Tag Archives: Australia

World News Today

15 Apr

Here are the biggest stories in the world today;

Obama presses Putin to stop separatists

US President Barack Obama yesterday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his influence to make Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine stand down. Separatist groups continue to occupy public buildings in several cities despite threats from Ukraine’s acting President Olexander Turchynov to forcibly remove them. The groups occupying the buildings are demanding referendums on greater autonomy or an option to join the Russian Federation. A meeting with delegates from the US, Russia, EU and Ukraine is to convene in Geneva on Thursday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. For more go to BBC.

China to start new space race

Chinese President Xi Jinping today told members of the Chinese military to increase their air and space defence capabilities. Speaking at Air Force headquarters in Beijing, Xi said to officers that they need to speed up air and space integration. China has shown increasing ambition to develop its military space programme. Fears of a space arms race between China and the US and others were raised after China used a ground missile to destroy one of its satellites in 2007. For more go to Reuters.

UN human rights chief condemns Syrian abuse

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has condemned the widespread torture committed by all sides in the Syrian conflict. The Office of the High Commissioner yesterday released a report identifying individual cases of torture committed in detention facilities in Syria. The report detailed the torture techniques of state authorities and said that torture by opposition groups was on the rise, particularly in the north of Syria. More than 100,000 people are believed to have died in the three-year conflict. For more go the LA Times.

Also in the news today

Underwater search for MH370 cut short

US-made rockets seen in Syria

Pistorious cross-examination concludes



World News Today

14 Apr

Here are the biggest stories in the world today, 14th April 2014.

Deadline passes as separatists ready for Ukrainian forces

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are bracing themselves for a conflict with Ukrainian security forces after they refused to meet Monday’s deadline to disarm and end their occupation of state buildings. Ukraine’s acting president Oleksander Turchinov warned separatists on Sunday that they would face a full-scale security operation if they refused to meet the deadline. Turchinov has taken a more aggressive approach after a state security officer was killed in the city of Slaviansk. A crackdown on separatists could further escalate tensions with Russia who Ukraine and the US have accused of aiding the separatists in attempts to further annex Ukrainian territory and gain greater influence in the region. For more go to Reuters.

Dozens killed in Nigeria bus blasts

More than 70 people have been reported killed in two blasts at a crowded bus station just outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja. The blasts happened this morning as commuters boarded the buses to take them to the capital. Nigerian officials have said that the death toll stands at 71 with more than 120 injured. Experts have speculated that the blasts may have been carried out by Boko Harem, an Islamic militant group. This year alone, Boko Harem have killed more than 1,500 civilians in north-east Nigeria, according to experts. For more go to BBC.

Abdullah leads the way in Afghan election

Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah has emerged as the early leader in the first partial results from Afghanistan’s presidential elections. An estimated 7 million Afghans took to the polls eight days ago in the first democratic transition of presidential power in Afghanistan’s history. The first results, though far from definitive, give Abdullah a four point lead over former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah has received 41.9 percent of the votes counted so far, although he will need more than 50 percent to be declared the outright winner and avoid a likely runoff with Ghani. For more go to The Washington Post.

Also in the news today.

Search for MH370 goes underwater

China refuses to talk human rights with UK

White supremacist kills three in Kansas


World News Today

9 Apr

Here are the biggest stories in the World today;

Separatists take stand against Ukraine

Up to 50 Pro-Russian separatists have barricaded themselves in a public building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk. The building is one of several that have been seized in the east of Ukraine in the past week by separatists demanding regional referenda on independence, similar to that which took place in Crimea last month. The government in Kiev has accused Russia of backing the separatists and fomenting unrest in the region, and have warned that they will use force to restore order if necessary. Russia has denied the accusations and has said that Ukraine and The United States have “no reason to be worried”. For more go to Reuters.

Prosecutor challenges Pistorius

Cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius began in Pretoria today. Pistorious stands on trial charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at their Pretoria home last year. He has denied the charge, claiming that he shot and killed Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for an intruder. The Olympian yesterday tearfully recounted the day that he shot his girlfriend. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel began today by pressing Pistorius on the “magnitude” of what had happened. For more go to BBC.

