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iran blames us allies over deadly attack
tehran summoned diplomats from denmark, the netherlands and britain for allegedly hosting members of the group suspected of links to saturday's attack that killed 24 people, according to a revised death toll.four militants attacked a parade commemorating the start of the 1980-1988 iran-iraq war in the southwestern city of ahvaz, capital of the border province of khuzestan.officials and an eyewitness said the gunmen were clad in iranian military uniforms and had sprayed the crowd with gunfire using weapons they had stashed in a nearby park.the is jihadist group claimed responsibility for the rare assault.but iranian authorities see an arab separatist movement, the ahwazi democratic popular front (adpf) or al-ahwazi, as the main suspect.iranian armed forces members and civilians take shelter.aap`one of the countries in the south of the persian gulf took care of their financial, weaponry and political needs,` said president rouhani.`all these little mercenary countries we see in this region are backed by america. it is the americans who incite them.`iranian soldiers, women, and children lay down and run during a terror attack that occurred at military parade in the city of ahvaz, southern iranaapus hits backthe united states condemned the attack, with its un envoy saying it had happened because rouhani has `oppressed his people for a long time`.`he needs to look at his own base to figure out where that's coming from. i think the iranian people have had enough,` said ni...
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maldives opposition claims presidential election victory
maldives opposition leader ibrahim mohamed solih has declared victory in sunday's presidential election, urging strongman incumbent abdulla yameen to ensure a peaceful transition of power and immediately release scores of political prisoners.`i call on yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,` solih said on national television shortly after official results showed he had an unassailable 58 percent of the popular vote.`the message is loud and clear. people want justice and stability and we will ensure accountability,` he added.the opposition candidate had an unassailable lead of 34,000 votes over yameen with just 27,000 votes to be declared late on sunday, according to polling station results broadcast over local media. yameen, who was widely tipped to retain power, had jailed or forced into exile almost all of his main rivals.before polls opened, police raided the campaign headquarters of the opposition maldivian democratic party (mdp) and searched the building for several hours in a bid to stop what they called `illegal activities`. there were no arrests.more than 250,000 voters in the maldives were eligible to vote in the election. al jazeeramohamed nasheed, the head of solih's maldivian democratic party, said the vote would `bring the country back to the democratic path`.yameen would have no option but to concede defeat, said nasheed, who was elected president of a newly-democratic maldives in 2008 but liv...
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brett kavanaugh's accuser to testify in open hearing on thursday
california professor christine blasey ford has agreed to testify before a senate panel on thursday morning about her sexual assault allegations against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh.the agreement capped a week of dramatic developments that cast into turmoil us senate confirmation of president donald trump's conservative nominee, once considered a safe bet.us senate judiciary committee chairman chuck grassley had set several deadlines since friday for ford to decide whether and how she will testify before the panel.ford said kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party 36 years ago, pinning her down and trying to take off her clothes, when she was 15 and he was 17.read morekavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, has denied the allegations and said he would be willing to testify.the lawyers said they made `important progress` in a sunday morning call with judiciary committee staff members and agreed to the hearing even though the committee refused to subpoena mark judge, who ford said witnessed the attack, as well as others she said were present.`despite actual threats to her safety and her life, dr ford believes it is important for senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,` said the statement from lawyers debra katz, lisa banks and michael bromwich.`she has agreed to move forward with a hearing even though the committee has refused to subpoena mark judge,` it said on sunday. `they have also refused to invite...
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needles found in australian strawberries in new zealand
the hunt for those sabotaging strawberries with needles has gone trans-tasman with the first report of a contaminated punnet in new zealand.woolworths-owned supermarket chain countdown announced it was removing choice brand strawberries, imported from western australia, from shelves across nz after an auckland customer reported discovering needles in their fruit on sunday.the company said it had alerted authorities in australia while nz police and government agencies have also launched their own investigations.it was not yet clear whether the needles had been inserted in australia or after export, new zealand minister for primary industries damien o'connor told radio nz on monday.`we hope that it would not be a new zealander doing a copycat ... these will be the things that will be discovered,` he said.australian authorities have been alerted to the discovery of a contaminated strawberry punnet in nz. aapmr o'connor said he was looking into whether australian strawberries had undergone extra scrutiny in recent weeks.`when we're dealing with these kind of illogical, irrational situations, we do have to look at additional checks. it may be that all the supermarkets should have been checking all the strawberries coming into their shops,` he said.`if there's something simple that can be done ... we should do it, at least in the short to medium term anyway.`read moresome kiwi growers had reportedly already been eyeing metal detectors amid fears the contamination could sp...
