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Tennis superstar Ash Barty credits the ‘unconditional love’ she receives from her parents

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Ashleigh Barty has credited the ‘unconditional love’ from her parents for her Hollywood-style rise to world No.1 tennis player.

The humble superstar paid a heartfelt tribute to her mother Josie, father Robert and first coach Jim Joyce after winning the Newcombe Medal for the third straight year as Australia’s most outstanding performer of 2019.

Never in doubt, Barty formally received her award at tennis’ night of nights at Melbourne‘s Crown Palladium on Monday.

Ashleigh Barty has credited the 'unconditional love' from her parents for her Hollywood-style rise to world No.1 tennis player

Ashleigh Barty has credited the 'unconditional love' from her parents for her Hollywood-style rise to world No.1 tennis player

Ashleigh Barty has credited the ‘unconditional love’ from her parents for her Hollywood-style rise to world No.1 tennis player 

The humble superstar paid a heartfelt tribute to her mother Josie, father Robert and first coach Jim Joyce after winning the Newcombe Medal

The humble superstar paid a heartfelt tribute to her mother Josie, father Robert and first coach Jim Joyce after winning the Newcombe Medal

The humble superstar paid a heartfelt tribute to her mother Josie, father Robert and first coach Jim Joyce after winning the Newcombe Medal 

Typically, though, rather than bask in her own glory, Barty said success of Australian tennis was not about individuals like her.

‘It takes a village. We’re a tennis family and I’m very humbled to be here tonight again,’ said the French Open and world No.1.

‘I’m extremely fortunate to have such an amazing network around me. It’s very special to have mum, dad and my very first coach – Jim – here.

‘They gave me the unconditional love and support time and time again in all bad times.

‘In good times, they’re always there and there a few words they said to me: ‘I love to watch you play’.

‘When your mum and dad says that to you, when your coach says that to you, that makes the heart race a little bit – like it’s racing right now.

‘Honestly, it’s been incredible and I’m very grateful they’re here tonight to share it with me as well.’

During an unforgettable season, Barty became Australia’s first French Open champion since Margaret Court in 1973 and the country’s first women’s world No.1 since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976.

She was also the first-ever Australian woman to secure the year-end top ranking – and first Aussie since Lleyton Hewitt to do so in 2002.

Barty crowned her spectacular season in ultimate fashion by beating four top-eight rivals in eight days to win the prestigious WTA Finals in Shenzhen and, with it, $6.4 million – the biggest cheque in tennis history.

But the 23-year-old said she would never have achieved all this without her tight-knit group and singled out her mental coach Ben Crowe and trusted mentor Craig Tyzzer for special praise.

‘Crowey, you have changed my life immensely. I can’t thank you enough for helping me become the woman I am today, for helping me realise the person I want to be off the court,’ Barty said.

Barty crowned her spectacular season in ultimate fashion by beating four top-eight rivals in eight days to win the prestigious WTA Finals  Pictured: Barty and her boyfriend Gary Kissick

Barty crowned her spectacular season in ultimate fashion by beating four top-eight rivals in eight days to win the prestigious WTA Finals  Pictured: Barty and her boyfriend Gary Kissick

Barty crowned her spectacular season in ultimate fashion by beating four top-eight rivals in eight days to win the prestigious WTA Finals  Pictured: Barty and her boyfriend Gary Kissick

‘You changed not only my life – my mum and dad, my sisters Ali and Sarah – you’ve been a massive influence for us and I’m very lucky to have found you and to have stumbled across you.

‘You’re a genuine friend and I cannot thank you enough for what you have done.’

Tyzzer was also recognised at the awards as elite coach of the year.

‘Tyzz’, you’re the captain of our ship. You make sure that we tick along every single day and there wouldn’t be another person that I want to spend this journey with,’ Barty said.

‘You’re an incredible person, an amazing friend, and even though sometimes on the court I’m venting and giving you a little bit of a spray, we have an incredible relationship. We have great banter.’

But is the first player to claim three straight ‘Newks’ since fellow grand slam champion Samantha Stosur from 2010-2012.

Fittingly, Stosur was also honoured on Monday night with the Spirit of Tennis Award for her ‘leadership, professionalism and the positive impact she’s had on the sport’ while finishing 15 consecutive years in the world’s top 100.

