Cancer survivor steals the show at Bells

Phillip Island surfer Glyndyn Ringrose bowed out of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach but the 44-year-old cancer survivor felt like a winner.

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Competing in his first world championship tour event in 17 years, Ringrose claimed a wildcard for Bells with a surprise win at last week’s Visit Victoria contest.

His heart-warming comeback to the World Surf League ended in a one-sided 18.40 to 8.83 loss to South Africa’s Jordy Smith in Sunday’s round-two heat.

But hometown hero Ringrose was all smiles as he was chaired off the beach by friends.

“Here I am at 44, and the cancer thing definitely did spur me on,” Ringrose said.

“I encourage anyone if you do have any issues, don’t be ashamed. Go ahead and get tested and go see doctors, because life’s just so much more worth living than giving up and letting go.”

Ringrose, who was on the pro tour in 1999 and 2000, was shocked when he heard the initial diagnosis.

He received strong support from family and friends and has a renewed perspective on life since undergoing successful surgery.

“Luckily with your testicles when they operate and take it out, it’s usually contained within it, so now all I have to do is regular surveillance and blood tests,” he said.

“That really made me think that life is more than this, and that spurred me on to really try hard and give it a good go.”

The first seven second-round heats were held at the Bowl before organisers moved the remaining five heats to nearby Winkipop due to changing conditions.

Joining Smith in round three was Australia’s three-time Bells Beach champion Joel Parkinson, who beat Brazilian teenager Samuel Pupo.

“I guess I’m suited to the wave, but I’ve got a strategy and I haven’t really changed it since the day I first turned up and surfed it,” Parkinson said.

Three-time world champion Mick Fanning produced arguably his best form of the season, cruising into round three with a convincing win over Australia’s 2016 junior world champion Ethan Ewing.

Fanning, who is 22nd on the WSL rankings after two rounds, looked strong as he racked up scores of 9.20 and 9.00.

Hawaiian Sebastian Zietz progressed to round three after narrowly beating Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti 16.93 to 16.84 in a high quality heat.

Also advancing to round three was Hawaii’s Ezekiel Lau, who knocked out American Conner Coffin 18.40 to 16.40.

Australia’s Connor O’Leary beat Brazil’s Jadsen Andre, though fellow Aussie Josh Kerr lost a closely fought heat to Frenchman Joan Duru.

Stuart Kennedy and Bede Durbidge meet in an all-Australian round two heat, while Gold Coast surfer Jack Freestone takes on France’s Jeremy Flores in the final heat of the day.

North Korea threatens ‘nuclear justice’ during massive military parade

North Korea’s weapons of war rolled through Pyongyang streets on Saturday and it promised “nuclear justice” in response to any atomic attack as leader Kim Jong-Un mounted a spectacular show of strength.

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Tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions are stretched to the limit, with US President Donald Trump deploying an aircraft carrier battle group to the region.

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After a 21-gun salute, tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen goose-stepped through Kim Il-Sung Square turning their eyes towards the high balcony from where Kim watched, flanked by officers and officials.

Some detachments carried assault rifles or rocket-propelled grenades, others were equipped with night-vision goggles and daubed in face paint. One troupe was made up of sword-wielding women.

Tanks came next through the square – named after Kim’s grandfather, the North’s founder – followed by the objects of world concern.

WATCH: North Korean military marches at full tilt

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A total of 56 missiles of 10 different types were displayed, culminating in enormous rockets on articulated trailers and on 16-wheeler vehicles.

The nuclear-armed North is under United Nations sanctions over its weapons programmes, and has ambitions to build a rocket capable of delivering a warhead to the US mainland – something Trump has vowed “won’t happen”.

Ostensibly Saturday’s event was to mark the 105th anniversary of Kim Il-Sung’s birth – a date known as the “Day of the Sun” in the North – and a squadron of warplanes flew overhead forming the number.

But it was also intended to send an unmistakable message to Washington about the isolated country’s military might.

