Richmond take positives from Dogs loss

Richmond have taken plenty of self-belief from their narrow loss to the Western Bulldogs, according to coach Damien Hardwick.

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The Tigers were pipped by the reigning AFL champions by five points in an epic tussle last Saturday night.

It was just Richmond’s second defeat of the season and was a strong rebound following a heavy loss to ladder leaders Adelaide, which Hardwick described an “aberration” in their early-season form.

“The game on the weekend could have gone either way and the Bulldogs’ class showed at the end,” Hardwick said.

“They had a couple of bigger moments in the last stanza than we did but we look at our review and we’re incredibly pleased.

“Our boys took a lot of belief that we’ve taken it up to the reigning premiers.”

The Tigers take on Fremantle at the MCG on Sunday afternoon and are wary of what the Dockers will bring after their big win over Essendon last round.

Star midfielder Dion Prestia is likely to miss again, with the club taking a cautious approach to his hamstring injury.

“He’s touch and go this week but we probably think we’ll be very cautious with Dion,” Hardwick said.

“It’s not a significant injury, it’s very minor, but he’s an important long-term player for us so we’ll make sure he gets it right.

“The chance of him playing this week is slim.”

Shane Edwards is available to play after five weeks out with a hip injury but Hardwick said his lack of match fitness may count against him.

First-choice ruckman Toby Nankervis will return after serving a one-match suspension.

The Tigers will also consider keeping his replacement Ivan Soldo in the side to take on dominant Dockers ruck Aaron Sandilands or go forward and help out spearhead Jack Riewoldt.

“We were pretty pleased with Ivan and what he brought to the table with his pressure around the contest,” Hardwick said.

“He certainly looks a player of the future.

“Whether we go in with the two rucks … we’ll have a look at that come selection, but we were really pleased with what we got out of Ivan on the weekend.”

Australia’s Isaiah Firebrace makes it through to Eurovision finals in Ukraine

Australian contestant Isaiah Firebrace has made it through to the Eurovision finals to be held this weekend in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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The 17-year-old performed his song ‘Don’t Come Easy’ in the first semi-final early this morning, Australian time.

The young performer, from the tiny town of Moama in southern NSW, was one of 10 in the first semi-final to make it through to finals night.

A special message from @isaiahofficial – backstage at @SBSEurovision @SBSNews #ESC2017 #IsaiahFirebrace pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/vwlaCUFYXA

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) May 9, 2017

“Tonight I just wanted to deliver my best performance and really connect to the lyrics of my song and make Australia proud,” Firebrace said. 

“Eurovision has been a dream come true for me, and I’m so happy I get to be on the stage again for the Grand Final. I am so thankful for all the support from fans over here and everyone back home.”

WATCH: SBS Europe Correspondent Brett Mason reports from Kyiv

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Firebrace is the third Australian to compete in the contest, after Dami Im, who took second place in 2016, and Guy Sebastian, who placed fifth in 2015.

He isn’t the only Australian contestant in this year’s competition. Denmark’s contestant, Anja Nissen, was raised on her parent’s farm west of Sydney and won ‘The Voice’ in 2014.

Check @isaiahofficial’s face when he made it through to the #Eurovision grand final! #SBSEurovision pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/gkqvRzRLKB

— SBS Australia (@SBS) May 9, 2017

She will compete in the second semi-final night to be held Friday morning Australian-time.

SBS will broadcast semi-final two on Friday at 5am and the grand final on Sunday at 5am. The shows will be available on SBS On Demand shortly after they finish airing.

The finals and semi-finals will be rebroadcast this weekend, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7.30 pm.

Ukraine won the right to hold the contest with an emotionally and politically charged entry, 1944, performed by Jamala in last year’s contest.

Big “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!” in the #Kyiv arena. Here we go. Enjoy the show! @SBSEurovision #ESC2017 pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/XKxbLp5RyP

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) May 9, 2017

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UN agency seeks guidance on laptop ban

A United Nations agency has launched an effort to craft global guidance for the use of laptops and other portable electronics in passenger aircraft cabins after selective bans by the United States and Britain upset airline passengers as well as Middle Eastern carriers.

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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) met on Tuesday to debate the issue after the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and other countries complained their airlines had been unduly penalised by the decision to relegate laptops to the cargo hold on some flights due to security concerns, three sources familiar with the matter said.

But while ICAO aims to come up with global recommendations to counter the risk from hidden explosives in laptops, the agency cannot override or prevent national measures such as the US and UK bans, said one of the aviation industry sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

In March, the US announced laptop restrictions on flights originating from 10 airports in countries including the UAE, Qatar and Turkey. Britain quickly followed suit with restrictions on a slightly different set of routes.

An ICAO working paper seen by Reuters threw its weight behind concerns that laptops are a greater security risk in the passenger cabin than in the hold, because of the threat that hidden explosives could be detonated manually.

“The threat to aircraft from concealed improvised explosive devices has been the greatest security risk to commercial aircraft for some years,” it warned.

But ICAO has also asked its experts to weigh this against the safety risk of storing a larger number of flammable batteries unattended in a commercial aircraft’s baggage compartment.

European regulators have warned placing what could be hundreds of devices in the hold on long-haul flights could compromise safety by increasing the risk of fire from poorly deactivated lithium-ion batteries.

Trump fires FBI Director James Comey

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday made the shock decision to fire his FBI director James Comey, the man who leads the agency charged with investigating his campaign’s ties with Russia.

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The New York Times reported that the FBI Director learned of the news while speaking to employees in Los Angeles.

“As he spoke, TV screens began flashing the news,” the paper reported.

The FBI has been investigating Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 election which delivered Trump the White House – an investigation which Mr Comey confirmed included looking into potential links with Trump’s campaign team.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the president made the decision in response to recommendations from his Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General.

