Cane toads not wiping out species: WA govt

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 佛山桑拿

Claims that poisonous cane toads are wiping out entire species of animals in Western Australia’s north have been rejected by the state government.

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Kimberley Toad Busters (KTB) founder Lee Scott-Virtue alleges the toxic amphibians have killed some entire species of animals in areas they have infested, including quolls and king brown snakes.

She warned numbers had risen since the wet season and would continue to increase if nothing was done about their breeding.

But the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) Cane Toad Initiative co-ordinator Corrin Everitt said there were no permanent extinctions from cane toads in Australia.

“The species do come back,” she told AAP on Tuesday.

Ms Everitt said work was being done with the University of Sydney to find ways of mitigating the threat of cane toads on animals including quolls, large goannas and blue tongue lizards.

The KTB maintains that Dettol is the most effective way of ridding an area of cane toad metamorphs – the mid-stage between tadpoles and adults – but the practice is banned in national parks.

Ms Everitt said the use of Dettol on metamorphs was not “target specific” and was toxic to all aquatic life including native frogs.

WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob has been accused of ignoring the extent of the threat of the pests.

Ms Scott-Virtue said the minister had been invited several times to join the KTB for a tour to see the devastation but had declined.

A spokeswoman for Mr Jacob said one of his first trips after his appointment to the portfolio was to the East Kimberley in June.

“He visited areas infested with cane toads, participated in a biodiversity survey and was comprehensively briefed on the impact of toads in the Kimberley by Parks and Wildlife staff,” she said.

“The next time the minister is in the region he would be happy to meet with the Kimberley Toad Busters.”

Cane toads were introduced to Queensland in 1935 and began spreading to the Northern Territory before invading northern WA in 2009.

They are currently advancing through the state at about 50 kilometres a year.

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Boston remembers marathon bombing victims

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A year after the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, the northeastern US city will pay solemn tribute to the victims of the attack.

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The solemn ceremonies will take place at the scene of the carnage at one of the world’s sporting events – in the heart of the city, on Boylston Street.

Church bells will toll at 2.49pm (0449 AEST Wednesday), the moment the first bomb exploded at the race’s finish line on April 15 last year.

The two pressure-cooker devices allegedly planted by two brothers of Chechen descent, who had lived in the US for years, sent metal fragments flying through the crowd, killing three people and wounding more than 260 others. Several people lost limbs.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is now 20, and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan were identified thanks to pictures and video footage and eventually cornered by police after a four-day manhunt that paralysed the city of nearly one million.

Tamerlan died after an exchange of fire with police, and Dzhokhar was wounded and captured. The younger Tsarnaev, a naturalised US citizen, will go on trial in November and could face the death penalty if convicted.

US Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, Boston mayor Martin Walsh and his predecessor Tom Menino – who was in office at the time – will speak at the event at the Hynes Convention Center, along with survivors.

Tuesday’s tribute ceremony “will honour those affected by last year’s events, including those who lost lives, survivors, and first responders”, organisers said.

There will be a flag-raising ceremony and a moment of silence will be observed at the race’s finish line.

This year, the Boston Marathon – which has been run since 1897 – will take place on Monday, April 21.

Organisers have allowed thousands more runners to register – from about 27,000 in recent years to 36,000 this year, not far from the record 38,708 who entered in 1996 in the 100th marathon.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges related to the bombings, including 17 serious charges that can carry sentences of death or life in prison.

The charges include using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, as well as conspiracy and bombing of a place of public use resulting in death, and carjacking.

Tsarnaev is also charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the brothers’ wild getaway attempt.

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Crowds clamour for Rancic in Australia

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E! host Giuliana Rancic says she loves the lack of plastic with Australian women.

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On her first trip to Australia, the television personality, known for shows including Fashion Police and reality TV show Giuliana & Bill, was greeted by hundreds of fans at an event in Sydney on Tuesday.

Rancic, who runs the fashion label G By Giuliana Rancic and covers awards season with fellow E! host Ryan Seacrest, says Australians wear some of the best red-carpet fashion.

She singled out Cate Blanchett. “Not only is she the most stylish Australian, but pretty much the most stylish woman in Hollywood,” Rancic told AAP.

“I love Naomi Watts… She’s perfection yet she looks like the girl next door. She’s very relatable-looking.”

That trait is shared by many women here, she said.

“Another thing I noticed about Australian women is they don’t look fake.

“They’re just naturally beautiful and I love that – especially coming from Hollywood, where there’s a lot of plastic.”

As the Autumn/Winter style ambassador for Westfield, Rancic also had a lot to say about local designers.

She gushed about her favourites, including sass & bide, Zimmerman, Carla Zampatti, Ginger & Smart, and Cue.

“I wear a lot of Australian designers,” said Rancic, who wore Paolo Sebastian to the Academy Awards and Alex Perry to the Grammys.

“They’re very fashion-forward. They’re very cutting-edge when it comes to cool looks, like I’m wearing Willow right now.

“I love the deconstructed look, the use of mixing and matching fabrics and materials and I’ve noticed that sometimes you’ll see an Australian designer do something and then a US designer does it a year later in a very similar way and I’m like, `Hmmm, very sneaky’.

“I think they influence a lot of fashion and I think they’re some of the best designers in the world.”