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Kim’s close aide Choe Ryong-Hae declared that the North was a “powerful nuclear-armed state in the Orient and Asia’s leader in rocketry”.

It could “beat down enemies with the power of nuclear justice”, he said, and was “prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war.

“We are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks,” he said.

WATCH: China warns of ‘irreversible’ North Korea situation

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Fever pitch

The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty and Pyongyang says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against a possible US invasion.

It has carried out five nuclear tests – two of them last year – and multiple missile launches, one of which saw several rockets come down in waters provocatively close to Japan last month.

Speculation that it could conduct a sixth blast in the coming days to coincide with the anniversary has reached fever pitch, with specialist US website 38North describing its Punggye-ri test site as “primed and ready” and White House officials saying military options were “already being assessed”.

After dispatching the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and an accompanying battle group to the Korean peninsula Trump told the Fox Business Network: “We are sending an armada.”

“He is doing the wrong thing,” he added of Kim. “He’s making a big mistake.”

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China, the North’s sole major ally, and Russia have both urged restraint, with Beijing’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warning Friday that “conflict could break out at any moment”.

The North is aiming its message at China as well as the US, analysts say.

Beijing’s priority remains preventing any instability on its doorstep, and it has been unnerved by the sabre-rattling.

But diplomats in Pyongyang point out that the North raises its rhetoric every spring, when Washington and Seoul hold annual joint military exercises that it views as preparations for invasion. 

It has not previously held a nuclear test in the month of April.

Testing times

Military specialists keep a close eye on Pyongyang’s parades for clues about developments in its capabilities.

The hardware displayed Saturday included what appeared to be new ICBMs or prototypes, and the Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missile, which Pyongyang successfully test-fired last August, reports and analysts said.

The rockets carried on articulated trailers appeared to be longer than the North’s existing KN-08 or KN-14 missiles, analysts said.

In this image made from video broadcast by North Korean broadcaster KRT, soldiers take part in a parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. (AAP)AAP

Chad O’Carroll, managing director of specialist service NK News, told AFP they could be a liquid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missile, or an early version of one, even though Pyongyang has yet to formally announce it has an operational ICBM.

“It will be a big game-changer once it is deployed in service but they have got a long testing schedule ahead,” he said.

“We’ll probably see more engine tests or component tests building up eventually to an actual test of the full unit.”

‘Long live!’

Pyongyang could use the parade as a show of strength in preference to a nuclear test, analysts said.

It wanted to send “a tough message to the United States in response to the Trump administration’s recent rhetoric and the military steps the United States has taken”, said Evans Revere of the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Another missile launch or nuclear test “can’t be ruled out”, he said, but the recent US cruise missile strike on Syria and Washington’s tough stance “may give Pyongyang some pause”.

“A parade is a highly visible but non-kinetic way of showing off capabilities,” he told AFP.

Kim did not address the rally himself on Saturday, instead waving and smiling as ecstatic crowds of flag- and flower-bearing civilians – men in suits, women in traditional hanbok dresses – filed past him behind the military display.

“Long live!” they chanted, some in tears.

Slater wants Foran at the Storm

Billy Slater has endorsed Kieran Foran as Cooper Cronk’s potential replacement at Melbourne.

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Foran is off contract at the end of the year and wants to move back to Australia to be closer to his children in Sydney.

The former New Zealand five-eighth has largely been tipped to head to Canterbury, but also linked to the Storm following the announcement of Cronk’s departure.

And Slater said he believed he would fit right into the Storm’s attacking structure.

“Of the guys that are off contract … Probably a Kieran Foran,” Slater responded when asked on Nine’s Footy Show about who should replace Cronk.

“I think he would suit the style of play down in Melbourne.

“Just the directness that he plays with would certainly suit our style of football as well.”

The Storm have a strong Kiwi culture that could appeal to Foran, with New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich one of the senior players at the club.