A search for a new FBI director was to begin “immediately,” the White House said in a statement.

Statement from @WhiteHouse @PressSec on @FBI Director pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/EdBRntMim5

— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) May 9, 2017

James Comey placed himself in the media spotlight last year when, days before the 2016 election, he advised congress of fresh investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State.

Earlier investigations, concluded in July, had not resulted in charges.

Nothing came of the new investigation, but Clinton later said it was a significant factor in her surprise loss last November.

Mr Comey last week testified before a Senate committee, telling members the thought that he had influenced the election made him feel “nauseous”.

WATCH: Comey ‘nauseous’ at thought he swayed US election

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In a memo, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he could not defend Comey’s handling of the case, stating it was wrong to announce the FBI’s conclusions in July.

Mr Rosenstein also said it was wrong of Comey to release “derogatory information” about Clinton in the July announcement, in which Comey said Clinton and her colleagues were “extremely careless”.

In a letter following reciept of the memo, Trump told Comey: “You are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately”.

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“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” Trump’s letter read.

In testimony to a congressional committee in March, Mr Comey confirmed the FBI was investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 elections, including potential ties to the Trump campaign.

The explosive testimony in the House Intelligence Committee – the first public hearing into both controversies – came as Trump sought to steer the news focus by calling the Russia issue, which has been a cloud over his November victory, “fake news”.

In his letter, President Trump wrote: “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”

Here are the recommendations to remove Comey from the AG and Deputy AG—they cite his handling of the Clinton investigation. pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/QzTIfN6nOx

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 9, 2017

Senator Richard Burr, chair of the Senate intelligence committee investigating potential Russian ties, said he was  “troubled by the timing and reasoning” of the president’s decision to fire Mr Comey.

The decision “further confuses and already difficult investigation” he said.

“Director Comey has been more forthcoming with information than any FBI Director I can recall in my tenure on the congressional intelligence committees. His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation.” 

FBI directors are appointed for a single 10-year term. The 56-year-old Comey, who is popular among rank-and-file agents, was appointed four years ago.

His dismissal will raise questions about Trump’s motives.

It will also prompt parallels with Richard Nixon’s decision to fire his FBI director, an event that plunged his presidency deeper into crisis.

Calls for a special prosecutor

The US Senate’s top Democrat said he told President Donald Trump it was a “big mistake” to fire FBI chief James Comey amid a probe into Russia’s alleged interference in last year’s election.

“Earlier this afternoon, President Trump called me and informed me he was firing Director Comey. I told the president, ‘Mr President, with all due respect, you are making a big mistake,'” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

Schumer joined several of his Democratic colleagues in calling for an independent prosecutor or commission to investigate claims of Russian interference, as well as possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials.

First Pres Trump fired Sally Yates, then Preet Bharara. Now #Comey. Doesn’t seem like an accident. We must have a special prosecutor.

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 9, 2017

Democrats – already angry that Congressional inquiries have been hamstrung by Republicans’ willingness to defend Trump – worried that the FBI’s investigation may also be in jeopardy.

“Congressional Republicans cannot possibly disagree now: the only fix to this mess is an independent commission with subpoena power,” said Brian Fallon, a former Justice Department and Hillary Clinton spokesman.

During testimony to Congress in March, Mr Comey flatly rejected an explosive claim from Trump that he was wiretapped by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Republicans pointed to Comey’s recent misstatement to Congress about a Clinton aide forwarding emails as a possible reason for his dismissal.

“Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well,” said Senator Lindsey Graham.

“I encourage the president to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.” 

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Comey’s axing sets off US political storm

US President Donald Trump has ignited a political firestorm by firing FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading an investigation into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign’s possible collusion with Russia to influence the election outcome.

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The Republican president said he fired Comey, the top US law enforcement official, on Tuesday over his handling of an election-year email scandal involving then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The move stunned Washington and raised concerns among Democrats and others that the White House was trying to blunt the FBI probe involving Russia.

Some Democrats compared Trump’s move to the “Saturday Night Massacre” of 1973, in which President Richard Nixon fired an independent special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.

White House officials denied allegations that there was any political motive in the move by Trump, who took office on January 20.

But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he spoke to Trump and told him he was “making a very big mistake” in firing Comey, adding the president did not “really answer” in response.

An independent investigation into Moscow’s role in the election “is now the only way to go to restore the American people’s faith,” Schumer said.

Senator Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is overseeing its own investigation into Russian interference during the election, said in a statement he was troubled by the timing of Comey’s termination.

“His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation,” Burr said.

US intelligence agencies concluded in a January report that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered an effort to disrupt the 2016 election, with the aim of helping Trump.

Russia has repeatedly denied any meddling in the election and the Trump administration denies allegations of collusion with Russia.

Trump, in a letter to Comey released by the White House, said: “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”

The president told Comey in the letter that he accepted the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he could no longer provide effective leadership. Comey’s term was to run through September 2023. He was appointed director by Democratic President Barack Obama in 2013.

Sessions advised Trump’s campaign before being picked by the president to lead the Justice Department. Sessions had recused himself from involvement in the Russia investigation, after he misstated his own 2016 contacts with Russia’s ambassador to Washington.

Pushing back against critics of the move, White House officials said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a career prosecutor who took office on April 25, assessed the situation at the FBI and concluded that Comey had lost his confidence.

Rosenstein sent his recommendation to Sessions, who concurred and they forwarded their recommendation to Trump, who accepted it on Tuesday, they said.

The White House released a memo in which Rosenstein wrote: “I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”

A White House official said Trump aide Keith Schiller hand-delivered the letter firing Comey to the FBI.

Trump, in his letter to Comey, said: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.”