Hampton ‘starstruck’ by Thurston meeting

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Hampton ‘starstruck’ by Thurston meeting

first_imgFollowing his Four Nations campaign with the Kangaroos, Thurston returned to Cowboys training last week where he met new recruits such as Hampton and former Bronco Carlin Anderson before getting down to work.Born in Wagga Wagga, Hampton played much of his junior football in Mareeba in North Queensland before moving to Melbourne to link with the Storm as a teenager.He spent seven seasons in the company of the likes of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk but despite playing against Thurston on two occasions was admittedly nervous prior to their first meeting.”I feel pretty comfortable approaching him now where when he first did arrive I was a little bit starstruck to be honest,” Hampton said.”I grew up watching him and I’ve watched a lot of him over the years of how he plays and how he holds himself off the field as well. “There are a few of the greats down in Melbourne as well – Slater, Smith, Cronk, [Jesse] Bromwich – so I’m not sure whether it’s because I went down there at such a young age, getting to know those boys over the years and how comfortable you end up with them.”They’re friends now and will be forever but the reputation that ‘JT’ has both on and off the field and how great of a player and person he is, it was a little bit daunting for me to first meet him.”I’ve played against him a few times but I’ve never actually met him until last week. It was a bit daunting but a week and a half in now really happy being involved with him and excited to learn from him in the coming weeks and into the future.”A half coming through the junior ranks, Hampton became a jack of all trades in his past two seasons at Melbourne, playing fullback, centre, five-eighth and halfback as well as hooking and lock forward roles off the bench.It is that utility value that most attracted Cowboys coach Paul Green and why after studying Smith and Cronk at close quarters Hampton has now turned his attention to the four-time Dally M Medal winner.”It does get difficult at times playing in different positions but I’m really enjoying it at the moment,” Hampton said.”I haven’t played heaps at hooker. Here and there when ‘Smithy’ was in the Origin camp and when he needed a rest I’d come on and play maybe 10 minutes every now and again. I did a fair bit of training at hooker and I enjoy playing through the middle and that utility role. “Any time I am in the halves I’m always looking about. I’m always looking at what [Thurston] is doing and he’s always one step ahead.”He trains really, really hard and he’s always on the ball and knows what he’s doing and that’s something that I can definitely improve.”Hampton’s first senior appearance as a Cowboy alongside Thurston will likely come at next weekend’s Downer NRL Auckland Nines where he hopes to press his claims as North Queensland’s No.1 utility option ahead of the likes of Ray Thompson and Josh Chudleigh.”If I do get in that Nines squad – and it’s a totally different game to a 13-on-13 game – but I’m sure that it will be a good chance for me to put into play the new structures that I’ve learnt,” Hampton said.”It will definitely be a good place to start and show ‘Greeny’ that I am keen and eager to push for that utility spot.”last_img read more

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NGO in Israel Demands CocaCola Boycott the Boycotters

first_imgShare12TweetShare1Email13 SharesLuciano Mortula / Shutterstock.comJune 16, 2015; Jerusalem PostThe Jerusalem Post in its June 16th edition reported that the Tel Aviv-based NGO Shurat HaDin (the Israel Law Center) has called upon Coca Cola to revoke its franchise agreements with the Palestinian National Beverage Company. At issue are comments made by the bottler’s CEO that viewed BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) as ways to peacefully pressure Israel into a peace treaty with the Palestinians.According to its website, Shurat HaDin was formed in 2003 to stop “the flow of money to terrorists through the use of civil suits and other legal means” and achieve “justice and compensation for terror victims from terrorist organizations, their sponsors, and the financial institutions that aid and abet their criminal activities.” In a statement, Shurat HaDin charged:“Zahi Khouri, PNBC’s CEO…has supported the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement against Israel and made other incendiary comments against the Jewish state. He made his support for BDS clear in an Orlando Sentinel op-ed piece in September 2014 where he said that ‘the nonviolent efforts of BDS advocates make sense as a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free.’ He has called for compensation for Palestinian refugees, a notoriously anti-peace position. Khouri has also made patently false and incendiary statements accusing Israel of stealing Palestinian land and culture and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and he has accused Israel of stealing Palestinian history and culture.”Mr. Khoury, who is active in Breaking the Impasse, an initiative that brings Israeli and Palestinian business leaders into dialogue in search of a peaceful solutions to the decades-long conflict, wrote the op-ed in question in the wake of last summer’s Gaza conflict. He reflected on his frustration with the continued stalemate and the impact of the war on the people of Gaza:“We made so little progress (in the Breaking the Impasse effort) that I am now contemplating whether the supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement will achieve more. I wholeheartedly support the newest Palestinian initiative to buy local products rather than the Israeli products that flood our markets. In the absence of serious negotiations, the nonviolent efforts of BDS advocates make sense as a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free.”And with these words, Shurat HaDin says, a line was crossed. In a letter to Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola’s CEO, Shurat HaDin’s president demanded “the Coca-Cola Company…should rescind its franchise agreement with the Palestinian National Beverage Company, headed by Zahi Khouri, who openly advocates for BDS against Israel. The Coca-Cola Company should not affiliate itself with any person or entity calling for a boycott or similar effort against the Israeli government or the nation’s manufacturers, companies, products or services.”Mr. Khouri has been long been active in efforts to strengthen the Palestinian economy and in support of establishing an independent Palestinian state. He recently accepted the Oslo Business for Peace Award.This challenge to multinational Coca-Cola comes just weeks after the French telecommunications company Orange was embroiled in a similar controversy. The Guardian reported that the company’s CEO, Stéphane Richard, “indicated that it intends to terminate its relationship with the Israeli company that licenses its brand in the country—and would end the relationship ‘tomorrow’ if it could.” After a strong backlash to the comments, Mr. Richard apologized for his comments, made in Egypt earlier this month, and travelled to the Jewish state last week to explain himself in a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.While neither Coca-Cola nor Mr. Khouri has responded to Shurat HaDin’s accusation and demand, the action by Shurat HaDin has placed a spotlight on the BDS effort and the possible costs for its advocates.—Marty LevineShare12TweetShare1Email13 Shareslast_img read more

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