Tag Archives: Australia

A Good Old Fashioned Australian Crocodile Hunt… And Other News

Crocodile

Australian rangers are on the hunt for a crocodile believed to have consumed a 12-year-old boy who was swimming with his friends in a billabong in Australia’s Kakadu National Park.

The four-metre crocodile also mauled the boy’s 12-year-old friend before snatching him up.  The first boy suffered deep wounds to both arms after he fought off the crocodile. Police have shot two crocodiles dead in their hunt for the boy, but “neither of them had anything in their stomachs,” Sgt. Stephen Constable said. Where’s the Crocodile Hunter when you need him? Oh yeah… the sting ray… CBC News

THe QueenThe Queen needs a crash course in money management. A report for Britain’s House of Commons shows that Queen Elizabeth’s bank balance has dropped from £35 million to £1 million in just over a decade. A bankrupt Queen? Well, I never! Adding to the Queen’s money woes is the fact that the royal palaces are “crumbling.” MPs are telling the Queen to cut back on her spending and tackle the huge backlog of repairs to the monarch’s crumbling palaces. Last year the queen received £31 million from the taxpayer to cover her staffing costs, travel and the maintenance of her palaces but apparently that’s not enough. The Public Accounts Committee report is encouraging palace officials to boost the royal family’s income, such as through palace tours and making its facilities available for commercial events. Where is all the money going? Kate Middleton’s wardrobe? AFP 

Bitcoin ArrestI knew Bitcoin sounded a little sketchy after the Winklevoss twins endorsed it… Charlie Shrem, the CEO of BitInstant, a Bitcoin exchange, and the vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, was arrested on Sunday along with a co-conspirator and charged with money laundering for his company’s involvement with Silk Road, an online black market. The 24-year-old entrepreneur is accused of selling over $1 million in bitcoins to Silk Road users, who would then use them to buy drugs and other illicit items. “Hiding behind their computers, both defendants are charged with knowingly contributing to and facilitating anonymous drug sales, earning substantial profits along the way,” DEA agent James Hunt said in a release. Bail is set at 20,000 bitcoins. Just kidding – no one uses digital currency. Globe and Mail

TreyTrey Radel pulled an anti-Rob Ford and announced his resignation from Congress several months after his crack scandal. The Florida representative pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in November after he was caught buying 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover police officer. Although some fellow Republicans urged him to step down at the time, Radel held on, undergoing substance abuse rehabilitation treatment and returning to Congress earlier this month. But on Monday, faced with an Ethics Committee investigation, Radel changed his course and decided to step down, saying his personal struggles impeded his ability to serve in Congress. If only Rob Ford could finally acknowledge that his personal struggles also impede his ability to serve as Mayor – and make it through a press conference without embarrassing himself. National Post

Tucker CarlsonTucker Carlson’s children must be extra special needs because the Fox News host suggested that 17-year-olds should not be allowed to pre-register to vote because they were not even capable of “choosing an entrée at a restaurant.” In Sunday morning Fox & Friends segment, Carlson expressed concern about 17-year-olds pre-registering to vote and participating in party primaries if they would be 18 in time for the general election. “I have a 17-year-old, whom I love more than my own life of course, but are 17-year-olds really capable of choosing an entrée at a restaurant, much less voting?” the Fox News host wondered. “I mean, for real. Do we want them voting?” Well actually, if your children are as dumb as you, maybe we don’t want them voting. Raw Story

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Heat Wave Threatens Australian Open (and more!)

Current Event Cat - Australian Open

It’s so hot in Australia right now that animals are falling from trees due to heat exhaustion, wildfires are popping up in Perth, and officials have suspended the Australian Open.

Melbourne, where the Australian Open tournament is held, is going through a heat wave with temperatures surpassing 45C. Australian Open organizers issued an extreme heat warning and suspended all matches scheduled to be played on outdoor courts.

Even tennis veteran Serena Williams could’t take the heat, saying it was “too hot to get into rallies”. Meanwhile two players and a ball-boy had to receive medical treatment after fainting from the heat.

But the Australian Open isn’t the only thing to be effected by Australia’s hottest year on record.  Extreme heat across the states of Victoria and South Australia are causing power blackouts as Australians crank up their A/C to extreme levels. Over 1000 people in the region of Victoria have been treated for heat stress so far and up to 500 flying foxes have died in the past two days. Awww. Oh wait, flying foxes are bats, not foxes. Ewww. There’s nothing worse than a sweaty bat falling out of the sky and hitting you in the face. Except maybe being burned in a wildfire…

While wildfires have always been a problem with Australia’s hot, dry climate, the extreme heat this season has left many residents on edge (and banned from starting any fires). On Sunday, wildfires on the eastern fringes of Perth in Western Australia burnt 52 homes to the ground.

And things aren’t going to get much better for Australia; the Climate Council said the number of heatwaves in Australia was “projected to increase significantly.”

“Both the duration and frequency of heatwaves” had increased between 1971 and 2008, the Climate Council report stated.

