Just give me the ball: Jack Bird

Jack Bird has made no secret of his desire to play at fullback or five-eighth and it shapes as a potential key to wrenching the young superstar away from premiers Cronulla.


Off contract at season’s end, the NSW representative is one of the hottest commodities on the open market and is believed to have attracted attention from at least five rival clubs.

Newcastle have made no secret of their desire to get him on their books as they look to rebuild after a lean couple of years.

The Sharks want to lock him up but have a juggling act on their hands with a host of stars looking to renew their deals at the end of 2017 including skipper-in-waiting Wade Graham.

Bird demonstrated his value with a starring performance at No.1 in last week’s rout of Canberra.

He has made no secret of his desire to move from centre – a position he once called “boring” – closer to the action.

He played five-eighth in 2015 – winning the Dally M rookie of the year award – before being moved into the three-quarter line during the Shark’s premiership winning campaign last year.

Bird said he was simply happiest with ball in hand and felt reinvigorated after his stint at fullback on the weekend.

“I knew it’s a position that’s going to be around the ball, I like to be around the ball and that’s where I play my best football,” Bird said.

“On the weekend I started enjoying myself again and I felt alive out there.”

Asked if where he is offered a spot will affect his contract negotiations, he said: “As long as I’m in the 17 it doesn’t really matter.

“But obviously you want to play a position you’re happy in. And if you’re not, you’re not going to play your best football.”

Bird has been named in the No.1 jersey for Sunday’s local derby against St George Illawarra but could be shunted out to the centres to make way for a returning Valentine Holmes.

Holmes hinted that, regardless of the number on Bird’s back, the side would look to go to him more often this year.

“You need to get him around the ball more,” Holmes said.

“You give him the ball and good things happen. He plays well and the team plays well.

“Obviously coming off the back of that win (against Canberra), it was the biggest win they’ve had down there. It’s not like it was a fluke – he’s a good player.

“You’ve just got to try and get him the ball as much as you can, whether he is playing centre or not.”

Hansen insists Jones praise was genuine

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen insists his praise of England was genuine in response to being compared to fairytale predator the Big Bad Wolf by Eddie Jones.


Hansen congratulated Jones and his players after they retained their Six Nations title with a 61-21 rout of Scotland, equalling the All Blacks’ record winning sequence of 18 successive Tests in the process.

Jones was wary of the approval, however, likening it to Little Red Riding Hood being deceived by the wolf.

But Hansen told Radio Sport NZ: “Eddie is obviously not used to getting compliments so he’s got to try and brush it off, I suppose.

“It’s not about playing the game, in this case I and the team genuinely believe they should be complimented.

“They’ve done a tremendous job, they’ve equalled the record and could go on and break it this weekend.

“Sport is about paying due when it’s due. They’ve done a good job and well done.

“For a long time England have been the quiet underachiever but now they’ve stepped up and said ‘we want to be part of the big boys’, and what they’re doing is putting together a record that should be commended.

“It doesn’t come easy, doing that. A lot of hard work goes in. We shouldn’t find it hard to say ‘well done’.

“If you can be gracious whilst you’re winning, you’ve got to be gracious when someone else is winning as well. That’s a big part of sport.”

However, Hansen appeared to be making mischief when suggesting he was unaware that the sport’s top two teams are due to meet in a mouth-watering showdown in November 2018.

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed the teams will clash in the autumn series at Twickenham next year in a match that has generated reports of a behind-the-scenes dispute over money.

“I don’t care when we play, but we’re not scheduled to play them, so if we are going to play them we’re going to have to find a way to do that, and give us half their stadium or something. That would be good,” Hansen said.

Copper up on China demand optimism

Copper prices have climbed as funds bought on growing expectations of stronger demand from top consumer China, but a higher US dollar ahead of Wednesday’s decision on US interest rates by the Federal Reserve caps gains.


The benchmark copper contract on the London Metal Exchange ended up 0.4 per cent at $US5,820 a tonne, nearly 3 per cent above the two-month low at $US5,652 hit last week.

Traders said buying after the New York open helped copper to reverse early losses.

China issued data on Tuesday showing the economy got off to a strong start this year, supported by bank lending, infrastructure spending and a much-needed resurgence in private investment.

China accounts for just under half of global copper demand, which is estimated at around 23 million tonnes this year.

“A lot will depend on what the Fed does, but the demand signals from China are improving, the data was positive,” Citi analyst David Wilson said.