Foran is also close with former Manly teammate Brett Stewart, who is running a business in Melbourne, while the mother of his children also reportedly has relatives in the Victorian capital.

Melbourne face the prospect of being cashed up for the first time in almost a decade with the departure of Cronk at the end of the season and Slater considering retirement.

The Melbourne fullback had the best game since his return in Saturday’s 30-26 win over Manly, setting up three tries and making a key line break in the lead-up to another.

“It’s been on my mind,” Slater said of whether he would play on.

“I’m not too sure, I wasn’t even thinking of anything past this year.

“But back playing now, I’m really enjoying my football and I just want to get a few more games under my belt and if the opportunity comes up to play next year, I will look at that.”

Meanwhile NRL immortal Andrew Johns said he believed 33-year-old Cronk could play on for up to another three years.

“His game isn’t based around speed,” Johns said.

“It’s based around organisation and ball-playing and smarts.

“That’s what he got an abundance of.”

Motor racing – Ricciardo looks to second half of the season

Red Bull’s smiling Australian, who finished third overall last season behind the Mercedes duo of now-retired champion Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, has had reason to scowl after the first two races of 2017.

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His home grand prix in Melbourne was wrecked by mechanical failure while in China he finished behind 19-year-old Dutch team mate Max Verstappen – who took third place despite starting 16th. Ricciardo, fifth on the grid, ended up fourth.

“After the race in China I was pretty pissed off,” he told Reuters at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“I just felt I could get more out of myself and when you are that close to a podium…”

The 27-year-old, whose beaming grin has become as familiar to fans as his “shoey” podium celebration of drinking champagne from his boot, said he had already had to recalibrate expectations.

“If I expect to win every race then I’ll probably become miserable because it’s unrealistic, but I think we know where we are now,” he added.

“Coming into this weekend I think fifth probably has to be the target and that’s what I’ll focus on.”

Champions Mercedes and rivals Ferrari have become the pacesetters, with Ricciardo’s former team mate Sebastian Vettel leading the standings jointly with Hamilton.

Red Bull are some way off the leaders’ pace even if Friday practise in Bahrain showed them to be more competitive than expected, with Ricciardo third on the evening timesheets.

Team principal Christian Horner said the real test would be the first race of the European season in Barcelona next month when major updates come through, but Ricciardo was looking further down the road.

“At this stage unfortunately we’re not battling for the big points yet,” he said.

“We’re not quick enough. But you’d like to think second half of the year we should start getting some chances. It will be very hard I think before August to get a win now.”

MONACO REPEAT

Ricciardo won last October in Malaysia, after Hamilton’s engine blew, and started on pole position in Monaco in May – the only time a non-Mercedes driver took the top slot in all of last season.

“I’m looking forward to Monaco but to have any chance of a kind of a repeat of last year we need to be well within a second on a normal track. If we are 1.2 off in Barcelona, I don’t think we can win Monaco,” said the Perth native.

“Even if I feel I can do a bit more, we need to be within half a second to have a chance in Monaco…if we just get something fundamentally right on the car, whether it’s floor, sidepod or something which generates a ton more downforce, then we could turn it around probably.”

The rivalry with Verstappen, considered potentially the most explosive in the sport with two race winners vying to be top dog, is bubbling along nicely but without any sign of looming flare-ups.

“I think it could still be very tasty. Unfortunately, at the moment it’s not looking like it’s going to be a world title hunt,” said the Australian.

“I like our relationship, I like the rivalry we’ve got. But I think now it’s important for us to use that to the team’s advantage and whatever fire we’ve got, use that to push the team and give them as much feedback development as possible.”

The pair felt the heat of battle last year, fighting each other for victory in Malaysia in a team one-two finish and the podium in Germany and Mexico. Verstappen won in Spain on his team debut.

“If we just keep the same mindset, focus on each other but have respect within the battle, I don’t feel it needs to blow up any further,” said Ricciardo.

“You can never predict what’s going to happen, if we end up having an on-track incident, but if it remains like it is it should be alright.”

