Month: February 2019

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Morgan smashes England to thrilling T20 victory

Morgan, who had scored only 198 runs in 10 one-day international innings since returning from injury in March, smashed 71 off 31 balls including seven sixes and three fours, as England posted a daunting 180 for seven wickets in their 20 overs.

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In reply, another batsman out of sorts this summer – Virat Kohli – led the India charge but his 66 off 41 balls and 27 off 18 by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the death could not clinch victory for India who finished on 177 for five.

Ajinkya Rahane took a T20 record-equalling four catches, including a stunning running, diving effort to dismiss Alex Hales (40) but India’s bowling took a battering late on, conceding 81 runs off the last five overs as Morgan and Ravi Bopara ran riot.

Bopara added 21 off 9 balls with three fours and a six while Mohammed Shami was the pick of the Indian attack, taking three for 38.

“It was awesome, games like this are great for a team like ourselves as we’re learning, and we’ve held our own against some of the best in the world – [Harry] Gurney, [Chris] Woakes and [Steven] Finn came up trumps,” Morgan told the BBC.

“You’ve very little margin for error with someone like Dhoni at the crease. To come out with a win today, the guys should be proud of themselves.

“It was nice to get some runs today, I was striking it really well and targeting the short boundaries. People will leave the ground, and leave their television sets, with a smile on their face.”

England smashed 17 runs off the first over with 24-year-old debutant Jason Roy and Hales starting aggressively. But South Africa-born Roy was first to go for eight, chipping to Rahane at cover off Shami.

Two balls later Moeen Ali fell for a duck – caught again by Rahane off Mohit Sharma – then Hales and Joe Root steadied the ship, putting on 48 before Hales fell.

Root, a century-maker in the final one-day international between the sides, was well caught by Ambati Rayudu for 26 as Morgan led the final onslaught.

India’s reply got off to a poor start, Rahane lasting four balls, bowled by Ali, before Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan led the India charge.

Kohli and Dharwan put on 79 in nine overs before Chris Woakes bowled Dharwan.

Kohli survived a difficult catch to Harry Gurney when on 65 but fell one run later, tucked up by Steve Finn and caught in the deep by Hales.

India were always up with the scoring rate but a mix-up between Dhoni and Ravindra Jadaja seemed to have ended their hopes before Dhoni set about Woakes in the final over with India still 17 runs short.

Dhoni smashed 12 off the first four balls before Woakes managed to subdue the India skipper and Englnd scraped home before a packed crowd.

(Reporting By Tony Goodson; editing by Justin Palmer)


26/02/2019 0

Joan Rivers gets star-studded New York funeral

Film stars Whoopi Goldberg and Sarah Jessica Parker joined Rivers’ daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper at the hour-long, private service at Temple Emanu-El on 5th Avenue.

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Comedian Kathy Griffin also attended alongside tycoon Donald Trump, TV legend Barbara Walters and Rivers’ co-host on TV show Fashion Police Kelly Osbourne.

The service at one of America’s oldest reform synagogues was by invitation only.

Police shut down the sidewalk and PR women armed with clipboards checked guests’ IDs.

A huge scrum of paparazzi, TV cameras and journalists camped out across the street and hundreds of fans lined the street five or six deep to watch guests arrive from behind metal railings.

Rivers, 81, died on Thursday in hospital a week after she stopped breathing during a medical procedure on her vocal cords at a private clinic.

In her 2013 book I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me, she said she wanted “a huge showbiz affair with lights, camera, action” – the paragraph of which was re-produced inside the funeral program.

“I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way,” she wrote.

Actor Hugh Jackman sang – reportedly Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage – and Broadway actress Audra McDonald also performed.

The service opened with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and closed with the bagpipe band of New York City Police Department.

Tributes came from Melissa, friend Margie Stern and gossip columnist Cindy Adams.

Melissa, wearing a black dress and large black sunglasses, was cheered by Rivers’ fans as she pulled away in a black limo after the service.


26/02/2019 0

Ricciardo fifth behind Mercedes one-two

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo has had his slim chance of winning the Formula One title further dented following a fifth-placed finish at the Italian Grand Prix, with Mercedes completing a dominant one-two finish.

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Two weeks after their collision at the Belgian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were on speaking terms again on Sunday, putting on a united front for Mercedes after the team’s seventh one-two triumph of the year.

Ricciardo, who had won the Hungarian and Belgian races but qualified ninth fastest at Monza, moved up four places to finish fifth – one spot ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Williams pair Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished third and fourth respectively.