The Fed’s two-day meeting is expected to conclude on Wednesday with a rate rise, which could boost the US currency, making dollar-denominated metals more expensive for non-US firms and potentially weaken demand.

However, copper has been supported for some time by disruptions to output in Chile and Peru due to strikes and in Indonesia, where the government has halted exports of copper concentrate from Freeport-McMoRan’s Grasberg mine.

“Supply-side issues should continue to support metal prices; however investors are likely to remain cautious leading into the FOMC (Fed) meeting and other key economic releases,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

The three-month nickel price gained 0.7 per cent to $US10,230 a tonne, underpinned by the prospects of a full-scale mining ban in the Philippines, the world’s top exporter of nickel ore.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte accused some miners of funding efforts to destabilise his government and he talked about a possible plan to impose a ban on mining given the environmental damage producers have caused.

Aluminium fell 1.2 per cent to $US1,860, zinc rose 0.2 per cent to $US2,749.5, lead slid 2.2 per cent to $US2,223.5 and tin gained 2.7 per cent to $US19,970.

‘Fear’ descends on Sydney’s homeless camp

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and NSW Social Housing Minister Pru Goward urged Sydney City Lord Mayor Clover Moore to resolve the issue at crisis talks on Friday.


But Ms Moore said the camp won’t be dismantled until she’s assured there’s a long-term housing solution for the residents.


Mr Fuller said he wanted a resolution by the end of the weekend. A NSW Police spokeswoman told AAP, as of Saturday night, there were still no official plans to enter the camp.

Regardless, Mr Fuller’s alluded-to deadline had triggered a wave of fear among the tent city’s approximately 60 residents, spokesman Lanz Priestly said.

“What the powers-that-be have done is put fear into one of the most marginalised groups in Australian society,” he told AAP.

“There is a fear in the camp that something is going to happen, whether it’s the police, state or local governments.”

Early morning raid ‘opportune time’

Mr Priestly said an early morning raid, before the journalists watching the camp begin their morning shift on Sunday, would be the opportune time for authorities to forcibly uproot the camp.

But he felt it was unlikely the police would be the ones to take that tactic, given their history of treating the campers with courtesy.

“The police are cognisant enough to know people have nowhere else to go,” he said.

“This (camp) reduces other areas of crime “But we know police at (local command level) are happy to co-operate. They came through a full three days beforehand to tell us their operational plan the last time they moved us.”

Homeless shelters are scattered throughout Martin Place in Sydney’s Central Business District.AAP

Dubbed the Mayor of Martin Place, Mr Priestly said camp organisers had an obligation to continue to provide safety, shelter, food and support to the residents, regardless of the talks going on behind closed doors.

“Touch wood someone will consult with us at some point along the line,” he said.

“They haven’t so far.”

Mr Priestly is concerned about the few lines of dialogue which have emerged from the discussions so far.

“I laughed when they started to call it a protest – protesters go home,” he said.

“But changing the narrative, getting people on board with the idea of this being a protest makes it political.

“They can be seen to smash a protest, they can’t be seen smashing a community of homeless people.”

There are reports temporary housing has been offered to those living in the camp but a resident told AAP many had refused because there was no guarantee of long term accommodation.

How Twitter reacted to Bolt defeat


“Bolt looked sluggish in the SF.


Carried it into final and got turned over. Gatlin silenced the whole stadium. Love it when an upset happens.” – Controverisial footballer Joey Barton enjoyed seeing Gatlin race to victory.

“Bolt the Goat” – Grime artist Stormzy still thinks the Jamaican is the greatest sprinter of all time.

“Leaves a sour taste in the mouth but #Bolt won’t be remembered for tonight. Total game changer. #legend” – Ex-footballer Michael Owen hails Bolt’s legacy.

“#BOLT IS ALWAYS A LEGEND” – Olympic gymnastics champion Max Whitlock remains a huge fan.

“Couldnt have been a worse result. Can deal with Bolt losing but not to a cheat #thedarksideofsport” – Former British swimmer turned pundit Karen Pickering was disappointed with the result.

“It’s tough to take for many but this is why we love sport… sometimes it kicks you in the gut. Wonderfully unpredictable #Bolt #London2017” – BBC Sport presenter Dan Walker enjoyed the drama.

“Gutted for Bolt – legend & GOAT. Hurts that a 2x drug cheat beats him in his farewell – fairytale not to be. Bolt has kept athletics alive.” – former Scotland rugby player Rory Lawson.