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coalition claws back support under scott morrison: newspoll
the morrison government has improved its position in the polls but labor would still win an election on a convincing margin if it were held today, leading the government 54 – 46 in the latest newspoll. the narrowing in the two-party preferred reflects a rise in the primary vote for the coalition from 33 percent in the days after the leadership spill to 36 percent now. labor’s primary vote has eased off slightly from 42 percent two weeks ago to 39 percent. the news corp poll surveyed 1,675 voters around the country.scott morrison remains the preferred prime minister over bill shorten in the latest newspoll.aapit is the first poll to suggest the coalition may have seen the worst of the electoral blowback from its recent leadership turmoil, with the dumping of malcolm turnbull and former treasurer scott morrison emerging as the new leader. the poll comes as one of the other leadership contenders, former foreign minister julie bishop, has described the impact of the revolving-door leadership on australia’s international reputation.read morems bishop told the nine network foreign dignitaries were joking australia was the “coup capital of the world” and the “italy of the south pacific”. ms bishop has resigned her powerful post as foreign minister and is now sitting on the backbench.australian prime minister scott morrison. aapscott morrison has rushed to make his own mark on the leadership, with a key by-election looming in the seat of wentworth and a full federal ele...
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australia joins efforts to rescue injured indian sailor abhilash tomy
the australian defence force has joined the urgent rescue mission to find a seriously injured solo indian sailor who's sent desperate distress messages from his stricken vessel in the southern indian ocean.the force is searching about 1800 nautical miles off the western australia coast to find the naval officer who was competing in the golden globe race.the 39-year-old struck trouble on saturday when his 10m vessel `thuriya` de-masted during extreme weather causing him a serious back injury, the adf said on sunday.solo skipper abhilash tomy sent his first satellite text message on saturday, saying: `activated epirb. cant walk. might need stretcher`, golden globe race organisers said in a statement.a subsequent message read: `can move toes. feel numb. can't eat or drink. tough 2 reach grab bag`.fellow competitor gregor mcguckin's yacht was also de-masted during the same storm that rolled tomy's yacht.however, the irishman only suffered minor injuries and has since set up a jury rig and is making his way towards tomy's position, according to the golden globe event updates. he may be asked to provide immediate medical assistance to tomy when he arrived at first light on monday.abhilash tomy and his boat.the golden globe raceevent organisers said in a facebook post that tomy was able to tell them via text message that he heard the indian navy p-81aircraft fly by 12 hours ago.the royal australian navy frigate, hmas ballarat, sailed from perth about 6pm local time on ...
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julie bishop: australia referred to as 'coup capital of the world'
australia's first female foreign minister says many of her counterparts have called the country the coup capital of the world after the latest liberal party spill.former party deputy julie bishop made the comment during an interview on the nine network's 60 minutes program.`there have been some rather unkind comments about australia being the italy of the south pacific and the coup capital of the world,` ms bishop said on sunday night.`i've had many calls from my counterpart foreign ministers who are very politely asking why i am no longer the foreign minister and what happened to the prime minister.`read morethe backbencher also took aim at question time and said there was too much `vicious behaviour`, including name-calling and too many insults.`and the public see that as no better than schoolchildren. in fact, not as well behaved as schoolchildren,` ms bishop said.she also renewed her call to have gender targets in the liberal party.`i believe that targets are an appropriate mechanism. it's not the only mechanism but i have seen it work elsewhere,` ms bishop said.
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james ricketson vows to return to cambodia after 'lovers' quarrel'
australian filmmaker james ricketson has returned to australia after being pardoned by cambodia's king.ricketson, 69, landed safely in sydney just before 8pm on sunday.he was sentenced to jail for six years on august 31 for espionage in a trial that was widely criticised by human rights activists and politicians in australia.he had denied the charges but dropped his appeal to seek a royal pardon, which was granted by cambodian king norodom sihamoni on friday evening.james ricketson at the cambodian supreme court.aapricketson has described his time imprisoned in cambodia for a crime he denies committing as `a lovers' quarrel`.`my relationship with cambodia has been a 20-year love affair and the last 15, almost 16 months has been like a lovers' quarrel,` he told reporters at sydney airport on sunday.`i'll be going back as soon as i can but i'll need to recover obviously.`i need to spend some time with myself and some time with my family.`the film director was sentenced on august 31 in a trial that was widely criticised by human rights activists and politicians in australia.he was arrested at a political rally in june 2017.the australian directors' guild co-founder deflected questions about how his release came about but thanked cambodian prime minister hun sen for recommending the king pardon him `for a crime i did not commit`.he said there was `room for improvement` in the way the australian government handled his case.`i'll leave it at that for the time bei...