Search for MH370 narrows

The search area for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has narrowed after two further signals, consistent with that of a flight recorder, were detected by ships searching the southern Indian Ocean. Australian authorities said today that the Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield has detected ‘pings’ on Tuesday and that the search area was being reduced to 75,000 sq km. It is now five weeks since MH370 and the 239 people on board went missing. For more go to the Guardian.

Also in the news today

Culture Secretary resigns amidst expenses controversy

Ultimate Warrior dies agend 54

Toyota order massive recall

World News Today

8 Apr

Here are the biggest stories in the world today;

Russia plans to break up Ukraine says Minister

Ukrainian authorities yesterday cleared dozens of pro-Russian protesters from a public building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv as tensions mount between Ukraine and Russia . Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of backing the protesters who also seized, and still occupy, public buildings in Donestsk and Luhansk. Both cities, like Donestk, have large ethnic Russian populations. US Secretary of State John Kerry said there would be costs if Russia sought to further destabilise Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea last month. For more go to Reuters.

Irish President meets Queen in historic visit

Irish President Michael D Higgins began an historic state visit to Britain today, the first ever made by an Irish head of state. The President met with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle this morning and is due to later address both Houses of Parliament in Westminster.  It is three years since Queen Elizabeth visited the Republic of Ireland, in what was the first visit made by a British Monarch since Irish independence in 1921. For more go to BBC.

Pistorius recounts Steenkamp’s last moments

South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius described to a Pretoria court today the night that he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius is accused of murdering Steenkamp at their Pretoria home in February 2013.  He has pleaded that he shot her by accident, mistaking her for an intruder. For more go to The New York Times.

Also in the news today

Voting underway in India

Afghan poll to go to second round

Teams scour sea floor for MH370

World News Today

7 Apr

Here are the biggest stories in the world today, 7th April 2014.

Australia says signal possibly MH370

Australian officials said today that the signal detected by a black box detector of an Australian ship searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was consistent with that emitted by aircraft flight recorders. The signal was detected in an area of the Southern Indian Ocean some 300 nautical miles away from where a Chinese ship detected a signal of the same frequency. If the signal can be narrowed further, an unmanned submarine will be used to search the sea floor in a potential search area some 4.5km deep. For more go to Reuters.

Indians vote in world’s largest election

Indians began voting today in the world’s biggest general election, with polls continuing till the 12th May. More than 800 million people are eligible to vote at more than 900,000 polling stations. The Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, led by Narendra Modri, are expected to win the biggest share of the 543 parliamentary seats up for grabs, but short of a majority. Experts believe that a BJP led coalition is likely. For more go to BBC.

Hollywood legend Rooney dies aged 93

American actor Mickey Rooney died in Los Angeles yesterday, he was 93. The diminutive Rooney, standing at just over five feet tall, rose to fame as a child star in the 1930’s and his career spanned eight decades and more than 300 films and TV programs. For more go The Washington Post.

Also in the news today;

Leading Tory says Miller should resign

Pro-Russians seize Ukrainian state buildings

Rwanda marks 20th anniversary of genocide

World News Today

4 Apr

Here are the biggest stories in the world today, 4th April 2014.

Subs to search for MH370

The search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370  moved under water today with a US Navy “black box” detector used to try and detect the flights cockpit recorder. Sources say that it could be just days before the locator beacon for the recorder ceases transmission as battery life dwindles. It is now 30 days since MH370 and the 239 people on board went missing. It is believed that MH370 crashed in the Southern Indian Ocean, more than 1,700 km off the Western Coast of Australia where planes and ships have so far unsuccessfully scoured a search area of 223,000 sq km. For more go to Reuters.

Security tightened ahead of Afghan Poll

More than 200,000 Afghan troops have been deployed to provide security as Afghans prepare to vote for their next President on Saturday. The Taliban have threatened to disrupt the poll which will see eight candidates vie for office. The incumbent President Hamad Karzai will step down as he is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term. Karzai has been president since the Taliban were toppled by a US-led NATO force in 2001, who are preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan later this year. For more go to BBC.