Ricciardo remains in third spot in the championship on 166 points, but seemingly out of the race for the title behind Hamilton (216 points) and leader Rosberg (238 points) with six races remaining.

Hamilton, aggressive and flawless, drove with great speed and daring to turn a poor start, when he dropped to fourth from pole position, into the 28th win of his career to trim the German’s lead in the title race from 29 points to 22.

Rosberg, who buckled under pressure and locked up twice at the first chicane while leading, ended up 3.1 seconds adrift in second place and, as at Spa-Francorchamps, was booed by some of the crowd during the prize-giving on the podium.

Hamilton reacted by applauding Rosberg and speaking generously for the Mercedes team, which, on Friday, had made clear that their drivers’ jobs were in danger if they allowed their rivalry to spin out of control again.

“Of course, we are still friends,” Hamilton said. “We’re teammates and we always will be…”

The words came easily but did not match the mood after a tense race that saw Hamilton regain some ground and Massa deliver his first podium finish since joining Williams from Ferrari.

Massa came third, 25 seconds adrift of Hamilton, ahead of his Williams teammate Bottas, Ricciardo and his Red Bull teammate four-time champion Vettel.

The top four were all powered by Mercedes engines and Williams’ success, in taking third and fourth, lifted them to third ahead of Ferrari in constructors’ championship.

Hamilton, whose front wing was changed on the grid, was advised by the team to drop back from Rosberg, to avoid losing time in his tow, but instead he pushed.

“They said that I should stay back, but from experience, I knew that wasn’t the way forward, so I chose another route,” he said.

He pushed, applied pressure and, on lap 29, Rosberg cracked and ran straight on at the first chicane.

It was Hamilton’s second win at Monza and his sixth victory of 2014, recharging his momentum for the final six races of the season.

Rosberg was disappointed, but diplomatic.

“Well done guys on a deserved one-two,” he said on the team radio.

“It’s a good result for the team. Sorry to the guys on my side of the garage. It’s a shame.”


26/02/2019 0

We don’t need no (moral) education? Five things you should learn about ethics

By Patrick Stokes, Deakin University

The human animal takes a remarkably long time to reach maturity.

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And we cram a lot of learning into that time, as well we should: the list of things we need to know by the time we hit adulthood in order to thrive – personally, economically, socially, politically – is enormous.

But what about ethical thriving? Do we need to be taught moral philosophy alongside the three Rs?

Ethics has now been introduced into New South Wales primary schools as an alternative to religious instruction, but the idea of moral philosophy as a core part of compulsory education seems unlikely to get much traction any time soon. To many ears, the phrase “moral education” has a whiff of something distastefully Victorian (the era, not the state). It suggests indoctrination into an unquestioned set of norms and principles – and in the world we find ourselves in now, there is no such set we can all agree on.

Besides, in an already crowded curriculum, do we really have time for moral philosophy? After all, most people manage to lead pretty decent lives without knowing their Sidgewick from their Scanlon or being able to spot a rule utilitarian from 50 yards.

But intractable moral problems don’t go away just because we no longer agree how to deal with them. And as recent discussions on this site help to illustrate, new problems are always arising that, one way or another, we have to deal with. As individuals and as participants in the public space, we simply can’t get out of having to think about issues of right and wrong.

Yet spend time hanging around the comments section of any news story with an ethical dimension to it (and that’s most of them), and it quickly becomes apparent that most people just aren’t familiar with the methods and frameworks of ethical reasoning that have been developed over the last two and a half thousand years. We have the tools, but we’re not equipping people with them.

So, what sort of things should we be teaching if we wanted to foster “ethical literacy”? What would count as a decent grounding in moral philosophy for the average citizen of contemporary, pluralistic societies?

What follows is in no way meant to be definitive. It’s not based on any sort of serious empirical data around people’s familiarity with ethical issues. It’s a just tentative stab (wait, can you stab tentatively?) at a list of things people should ideally know about ethics, and based, on what I see in the classroom and, online, often don’t.

1. Ethics and morality are (basically) the same thing

Many people bristle at the word “morality” but are quite comfortable using the term “ethical”, and insist there’s some crucial difference between the two. For instance, some people say ethics are about external, socially imposed norms, while morality is about individual conscience. Others say ethics is concrete and practical while morality is more abstract, or is somehow linked to religion.