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queensland government urged to rethink killing sharks after outrage
conservationists are once again calling on the queensland government to rethink how it prevents shark attacks following two life-threatening bites in the whitsundays last week.four tiger sharks were killed over the weekend by baited hooks dropped into sawmill bay by fisheries queensland following the attacks on justine barwick, 46, and hannah papps, 12.humane society international and sea shepherd australia say the shark killing gives people a false sense of security.two sharks have been killed near the sites of the attacks.instagram: sailingpopeye`baited drum lines targeting sharks in the area will do nothing to prevent further accidents,` sea shepherd's jonathan clark said.`stop the nonsense about speaking of 'effectiveness' only in terms of their ability to kill sharks.`that bit is easy and it's lazy policy. making beaches actually safer is much harder and unrelated to their ability to kill sharks.`social media users expressed their frustration after fisheries queensland announced it had killed four tiger sharks.marine biologist dr alison kock called for solutions rather than `retaliatory killing` of sharks.hsi marine campaigner lawrence chlebeck says public support for lethal measures has dropped and that there have been significant developments in shark mitigation since baited hooks were dropped into queensland waters in 1962.`that's 60 years ago now ... the technology is there and we've moved on,` he said.but the state government insists catching and kil...
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villawood's drug crisis revealed: 'whatever you wanted you could get'
new zealander justin miller has seen the inside of many australian prisons, but it was while awaiting deportation at villawood immigration detention centre in sydney that he saw the most drugs.“whatever you wanted you could get your hands on it in there,” the 40-year-old told sbs news from christchurch, where he has been since he was deported in april.“i’ve seen ice in there, i’ve seen ‘bupe’ [a heroin substitute] ... a lot of marijuana.”sydney's villawood immigration detention centre is the largest detention centre in australia. sbs newsexclusive figures obtained by sbs news under freedom of information laws reveal miller’s experience is far from the exception.department of home affairs documents detail an extensive drug problem inside australia’s largest detention centre, amid concerns not enough is being done to tackle the problem.they show there were up to 126 drug seizure incidents recorded inside villawood in 2017 - more than two a week.some of the drugs seized in villawood in 2017. sbs unidentified pills and powder made up the largest portion of the seizures (45 cases), followed by almost 30 instances involving medications, including in one seizure of four viagra pills.marijuana or unidentified vegetable matter was discovered in 16 cases, and there were at least five cases involving a crystal-like substance or ice.in many cases, the drugs were found during searches of a detainee’s room.read morethe figures “surprised” the national drug and al...
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kavanaugh accuser will testify on thursday in open hearing
christine blasey ford, who accuses brett kavanaugh of attacking her at a high school party in the 1980s, reached a final deal to testify in an open hearing before a senate committee on thursday -- although key details such as who will do the questioning remained unresolved.`despite actual threats to her safety and her life, dr. ford believes it is important for senators to hear directly from her,` ford's lawyers said in a statement quoted by us media.ford had agreed saturday to the principle of testifying -- after an increasingly ugly week-long standoff which saw her forced to move out of her california home in the face of death threats, as her credibility was openly attacked by the president.read morekavanaugh, who strongly denies the assault allegation, has said he wishes to testify as soon as possible to clear his name.at stake is not only the fate of trump's hand-picked supreme court nominee, but also republican chances in november's midterm elections, which risk being harmed if the polarizing confirmation battle drags on.lindsey graham -- a member of the senate judiciary committee which must approve kavanaugh's nomination before it goes to the full chamber -- summed up the position of many republicans sunday, saying he did not expect ford's testimony to change his mind.`what am i supposed to do? go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation?` he told `fox news sunday.` `unless there's something more, no i'm not going to ruin judge kavanaugh...