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Bombing of Syrian bus convoy kills dozens outside Aleppo

The agreement had stalled, leaving thousands of people from both government-besieged and rebel-besieged areas stranded at two transit points on the city’s outskirts, before the explosion occurred.

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Late on Saturday buses began crossing into both government-held and rebel-held territory from the two transit points as the deal resumed, pro-Damascus media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported.

But the incident underscored the difficulty carrying out any agreement between warring sides in a volatile and complex Syrian conflict which, in its seventh year, shows no signs of easing.

A media unit run by Damascus ally Hezbollah said the attack was carried out by a suicide car bomb and killed at least 100 people. The Observatory said more than 24 were killed and scores more wounded.

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Footage on state TV showed bodies lying next to charred buses with their windows blown out, and vehicles in flames.

The blast hit buses in the Rashidin area on Aleppo’s outskirts. The vehicles had been waiting since Friday to cross from rebel-held territory into the government-controlled city itself. Ambulances later took the wounded to hospital in Aleppo.

The convoy was carrying residents and pro-government fighters from the Shi’ite villages of al-Foua and Kefraya, which are besieged by rebels in nearby Idlib province, an insurgent stronghold.

They had left under a deal where, in exchange, hundreds of Sunni insurgents and their families were granted safe passage from Madaya, a government-besieged town near Damascus.

But a delay in the agreement had left all those evacuated stuck at transit points on Aleppo’s outskirts since late on Friday.

Residents of al-Foua and Kefraya waited in the Rashidin area.

WATCH: Syrian evacuate in their thousands

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Rebels and residents of Madaya meanwhile waited at the government-held Ramousah bus garage, a few miles away. They were to be transported to Idlib.

People waiting in the Ramousah garage heard the blast, and said they feared revenge attacks by pro-government forces. They circulated a statement on social media imploring “international organizations” to intervene so the situation did not escalate.

The evacuation deal is one of several over recent months that has seen President Bashar al-Assad’s government take back control of areas long besieged by his forces and their allies.

The deals are unpopular with the Syrian opposition, who say they amount to forced displacement of Assad’s opponents from Syria’s main urban centers in the west of the country.

A handout photo made available by Thiqa News Agency (TNA) showing rescue and media personnel at the scene of a car bomb attack (AAP)AAP

They are also causing demographic changes because those who are displaced are usually Sunni Muslims, like most of the opposition. Assad is from the minority Alawite sect and is supported by Shi’ite regional allies.

It was unclear who carried out Saturday’s bombing attack.

The exact reasons for the delay in completing the evacuation deal were also unclear.

‘Forced displacement’

The Observatory said the delay was caused by the fact that rebels from Zabadani, another town near Damascus included in the deal, had not yet been granted safe passage out.

A pro-opposition activist said insurgents blamed the delay partly on the fact that a smaller number of pro-government fighters had left the Shi’ite villages than was agreed.

Earlier on Saturday, at the transit point where the buses from al-Foua and Kefraya were waiting, one resident said he was not yet sure where he would live.

“After Aleppo I’ll see what the rest of the group is doing, if there are any preparations. My house, land and belongings are all in al-Foua,” Mehdi Tahhan said.

A Madaya resident, speaking from the bus garage inside Aleppo, said people had been waiting there since late on Friday, and were not being allowed to leave.

“There’s no drinking water or food. The bus garage is small so there’s not much space to move around,” Ahmed, 24, said.

“We’re sad and angry about what has happened,” he said. Many people felt that they had been forced to leave,” he said.

“There was no other choice in the end – we were besieged inside a small area in Madaya.”

Other evacuation deals in recent months have included areas of Aleppo and a district in the city of Homs.

Syria’s population is mostly Sunni. Assad’s Alawite religious minority is often considered an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

He has been backed militarily by Russia, and by Shi’ite fighters from Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah group in Syria’s six-year-old conflict.

