India stroll into semi-finals with rout of South Africa

South Africa crumbled from 116 for one to 191 all out in good batting conditions at The Oval before Shikhar Dhawan (78) and Virat Kohli (76 not out) shared a fluent partnership of 128 to lead India to victory with 12 overs to spare.


The defending champions followed hosts England and Bangladesh into the last four and they will be joined by the winners of Monday’s final Group B game between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

“Our bowlers bowled really well and the fielders backed it up. It was a complete performance in the field — we grabbed the chances that came our way,” captain Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.

“The guys really stepped up with their intensity.”

South Africa started cautiously after being sent in to bat as Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock added 76 for the first wicket without undue alarm.

Amla raised the tempo with a six over mid-wicket but, on 35, he tried to cut spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and nicked a sharp catch to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

South Africa were 94 for one after 20 overs and De Kock reached a tidy half-century off 68 balls before he was deceived by spinner Ravindra Jadeja and bowled for 53.


South Africa then pressed the self-destruct button with two run-outs in quick succession.

Captain AB de Villiers, on 16, perished trying to pinch a quick single and David Miller (one) was dismissed in farcical circumstances with both batsmen stranded at the same end to leave South Africa struggling at 142 for four.

Their hopes of a substantial total rested on the shoulders of Faf du Plessis but his scratchy knock of 36 ended when he dragged a ball from medium-pacer Hardik Pandya on to his stumps.

Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel soon joined him back in the pavilion and the innings petered out in the 45th over when Imran Tahir became the third run-out victim.

India began their reply positively and both openers had struck sixes before Rohit Sharma drove loosely at Morkel and was caught by wicketkeeper De Kock for 12.

Kohli joined Dhawan and after surviving hostile spells from Morkel and Rabada the pair started to play with more freedom.

Dhawan crunched Morris over mid-on for his eighth four to reach his 50 and the left-hander played some brutal strokes before he skied Tahir to Du Plessis at long-off.

Kohli remained in total control, however, and Yuvraj Singh hoisted JP Duminy over mid-wicket for a huge six to complete the most comfortable of wins for his team.

“It’s not an ideal way to finish the tournament,” De Villiers said. “It’s disappointing, but credit to them. They put a lot of pressure on us.

“We got something nice going until the run-outs which cost us highly today. We just came unstuck against a better team.”

(Editing by Clare Fallon)

Bharara tells of ‘unusual’ Trump calls

Former US Attorney Preet Bharara has revealed that he received a handful of “unusual” phonecalls from Donald Trump after the November election that made him feel uncomfortable, and said he was fired after declining to take the third call.


Speaking on ABC News in his first televised interview since Trump fired him in March as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Bharara said he believed Trump’s calls to him violated the usual boundaries between the executive branch and independent criminal investigators.

“It’s a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning between the president and me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the president,” Bharara said.

He added that during President Barack Obama’s tenure, Obama never called him directly.

Bharara’s comments came just a few days after former FBI Director James Comey testified at a congressional panel that Trump had asked him to drop an investigation into former Trump aide Michael Flynn and his alleged ties to Russia.

Comey also said he believed he was subsequently fired in an effort to undermine the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has denied allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia and said he never directed Comey to drop the Flynn probe.

A White House spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bharara said on Sunday that Trump called him twice after the November election “ostensibly just to shoot the breeze.”

“It was a little bit uncomfortable, but he was not the president. He was only the president-elect,” Bharara said.

The third call, however, came two days after Trump’s inauguration. That time, he said, he refused to call back.

“The call came in. I got a message. We deliberated over it, thought it was inappropriate to return the call. And 22 hours later I was asked to resign along with 45 other people,” he said.

Bharara stopped short of saying whether he thought Trump had obstructed justice in his conversations and subsequent firing of Comey.

However, he said he thought there was “absolutely evidence to begin a case” into the matter.

Blanchett adds Queen’s honour to resume

It is no surprise on the day Cate Blanchett is named a recipient of a Queen’s Birthday honour she is up for a Tony Award half a world away under the bright lights of New York’s Broadway.


Blanchett, if major awards and nominations are the benchmark, is Australia’s greatest actor, with two Oscar wins from seven nominations, three Golden Globe trophies, three Screen Actors Guild awards and three BAFTA wins.

Melbourne-born Blanchett was honoured on Monday with the Companion of the Order of Australia for not only her “eminent service to the performing arts as an international stage and screen actor”, but for being “a role model for women and young performers, and as a supporter of humanitarian and environmental causes”.

The 48-year-old mother-of-four, married to playwright Andrew Upton, has divided her family life and remarkable film and stage career with roles as a Global Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and as an honorary life member for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Blanchett has also been a crusader for women in Hollywood.

She famously proclaimed on stage while accepting her best actress Oscar in 2014 for Blue Jasmine: “The world is round, people!”

“Perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the centre are niche experiences – they are not,” Blanchett said.