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hiv rates among heterosexuals on the rise in australia
hiv diagnoses among heterosexuals have increased by 10 per cent over the past five years, according to new statistics.the kirby institute at the university of new south wales released the new statistics on monday and will present them at the australasian hiv & aids conference in sydney this week.read morethe research found more than half of the diagnoses among heterosexuals were late, meaning that the patient had been living with hiv for four or more years.“being diagnosed late can affect a person's immune system and their health and they also might pass on infection unknowingly to someone else,” said the kirby institute’s professor rebecca guy.she said heterosexual males are emerging as the fastest growing group of hiv diagnoses, with a 19 per cent increase in the last five years.a seven-year lowthe overall number of new diagnoses of hiv in australia last year dropped to a seven-year low, dipping below 1000 to 963 new diagnoses.that drop has been mainly attributed to a 15 per cent fall in the diagnosis of hiv among gay and bisexual men – traditionally comprising almost two-thirds of people infected with hiv in australia.read moreauthorities credit the higher rates of testing and treatment, as well as an increase in the use of the preventative `prep` pill, also known as pre-exposure prophylaxis.prep is used before sex, similar to an oral contraceptive pill, and was listed on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme in april.but despite the progress, professor guy said m...
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iran blames us allies over deadly attack
tehran also summoned diplomats from denmark, the netherlands and britain for allegedly hosting members of the group suspected of links to saturday's attack that killed 24 people, according to a revised death toll.four militants attacked a parade commemorating the start of the 1980-1988 iran-iraq war in the southwestern city of ahvaz, capital of the border province of khuzestan.officials and an eyewitness said the gunmen were clad in iranian military uniforms and had sprayed the crowd with gunfire using weapons they had stashed in a nearby park.the islamic state (is) jihadist group claimed responsibility for the rare assault.but iranian authorities see an arab separatist movement, the ahwazi democratic popular front (adpf) or al-ahwazi, as the main suspect.iranian armed forces members and civilians take shelter.aap`one of the countries in the south of the persian gulf took care of their financial, weaponry and political needs,` said president rouhani.`all these little mercenary countries we see in this region are backed by america. it is the americans who incite them.`iranian soldiers, women, and children lay down and run during a terror attack that occurred at military parade in the city of ahvaz, southern iranaapus hits backthe united states condemned the attack, with its un envoy saying it had happened because rouhani has `oppressed his people for a long time`.`he needs to look at his own base to figure out where that's coming from. i think the iranian people have...
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james ricketson arrives back in australia
australian filmmaker james ricketson has returned to australia after being pardoned by cambodia's king.ricketson, 69, landed safely in sydney just before 8pm on sunday.he was sentenced to jail for six years on august 31 for espionage in a trial that was widely criticised by human rights activists and politicians in australia.he had denied the charges but dropped his appeal to seek a royal pardon, which was granted by cambodian king norodom sihamoni on friday evening.james ricketson at the cambodian supreme court.aapricketson has described his time imprisoned in cambodia for a crime he denies committing as `a lovers' quarrel`.`my relationship with cambodia has been a 20-year love affair and the last 15, almost 16 months has been like a lovers' quarrel,` he told reporters at sydney airport on sunday.`i'll be going back as soon as i can but i'll need to recover obviously.`i need to spend some time with myself and some time with my family.`the film director was sentenced on august 31 in a trial that was widely criticised by human rights activists and politicians in australia.he was arrested at a political rally in june 2017.the australian directors' guild co-founder deflected questions about how his release came about but thanked cambodian prime minister hun sen for recommending the king pardon him `for a crime i did not commit`.he said there was `room for improvement` in the way the australian government handled his case.`i'll leave it at that for the time bei...