“Emotional….not because Usain lost..but that’s it…no more individual running….gutted he is going…we will miss you @usainbolt G.O.A.T” – Olympic 400m medallist Katharine Merry was sad to see Bolt run his last individual race.

“I can’t wait for Usain Bolt to nail Gatlin on the last leg of the 4×100! – Paralympics GB swimmer Ryan Crouch is hoping for one final twist in the tale.

Suspect arrested as details emerge of British model’s abduction in Italy

The unidentified 20-year-old was injected in the arm with the tranquiliser ketamine after going to what was a fake photo shoot at a venue near Milan’s central station on July 11.


Her kidnapper and an accomplice allegedly stripped, photographed and bound the woman before driving her in the boot of a car from Milan to a country house in the tiny village of Borgial in the northwestern region of Piedmont.

Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30, has been charged with orchestrating the kidnapping and given a version of events which the prosecutor in charge of the case described as barely credible.


Detectives are unclear as to whether Herba was serious about auctioning his victim or if it was simply a threat intended to extort 300,000 euros in Bitcoin from the model’s agent and family.

No one took part in the online auction, so it was unclear if Herba had the necessary contacts to organise such an operation of was something of a fantasist, according to the police.

“Fantasist or not, what is clear is that he is a very dangerous man who drugged his victim as soon as she was kidnapped and put her inside a large travel bag in the boot of a car,” Milan deputy prosecutor Paolo Storari told a press conference.

“His version of events is barely credible but clearly he does not deny that he was with her for the time she was missing,” Storari said.

On July 17, for reasons that are not clear, Herba drove the woman back to Milan and released her close to the British Consulate, where he was arrested.

He had told the model that he could not go on holding her because she was a mother of a young child and such abductions were prohibited by “Black Death”, a nefarious web-based group he claimed to belong to.

Police said they were not sure if the group actually existed.


Brazilian troops storm Rio’s slums to catch gang leaders

Thousands of Brazilian army troops raided Rio de Janeiro slums in a pre-dawn crackdown on crime gangs Saturday, leaving parts of the city looking like a war zone on the first anniversary of the opening of the Olympic Games.


Five favelas were targeted by around 1,300 police and 3,600 troops in a sweep starting at 4am (0700 GMT), the Rio state security service said in a statement.

Their main goal was to stop gangs behind a surge in brazen robberies of commercial trucks, with arrest warrants issued for 40 people. Rio state authorities say there were 10,000 cases of cargo theft last year.

By late afternoon, 23 people had been arrested and three killed “in confrontations,” Rio state security chief Robert Sa said. Twenty-one vehicles, weapons, drugs and goods stolen from trucks were impounded.

But the decision to flood some of Rio’s most dangerous streets with heavily armed soldiers also reflected fears that nearly bankrupt post-Olympic Rio is spinning out of control. The troops were part of 8,500 deployed to the city last month in a tacit acknowledgement that cash-strapped police have lost the ability to cope.

In Lins favela – one of the many little-regulated, and often gang-plagued communities of working class Brazilians that rise on the city’s forest-clad hills – soldiers took positions at every crossroads and outside many alleyways.

Troops, backed by camouflaged armored personnel carriers, stood guard with fingers on the triggers of assault rifles. Units of soldiers and SWAT police also roamed the streets in open Jeeps and SUVs, pointing their weapons out of car windows.

Everyone entering and leaving the favela, in northern Rio, was subjected to an identity check and search, with men required to lift their shirts. One man was questioned at length about a scar on his stomach and another man’s bag was searched only to find he was carrying a large Bible.

The orderly deployment and impressive firepower reassured some. At a time of political and economic turmoil in Brazil, the military is regularly cited as Brazil’s most trusted institution.

“They bring security to us all. There’s so much robbery, so much shooting. With the soldiers, people here feel safer,” said Luiza, a resident of Lins, who like most others was too afraid to be fully identified.

Others, however, were upset at suddenly having to live in the middle of what resembled military rule.

“There’s an atmosphere of tension and fear,” said Vanuza Barroso da Silva, 23, who was leaving Lins to go to her job at a supermarket.

“They treat us as if we’re trash,” her father Roberto, 46, said after going through the search.

Officials said the other favelas targeted were Camarista Meier, Morros de Sao Joao and Engenho Novo in the north and Covanca in the west.