Murders in El Salvador up 44%

The number of murders in the Central American country of El Salvador increased by 44% for the first three months of this year (794 murders) compared to the same time last year (551 murders), leaving a two-year truce between rival gangs almost broken. A truce between two of El Salvador’s most violent gangs was brokered two-years ago, leading to a significant drop in murders in a country which in 2011 had the world’s highest murder rate at 66 per 100,000 inhabitants. Sources have attributed the increase in murders to police brutality and political instability. For more go The Irish Times.

Also in world news today.

Letterman to quit ‘Late Show’ next year

Russia raises gas prices for Ukraine 80%

US admits to ‘Cuban Twitter’

Israel and Sonny Bill; A New Breed of Player

14 Nov

Standing 6″5 and weighing just shy of 16 stone, Israel Folau is the archetype of the modern rugby player. Big, strong and fast with skills to match, the man they call ‘Izzy’ is one of the most awesome sights in Rugby Union.

Yet the Wallaby and Waratah back only switched to Rugby Union less than a year ago, following two years playing Aussie Rules, and previous to that, four years playing Rugby League in the NRL.

Despite being still a tender 24, Folau has played four seasons in the NRL, during which he was capped by the Kangaroos at just 18 (the youngest player to be capped by Australia) and played in five State-of-Origin matches for Queensland.

And while his Aussie Rules career was not a success Folau did play several matches in the AFL, the highest level of the sport, before switching to Rugby Union.

In less than a year Folau has scored eight tries in 14 games for the Waratahs and eight in 12 for Australia. His performances in Super Rugby, The Lions Series, and the Rugby Championship have seen some hail him as the best full-back in Rugby Union, and also compare him to fellow code-switcher Sonny Bill Williams.

But while Folau’s ability to switch codes and still be a success may impress, particularly given the level of success he’s had, he’s not the first and won’t be the last sportsmen to do so. Here are just some of the few others that have participated at the highest level in multiple sports.

Sonny Bill Williams

The New Zealander rivals Folau in terms of the impact he’s had on both league and union, although as a member of the Bulldogs, Chiefs and the All Blacks, Williams has won more honours, including the NRL, Super 15, Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup.

The only honour Sonny Bill Williams doesn’t have is a Rugby League World Cup, something which he hopes to rectify in the coming weeks.

Aside from league and union, Williams is an accomplished boxer with a 6-0 record, which included a recent defeat of Frans Botha, a man who previously fought Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.

Karmichael Hunt

Hunt, while not as well-known as Folau, blazed the trail which Folau followed, albeit in a different order. A former fullback in the NRL, Hunt debuted for the Brisbane Broncos at just 17 and went on represent the Kangaroos and Queensland.

He switched to Union in 2009 and played a season in France with Biarritz and scored the only try in the 2010 Heineken Cup final, which Biarritz lost 21-19 to Toulouse. In spite of such immediate success Hunt left rugby altogether to pursue a career in Aussie Rules.

In four years Hunt has made the transition to AFL regular, and has prompted some to describe him as Australia’s greatest all-round footballer.

Coincidentally Hunt’s brother-in-law, Scott Harding, played in the AFL before earning a scholarship to play American Football at the University of Hawaii, where he currently plays as a punter, punt returner and wide receiver, and has ambitions to play in the NFL.

Jeff Wilson

Wilson is a true great of the game of Rugby Union. Combining great speed and skill, he was one of the dominant wings of the 1990’s. He featured in one of the most fearsome back threes of all time, alongside Christian Cullen and Jonah Lomu, and scored 44 tries in 60 tests for the All Blacks.

But Wilson was talented at multiple sports. He was a teen star in track as well as in cricket, and it was the latter which he returned to after retiring from professional rugby. After briefly playing for the Black Caps in the early 1990’s, Wilson was again called up to the national side in 2005 at the age of 31, and earned his fifth and sixth caps 12 years after he’d earned his first four.

Wilson cricket career was brief and insubstantial, yet he still holds the distinction of being a ‘Double All Black” and playing Cricket and Rugby Union for a tier one nation, a feat unmatched in the modern era.