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porsche abandons diesel motors | sbs news
diesel-powered vehicles are out of the porsche family for good, chief executive oliver blume has told the german daily bild am sonntag.although the company does not currently produce diesel vehicles, blume said he wants to be clear that they are also not on the horizon.even without its own diesel vehicles, porsche's reputation has suffered as the german automobile industry has taken hits since 2015, after it came to light that volkswagen had been using special software during testing to hide how polluting its cars emissions were. other german brands have since suffered similar accusations.`there will be no more diesel from porsche from now on,` blume told the newspaper. instead, the company will focus on what it does best.read more`that's emotionally gripping, strong-performing, gas-powered [cars] and hybrids,` he said. `and, starting in 2019, that will also mean purely electric vehicles.`even though porsche never produced its own diesel-powered engines, `the image of porsche suffered nonetheless. the diesel crisis caused us a lot of problems`.another reason for the no-diesel vow, he said, is that the company wants to return to its sporty roots.`it's important to us that motors can be run in a sporting fashion,` he said. `in the future, porsche will be more porsche than it was in its past. we'll focus on performance and efficiency.`
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women leave stem over pay gap, study finds
young women in science, technology, engineering and maths are leaving the field because of the gender pay gap and a lack of career advancement.the 2018 stem professions survey report released on sunday found women were under-represented at senior and management levels, leading to gaps of $17,500 in pay despite some companies having gender policies.professionals australia ceo chris walton told aap the gender pay gap was a significant disincentive to women entering or remaining in the stem professions.`at a time when we really need the best and the brightest because we have a shortage of skilled people in many areas,` he said.read more`outdated attitudes to women taking maternity leave and working part time, often to juggle caring responsibilities, is still stopping us from getting a more equal representation of women in those senior jobs.`professionals australia is calling for organisations to work harder on their gender and discrimination policies.close to 2000 women in stem fields took part in the survey, with about half of respondents saying their workplaces did not have policies to promote diversity or deal with discrimination.read morein organisations that did have adequate policies, many women said they were not enforced and were `all talk`.a third of female engineers aged between 25 and 35 said they were intending to leave their profession in the next five years.one respondent says claims of sexual harassment and bullying are not addressed at her organisation as ...
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serena williams denies 'sideline coaching' at us open
serena williams has claimed she wasn't coached from the sidelines during the controversial us open final earlier this month.the us tennis champion said she didn't understand why her coach admitted he was giving her instructions from the sidelines in an interview on network ten's the sunday project.`i just don't understand what he was talking about because i asked him, you weren't coaching, we don't have signals, we've never had signals like and he said he made a motion,` ms williams told the program on sunday night.`so you said you made a motion now you told people that you're coaching me that doesn't make sense, why would you say that,` she said of her discussion with her coach.serena williams has denied she was coached during the controversial us open final.aapms williams did not answer a question about whether she regretted the decision to break her racquet on the court, with footage showing her publicist stepping in during the interview.the six-times us open champion, who lost the final to japan's naomi osaka, was handed a coaching violation and a point penalty for breaking her racquet before a heated argument with umpire carlos ramos ended with her losing a game.read morethe tournament referee's office fined the former world no.1 $us10,000 for the `verbal abuse` of ramos, $us4000 for being warned for coaching and $us3,000 for smashing her racket.ms williams said she wanted to move on from the controversy.`what i'm just trying to do most of all, is to j...
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james ricketson arrives back in australia
australian filmmaker james ricketson has returned to australia after being pardoned by cambodia's king.ricketson, 69, landed safely in sydney just before 8pm on sunday.he was sentenced to jail for six years on august 31 for espionage in a trial that was widely criticised by human rights activists and politicians in australia.he had denied the charges but dropped his appeal to seek a royal pardon, which was granted by cambodian king norodom sihamoni on friday evening.james ricketson at the cambodian supreme court.aapthe filmmaker had also been accused of endangering cambodian national security after flying a drone over a political rally organised by the now banned cambodian national rescue party.the ricketson family on sunday expressed their gratitude to supporters and friends who helped his release.`right now our primary focus is on james' welfare - 16 months in prison will have taken a huge toll on him physically and emotionally, and we want him to be able to rest and recuperate,` they said in a statement on sunday.`james still deeply loves cambodia and its people and remains committed to helping however he can.`read morethe family will hold a press conference in sydney on monday.australian foreign affairs minister marise payne said the pardon meant the end of a distressing time for the filmmaker and his family.`i thank my counterpart, cambodian foreign minister prak sokhonn, for his government's positive consideration of mr ricketson's petition,` ms payne said.the...
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'cat grandpa': animal shelter volunteer goes viral
a 75-year-old animal shelter volunteer who brushes cats for hours on end has gone viral.donations have been pouring in after images of volunteer terry laurmen were posted on the facebook page of the safe haven pet sanctuary in the us state of wisconsin.terry lauerman thanks people who have made donations. facebookmr laurmen reportedly spends three hours a day brushing cats at the shelter. in the first of three photos posted, mr laurmen is napping with a grey cat draped over his shins. in the second, a ginger cat is cradled under one arm. and in the third photo, a white cat with black markings is at his elbow observing him nap. more than $6,000 in donations have been made online since the images were posted on wednesday.internet traffic to the shelter's website caused a temporary crash, with nearly 1,000 people visiting per second, a local newspaper reported.     creator of the animal shelter, 27-year-old elizabeth feldhausen said volunteers don't come better than terry.`we are so lucky to have a human like terry,` she said in a post thanking those who made donations.the relationship started when terry showed up one day six months ago, introduced himself and expressed a desire to brush the cats.`eventually it became everyday. he brushes all of the cats, and can tell you about all of their likes and dislikes.`he also accidentally falls asleep most days. we don't mind - cats need this! terry is a wonderful volunteer.`the images of terry napping with the cats hav...