Assad has the military advantage over rebels in the west thanks to Russia’s intervention in 2015, although the insurgents are still fighting back and have made gains in some areas.

Warning for Facebook over new EU privacy rules

Companies like Facebook will soon find it harder to continue their current ways of collecting client data when tougher EU data protection rules come into force next year, Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems says.

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The 29-year-old law student won a landmark case in 2015, when the EU top court struck down a data-sharing scheme with the United States, ruling that it did not fully protect the rights of EU citizens.

The case centred on Schrems’ complaint that Facebook stores user data in the US, where intelligence services can gain access to them.

Schrems said that the new EU General Data Protection Regulation is an improvement, even though it is imperfect in many ways.

“The General Regulation makes data protection enforceable,” he said.

“In the future, there will not only be fines, but any aggrieved party will also be able to claim emotional damages. If there is a high number of affected people, these damages can far exceed the fines.

Max Schrems (L) and his lawyer at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in 2015.AP

“In any case, the breathing space for Facebook and other such companies is definitely shrinking if they do not comply with the law.”

Under the new rules, fines for companies can run up to 25 million euros (A$35 million).

However, the EU legislation has severe shortcomings, Schrems said.

“For example, the administrative regulations put a heavy burden on companies. Also, many of the rules are too hazy. The 28 (EU) member states only managed to agree on a few concrete issues. When you set fines of up to 25 million euros, you would also need clearer and simpler rules for citizens and businesses.”

Since his legal victory in 2015, Schrems has pursued other ways to challenge Facebook.

The EU’s top court is currently mulling whether Schrems can file an international class action lawsuit in Austria against the US social media giant.

“The European Court of Justice will probably decide by the end of the year. If we win, we have 25,000 supporters on our class action roster,” Schrems said.

The planned class suit targets Facebook’s participation in online spying by the US National Security Agency and other alleged data breaches, such as the tracking of users on other websites.

Schrems is also party to a case in which Ireland’s data protection agency seeks a ruling on the European Commission’s model contract clauses that companies such as Facebook use to transfer personal user data to non-EU countries.

“The most important question is whether the [Irish] court will state again in this case that there is a massive misuse of data in the US under the shield of national security,” Schrems said.

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Ricciardo’s realistic goal for Bahrain GP

Daniel Ricciardo is an optimist but even optimism has its limits.

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Red Bull’s smiling Australian, who finished third overall last season behind the Mercedes duo of now-retired champion Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, has had reason to scowl after the first two races of 2017.

The Australian Gand Prix in Melbourne was wrecked by mechanical failure while in China Ricciardo finished behind 19-year-old Dutch teammate Max Verstappen – who took third place despite starting 16th. Ricciardo, fifth on the grid, ended up fourth.

“After the race in China I was pretty pissed off,” he told Reuters at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“I just felt I could get more out of myself and when you are that close to a podium…”

The 27-year-old, whose beaming grin has become as familiar to fans as his “shoey” podium celebration of drinking champagne from his boot, said he had already had to recalibrate expectations.

“If I expect to win every race then I’ll probably become miserable because it’s unrealistic, but I think we know where we are now,” he added.

“Coming in to this weekend I think fifth probably has to be the target and that’s what I’ll focus on.”

Champions Mercedes and rivals Ferrari have become the pacesetters, with Ricciardo’s former teammate Sebastian Vettel leading the standings jointly with Hamilton.

Red Bull are some way off the leaders’ pace even if Friday practice in Bahrain showed them to be more competitive than expected, with Ricciardo third on the evening timesheets.

Vettel was fastest, ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the real test would be the first race of the European season in Barcelona next month when major updates come through but Ricciardo was looking further down the road.

“At this stage unfortunately we’re not battling for the big points yet,” he said.

“We’re not quick enough but you’d like to think second half of the year we should start getting some chances.

“It will be very hard I think before August to get a win now.”

Turkey’s Yes and No camps target undecided in referendum sprint

Turkey’s top politicians made a final effort on Saturday to sway undecided voters in a frenetic end to a bitterly-contested campaign in the referendum on expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.