Armed forces of the Brazilian Federal Highway Police take position during an operation against organised crime in Rio de Janeiro.EFE

‘They abandoned us’

The crackdown came a year to the day after President Michel Temer opened the Olympics in a lavish ceremony at the Maracana football stadium, which is close to Lins favela.

Rio was the first South American city to host the Games and although the event passed off smoothly, a mixture of corruption scandals, near collapse in the state budget and crime has combined into a serious hangover for what should be one of Brazil’s richest regions.

In the first half of this year Rio tallied 3,457 homicides, the highest level of violence since 2009 and 15 percent more than during the same period in 2016.

People are killed daily in shootouts between rival gangs competing for control of the favelas or from police action. The shootings, often involving high-powered rifles, also lead to numerous deaths and injuries from stray bullets.

Since the beginning of the year 93 police officers have been killed in Rio state, while units complain of not having enough funds for fuel or even toilet paper.

Brazilian Justice Minister Torquato Jardim said the damage done to criminal groups would be “greater than the mere numbers” of arrests and confiscations.

However, many favela residents fear that Saturday’s operation will be just one more in a long series of dramatic, but ultimately futile raids in neighborhoods ravaged by poverty, government neglect and deeply rooted gangs.

“You can hardly go out for a beer in northern Rio,” said Marta, 40, in Lins.

Asked whether she feared the gangs or the authorities more, she shrugged. “In either case it’s a minority that has weapons,” she said.

Barroso da Silva scoffed at the Rio authorities’ vows of tough action. “They abandoned us,” she said.


Iran’s Rouhani sworn in as tensions simmer over nuclear deal

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned the US against tearing up the nuclear deal as he was inaugurated for a second term Saturday, but he also faces challenges closer to home amid accusations he is rolling over to conservatives.


Rouhani met with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini before the ceremony and called for greater efforts to safeguard the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in the face of new US sanctions.

“Iran will not be the first to violate the nuclear deal… but nor will it stay silent when the United States fails to respect its commitments,” he told the packed parliament hall.


“Iran has proved that it will respond to respect with respect, and to sanctions and threats with an appropriate response and with resistance,” he added.

Some of Iran’s older friends, including Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, also attended the ceremony which came two days after Rouhani was officially sworn in by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The emir of Qatar, which has fallen out with its Gulf allies in part over ties to Iran, was notably absent, despite attending Rouhani’s last inauguration in 2013.

He has already been barraged with criticism over indications that women would again be entirely absent and that his reformist allies would barely be represented.

Rouhani’s last government had three women among a large cohort of vice-presidents, but they lacked ministerial roles that would require approval by parliament.

“It was the reformists that allowed him to win the elections in 2013 and 2017… he must listen to those who supported him,” Rassoul Montajabnia of the reformist National Confidence party told the Arman newspaper.

Rouhani won a convincing victory over hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi in the May presidential election, vowing to continue rebuilding ties with the West and easing social restrictions at home.

That helped win over the reformists – whose candidates dropped out of the last two elections to ensure his victory.

“Rouhani created a lot of expectation and now there is a sense that he is retreating from his promises,” said Ali Shakourirad, head of the reformist People’s Unity Party.

The absence of women was down to pressure from religious conservatives behind the scenes, Shakourirad said.

“Rouhani didn’t want to make his task any more complicated than it already is,” he told AFP.

The final line-up is due to be announced in coming days, and must then be approved by parliament.

0:00 Iran warns: ‘If America breaches deal, so will we’ Share Iran warns: ‘If America breaches deal, so will we’

“The main ministers are very likely to stay in place,” said Henry Smith, Iran analyst with consultancy Control Risks.

“Rouhani will have a fairly smooth time getting parliament to approve his appointees. He’s been doing back and forth consultations with the necessary power centres – the parliament speaker, supreme leader, the Revolutionary Guards – and I don’t think you’ll see a significant change in economic or indeed social policy,” he added.

Despite his efforts to build backroom consensus, hardliners have given Rouhani a rough ride since his election, perhaps worried at the growing strength of the reformists.

The arrest of his brother on corruption charges was interpreted by some as a shot across the bow by the hardline judiciary.

Rouhani also triggered a war of words with the Revolutionary Guards after criticising their outsized role in the economy, although analysts say this is part of a cautious realignment of Iran’s policies to balance its security priorities with the need to attract investment.

“Rouhani has no interest in pushing the Revolutionary Guards totally out of the economy. It’s about creating enough space so Iran can get the foreign investment and technology it needs,” said Smith.