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fourth shark killed after whitsundays attacks
a fourth shark has been snared in drumlines off the queensland coast in the wake of two life-threatening attacks in the whitsundays.the tiger shark was `humanely euthanised` after being caught in the cid harbour area on sunday afternoon, fisheries queensland said in a statement.`this shark measures 3.7 metres and, like the others, would pose a serious threat to people swimming in the cid harbour waters,` a department spokesman said.fisheries queensland has dropped the four baited hooks into the waters where justine barwick, 46, and hannah papps, 12, were bitten less than 24 hours apart last week.sharks that were killed on saturday.instagram: sailingpopeyethe baiting and killing of sharks after the attacks won't prevent more attacks and gives swimmers a false sense of security, environmentalists said.human safety is paramount but the killing of four sharks in response to the attacks isn't the answer, according to animal rights groups.`public support for these shark control methods is dropping off,` humane society international marine campaigner lawrence chlebeck said.`we acknowledge the need for the use of technology and reducing these sorts of incidences ... but drumlines have been in the water since 1962, that's 60 years ago now.read more`the technology is there and we've moved on.`the state government insists killing the sharks is in the interest of public safety despite admitting it will never know if they caused the injuries.the liberal national party agrees ...
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strawberry sabotage: needles found in new zealand
a punnet of australian strawberries contaminated with needles has been found in new zealand in the first such reported case across the tasman.the fruit, imported from western australia and sold under the choice brand, had been sold at a supermarket in auckland, woolworths-owned countdown - one of nz's two major supermarket groups.countdown said on sunday that remaining stock of the brand was pulled off its shelves. it was sold nationwide last week and had not previously been flagged as a concern.new zealand police said the customer who had bought the strawberries had discovered the needles before any were eaten and no one had been injured.read more`police are taking this report seriously and are investigating together with our colleagues at the ministry for primary industries,` a spokeswoman said.countdown said it had also alerted authorities in australia.it is urging nz residents to cut up strawberries before eating them.the company earlier this week announced it had stopped importing further australian strawberries as a precaution, following scares across the states, while competitor foodstuffs halted distribution to its stores.australian strawberries are exported to nz from april to september and local strawberries began appearing on shelves this week in their place.more than a dozen instances of strawberry contamination have been reported in wa, while more than 100 reports of tampered fruit are being investigated by police across australia.
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james ricketson arrives back in australia
australian filmmaker james ricketson has returned to australia after being pardoned by cambodia's king.ricketson, 69, landed safely in sydney just before 8pm on sunday.he was sentenced to jail for six years on august 31 for espionage in a trial that was widely criticised by human rights activists and politicians in australia.he had denied the charges but dropped his appeal to seek a royal pardon, which was granted by cambodian king norodom sihamoni on friday evening.the filmmaker had also been accused of endangering cambodian national security after flying a drone over a political rally organised by the now banned cambodian national rescue party.read morethe ricketson family on sunday expressed their gratitude to supporters and friends who helped his release.`right now our primary focus is on james' welfare - 16 months in prison will have taken a huge toll on him physically and emotionally, and we want him to be able to rest and recuperate,` they said in a statement on sunday.`james still deeply loves cambodia and its people and remains committed to helping however he can.`the family will hold a press conference in sydney on monday.australian foreign affairs minister marise payne said the pardon meant the end of a distressing time for the filmmaker and his family.`i thank my counterpart, cambodian foreign minister prak sokhonn, for his government's positive consideration of mr ricketson's petition,` ms payne said.the ricketson family also thanked the king for `show...
