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Messam and Cruden to start for Chiefs

All Blacks Liam Messam and Aaron Cruden are among four faces introduced to the Chiefs’ starting line-up for Friday’s Super Rugby match against the Brumbies in New Plymouth.

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The key pair missed last Saturday’s opening round 23-18 win over the Blues.

Messam replaces Johan Bardoul on the blindside flank and will captain the team while Cruden’s return means a demotion to the reserves bench for 19-year-old five-eighth Damian McKenzie, who shone against the Blues.

A third current All Black, lock Brodie Retallick, has been named on the bench for what should be his first appearance since being named world rugby player of the year.

Two former All Blacks will also make their first start of the year.

Jamie Mackintosh replaces loosehead prop Pauliasi Manu while Super Rugby centurion Hosea Gear makes his first Chiefs appearance.

Gear starts on the left wing, with James Lowe shifting to fullback in place of the injured Tom Marshall (knee).

On the reserve bench, a Chiefs debut is possible for hooker Quentin MacDonald while 2014 NPC player of the year Seta Tamanivalu could make his Super Rugby debut.

Tamanivalu’s power at centre was a key reason for Taranaki’s maiden NPC title.

Coach Dave Rennie says he is spoiled for options.

“There is a huge amount of competition for places and we are excited to have our returning All Blacks back in the mix,” he said.

Chiefs: James Lowe, Bryce Heem, Charlie Ngatai, Sonny Bill Williams, Hosea Gear, Aaron Cruden, Brad Weber, Maama Vaipulu, Sam Cane, Liam Messam (capt), Michael Fitzgerald, Matt Symons, Siate Tokolahi, Hika Elliot, Jamie Mackintosh. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Pauliasi Manu, Ben Tameifuna, Brodie Retallick, Tevita Koloamatangi, Augustine Pulu, Damian McKenzie, Seta Tamanivalu

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Seventy-thousand Australians assaulted six or more times in a year

More than 70,000 Australians were victims of six or more physical assaults in a single year, yesterday’s release of 2013-14 crime victimisation data reveals.

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Female victims of physical assault were fewer than males, but were more likely to be victims of more than one assault, the Australian Bureau of Statistics report indicates.

Women were also more likely to know their attacker personally.

Male and female survey participants, none younger than 15 years old, gave different perspectives about the assaults in which they were victims during the 12 months before the ABS collected the data by interview in 2013-14.

“Strangers were the most common offender type [for males],” the ABS said about the survey.

“Females were more likely than males to have been physically assaulted by someone they know.

“Intimate partners and family members were the most common offender type [of female victims].”

The survey was used to draw estimates for victims of physical assault across Australia.

Homicide – it’s often the ones closest

The Australian Institute of Criminology’s latest homicide figures have a similar story to tell: the people killed knew their killers.

Their report shows that 479 people were murdered in Australia between July 2010 and June 2012, and 187 of those were domestic homicides.

Intimate partners were the most common relationship for domestic homicide to occur, the AIC said.

The proportions of men and women represented in the different categories of domestic homicide were similar, with the exception of intimate partners.

Women were over-represented in the numbers of intimate partners murdered, AIC research analyst Georgina Fuller told SBS.

“That proportion hasn’t changed significantly in the last 23 years that we’ve been conducting [the homicide report],” Ms Fuller said.

Physical assaults decline overall

The ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2013-14 report says total numbers of physical assaults declined between the 2012-13 and following year’s reporting periods.

An estimated 418,200 people were victims of physical assault during the 12 months before they were surveyed in 2013-14, which represents a drop of 80,000 victims since 2012-13.

The ABS described that drop as “statistically significant”.

The drop in victim numbers between the last two survey periods was not necessarily part of an ongoing trend, Ms Fuller from the AIC said.

“It’s definitely too early to tell if it’s an ongoing trend,” Ms Fuller said.

Physical assault data was a complex area, she said.

The ABS said unemployed people were more likely than employed, and unmarried more likely than married people to report being the victims of physical assault.

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Sportsbet attracts criticism for taking bets on Bruce Jenner’s rumoured sex change

Trans* advocates have labelled online bookmaker Sportsbet as transphobic, after it invited punters to place bets on what Bruce Jenner’s name would be if he was to undergo a sex change.

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Celebrity gossip website TMZ recently published rumours from unnamed “family sources” of former US Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner that he is considering transitioning.

Since then, Jenner has reportedly recorded an interview with a US television journalist.

Sportsbet has jumped on those details to call for bets on “what name he/she will choose”, assuming Jenner changes his sex and name.

“Fair play to Bruce, it takes a lot of balls to em … cut off your balls,” the company’s public relations manager Will Byrne said on the company’s website.

Sportsbet’s actions would offend some individuals, Katherine Cummings at the Gender Centre in Sydney said.

“Some people are very sensitive about having transgender mentioned in such a [negative way],” Ms Cummings said. 

Ms Cummings was not surprised at the company.

“It’s a predictable sort of subject for them to undertake,” Ms Cummings said.

“But that doesn’t justify it.”