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Campaigning ends at 3pm GMT but both the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ camps were squeezing in a flurry of rallies as the clock ticked down to Sunday’s landmark poll.

Analysts see the poll as a historic choice on the direction of the NATO member which will shape its future political system and determine relations with the West.

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If passed, the new presidential system will implement the most radical political shake-up since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, dispensing with the office of the prime minister and centralising the entire executive bureaucracy under the presidency.

Erdogan in a late night interview with TRT state television confidently predicted victory, saying surveys showed a ‘Yes’ vote of 55-60 percent.

“On Sunday I think that could be a very clear outcome in favour of ‘Yes'” he said.

Opinion polls have predicted drastically different outcomes and victories for both sides. But the ruling party and presidency are widely believed to conduct their own confidential polling.

‘Last messages’

Erdogan, who has dominated the airwaves in recent weeks with multiple daily rallies and interviews, was due to give four more speeches in Istanbul.

“God willing, this nation will celebrate tomorrow evening,” he said in the first of the rallies. “Tomorrow is very important, you will definitely go to ballot box and cast your vote,” he told supporters.

The standard-bearer of the ‘No’ camp, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, warned at a meeting in the Ankara region that Turkey was deciding if “we want to continue with the democratic parliamentary system or one man rule”.

Watch: Campaigning ahead of the election

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He described the new system as “a bus with no brakes and whose destination is unknown.”

The opposition has cried foul that the referendum has been conducted on unfair terms, with ‘Yes’ posters ubiquitous on the streets and opposition voices squeezed from the media.

The two co-leaders of the second opposition party the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, have been jailed on charges of backing Kurdish militants in what supporters say was a deliberate move to eliminate them from the campaign.

The HDP was due later Saturday to hold a final mass rally in its stronghold of Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey.

“The last messages,” headlined the Hurriyet daily. “With one day remaining to the historic referendum the leaders are making the final calls to influence undecided voters.”

Security an issue

The campaign, however, has not been plain sailing for Erdogan, and some heavyweight figures within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have been conspicuously silent on the new system.

Former prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke before Erdogan at a ‘Yes’ rally in the Anatolian city of Konya on Friday but, to the amusement of opposition commentators, failed once to endorse the presidential system.

Watch: Turkey, voices of protest

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The ‘Yes’ campaign also hit a last minute hitch when the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the AKP’s partner in promoting the changes, reacted angrily to comments by a presidential adviser suggesting a federal system could be imposed in Turkey.

Such a system is an anathema to nationalists who believe in the indivisible unity of Turkey and particularly fear the creation of any Kurdish region in the southeast.

Erdogan moved rapidly to say that no such plan was on the agenda and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said the issue was now closed.

Turkish media said all AKP advisers and ministers had been told to cancel TV interviews scheduled for the last hours of the campaign to prevent further slip-ups.

After a slew of attacks over the last year blamed on Kurdish militants and jihadists, security is set to be a major issue on polling day.

Authorities in Istanbul on Friday detained five people suspected of planning an attack on polling day, following the arrest of 19 alleged Islamist extremists in the Aegean city of Izmir earlier in the week.

More than 33,500 police officers will be on duty in Istanbul alone on referendum day, according to Turkish media.

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Tell us something new on housing: Shorten

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says Malcolm Turnbull and his treasurer should stop regurgitating old ideas on housing and pretending they’re new.

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He says the prime minister and Scott Morrison should instead deal with the real problems of house affordability, such as reining in housing tax concessions.

He dismissed reports suggesting the May 9 budget will announce the unlocking of government-owned land for new housing, including defence land in his own seat of Maribyrnong, saying they had been around for six or seven years.

“Stop re-announcing old news trying to pretend it’s new,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.

Key crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm questioned why the government had made housing affordability its problem saying the issue had erupted into open warfare on its frontbench last week.