Out on the value theory front lines, however, there’s no clear agreed distinction, and most philosophers use the two terms more or less interchangeably. And let’s face it: if even professional philosophers refuse to make a distinction, there probably isn’t one there to be made.

2. Morality isn’t (necessarily) subjective

Every philosophy teacher probably knows the dismay of reading a decent ethics essay, only to then be told in the final paragraph that, “Of course, morality is subjective so there is no real answer”. So what have the last three pages been about then?

There seems to be a widespread assumption that the very fact that people disagree about right and wrong means there is no real fact of the matter, just individual preferences. We use the expression “value judgment” in a way that implies such judgments are fundamentally subjective.

Sure, ethical subjectivism is a perfectly respectable position with a long pedigree. But it’s not the only game in town, and it doesn’t win by default simply because we haven’t settled all moral problems. Nor does ethics lose its grip on us even if we take ourselves to be living in a universe devoid of intrinsic moral value. We can’t simply stop caring about how we should act; even subjectivists don’t suddenly turn into monsters.

3. “You shouldn’t impose your morality on others” is itself a moral position.

You hear this all the time, but you can probably spot the fallacy here pretty quickly: that “shouldn’t” there is itself a moral “shouldn’t” (rather than a prudential or social “shouldn’t,” like “you shouldn’t tease bears” or “you shouldn’t swear at the Queen”). Telling other people it’s morally wrong to tell other people what’s morally wrong looks obviously flawed – so why do otherwise bright, thoughtful people still do it?

Possibly because what the speaker is assuming here is that “morality” is a domain of personal beliefs (“morals”) which we can set aside while continuing to discuss issues of how we should treat each other. In effect, the speaker is imposing one particular moral framework – liberalism – without realising it.

4. “Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “right”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Something’s being “natural” (if it even is) doesn’t tell us that it’s actually good. Selfishness might turn out to be natural, for instance, but that doesn’t mean it’s right to be selfish.

This gets a bit more complicated when you factor in ethical naturalism or Natural Law theory, because philosophers are awful people and really don’t want to make things easy for you.

5. The big three: Consequentialism, Deontology, Virtue Ethics

There’s several different ethical frameworks that moral philosophers use, but some familiarity with the three main ones – consequentialism (what’s right and wrong depends upon consequences); deontology (actions are right or wrong in themselves); and virtue ethics (act in accordance with the virtues characteristic of a good person) – is incredibly useful.

Why? Because they each manage to focus our attention on different, morally relevant features of a situation, features that we might otherwise miss.

So, that’s my tentative stab (still sounds wrong!). Do let me know in the comments what you’d add or take out.

 

This is part of a series on public morality in 21st century Australia. We’ll be publishing regular articles on morality on The Conversation in the coming weeks.

Patrick Stokes does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.


26/02/2019 0

Lipsky beats Storm at European Masters

American David Lipsky has opened his European Tour account with a playoff victory over overnight leader Graeme Storm at the European Masters in Crans-Montana.

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Lying fourth, three shots off Storm after the third round, Lipsky parred the first sudden death hole, with Storm making a five after his wayward tee shot ended up nestling against a wall.

The pair had both ended the regulation 72 holes with an 18-under par total of 262.

Storm, who won a BMW for a hole in one 24 hours earlier, had kept his cool to par the 18th hole and remain level with Lipsky, who went round in a five-under 65.

Lipsky, playing in the penultimate group, birdied the 18th with an approach to within inches of the hole.

That left Storm, who aced the par three 11th on Saturday, needing a three for victory but he played safe to set up the play-off.

The 26-year-old Lipsky was only the second American to win the Swiss event after Craig Stadler back in 1985.

Storm and Lipsky were one shot ahead of Brooks Koepka, who was tied for the lead with Storm until a bogey on the 17th where his approach plugged in a greenside bunker, and Tyrrell Hatton, who ended with a 65.

Richard Green was the best-placed Australian, ending the tournament at 12 under after carding a final-round 66 to finish 12th, while compatriot Brett Rumford was a further stroke back after closing with a superb round of 64.

France’s Romain Wattel drove off in a new car after matching Storm’s hole-in-one feat of the day before.

But unlike Storm who gets to keep his, Wattel only has the use of his BMW for a year, before having to return it.

“Unfortunately it was one day too late!” said Wattel.

“But I’m obviously still really pleased with it, and with my performance today.

“I played very well over the weekend; it was just a shame I took too long to get started on the first two days. But I’m still delighted.”


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