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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


Michael Jordan’s sneakers sell for record $1.47m at auction



A pair of basketball shoes worn by US basketball star Michael Jordan have sold for a record price at a Las Vegas auction

Jordan wore the pair of Nike Air Ships during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984.

The shoes were what founded the iconic partnership between Jordan and Nike – now a signature global brand.

The sale also marks the highest price ever paid for game-worn footwear of any sport, easily beating out the previous record of $615,000 paid for a pair of Nike Air Jordan’s in 2020.

The price still falls short of the most expensive sneakers ever sold.

Recent sales are just the beginning of rare shoe market that’s beginning to soar.

In April, rapper Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes sold for $1.8 million at a private sale.

The record price for sneakers has broken several times in recent years, and the market is now considered much more niche than ever before, attractive interest from leading collectors as well as the general public.

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Women’s 10km world record holder found dead



Kenyan athletics champion Agnes Tirop has been found stabbed to death at her home in Iten, with police treating her husband as a suspect.

Tirop is a two-time World Athletics Champion bronze medalist, and just last month set the world record for the women’s 10km event at a road race in Germany.

A police investigation into her death is now underway, with her husband a key suspect who is yet to be located by police.

Crime scene investigators searched Tirop’s house on Wednesday night, after she was reported missing by her father.

“When [police] got in the house, they found Tirop on the bed and there was a pool of blood on the floor,” Tom Makori, head of police for the area, said.

“They saw she had been stabbed in the neck, which led us to believe it was a knife wound, and we believe that is what caused her death.

“Her husband is still at large, and preliminary investigations tell us her husband is a suspect because he cannot be found. Police are trying to find her husband so he can explain what happened to Tirop.”

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Top NFL coach fired after emails uncover homophobic, misogynistic comments



One of the biggest coaches in the NFL has resigned for misogynistic and anti-gay language in emails before he was appointed coach of the Las Vegas Raiders

According to The New York Times, Jon Gruden sent emails to Bruce Allen, the then President of the Washington Football Team, and others during a seven-year period that ended in 2018.

Gruden emailed Allen that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should not have pressured then-Rams coach Jeff Fisher to draft “queers,” referring to a former player who was gay.

The Times also reported that Gruden used an anti-gay slur in several instances while referring to Goodell, and used offensive language to describe some owners, coaches and media members who cover the league.

Gruden also denounced the emergence of women as referees in his emails, according to The Times, and said that Eric Reid, who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, should be fired.

He has apologised for his “insensitive remarks” and said “sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone” in a statement on Monday local time

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