Australia

Evacuation alert in Victoria as downpours continue

Heavy rain continued to fall across much of the Australian state and authorities prepared for possible evacuations in the north-east.

The state is enduring what the weather bureau says is an "unprecedented" deluge that could bring three months' of rain in three days, with another 150mm forecast to fall in some areas.

While the threat has eased somewhat in Melbourne, emergency workers are paying particular attention to the north-east ranges, where significant flooding is expected and warnings have been issued for the Ovens and King rivers.

Australia wins men's rugby league World Cup

Both sides smashed each other into exhaustion with punishing defence and a fast-paced game with Australia centre Josh Dugan saving two probable tries with his positional sense and a desperate ankle tap on his opposite number Kallum Watkins.

The only thing that separated the sides was Cordner's 15th-minute try as they both controlled the ball well, but England rued stupid errors or poor decisions early in the tackle count inside the Kangaroos' 20-metre area.

Australians are bullying us: James Anderson

Anderson has also accused the hosts of concocting, "a deliberate ploy to say things close to the stump mics so it would be picked up by the media".

Jonny Bairstow headbutted Cameron Bancroft when the pair crossed paths during England's first night on tour but the story did not break until day four of the first Test, when Australia sledged the keeper about the bizarre clash.

The visitors were disappointed with the hosts' conduct during the Ashes opener at the Gabba, where Australia were challenged early but eventually cruised to a 10-wicket win.

Mike Selvey: Same again but better

This, as the malaprop-prone American baseball coach Yogi Berra once said, is like déjà vu all over again.

Here we are but a single Test into the Ashes series and to the dismay of visiting supporters, and the contrasting merriment of Australians, England's tour appears to be unravelling before their eyes like a cricket jumper inadvertently snagged on a dressing room nail, just as it did four years ago.

Serena uncertain for Australia

Williams was around two months pregnant when she captured her 23rd grand slam singles title in Melbourne earlier this year and was hoping to defend her crown next January following the birth of her daughter in September.

"Serena is getting ready for 2018," the 36-year-old American's coach Patrick Mouratoglou told CNN. "She is practising and getting back in shape. I will be joining her soon in Florida.

"We will see how her body is reacting and how her tennis level is and we will take a decision regarding Australia."

Australia same-sex marriage bill passes Senate hurdle

The upper house bill will now be debated in the House of Representatives, where if approved it will become law.

It follows a historic national vote that showed a majority of Australians support changing the Marriage Act.

Senators passed the bill 43-12 on Wednesday, after rejecting proposed amendments by conservative lawmakers.

Attorney-General George Brandis, the government's Senate leader, said the legislation would "demolish the last significant bastion of legal discrimination" concerning sexuality.

Kangaroos don't buy Bennett's mind games

Bennett made the statement after England’s narrow 20-18 semi-final win over Tonga but Kangaroos prop David Klemmer said those kind of mind games won’t engender any complacency in the Australian squad.

Klemmer insisted Bennett would instil belief in the England squad that they could upset the host nation. 

Australia seal win to take Ashes lead

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Resuming on 114-0 and needing just 56 more runs to win in Brisbane, David Warner (87no) and Cameron Bancroft (82no) needed just over an hour on the final day to seal a convincing win in a game that, for the first three days, seemed right in the balance.

Hussain: Aussie attack relentless

The big difference between the sides in the first Ashes Test has been that Australia's star player, Steve Smith, has played a world-class innings that wins you games.

England had their warnings from Trevor Bayliss before the series when he said pretty fifties would not be enough and that has become apparent, with Smith's 141 not out for Australia the main reason they are now only 56 runs away from a 1-0 lead.

Holmes scores six as Australia thumps Fiji

Holmes's stunning return came on the back of his five-try performance against Samoa last week, as the Kangaroos ran away with a 10-tries-to-one victory.

The Fijians started with intensity in the early exchanges and opened the scoring with a penalty goal in the second minute. 

Jarryd Hayne was in the thick of it early with a big hit on Billy Slater but his team conceded too many penalties to stay in the contest.