“As greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, more heat is trapped in the lower atmosphere,” the report added.

“This increases the likelihood that hot weather will occur and that heatwaves will become longer and more intense.”

Ok, I’ll stop complaining about the cold weather in North America now…

Via: BBC News

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From Facebook to Faceplant: Tourist Falls Off Pier While Checking Facebook

Facebook Pier Faceplant

A Taiwanese tourist had to be rescued by police after accidentally walking off a pier in Melbourne while checking her Facebook page on her phone.

The woman was walking along a bay in Melbourne on Monday night when she got distracted by her Facebook newsfeed and tumbled into the chilly waters (chilly by Australian standards…) A concerned witness quickly alerted the police who then rescued her in a speedboat after about 20 minutes. After all, Taiwanese tourists aren’t a priority – especially Darwin award-winning ones.

“She was still out in the water laying on her back in a floating position because she told us later that she couldn’t swim,” Senior Constable Dean Kelly of the water police said.

Yes, Facebook can be a death trap – especially when walking on a pier and especially when you can’t swim.

“With Facebook, or social media in general as far as we’re concerned, if you’re anywhere near the water just pay attention,” Kelly said. “Especially if you can’t swim.”

Wise words Constable Kelly.

The water police found the tourist floating only 20 metres from the pier, still clutching her mobile phone. Who needs their hands free for swimming when they could be taking some drowning selfies?

Via: The Guardian

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Australian Billionaire Clive Palmer to Build Jurassic Park Knock Off

Dinosaur Park Clive Palmer

In a classic case of people who have too much money to know what to do with, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has decided to build “the world’s biggest“ dinosaur park on the grounds of his Sunshine Coast resort.

Are there other dinosaur parks for Clive Palmer to compete with? Am I out of the loop regarding dinosaur parks?

Despite hundreds of objections filed by local residents, Clive Palmer got the green light to go through with his dinosaur park, which will be made up of giant robotic dinosaurs, including five Tyrannosaurus rex robots as well as a 10m Ruyangosaurus. The dinosaurs are on order from China and will be able to move their tails and chests and blink their eyes. That’s it? What kind of Jurassic Park is this?

The Sunshine Coast council voted unanimously in favour of the dinosaur park, hoping it will boost tourism to the region. The park has only one restriction: the dinosaurs must not roar too loudly. That shouldn’t be a problem considering they are programmable robots.

Clive Palmer is also currently building a replica of the Titanic to re-enact the ill-fated ship’s Atlantic voyage in 2016 and has also recently formed his own federal political party: the Palmer United Party. So you know he’s full of great ideas and not crazy at all…

When asked earlier this year why he was building the Titanic replica, Palmer said: “I want to spend the money I’ve got before I die”.

Clive Palmer for Australian Prime Minister!

Via: The Guardian 

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Julia Gillard Gets the Boot

Current Event Cat - Australian Showdown Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail is no longer on the menu. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was ousted as Labor Party leader by her predecessor, Kevin Rudd.

Interestingly enough, Julia Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd in a similar internal government coup three years ago, thus becoming the country’s first female prime minister. What goes around comes around!

The Labor Party took a closed-door leadership vote and Kevin Rudd won by 57 votes to 45. The party hopes the new leadership will help them avoid a huge defeat in the upcoming elections – set for September 14. The polls indicated that the party under Julia Gillard was almost certain to face a catastrophic loss against opposition leader Tony Abbott. Kevin Rudd probably won’t lead the party to victory either, but party members are hoping he will at least minimize their losses.

Gillard took the defeat in stride announcing, “I will not re-contest the federal electorate… at the forthcoming election.”

“What I am absolutely confident of is it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that, and I’m proud of that,” she added.

Gillard had a bit of a rocky ride as leader of the Labor party. In addition to leading a minority government, she also had to deal with two previous attempts at a Kevin Rudd takeover and a bunch of voters who never quite warmed up to her after she ousted the prime minister they had elected. And to top it off there was the whole “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail: small breasts, huge thighs, and a big red box” incident…

Via: The New York Times 

Australian DJ Fired over Gillard Interview

Australian DJ sacked

An Australian DJ got sacked today after grilling the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, on whether her longtime partner, Tim Mathieson, was gay.

During a live on-air interview, Australian DJ Howard Sattler, asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard if her partner of seven years, Tim Mathieson, was gay. Sattler wanted to question Gillard about the “myths, rumours, snide jokes and innuendoes” surrounding her personal life. And of course the first rumour he wanted to test out was Tim’s sexual orientation.

The interview then turned awkward as Gillard characterized his comments as an absurd generalization.

“Well, that’s absurd,” she replied to Sattler.

“But you hear it, he must be gay, he’s a hairdresser,” Sattler continued, oblivious to Gillard’s annoyance.

He continued to press the issue as his colleagues cringed in the corner, asking the Prime Minister to confirm her partner’s not gay and asking if they were in a “heterosexual relationship”.

