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Australia lends a helping hand to fleeing Afghan para-athletes



Australia steps up in solidarity as Afghan paralympians Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli are invited to seek refuge in the country.

Afghanistan flag at 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

There are reports that two afghan paralympians who have landed in Tokyo to compete in the 2020 Paralympics, will soon resettle in Australia.

Afghanistan athletes Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli have received humanitarian visas to stay in Australia, after fleeing Kabul following the Taliban takeover. 

Former Socceroo and refugee advocate Craig Foster told the Nine Network on Sunday that efforts were made to grant both athletes safe asylum.

He thanked all those involved which included Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke and Independent MP Zali Steggall.

“We must stand up for all the humane treatment of all refugees, all people, especially and immediately, but not only Afghanistan.”

Foster said on Twitter. 

It comes as welcome news to many advocates who worked tirelessly to help both paralympians flee the country. 

Human Rights for All lawyer Alison Battisson was involved in the efforts to evacuate scores of Afghan athletes out of the war-torn country.

She told SBS news that it was the efforts of a mainly female-dominated team of lawyers and an intern which helped the Paralympian pair escape.

“I have this amazing legal intern … Eric Zhang, [who] did [Zakia’s] application,” Battisson says.

“[He] stayed with those two for days, translating and pushing for their evacuation. He risked his life to get them over the line.”

Uncertainty surrounded the team’s attendance

Many didn’t think the Afghan paralympian team would make the games due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Consequently, the team wasn’t at the opening ceremony to carry their flag, with an Olympic volunteer carrying out it on their behalf as a way of representing solidarity. 

“Twelve days ago we were informed that the Afghan Paralympic Team could not travel to Tokyo, a move that broke the hearts of all involved in the Paralympic movement and left both athletes devastated,” IPC president Andrew Parsons said. 

“That announcement kick-started a major global operation that led to their safe evacuation from Afghanistan, their recuperation by France, and now their safe arrival in Tokyo.” 

The first female Afghan athlete since 2005

Zakia will be the first female Afghan to compete at the Olympics in 17 years, taking part in the women’s taekwondo K44-49kg category on Thursday. 

The Australian Government and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne are yet to comment on the situation.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Disney’s sport streaming goals



Disney’s ESPN may achieve a $24 billion valuation; potential suitors could involve Apple and Verizon.

In a recent financial report, Bank of America suggests that Disney’s ESPN could be on the verge of reaching a staggering $24 billion valuation. This eye-catching figure has sparked interest from potential buyers, with technology giants Apple and telecommunication leader Verizon being touted as likely contenders.

The valuation surge is attributed to ESPN’s successful digital transition, with streaming services, exclusive sports content, and expanding international markets contributing to its growth. Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s sports networks further boosted ESPN’s portfolio, making it an attractive asset for prospective buyers.

Apple, known for its foray into content creation with Apple TV+, could leverage ESPN’s sports content to expand its media empire. Meanwhile, Verizon, with its vast telecom infrastructure and distribution capabilities, could use ESPN to enhance its content offerings and engage a broader customer base.

This development marks a pivotal moment in ESPN’s history, and its future owner could redefine the landscape of sports broadcasting. As the valuation continues to climb, all eyes are on the potential suitors and the ensuing negotiations.

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Paris shoe store challenges customers to outrun pro sprinter



A Parisian footwear boutique invites customers to partake in a unique and adrenaline-pumping shopping experience.

This audacious store, nestled in the heart of Paris, dared its patrons to steal a pair of shoes, all in good fun, provided they could outpace a professional sprinter.

Reports have emerged of this extraordinary stunt that combines shopping with a dash of track and field. The challenge was set by the shop as a marketing ploy, aiming to attract the adventurous and those in search of a novel retail encounter. The store employed the services of a pro sprinter, renowned for their lightning speed, who was ready to chase down any would-be ‘thieves’ on the spot.

The customers were offered a thrilling choice – take a leap of faith and try to outrun the sprinter, or purchase the shoes in the traditional manner. Those who dared to participate had their athletic skills put to the test, leaving bystanders in awe.

This daring initiative has sparked conversations around town, with opinions ranging from branding brilliance to potential risks involved. While it has generated considerable attention, many are questioning the wisdom of such an unconventional strategy.

Zeze, 29, is a French Olympian who’s current run of the 100-meter dash is under 10 seconds.


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Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open comeback after injury hiatus



Tennis fans rejoice as Rafael Nadal, the renowned Spanish tennis maestro, is geared up to mark his return to the Australian Open

In 2024 after Nadal will return to the game after a year-long absence due to persistent injuries. The anticipation surrounding his comeback has been mounting, and enthusiasts are eager to witness his extraordinary skills on the court once again.

Nadal’s absence from the Australian Open in 2023 was a setback for both the tournament and his legion of fans. The ‘King of Clay’ has been nursing injuries, focusing on a rigorous rehabilitation regime to ensure he comes back stronger and more formidable than ever. His determination to overcome challenges and re-enter the tennis arena has been nothing short of inspirational.

The Australian Open holds a special place in Nadal’s illustrious career, and his return to the tournament is highly anticipated. Tennis aficionados are keen to witness whether Nadal can reclaim his former glory and compete at the highest level after his hiatus.

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