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trump clamps down on green cards
us immigrants who get public benefits like food stamps or housing vouchers could be denied green cards, under a new proposal from president donald trump's administration.trump came to power pledging to make immigration to the united states more difficult, and reduce the number of people allowed to stay in the country.the department of homeland security (dhs) said saturday that under the proposed rule change, being a current or previous receipient of certain public aid would be seen as a `heavily weighed negative factor` in considering an application for lawful permanent residency.read more`this proposed rule will implement a law passed by congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on american taxpayers,` homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen said.immigrants applying for green cards are already required to prove they will not become a so-called `public charge,` with receipt of cash benefits considered.but the latest rules set out a wide range of non-cash public benefits that could be disqualifying, including food stamps, housing vouchers and the medicare part d low income subsidy which helps with prescription costs.dhs estimated the rule would affect just over 382,200 immigrants applying to adjust their status to lawful permanent residents each year.the rule would primarily affect legal immigrants or people seeking to come to the us legally, as undocumented immigrants...
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bushfire threatens homes in western australia
an out-of-control and unpredictable bushfire is threatening lives in the northern wa town of kununurra with residents warned they need to act immediately to survive.residents bounded by the victoria highway to the north, drovers road to the southeast and lily creek lagoon to the southwest have been issued with an emergency warning, by the emergency services department.`you are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. there is a threat to lives and homes. it is too late to leave, leaving now would be deadly. you need to shelter in your home and actively defend it,` it reads.victoria highway between weaber plain road and bull run road have been closed in the area.`the bushfire is moving very fast in a westerly direction,` according to the department.the fire is `out-of-control and unpredictable` with burning embers likely to be blown around homes in its path.there is also a watch and act warning in place for the eastern part of kununurra - bounded by weaber plain road, victoria highway and stockman road - with people still able to leave.an evacuation centre has been set up at the kununurra leisure centre.
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ricketson en route to australia after pardon
australian filmmaker james ricketson is expected to arrive in australia late on sunday after being pardoned by cambodia's king.ricketson, 69, was sentenced to jail for six years on august 31 for espionage in a trial that was widely criticised by human rights activists and politicians in australia.he had denied the charges but dropped his appeal to seek a royal pardon, which was granted by cambodian king norodom sihamoni on friday evening.the filmmaker had also been accused of endangering cambodian national security after flying a drone over a political rally organised by the now banned cambodian national rescue party.read morethe ricketson family on sunday expressed their gratitude to supporters and friends who helped his release.`right now our primary focus is on james' welfare - 16 months in prison will have taken a huge toll on him physically and emotionally, and we want him to be able to rest and recuperate,` they said in a statement on sunday.`james still deeply loves cambodia and its people and remains committed to helping however he can.`the family will hold a press conference in sydney on monday.australian foreign affairs minister marise payne said the pardon meant the end of a distressing time for the filmmaker and his family.`i thank my counterpart, cambodian foreign minister prak sokhonn, for his government's positive consideration of mr ricketson's petition,` ms payne said.the ricketson family also thanked the king for `showing us compassion and bringin...
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strawberry sabotage: needles found in new zealand
a brand of strawberries sourced from australia is being withdrawn from supermarket shelves in new zealand, after needles were found in punnet sold at a countdown supermarket in auckland.the australian choice brand sourced from western australia was sold throughout new zealand supermarkets last week.  the countdown supermarket chain said the brand is being pulled off shelves as a precautionary measure, and urged shoppers to cut up strawberries already purchased.read more`customers can return any choice brand of strawberries they may have at home to countdown for peace of mind and a full refund,` countdown said in a statement.`as an extra precaution and following similar advice from public health authorities in australia, customers should cut up any australian strawberries before eating them.`the supermarket chain said there have so far been no illnesses reported from consuming the brand of strawberries. the brand is not among those recalled in australia. food tamperers could spend 10 to 15 years behind bars under draft laws passed by the government on thursday.more than 100 reports of tampered fruit are being investigated by police across the country, many of which are thought to be fake or copycat cases.