Investment has belatedly started to arrive in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal that eased sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme, notably through last month’s billion-dollar gas deal with France’s Total and China’s CNPC.

Billions more are needed to jump-start the stagnant economy and tackle a jobless rate of 12.7 per cent.

But with Washington imposing yet more sanctions this week, Iran’s re-engagement with the world remains largely stalled.

“The problem is Iran feels the need to react to these moves by the US, which just give the US fuel,” said Smith.

Mogherini held a meeting ahead of the inauguration with Zarif, who criticised European governments for their support of US calls for UN action in response to an Iranian satellite launch on July 27.

“This is the wrong path,” Zarif said.


ASX set to open higher on Monday

The Australian stock market is expected to open higher by 25 points on Monday reversing some Friday’s losses on the back of better global news.


The main driver is US payroll figures which showed good jobs growth in the world’s biggest economy.

AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver said Friday night’s figures showed 209,000 jobs were created in the US in July and the unemployment rate was 4.3 per cent.

He said the strong figures and low wages growth, of just 2.5 per cent, will result in the US Federal Reserve continuing its gradual tightening of monetary policy.

“So that combination of good growth but relatively low inflation is something the sharemarket likes, it’s almost like a Goldilocks economy – not too hot, not too cold, but just right,” Dr Oliver said.

“Not so good for workers but it’s good for the companies.”

The rise in the iron ore price is another factor.

It rose 7.8 per cent last week to US $74.10 per tonne on Friday.

It all points to reasonable start to the week for the ASX, but share trading will start slowly due to Monday’s bank holiday in NSW.

During the week, all eyes will be on the start of the profit reporting season.

One to watch is the CBA full-year’s results on Wednesday.

The bank is expected to report another record profit. Its share price fell 3.6 per cent to $80.72 last week after it was revealed on Thursday the federal government’s financial intelligence unit, AUSTRAC, had accused the lender of more than 53,000 breaches of Australia’s money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

Other data the market will be watching includes the NAB’s business survey on Tuesday and Westpac Consumer Confidence Index on Wednesday.

Globally, China releases its trade figures on Tuesday.

At the close on Friday the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 14.5 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 5,720.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 13.5 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 5,773.3 points.

Euthanasia, CFA to dominate Vic MP debate

The winter break is over and Victoria’s parliamentarians are set to return to passionate debate on whether they will give the state’s terminally ill a choice on when they die.


Legislation on assisted dying is not expected to be introduced when parliament resumes this week, but MPs will no doubt be grilled on their thoughts.

Premier Daniel Andrews hopes to see a vote on the scheme, which he says will be the “safest” in the world, by the end of 2017.

“What we know is many Victorians are not getting the care they need,” he said in July when announcing his government would adopt all 66 recommendations made by an expert panel.

“There is no solution to their unbearable pain and they are taking matters into their own hands (and) that leads to many tragic outcomes, that’s unacceptable to me.”

While the government has endorsed the report, not all Labor MPs will vote for it to become law.

Mr Andrews’ deputy, James Merlino, has long said he does not support euthanasia and reaffirmed his position during the winter break.

A passionate debate is anticipated and already tensions have started to mount thanks to a Right To Life leaflet campaign in nine electorates.

The government will also be bracing itself for a report into its controversial fire service reforms due on the first day back.

The committee has spent the break grilling firefighters, service executives and departments on whether the CFA should become volunteer-only, with paid firefighters to move into a newly formed Fire Rescue Victoria.

Their report is due on Tuesday and will play a pivotal role in whether the reforms, which are tied to the approval of well-supported presumptive cancer compensation rights.

In other parliamentary business, ride-sharing services like Uber will soon be legalised with amended laws returning to the lower house.

The government accepted upper house changes including halving the ride levy to $1 which will replace licence fees and help compensate taxi operators.

Knights can make NRL finals in 2018: Joey

Newcastle legend Andrew Johns believes the Knights’ recent run of good form could be converted into a long-awaited NRL finals appearance as soon as next season.


Wooden spooners for the past two seasons, the Knights have shown signs of life after following up their upset win of St George Illawarra with a 26-10 walkover of the Warriors on Saturday.

It’s the first time they have recorded back-to-back wins in over 700 days, and it instantly doubled their total win account for the season.

The turnaround based on improving local talent, together with a growing recruitment drive headed by emerging stars Connor Watson and Kalyn Ponga, prompted Johns to predict that the finals are a genuine possibility in 2018.

The Knights haven’t played in the post-season since 2012.

