BY MOHAMMAD AL-AZAR AND LEON ELIA
Crimean parliament votes to join Russia
On Thursday the parliament in Crimea voted to join Russia, and its Russian-backed government has set a referendum within 10 days of the decision in an escalation of the issue over the Ukrainian Black Sea Peninsula.
The sudden move to bring Crimea, a region of Ukraine with a high number of ethnic Russians, formally under Russian control has come while leaders of the EU had an emergency summit to find ways to pressure Russia into backing down.
The vice premier of Crimea Rustam Temirgaliev announced that the referendum would take place on the March 16. He said that all state property would become nationalised, and Ukrainian troops will be forced to surrender or leave.
US President Barack Obama has said that the decision was a violation of international law and that any decision involving the future of Crimea must involve the legitimate government of Ukraine. He also ordered a freezing of all US assets and a ban on travel to the United States by those involved in threatening the sovereignty and national integrity of Ukraine.
The US has also announced that the missile destroyer USS Truxton will be sent to the Black Sea in what has been described as a long-planned training exercise. The US will also be sending 12 F-16 Jet fighters and 300 servicemen to Poland next week in a training exercise whose scope was increased as a result of the crisis in Ukraine.
Unions warn: “Everything up for grabs.”
The Abbott government has announced its promised review of workplace relations laws, with unions saying all pay and conditions will be “up for grabs”.
But the employment minister Eric Abetz, said the coalition is simply fulfilling an election promise to have the productivity commission inquire into the Fair Work act.
A report published by Fairfax Media says the commission will be tasked to examine the impact of existing laws on employment, productivity, investment and the ability of the labour market to respond to changing economic conditions.
The report would be due in April 2015, more than a year before the next election, to give the government time to sell any proposals it wishes to put to the people. But ACTU president Ged Kearny claims the review simply shows the government was “absolutely 100 per cent intent on lowering people wages and standard of living”.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gotten off to a flying start as the 2014 NRL season kicks off.
The Rabbitohs beat the 2013 premiers the Sydney Roosters 28-8, courtesy of a Greg Inglis hat-trick and a try by Bryson Goodwin.
Michael Jennings scored the Roosters’ first and only try in the 11th minute of the game to make the score 6-0. The Rabbitohs hit back in the 22nd minute with a try by Greg Inglis to level the scores. The Roosters regained the lead in the 45th minute after James Maloney went for a shot at goal after the Rabbitohs were penalised for having a second attempt in the ruck, making the score 8-6. Greg Inglis again scored for the Rabbitohs to regain the lead and make the score 12-8. Adam Reynolds made the score 14-8 in the 57th minute then 16-8 in the 60thth minute as a result of goal kicks given because of penalties. Bryson Goodwin then made the scored a try and made the score 22-8 in the 66th minute. Greg Inglis then scored his 3rd try, in the 79th minute, to put the game beyond doubt and make the score 28-8. Man of the match award went to Bryson Goodwin.
The game was the first to implement the new concussion guidelines and Frank Paul Nuuausala was the first person to have the new guidelines implemented on after he left the field in the 28th minute of the game. Nuuausala was assessed by the Roosters’ team doctor before being allowed to return to the field without costing his team an interchange. Rabbitohs prop Luke Burgess also looked to have suffered a concussion in the first half but was allowed to return to the field in the second half. Rabbitohs players Chris McQueen and Dylan Walker both left ANZ stadium on crutches after suffering ankle injuries.