Blanchett can add to her extraordinary trophy cabinet at New York’s Radio City Music Hall with a Tony Award (Monday 10am AEST) for best lead actress in a play for The Present, a Sydney Theatre Company update of Anton Chekhov’s Platonov penned by Upton.

Blanchett’s first Oscar win was in 2005 for The Aviator while her nominations were for Elizabeth, Notes on a Scandal, I’m Not There, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Carol.

London attack suicide belt pics released

Detectives investigating the London Bridge attack have released images of the terrorists’ blood-spattered fake suicide belts.


The phoney bombs were simply disposable water bottles wrapped in silver and black tape and attached to leather belts, although they were designed to create “maximum fear”, police say.

Attackers Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba each wore one of the bogus explosive devices when they launched a van and knife rampage that killed eight people and injured dozens more.

Metropolitan Police Commander Dean Haydon on Sunday praised the bravery of the police officers and members of public who tackled the three – despite the possibility they could have been killed in an explosion.

“I have not seen this tactic in the UK before where terrorists create maximum fear by strapping fake explosives to themselves,” he said.

“Anyone who saw them on the night would have thought they were genuine.”

Butt, 27, Zaghba, 22 and Redouane, 30, were still wearing the belts when they were shot dead by armed officers within eight minutes of their marauding attack beginning.

Mr Haydon said it was hard to speculate to what end the attackers wore the belts, although it may have been to take hostages or as a defensive strategy.

“It could be that they had plans to take the attack into a siege situation or it might be that they saw it as protection from being shot themselves,” the officer said.

“It makes the bravery of those police officers and members of the public who tackled the terrorists even more remarkable.

“The belt would have been visible to them and if you are fighting back or aiming a shot at someone wearing the device, you would clearly be very aware that you could be caught in an explosion.”

Sunday Express journalist Geoff Ho was severely wounded when he confronted the attackers after they smashed their way into a restaurant in Borough Market.

Writing in the newspaper, he described the moment three potential suicide bombers broke through a locked door.

“The terrorists were coming in and I saw that they looked like they had suicide vests on,” he said.

“I couldn’t just attack. If I charged at them, maybe I could take out one or two. But one of those animals could detonate and kill us all.”

Inspector Jim Cole, one of the first officers on the scene as the attack began, described how he hid 200 revellers in a pub cellar amid fears suicide bombers were on the loose outside.

“From updates on the radio, we were aware that people had got out the van and were attacking people in the market,” he said.

“I heard a number of shots started ringing out and a lot of shooting going on.

“At that point, I didn’t know if the shots were us or potentially the attackers.

“Information came over the radio that they were wearing suicide vests.”

Record enrolments in Timor-Leste shifts focus to ‘who will teach the teachers?’

At Rainha da Paz school in Dili, students play in the shadow of a burnt-out building.


Their school, like many others across Timor-Leste, had to be rebuilt after Indonesia’s scorched-earth withdrawal policy in 1999 left vast tracts of infrastructure destroyed.

Former President Jose Ramos-Horta said the government has “started from scratch” to rebuild a broken education system. 

“We have done enormous [work to] the education sector,” he said.

“Well over a thousand schools rebuilt or repaired in the last five years.”

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Education is highly valued here. Each school day afternoon, thousands of students can be seen in the capital walking home from class in neat uniforms.

Mr Ramos-Horta says enrolment is at around 90 per cent.

But inside classrooms, many teachers are untrained and unpaid.

An estimated 75 per cent of teachers came from Indonesia during occupation – and returned there before independence. 

Volunteers stepped in to fill the gap. Many are still there, and as their student body grows, so does the demand for better quality education.

Mr Ramos-Horta says there are not enough skilled workers who can teach the teachers.

“You cannot produce schoolteachers, high quality schoolteachers in an assembly line,” says Mr Ramos-Horta.

“We have a problem in quality education, quality of teachers. Very few are well trained.”

Joana Barros is the principal of Rainha da Paz school and has been a teacher for 28 years. When the classroom she used to teach in was burned to the ground, she taught outdoors.

Watch: New Timor-Leste president talks to SBS World News 0:00 Share

“I feel like they are all my children,” she says of her students.

Ms Barros is a permanent teacher and receives a salary. She wishes more teachers received the same benefit.

“The government should pay attention to the teacher’s salary,” she says through a translator.

“I also think of the children. They need teachers to be educated.”

Once a week, her school receives a visit from Mary MacKillop International, the international aid and development arm of the Sisters of St Joseph.

With money from Australian donors, they are helping to train Timor-Leste’s vast pool of volunteer teachers.

Country Director Alipio Baltazar says the program has helped train 2000 people to date.

“Education is a really critical aspect of development in Timor-Leste and the government of Timor-Leste very limited resources.”

But with a young, growing population and a huge demand for skilled workers, many more teachers will need to be trained to support the nation in the future.

Rhiannon Elston travelled to Dili at the invitation of the government of Timor-Leste.

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