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Caroll Spinney, ‘Sesame Street’ Puppeteer Who Played Big Bird for Nearly 50 Years, Dies at 85

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Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who voiced and operated Big Bird on Sesame Street for nearly 50 years, died on Sunday, December 8, the Sesame Workshop announced. He was 85.

The actor passed away at his home in Connecticut after living with dystonia, a movement disorder, “for some time,” according to the nonprofit organization. Spinney is best known for his portrayal of Big Bird, but the Massachusetts native also played Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street until he retired in 2018.

“His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while,” the Sesame Workshop said in a statement.

Caroll Spinney oscar the grouch
Oscar the Grouch and Carroll Spinney attend the 33rd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in New York City on April 22, 2006. Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEI/Shutterstock

Spinney was welcomed to the iconic kids program by creator Jim Henson in 1969. As the character Big Bird, he went on to “visit China with Bob Hope, dance with the Rockettes, be celebrated with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a U.S. postage stamp, and be named a ‘Living Legend’ by the Library of Congress,” the Sesame Workshop added.

“It was a moment of creative destiny when Caroll Spinney met Jim Henson,” the Henson family said in a statement on Sunday. “The gentle performer who would bring to life two of the most beloved residents of Sesame Street could perfectly convey the humor and heart in our father’s creations. Big Bird was childlike, without being childish. And Oscar the Grouch reflected universal feelings we all share, no matter our age.”

The statement continued, “Those of us privileged to work alongside him and call him friend saw first-hand that he cared so deeply about what these characters represented and how they could truly create change. Caroll’s decades-long commitment to bettering the lives of children all around the world is his true legacy. That he could do this work so brilliantly, responsibly, and with such infectious love and joy, is his gift to us all.”

The cartoonist also wrote and illustrated Harvey, a comic strip about military life, and animated a series of black-and-white cartoons called Crazy Crayon. Before landing his now-legendary role on Sesame Street, Spinney starred in the The Judy and Goggle Show in the 1950s and Bozo’s Big Top from 1959 to 1969.

Holly Robinson Peete, whose dad, Matt Robinson, played Gordon on the PBS show, shared her condolences on Twitter.

“💔💔My Dad Matt Robinson (Gordon) worked with Carroll from day 1. I met him on #sesamestreet when I was 5,” she wrote on Sunday. “He voiced not only Big Bird but Oscar the grouch. I last saw him in 2017 and he still remembered me and spoke so highly of my dad. Incredible man 🙏🏽🙏🏽 I’m so sad today.”

Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney memorialized her longtime colleague in a statement on Sunday.

“Caroll Spinney’s contributions to Sesame Street are countless. He not only gave us Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he gave so much of himself as well,” she said. “We at Sesame Workshop mourn his passing and feel an immense gratitude for all he has given to Sesame Street and to children around the world.”

Spinney leaves behind his wife, Debra Jean Gilroy, and three children from his first marriage to Janice Spinney.

Source: US Magazine

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Cairns schoolgirl, 12, charged over alleged stabbing frenzy outside shopping centre

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A 12-year-old girl has been charged over an alleged stabbing frenzy outside a shopping centre.

The schoolgirl was taken into custody on Sunday afternoon after two people were allegedly slashed with a knife in Cairns.

It will be alleged she was standing outside the shopping centre on McLeod Street when she became aggressive towards a group of girls known to her.

She allegedly produced the knife and chased the group into a nearby surfwear store.

‘Slashing and spitting’

One hid behind the counter and was allegedly stabbed in the arm by the girl.

A 47-year-old woman attempted to intervene and was also slashed, according to Queensland Police.

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The girl fled and was arrested shortly after.

Upon arrival at a watchhouse, it’s alleged she spat in the face of a police officer.

Charges laid

The Mandura girl was charged with wounding, assault occasioning bodily harm whilst armed, going armed as so to cause fear, possession of a knife and serious assault of a police officer by spitting.

She was also charged with two counts of stealing following alleged shoplifting incidents.

The 16-year-old girl and the 47-year-old woman were both treated for non-life threatening injuries.

In the video below: Police investigation launched after man was shot dead

An internal police investigation is underway after a man was shot dead on a rural property in Queensland.

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The Veronicas set at Good Things Sydney turns into chaos as a ‘wall of death’ breaks out

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The Veronicas’ set at rock music festival Good Things 2019 turned into chaos in Sydney’s Centennial Park on Saturday afternoon. 

After the pop duo performed a ‘screamo’ version of Untouched to the crowd of heavy metal fans, a ‘wall of death’ broke out as attendees went wild.    