A fed-up Gillard replied: “Let me just bring you back to earth. You and I have just talked about me and Tim living at The Lodge [the Prime Minister’s official residence in Canberra]. We live there together as a couple. You know that.”

The interview sparked some outrage – even among other “shock jocks”. And Australian shock jocks are the worst! Remember the whole Kate Middleton/prank call/nurse suicide fiasco?

Needless to say Sattler’s contract with Radio 6PR was terminated following Thursday’s interview and Fairfax radio soon apologized for the “disrespectful” questioning.

“Fairfax Radio management has reviewed this interview and considers that the questions posed by Mr Sattler were disrespectful and irrelevant to the political debate.

“The PM answered Mr Sattler’s questions with dignity and some patience.”

Some patience. Well I suppose it’s already been a rough week for Prime Minister Gillard. Not only is she expected to lose the Sept 14 election, an offensive menu for an opposition fundraiser also emerged this week, featuring the dish “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – Small Breasts, Huge Thighs and a Big Red Box”.

Gillard refused to answer reporters’ questions on the Australian DJ interview but did express her fear that such incidents could deter women from entering into political life.

”I want young girls and women to be able to feel like they can be included in public life and not have to face questioning like the questioning I faced yesterday,” she said.

Via: BBC News

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Australian PM Not Impressed with ‘Small Breasts’ Menu

Australian PM

Gender has once again taken centre stage in Australia’s election campaign after an offensive menu about Australian PM Julia Gillard was posted online.

Australian PM Julia Gillard has said that the menu, which was for an opposition party fundraiser, was “grossly sexist”. The menu resorted to high school level name-calling and featured “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – Small Breasts, Huge Thighs and a Big Red Box”. Yikes. Stay classy, Australia!

A photo of the menu from a fundraiser for Queensland Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough

The menu was for a dinner back in March for Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough who is seeking a return to parliament after losing his seat in 2007. After the menu was posted online by a Brisbane chef, Brough apologized for it, admitting it was sexist. Opposition leader Tony Abbott said the menu was “tacky and scatological” but confirmed Brough would still run in the election.

“I condemn it, as Mal Brough has,” Abbott told journalists today. “I think we should all be bigger and better than that. Whether it is a tacky scatological menu out the front of a Liberal Party event, whether it is squalid jokes told at union conference dinners with ministers present.”

The restaurateur later said the menu had been “a joke” and was not used at the meal. The menu also mocked former Australian PM Kevin Rudd and the Greens by including “Rudd’s a Goose Foie Gras” and instructing guests to eat up all their greens “before they take over”.

But Prime Minister Gillard sees the menu as part of a larger issue: a pattern of sexist behaviour from the Liberal National Party.

The wording on the menu was “grossly offensive,” Gillard told reporters. “This is Tony Abbott’s Liberals, this is what they’re like,” she said. “We’d see this lack of respect for women littered throughout all of his government policy documents.”

This isn’t the first time the Australian PM has accused Abbott of misogyny. Last year, Gillard made a 15-minute speech in parliament refusing to fire Speaker Peter Slipper amid sexual harassment charges and accusing Abbott of “peddling a double standard” and having a long history of sexism and misogyny.

Australia is set to hold its general election on September 14 this year and the current polls indicate an opposition win, starring Tony Abbott, is likely. Gillard, the nation’s first female leader, warned that government would be dominated by “men in blue ties” should Abbott assume office and the conservative opposition would marginalize women. Enjoy your new government morons!

Via: The Guardian

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Australian Prime Minister Apologizes to Teen Moms

Gillard Apologizes to Teen Moms

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered a national apology in Parliament on Thursday to the thousands of unwed and mostly teen moms who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption during the 1950s to 1970s.

Unwed teen moms were pressured, deceived or threatened into giving up their babies so they could be adopted by married couples who would provide the child with a better life. Many said they were coerced into signing their children away, some said they were drugged, and others said their signatures were forged. Overall, tens of thousands of babies were thought to have been taken by the state between the 1950s and 1970s.

Although the a national apology was recommended a year ago by a Senate committee that investigated the impacts of the now-shameful adoption policies, Gillard just got around to doing it now.

“Today this parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, takes responsibility and apologises for the policies and practices that forced the separation of mothers from their babies, which created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering,” Gillard told the audience, “We deplore the shameful practices that denied you, the mothers, your fundamental rights and responsibilities to love and care for your children.”

To make it up to the teen moms, Gillard announced she was committing $5m to support services for affected families and to help biological families reunite. Kind of a stingy apology gift, but whatever. A better gift would be to teach the United States how to implement these policies when it comes to the cast of Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2.

How are those girls holding up anyway?

Farrah was arrested for a DUI this week, Amber is still rotting away in jail, Jenelle is in rehab and not allowed to see her son, Maci got a boob job (well, actually a lot of them got boob jobs), and Leah is divorced, remarried and has three kids now. Success!

Teen Moms

Via: The Guardian

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