, to the extent that sea levels are predicted to rise by an additional 30 cm by 2050, and 77 cm by 2100. 

This means that half of Tuvalu’s territory, which has already lost two coral reefs to rising sea levels, would be underwater by 2050. And by 2100, the archipelago would be wiped off the map. 

This combination picture shows at top a Tuvaluan house, perched over an empty “borrow pit” dug by US forces during World War II in order to build the airstrip on Funafuti Atoll, home to nearly half of Tuvalu’s population of more than 11,000, on February 22, 2004, and the same house flooded at high tide. © Torsten Blackwood, AFP

And yet, shrinking land mass is not the only challenge that Tuvalu faces. 

Tuvalu’s capital, Funafuti, has also witnessed severe drought, water shortages and contaminated groundwater due to rising sea levels. The difficult climate-related conditions have subsequently translated into widespread malnutrition and displacement on the archipelago. 

‘Good neighbourliness’

“Australia and Tuvalu are family. And today we are elevating our relationship to a more integrated and comprehensive partnership,” Albanese said in a tweet on social media platform X on Friday as he announced the inking of the pact baptised ‘Falepili Union’ with Natano. 

“Falepili is a Tuvaluan word for the traditional values of good neighbourliness, care and mutual respect. Put simply, it means being a good neighbour,” Albanese said. 


The two countries will work together on “climate adaptation, work arrangements and security” in a new partnership which “recognises climate change as the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of Tuvalu”, he added. 

While some lauded the new pact, others pointed out the irony as they highlighted Australia’s share of responsibility for global warming. 

“Australia helping the people of Tuvalu who are suffering from the effects of climate change. The same Australia that has undermined every international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and is behind many environmentally disastrous projects,” one user said in a tweet. 

Another quipped: “[The] bloody magnanimity of the hero [Albanese] who will throw Tuvalu a lifeline if the island succumbs to the effects of climate change, all the while continuing to sell coal and gas to countries like China and India”. 

Australia’s economic reliance on coal and gas exports has long been a point of friction with its many Pacific neighbours, who face massive economic and social costs from wilder weather and rising sea levels. 

While Australia contributed just over one percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, it is one of the world’s top exporters of coal which remains largely responsible for global warming. 

According to Geoscience Australia, the country was in 2021 the world’s largest exporter of liquid natural gas (LNG), another cause of rising global average temperatures. 

Albanese said developed nations needed to start shouldering more responsibility as developing countries bore the brunt of the climate crisis. 

Tuvalu is far from being the only island nation threatened by climate change: others such as the Maldives (Indian Ocean), Kiribati (Polynesia), the Marshall Islands and Nauru (Oceania) are also becoming increasingly vulnerable in the face of rising sea levels and multiplying natural disasters, a result of global warming. 

(with AFP)

This article has been adapted from the original in French



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