Johns hailed the growth of local juniors Daniel Saifiti, Luke Yates, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Brock Lamb and skipper Sione Mata’utia, all under 22 years of age.

“All the young players combining. They all came through the system in the SG Ball and the Jersey Flegg together,” Johns said on The Sunday Footy Show.

“They’re building, the Knights. The players they’ve bought next year with a bit of class, another off-season, I think next year they’ll be around semi-final area, around the eight.”

Johns, who was part of the Knights’ premierships in 1997 and 2001, reserved special praise for the development of Lamb since his nightmare showing against Canterbury in round 18.

Lamb had arguably the best game of his career against the Warriors, setting up two tries and three line breaks to go with his own try.

“Some of the biggest lessons we learn are the toughest ones. He’s had to learn some tough lessons, he’s come into a side that’s struggling at a young age,” Johns said.

“But in the last couple of weeks, you can see how well he sees the game, and his control. He understands space, he understands when to run and when to pass.”

UK prepared to pay €40 billion Brexit bill: report

It is the first time the British side has put a figure on its so-called Brexit bill – although the sum falls well short of the €100 billion sum discussed in Brussels.


The newspaper report, based on unnamed government sources, said Britain would pay this only if the EU agrees to negotiate the settlement as part of a deal on future relations, including trade.

Brussels has said progress must be made on the divorce bill, as well as the rights of European citizens living in Britain and the Irish border issue, before any talks can start on a free trade agreement.

British officials are looking at proposing a transition deal where Britain would continue to make net payments to the EU of €10 billion a year for up to three years after it leaves in March 2019, the Telegraph said.

This money, paid in return for continued access to Europe’s single market, would be a “partial down-payment” on the final bill.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has declined to publicly name a sum for Britain’s divorce bill, which includes its share of EU spending projects already agreed, as well as pension contributions of staff, among other expenses.

But he said the “methodology” for determining how much Britain must pay should be worked out during the first phase of the Brexit negotiations, which is due to end in October.

A number of senior EU officials have confirmed to AFP the estimate of €100 billion.

Officials have previously said there is scope for paying the bill in instalments, and that the total figure may eventually come down because of jointly-held assets that the EU must reimburse Britain for.


US suspends search for missing Marines after crash off Queensland coast

The US Navy and Marine Corps has suspended search and rescue efforts for three US Marines missing after their aircraft crashed into the sea off Australia’s east coast.


The Marine Corps said they have shifted their operations to recovery efforts in coordination with the Australian Defence Force, which could last several months, and notified the next-of-kin for the three missing Marines.

Twenty-three other personnel aboard the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft had been rescued, the III Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Okinawa, Japan, said in a statement early Sunday.

The plane crashed about 4pm on Saturday off the central Queensland coast at Shoalwater Bay.

It had taken off from the USS Bonhomme Richard and was on regularly scheduled operations when it hit the water in a “mishap”, a statement from the US military says.

Small boats and aircraft from the Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship, immediately swung into action.

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit MV-22 Osprey [email protected] @PacificCommand @PacificMarines @USPacificFleet @AFNPacificNow pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/6dJX7Ke8w5

— III MEF Marines (@IIIMEF) August 5, 2017

US President Donald Trump, who has just begun a 17-day “working vacation” at his New Jersey golf club, has been briefed on the incident by his new chief of staff John Kelly, a White House official told reporters.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne confirmed in a statement late on Saturday night that no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft.

The search and rescue operation is being conducted by the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unite and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, which are on deployment in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

“The United States are leading the search and recovery effort,” Senator Payne said.

She had also briefed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and spoken with US Defense Secretary James Mattis to offer Australia’s support.

I have offered our support to the US following the MV-22 incident today & confirm no ADF personnel were on board: 苏州美甲培训学校,长沙SPA,/VtPkLt3Qlc

— Marise Payne (@MarisePayne) August 5, 2017

“Our thoughts are with the crew and families affected,” she said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk offered her government’s support to the search and rescue efforts.

“In recent weeks, many Queenslanders have had the opportunity to meet US servicemen and servicewoman visiting as they prepare for the joint military exercise Talisman Sabre in central Queensland.

“On behalf of all Queenslanders, our prayers are with those US military personnel involved in the incident,” she said in a statement.

The Osprey aircraft, a tilt rotor aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like an aeroplane, was in Australia for Operation Talisman Sabre, a biennial training exercise involving the defence forces of both countries, at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. The exercises concluded at the end of July.