- Sydney aid summit strengthens resolutions
- Online toolkit launched for families of missing persons
- Indonesia recalls ambassadors, rebukes Australia
- Indonesian zoo ‘torturing’ its animals
- Boys at risk of HPV without vaccinations
- MAVEN to travel to Mars
- Potential changes to OP system
- Indonesia gives ultimatum: Two days to apologise
- One in 10 Federal Police under investigation
Aussies reminded to Slip, Slop, Slap
The latest National Sun Protection Survey has shown that Australians have the same risk of getting sunburnt at the footy as they do at the beach. The survey shows that 22 per cent of Australians report getting burnt at sports grounds and centres, the same number as those who get burnt at the beach, river or lake. The Queensland Cancer Council is warning all Queenslanders to remember to wear sunscreen and stay in the shade this summer, or risk joining the 370 Queenslanders who are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. The survey has been released in time for National Skin Cancer Action Week, which runs from November 17 to the 23rd.
Sydney aid summit strengthens resolutions
A week long meeting of more than 1,000 delegates from 189 countries involved in the Red Cross and Red Crescent has ended in Sydney today.
The meeting ended with a call to ensure the safety of aid workers in Syria, as well as advocating for a ban on nuclear weapons. The organisations also renewed their commitment to alleviating poverty. The latest major efforts from these humanitarian organisations has been their response to the devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan.
Online toolkit launched for families of missing persons
The Missing Persons Advocacy Network yesterday launched a world-first online resource for the families of missing persons.
The Missing Persons Guide is designed to help families within the first 48 hours, and includes a toolkit of templates to create missing persons posters and media releases, as well as advice for raising awareness on social media and other networks. The Guide was created by the founder of MPAN, in conjunction with five other families who have gone through the same circumstances, who wanted to supply others with the support they needed. Each year, 35,000 Australians are faced with the disappearance of a loved one.
Indonesia recalls ambassadors, rebukes Australia
After documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that Australian intelligence had been spying on the Indonesian government, the Indonesian government has recalled its Australian ambassadors.
Labelling the spying as a violation of individual privacy and human rights, the Indonesian government is also reviewing all agreements between the two countries, and considering removing Australian officials from Jakarta. The leaked documents reveal a range of activities, from tapping the Indonesian Prime Minister’s personal phone, to the inner circle of parliament.
Indonesian zoo ‘torturing’ its animals
In Indonesia, the Surabaya Zoo, which is home to over 3000 animals, is facing censure over its treatment of its charges.
Since 2008 three Sumatran tigers have died, and over the past three months, some 50 animals, including an endangered Indonesian orangutan and Komodo dragons, have died. Animals at the zoo have been drinking contaminated water and fed food with toxins, including formaldehyde, in them. Critics also state the animal enclosures are too small for the animals, labelling the conditions ‘torturous’. Some animals have been moved to other facilities, and the zoo, which is run by local government, is being forced to change its behaviour.
Tai Chi reduces obesity: study shows
Two Queensland universities have released the results of a year-long study, which show that Tai Chi can reduce obesity.
The study examined 500 people between 35 and 80-years-old who engaged in weekly Tai Chi classes and home practice for at least 6 months, to examine the martial art’s effect on mental and physical health. The study, which examined the participant’s obesity levels, blood pressure and other chronic disease-related risk factors, found that continued Tai Chi practice caused a marked reduction in obesity and body mass index.
Boys at risk of HPV without vaccinations
New data released by Queensland Health shows that less than two-thirds of boys aged 15 to 16 have been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus.
The vaccinations are part of a government-subsidised national school-based program, which was extended to include boys aged 12-13 from February this year. The vaccine comes in three doses and is crucial in reducing the rising trend of HPV-related cancers, the Cancer Council Queensland said this week. HPV infections causes over half of all throat and genital cancers. For information on the vaccination program visit hpv.health.gov.au.
MAVEN to travel to Mars
And in interplanetary news, NASA has launched an unmanned spacecraft to Mars at approximately 5.30 this morning.
Unlike its predecessors Opportunity and Curiosity, which are on the surface of the red planet, the MAVEN craft will remain above Mars, examining the effect solar winds have had on stripping its atmosphere of water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Scientists believe Mars was a significantly warmer, wetter planet some billions of years ago and MAVEN aims to provide a better understanding of how this water was lost. The Canberra station will be tracking MAVEN, which is expected to arrive at Mars in September next year.
Potential changes to OP system
The state government is planning on assessing the current senior assessment processes, including the OP system used to rank year 12 students when they leave school.
The government has opened up the review, with a survey available online for parents and students to rate the current system, which runs until the 13th of December. The move comes after the Australian Council for Educational Research was appointed in July to conduct a 12-month review of the system. The review is designed to ensure the current rankings systems and pathways provided to year 12 students reflects the different ways students can achieve. ACER’s final report is due by the end of July 2014.
Dredging at Bundaberg ‘not a danger’ to turtles
A company that has been dredging the Burnett River near Bundaberg says their processes follows environmental guidelines.
The dredging started in April, to clear debris left after January’s floods which had been blocking the egress of sugar ships. However environmentalists are concerned that the dredging and dumping is affecting the nesting habitats of the endangered loggerhead turtles that nest near Bundaberg. The Gladstone Ports Corporation argue that they have processes in place in the event turtles are located at the site, and they do daily inspections of the dredge area.
Indonesia gives ultimatum: Two days to apologise
Indonesia has given Prime Minister Tony Abbott two days to apologise and provide an explanation for revelations of extensive spying by Australian Intelligence forces.
Documents released reveal Australia has hacked the devices of and surveilled Indonesian government officials and family members, as well as the heads of banks and military officials. The majority of the phone tapping happened in 2009, when the current government was not in power, but Abbott has today refused to comment on what he describes as “intelligence matters”, or apologise.
‘Super jail’ sparks fears of overcrowding
The planned ‘bikie-only’ wing at the Woodford Correctional Centre north-west of Brisbane has sparked fears of overcrowding in other jails in the state.
Townsville Correctional Centre union representative, Belinda Johnson, says the jail will be overcrowded, forcing all other prisoners to be moved to regional jails. Johnson says the Townsville jail is already significantly down on staff, and an influx of inmates would leave them unable to deal with incidents, or properly protect themselves. In a statement, the Attorney-General’s office says all Queensland prisons have the ability to manage fluctuations in prisoner numbers through a short-term ‘surge strategy’.
Jellyfish last seen in 1896 found again
A species of jellyfish not seen alive for the past century has recently been sighted off south-east Queensland.
The Cambione Cookii jellyfish was spotted at the Sunshine Coast by an aquarist, who managed to identify it with help from the CSIRO, off drawings of the creature. Aqaurists are unsure how old it is, where it comes from or how it breeds, but plan to use they time they have before it dies to study it. Due to its rarity, the Cambione Cookii will not be on display to the public, but its body will be donated to the Queensland museum when it dies.
One in 10 Federal Police under investigation
A statement by the Federal Police Association has revealed that one in every 10 federal police employees have been before the Australian Federal Police Professional Standards unit in 2012 and 2013.
In the past year alone, over 600 federal police employees have been internally investigated for a variety of criminal and behavioural issues, and almost 400 were found guilty of the allegations. The AFP says it formally warned 20 officers following their investigations, and dismissed four. The FPA was more concerned that those facing an internal investigation had not turned to the union for help and support.