Woosha backing in Dons after AFL shocker

Essendon coach John Worsfold isn’t planning to swing the axe after their dismal loss to AFL cellar-dwellers Brisbane.

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After leading Sunday’s clash at Etihad Stadium by 27 points early in the last term, the Bombers were found wanting again in a tight finish, going down by eight points.

It was another frustrating capitulation a week after losing to Sydney by a point after surrendering a three-goal lead in the dying minutes.

Essendon have lost four of their past five games to remain two wins outside of the top eight but Worsfold is backing change from within ahead of Saturday’s clash with Collingwood.

“I’m not expecting to make too many,” Worsfold said on Wednesday.

“I’m a coach who definitely expects the players to drive what they expect from each other.

“We’re very clear on the way we want to play footy and we’re very clear that we didn’t play that way on the weekend.”

The shock loss to the last-placed Lions prompted Bombers chief executive Xavier Campbell to vent his frustration on Twitter in a post retweeted by the club’s official feed.

“Not good enough. Not even close. Fans deserve so much better. 41,000 came out today and we let you down,” Campbell wrote.

Campbell has since apologised to the players but Worsfold said he had no problem with the reaction.

“When I saw it I said ‘that pretty much sums up how we all feel’,” Worsfold said.

“We felt like we let our fans down but we let ourselves down as well.”

Worsfold said there were obvious similarities between the 11th-placed Bombers and 15th-placed Magpies ahead of Saturday’s game.

“They’re playing pretty good footy without getting wins on the board,” he said.

“We’re not assessing them as a team that’s a lot lower than us on the ladder and therefore not performing well.”

The Bombers will likely turn to Michael Hurley or Michael Hartley to stand the 211cm-Mason Cox, who booted three goals during the Pies’ loss to Hawthorn on Sunday.

Service sector activity up in June

Activity in the Australian services sector activity lifted in June, expanding for the fourth straight month, but businesses are finding high energy costs a problem.

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The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Services Index (PSI) rose 3.3 points to 54.8 points in the month, staying above the 50-point level signifying expansion.

Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said the services sector ended the financial year in positive territory, but conditions remain patchy across the sub-sectors.

“On the business inputs side, more businesses, across a wider range of sectors, are telling us that energy pricing and availability outlook is highly challenging,” Mr Willox said on Wednesday.

“The energy problem has become real and immediate for Australian business.”

The input prices sub-index lifted by 1.2 points to 59.3 points in June, with businesses continuing to single out high energy cost pressures across various sectors.

The wage sub-index also rose – up 4.4 points to 56.3 points – indicating stronger upward pressure on wages across the services sector.

Sales, new orders and employment all expanded.

Selling prices lifted after being weak over the last 18 months, but the lift suggested only mild price rises for customers.

Five of the nine services sub-sectors – property and business, finance and insurance, wholesale trade, personal and recreational services, and hospitality – expanded in June.

But transport and storage, health and community services, retail trade, and communication services contracted.

The Ai survey said some respondents had noted positive demand for business-to business services from the construction and infrastructure investment sectors.

Some businesses said consumer confidence had improved but this had not translated into better sales in retail.

Others said greater competition from offshore and online providers was negatively affecting activity across sectors that are consumer-oriented.

Migrant experience installation redesigned for Trump’s America

They may be fast disappearing from the streets of New York, but an Afghan-American artist has installed public telephone booths in Times Square to spotlight the immigrant experience in Donald Trump’s America.

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New York today boasts no more than four public phone booths, the last vestiges of a pre cell-phone era. The arrival of three in Times Square as part of Aman Mojadidi’s ‘Once Upon a Place’ installation has nearly doubled that number.

Passers by can pick up the handset, but cannot talk. Instead they listen. At the end of the line are the voices of New Yorkers telling their personal stories of immigration – legal or illegal – from around the world.

Mojadidi asked each to narrate their experiences in their own language for a maximum of 15 minutes, without interrupting with any questions. Nor has their testimony been translated into English.

“Even if you don’t understand the language, you can feel the emotion as if it is a song maybe,” he explained to AFP.

The art project boasts more than five hours of recordings from 70 different New Yorkers and will remain in Times Square until September 5.

Mojadidi first started working on the project in 2014, well before Trump ran for president and unleashed vehement rhetoric against unauthorised immigrants and took office attempting to restrict immigration from certain Muslim countries.

The shifting political environment saw Mojadidi scrap initial plans to dot the project around the city and hold formal workshops in different communities. He said his subjects became “very nervous” about the idea.

“Even if you don’t understand the language, you can feel the emotion”: Aman Mojadidi. Pic: Times Square Arts长沙桑拿,timessquarenyc长沙楼凤,

“‘Why do we need to come there? Who else is going to be there?'” he quoted them as saying.

“In the end, it was all very one on one. So the way I implemented the project changed a lot.”

Nor is the choice of telephone booths insignificant.

“When I learned how phone booths were starting to be removed from the streets, not just in New York but in other cities around the world, I immediately thought about all of the stories that are trapped inside of these phones,” he said.

“I thought of a natural way to bring stories back to the streets by using the phone booths, bring back the spirit of the phone booths.”

Aman Mojadidi’s ‘Once Upon A Place’ is in Times Square until September 5. Pic: Times Square ArtsTwitter/Times Square Arts

Palmer rejects Queensland Nickel lawsuit

Clive Palmer has rejected a federal government lawsuit against him and nephew Clive Mensink over the collapse of Queensland Nickel as baseless and politically motivated.

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Mr Palmer said in a statement that the claim, lodged late last week in the Supreme Court in Brisbane by the government-appointed liquidators of QN, had “no legal basis” and was “just a desperate attempt for the government to act for political purposes”.

The 280-page claim is attempting to claw back some of the $300 million in debts left when QN collapsed in early 2016, leaving hundreds without a job.

It names 21 defendants including Mr Mensink, a string of Mr Palmer’s companies, former QN director Ian Ferguson, Mr Palmer’s father-in-law, and two mystery women in Hong Kong and Kyrgyzstan .

Mr Palmer, who is currently on a luxury European cruise with his family, is being personally pursued for $73 million he allegedly transferred from QN.

He is also being sued for $207 million in compensation for allegedly breaching his duties as director.

The liquidators want a declaration Mr Palmer acted as a ‘shadow director’ for QN after formally stepping away from the company.

They claim he exerted power over the company’s direction and finances from behind the scenes.

“During the periods when Mr Palmer was not a validly appointed director of QNI prior to 18 January 2016, Mr Mensink and Mr Ferguson, being validly appointed directors of QNI, were accustomed to act in accordance with Mr Palmer’s instructions and wishes,” the claim reads.

It alleges Mr Palmer used emails and text messages to give instructions to Mr Mensink and Mr Ferguson, that he remained a signatory to QN bank accounts even when he ceased to be an appointed director, and that he also signed documents that shaped the business.

Mr Mensink is being sued for $110 million in compensation for alleged breaches as a director, while Mr Ferguson is being sued for $25 million.

The claim also alleges Mr Palmer and Mr Mensink continued to trade after the company became insolvent in October 2015, and so are responsible for the $13 million in debts wracked up by QN before it collapsed a few months later.

Mr Mensink has been out of the country since June last year, and has failed to appear at the Federal Court in Brisbane on a number of occasions to face liquidators over QN’s collapse.

Mr Palmer said he has filed a lawsuit against the liquidators in the Federal Court.