‘Look after each other out there,’ twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso urged from stage.

Rockers: The Veronicas' performance at music festival Good Things 2019 turned into chaos in Sydney's Centennial Park on Saturday afternoon. Pictured: Jessica and Lisa Origliasso on stage

Rockers: The Veronicas' performance at music festival Good Things 2019 turned into chaos in Sydney's Centennial Park on Saturday afternoon. Pictured: Jessica and Lisa Origliasso on stage

Rockers: The Veronicas’ performance at music festival Good Things 2019 turned into chaos in Sydney’s Centennial Park on Saturday afternoon. Pictured: Jessica and Lisa Origliasso on stage

At rock concerts, a ‘wall of death’ is where the crowd parts down the middle, before each side then forcefully charges at each other as the song begins. 

Despite being considered a pop act, The Veronicas attracted one of rock festival Good Things’ most lively audiences in Sydney on Saturday. 

While performing track Everything I’m Not, a sudden surge through the crowd led to many fans falling to the ground, with people then piling on top of each other.

Be careful: After the pop duo performed a 'screamo' version of Untouched to the crowd of heavy metal fans, a 'wall of death' broke out as attendees went wild

Be careful: After the pop duo performed a 'screamo' version of Untouched to the crowd of heavy metal fans, a 'wall of death' broke out as attendees went wild

Be careful: After the pop duo performed a 'screamo' version of Untouched to the crowd of heavy metal fans, a 'wall of death' broke out as attendees went wild

Be careful: After the pop duo performed a 'screamo' version of Untouched to the crowd of heavy metal fans, a 'wall of death' broke out as attendees went wild

Be careful: After the pop duo performed a ‘screamo’ version of Untouched to the crowd of heavy metal fans, a ‘wall of death’ broke out as attendees went wild

Dangerous: At rock concerts, a 'wall of death' is where the crowd parts down the middle, before each side then forcefully charges at each other as the song begins

Dangerous: At rock concerts, a 'wall of death' is where the crowd parts down the middle, before each side then forcefully charges at each other as the song begins

Dangerous: At rock concerts, a ‘wall of death’ is where the crowd parts down the middle, before each side then forcefully charges at each other as the song begins

A handful struggled to get back on their feet and were briefly trampled, as other festival goers quickly came together to try and lift them up. 

Despite many leaving the performance slightly bruised, The Veronicas’ performance at the rock festival was watched by thousands and massively praised.

‘Still discovering bruises and scratches from The Veronicas wall of death,’ wrote one satisfied fan on social media afterwards. 

Taking to Instagram, The Veronicas star Lisa said: ‘We rocked Sydney Good Things today, it was crazy. They managed to fit in two walls of death.’  

Trampled: While performing track Everything I'm Not, a sudden surge through the crowd led to many fans falling to the ground, with people piling on top of each other

Trampled: While performing track Everything I'm Not, a sudden surge through the crowd led to many fans falling to the ground, with people piling on top of each other

Trampled: While performing track Everything I’m Not, a sudden surge through the crowd led to many fans falling to the ground, with people piling on top of each other

'Look after each other out there,' twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso urged from stage, as many struggled to get back to their feet and required help from other festival goers

'Look after each other out there,' twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso urged from stage, as many struggled to get back to their feet and required help from other festival goers

‘Look after each other out there,’ twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso urged from stage, as many struggled to get back to their feet and required help from other festival goers 

The sisters reworked many of their songs to fit the heavy line-up, with Jessica switching her usual singing voice for ‘screamo’ vocals.

They were joined on stage by Bert McCracken from band The Used for one song. 

Australian band Parkway Drive headlined the festival, with A Day To Remember, Falling In Reverse, Trivium and Enter Shikari all joining the line-up.  

Good Things 2019 continues in Brisbane’s Showgrounds on December 8  

'We rocked Sydney Good Things today, it was crazy. They managed to fit in two walls of death,' said Lisa (left) after the performance. Pictured: The Veronicas at the ARIAs on November 27

'We rocked Sydney Good Things today, it was crazy. They managed to fit in two walls of death,' said Lisa (left) after the performance. Pictured: The Veronicas at the ARIAs on November 27

‘We rocked Sydney Good Things today, it was crazy. They managed to fit in two walls of death,’ said Lisa (left) after the performance. Pictured: The Veronicas at the ARIAs on November 27

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