Ministers were openly arguing for and against allowing young people to tap into their superannuation to help build a home deposit, which former Liberal John Hewson described as an “embarrassing free-for-all”.

Mr Morrison has made tackling housing affordability a key plank of his second budget.

But other than flagging a mechanism to encourage the private sector to invest in cheaper community housing, there are question marks about what else he can do to counter rampant house prices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Morrison has ruled out curbing tax concessions that favour housing investors, such as negative gearing, which Labor wants to limit to new properties.

“Why the hell is there a debate at all concerning the federal government?” Senator Leyonhjelm asked on Sky News.

“The levers that the federal government has at its disposal really aren’t all that useful in terms of housing affordability.”

Issues like housing supply, stamp duty and land tax were a state issue, the Liberal Democratic senator said.

Dr Hewson said it was bad politics to raise expectations beyond what you could deliver.

“Expectations are now running pretty strongly that there is going to be a fairly quick silver bullet, instantaneous-type solution,” he told Sky News.

Former Labor minister Craig Emerson agreed.

“They have erected a very large hurdle …. which they will not be able to jump, they’ll fall at the first one,” Dr Emerson said.

Dr Hewson said Mr Turnbull must impose some discipline to end the government’s embarrassing free-for-all on tackling housing affordability.

“My solution (while leader), and it may not be transferable, is to give everybody a job, make them feel important in the policy development process,” he said.

“Kept them so damn busy they didn’t have time to do all this stuff, and the ones you didn’t like you sent them off overseas.”

Leilua fires Raiders to win over Warriors

The drums are beating for Joey Leilua in the nation’s capital, and it’s not just the Viking Clap.

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The Canberra centre powerhouse put in a compelling case for a NSW State of Origin call-up with a blockbusting two-try effort in his side’s 20-8 NRL win over the Warriors on Saturday night at GIO Stadium.

While it was his centre partner and skipper Jarrod Croker who turned the game with a sublime try-saver on Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in the shadows of halftime, Leilua was the chief destroyer.

His tries either side of halftime proved the eventual difference in front of 13,966 fans, as he finished with 125m, seven tackle busts and two linebreaks in Ricky Stuart’s side’s third victory on the trot.

While NSW coach Laurie Daley has an embarrassment of riches in the three-quarter department, Leilua’s name is beginning to be mentioned more often in Blues dispatches.

He received a ringing endorsement from Blues great Steve Roach who said during the Fox Sports broadcast: “You pick guys who Queensland won’t want to play against and they won’t want to play this guy.”

The common knock on Leilua has been that his defence isn’t up to the Origin arena and Raiders coach Stuart refuses to be drawn on his detractors.

“I don’t listen to those knocks. I just worry about how I coach him,” Stuart said.

Stuart praised Leilua for his hunger to go looking for the ball, even if it sometimes meant his side were bent out of shape.

“It’s there every week with Joey and Jordan (Rapana). We’re very lucky – we’ve got a very unique style of attacking team,” Stuart said.

“We’re different to every other side but that’s the way we like it. They’ve got a very healthy appetite to get the football and it’s good.”

The game seemingly turned when Croker stopped an almost certain Tuivasa-Sheck try three minutes from halftime.

The visitors went into the sheds up 8-6 but Leilua overturned the deficit with 20 minutes on the clock when he steamrolled over some would-be defenders on the back of a Ken Maumalo blunder.

The Raiders never gave up the lead and, when Josh Hodgson burrowed over in the 66th to put the icing on the cake, the Raiders had cemented their reputation as real contenders.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney was left to lament his side’s inability to convert their chances in the first half after they were twice denied by the video referees.

“We just didn’t give ourselves a good enough opportunity in the second half; we were a little bit unlucky to be in the position we were in at halftime,” Kearney said.

“We created some opportunities and, in the second half, we just didn’t give ourselves a chance.”

Warriors second-rower Bodene Thompson is facing suspension after being put on report for seemingly elbowing Aidan Sezer in the head in a tackle.