Ms Cummings said some would not be offended, and the issue might be made worse with publicity.

SBS asked Sportsbet about their policies for creating betting markets about people’s personal affairs.

A spokesperson said “we do not bet on things to do with death, religion or race”.

The company has received “both positive and negative feedback”, a spokesperson said.

“We don’t intend to take it down at this stage,” the spokesperson said.

A quick search on Twitter for “Sportsbet” shows the tweets in response are mostly negative.

Sportsbet continuing its casual sexism by gamifying a trans experience. #EverydaySexism pic.twitter广西桑拿,/VjQAgD2vB0

— Helen Barcham (@HelenBarcham) February 17, 2015

Wow, Sportsbet. Taking bets on a hugely personal, sensitive transition in someone’s life. Stay classy. pic.twitter广西桑拿,/Tw1B0s4HQw

— Marc Fennell (@marcfennell) February 17, 2015

@marcfennell @Riotcub This is what this brand does for attention. Don’t give them oxygen.

— Leigh Price (@filtercore) February 17, 2015

Jenner’s rumoured sex change has attracted attention on Twitter before, with The Age deleting a tweet earlier this month.

Apologies to those offended by our Bruce Jenner tweet. Feedback noted. No offence was intended. We have deleted the tweet.

— The Age (@theage) February 4, 2015

Mumbrella reported the details of the swift social media reaction to the “transphobic tweet”.

“Jenner has never publicly stated he is transitioning to a female sexual identity,” Robert Burton-Bradley wrote.

Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson also addressed the plight of transgender people during an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday.

“Transgender Australians face enormous battles,” Mr Wilson said.

“Despite efforts, there are still steps needed to ensure that government respects who transgender people are, not tell them who they are.”

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How tweets reveal our dark side

A tool has been created to analyse the hidden personality traits of frequent Twitter users.

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The first psychoanalysis of the micro-blogging site aims to discover what the subconscious mind is really thinking when posts are made.

The tool, created by television psychotherapist Dr Sandra Scott and wine brand Apothic, analyses a user’s most recent 3500 tweets before determining how much of a dark side they might have.

According to a study using the tool, the majority of the nation’s Twitter users (72 per cent) have a dark side – with “passionate” being the most common personality trait, followed by “materialistic” and “egoist”.

“Most of us have some aspect of ourselves which we are not fully aware of, a sort of ‘hidden persona’,” said Dr Scott, who has advised on the likes of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Big Brother in the UK.

“It is interesting to see how we can unconsciously reveal this part of ourselves through the use of social media.

“It’s worth noting that just because we are not fully aware of this aspect of ourselves does not necessarily mean that it is something to shy away from.

“Our ‘hidden personas’ can sometimes make us appreciate ourselves more and reveal qualities that we like.”

She said even outspoken celebrities had something to hide.

“When you consider celebrities, prolific tweeters such as Jeremy Clarkson and Katie Hopkins, they, like all of us, are human beings,” she said.

“I think it is fair enough to say that all of us have a hidden side, we have an aspect of ourselves we are not conscious of.

“Celebrities, maybe more than most, have to be quite conscious about the image they are presenting on Twitter.

“Nonetheless, just like the rest of us, they will be revealing with every word something else they just don’t want to come out.”

Twitter users can analyse their tweets by using the algorithm tool at 南宁夜网.apothic.co.uk.

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Dairy price fall hurts Bega Cheese

Bega Cheese boss Barry Irvin says global dairy prices are finally recovering after a bruising 50 per slide that soured the company half year profit.

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Profit dropped 68 per cent to $6.05 million in the six months to December 31 in the wake of lower prices and the cost of investments in Bega’s supply chain.

The cheese producer has cut its full year earnings guidance to between $25 million and $28 million, after previously forecasting a profit in line with the previous year’s earnings of $29.7 million.

Mr Irvin said 2014’s severe slump in dairy prices had gone on longer than the company expected, but there were signs of a turnaround.

“We had continued to expect some level of recovery in commodity prices, that has been very slow coming, but the reality is that we have now begun to see that recovery in February,” he said.

That improvement and the benefits of a lower Australian dollar were unlikely to provide much of a boost to the company’s full year result, Mr Irvin said.

“While we may see some benefit this year it’s really in 2016 that we can look forward to improved global commodity prices and an improved currency position,” he said.

The global dairy market was already facing oversupply issues before Russian trade sanctions helped to send them off a cliff, he added.

Mr Irvin praised Australia’s recent free trade agreement with China, which he said would benefit local dairy companies in the long term and make it easier to compete with New Zealand rivals.

“What the global industry and global food players are now identifying is that Australia is in a highly competitive position to service Asia,” he said.

“There is no longer the hesitation around whether it better to invest in Australia or New Zealand.”

New Zealand has had a free trade agreement with China since 2008.

Bega shares dropped 18 cents, or 3.4 per cent, to $5.05.

BEGA HIT BY MILK PRICE SLIDE

* Net profit down 68 pct to $6.05m

* Revenue up eight pct to $553m

* Interim dividend of four cents, unchanged

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