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'not constructive': pm dismisses plan for companies to reveal pay gap
prime minister scott morrison has rejected labor’s plan for mandatory public disclosure of the gender pay gap in companies, saying it risks “setting up conflict in the workplace”.labor has announced it will force australian companies with more than 1000 employees to publicly disclose the gap in the salaries of male and female staffers.read morecompanies already disclose pay gap information  to the workplace gender equality agency.labor is proposing that the agency publish a list showing whether large companies had reported on the implementation of an audit on the gender pay gap.prime minister morrison said he is not a fan of the idea, saying voluntary disclosure is the best policy.“i don't want to set one set of employees against another set of employees. i don't think that's the constructive way to do this,” he said.“i think you would want to be confident that you weren't setting up conflict in the workplace. what matters is narrowing the pay gap.”morrison defends the government's recordthe pay gap is currently 14.6 per cent.mr morrison said the coalition government is responsible for achieving that result when the figure was at 17.2 per cent under the previous labor government. “our government has a very good record here,” he said.“under labor it blew out and under the coalition it has contracted again and there is more to do.”the gender pay gap in australia over the last decade.workplace gender equality agencyhe also said he is happy with the fe...
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environmentalists question shark killings after whitsundays attacks
sea shepherd australia and humane society international say human safety is paramount but that killing three tiger sharks in cid harbour in response to attacks on a tasmanian woman and melbourne girl woman is not the answer.`public support for these shark control methods is dropping off,` hsi marine campaigner lawrence chlebeck told aap on sunday.`we acknowledge the need for the use of technology and reducing these sorts of incidences ... but drumlines have been in the water since 1962, that's 60 years ago now.`the technology is there and we've moved on.`read morefisheries queensland has dropped baited hooks into the waters where justine barwick, 46, and hannah papps, 12, were bitten 24 hours apart last week.the state government insists killing the sharks is in the interest of public safety despite admitting it will never know if they caused the injuries.but mr chlebeck and sea shepherd's jonathan clark say personal shark deterrent devices, aerial spotters, drone surveys, public education and alert systems play a bigger role in protecting ocean-goers.they want the queensland government to rethink its approach to preventing attacks.`stop the nonsense about speaking of 'effectiveness' only in terms of their ability to kill sharks,` mr clark said.`that bit is easy and it's lazy policy. making beaches actually safer is much harder and unrelated to their ability to kill sharks.`read moreboth victims in last week's attacks remain in hospitals in brisbane.ms barwick ...
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abhilash tomy: australia joins efforts to rescue injured indian sailor
the australian defence force has joined the urgent rescue mission to find a seriously injured solo indian sailor who's sent desperate distress messages from his stricken vessel in the southern indian ocean.the force is searching about 1800 nautical miles off the western australia coast to find the naval officer who was competing in the golden globe race.he struck trouble on saturday when his 10m vessel `thuriya` demasted during extreme weather causing him a serious back injury, the adf said on sunday.solo skipper abhilash tomy sent his first satellite text message on saturday, saying: `activated epirb. cant walk. might need stretcher`, golden globe race organisers said in a statement.a subsequent message read: `can move toes. feel numb. can't eat or drink. tough 2 reach grab bag`.the royal australian navy frigate, hmas ballarat, sailed from perth about 6pm local time on saturday to the yacht's last known location. it joined another vessel from the royal australian air force sent to la reunion island in france to help in the search.race organisers had said an executive jet from perth could reach the area of tomy's yacht, about 3000km southwest of the city, around mid-morning on sunday.the crew would try to make radio contact with the 39-year-old and assess the damage.the australian maritime safety authority is co-ordinating the rescue, after tomy's yacht was damaged in a storm during the round-the-world race.an amsa spokesman told aap they'd arranged for a nearby f...
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ricketson en route to aus after pardon
australian filmmaker james ricketson is expected to arrive in australia late on sunday after being pardoned by cambodia's king.ricketson, 69, was sentenced to jail for six years on august 31 for espionage in a trial that was widely criticised by human rights activists and politicians in australia.he had denied the charges but dropped his appeal to seek a royal pardon, which was granted by cambodian king norodom sihamoni on friday evening.the filmmaker had also been accused of endangering cambodian national security after flying a drone over a political rally organised by the now banned cambodian national rescue party.the ricketson family on sunday expressed their gratitude to supporters and friends who helped his release.`right now our primary focus is on james' welfare - 16 months in prison will have taken a huge toll on him physically and emotionally, and we want him to be able to rest and recuperate,` they said in a statement on sunday.`james still deeply loves cambodia and its people and remains committed to helping however he can.`the family will hold a press conference in sydney on monday.australian foreign affairs minister marise payne said the pardon meant the end of a distressing time for the filmmaker and his family.`i thank my counterpart, cambodian foreign minister prak sokhonn, for his government's positive consideration of mr ricketson's petition,` ms payne said.the ricketson family also thanked the king for `showing us compassion and bringing this ni...
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