Rancic was overwhelmed both by the number of Australian fans at the event and by their enthusiasm. People clamoured to get selfies with her, some even handing over their babies to pose for photos.

“It’s overwhelming,” Rancic said.

“Everyone’s been so warm and friendly. I was hoping maybe 10 people would come out, or 20 people, but I didn’t expect all these people.”

Although this is her first visit to Australia, Rancic said she would definitely be back with her husband Bill and their son, Duke.

“My husband and I, we’ve been dying to come to Australia, and we’ve had some opportunities but Duke, our child, is 19 months old so for the past 19 months, we just haven’t been able to come, because that 16-hour flight is a lot for a child,” she said.

“We’ve got to wait til Duke’s a little older and we can all come as a family.”

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Elders seek new approach to youth suicide prevention

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(Transcript from World News Radio)

 

Tormented by youth suicide rates in their communities up to 100 times the national average, a group of Indigenous elders has united to save a generation.

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Hoping to tackle the alarming rate of Indigenous youth suicide, the elders have launched a campaign lobbying the Federal Government for a new approach.

 

Murray Silby reports.

 

(Click on audio tab above to listen to this item)

 

In some of Australia’s remote Indigenous communities suicide has reached epidemic proportions.

 

In Western Australia’s Kimberley, Culture is Life Director Max Dulumunmun Harrison has spent half of his 80 years taking young men into the bush.

 

He says the key to saving young Indigenous lives is reminding them of their connection to Aboriginal law, culture and the land.

 

“To look at our suicide rate! Our suicide rate is, wow, it’s blown out of proportion. “

 

Mr Harrison says $18-million earmarked a year ago to establish a network of local suicide-prevention centres is not working.

 

“People aren’t looking at it fair dinkum, it’s just another black fella dying you know.”

 

Instead, he’s spent two years working with Elders across the country to document more traditional ways the heartache can be stopped.

 

Wayne Bergmann is also from the Kimberley region and says governments don’t trust Aboriginal people to find their own solutions and tell them instead to be grateful for measures, that don’t work, being imposed on them.

 

“It’s all about not trusting Aboriginal people to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and putting in place contractors and outside service providers that come in and deliver those services. It is little wonder if this is on the mark, it is little wonder there is an epidemic in suicide because government policy is ‘for your own good’, disempowering Aboriginal people, taking greater self control and responsibility for dealing with our own.”

 

Joe Brown, from Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia, says it’s about helping Indigenous youth find their own identity.

 

“You’ve got to take them out and talk to them and talk to them with their language. That way they’ll know their culture and, you know, know who they are.”

 

The group of elders’ ‘Be Part of the Healing’ campaign promotes community-led solutions to suicide.

 

Campaign director Peter McConchie says it’s hoped the initiative will mean voices from Aboriginal communities will be heard.

 

“It’s vital to get the words of the poeple who are experiencing the loss and tragedy to speak for themselves and not for it to be done by an outsider.”

 

The Elders have also launched a petition to end what they call top down health and social services that don’t work in the worst affected areas like the Pilbera and Top End.

 

Djalinda Ulamari, from Yirrkala in the Northern Territory, says it’s desperate times for Indigenous coomunities.

 

“Sometimes you know you wanna sit under a tree and cry because you know you’ve lost your dear ones. “

 

 

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Investigations continue into attack on Islamic centre

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(Transcript from World News Radio)

Operators of the Canberra Islamic Centre and National Islamic Library are still cleaning up and assessing the damage caused by vandals who broke in on the weekend.

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Police say the motive of the vandals remains unclear, but the centre is convinced they were anti-Muslim.

It was the second break-in at the Centre this month – but this time the damage was far more extensive.

Peggy Giakoumelos has the details.

(Click on audio tab above to listen to this item)

The attack on the largest Islamic library in Australia has been described as a malicious hate crime.

The damage to the Canberra Islamic Centre was discovered last Sunday, when members turned up for prayers to find swear words spray-painted on walls, paintings ripped off the walls, and the kitchen and dining hall strewn with flour, sauces and cutlery.

President of the centre Azra khan believes the same group of people who broke into the centre on April the 4th, may be responsible for this latest attack.

“This time they really had bigger plans in mind. They would’ve spent a few hours there, basically going from room to room smashing and destroying everything, in front of them. They clearly were there to cause damage and they were successful on that occasion. We obviously called the police on the fourth of April and the forensic team and basically took some additional security measures to make sure that everything was locked down as much as possible. They actually had bolt cutters and they cut the fencing around the building.”

Azra Khan says robbery does not appear to have been the motive.

Glass doors and cabinets in most of the Centre’s rooms were smashed, and the power system was damaged.

She says the extent of damage leads her to believe the attack is a hate crime.

“We’re struggling to understand what the motivation could be other than a hate crime clearly. The sort of anger that’s been shown by the level of damage, and destruction, even a cyclone could not have done that sort of damage internally. So clearly these people are driven by some form of hate of the Islamic community and the Islamic Centre.”

But Canberra police say forensic examinations to date have found nothing to suggest the attack was racially or religiously motivated.

In a statement, the police describe the attack as extensive, opportunistic and mindless, urging the friends and family of whoever was involved to come forward.

The Chair of the Community Relations Commission in New South Wales, Vic Alhadeff, is among those to condemn the attack.

“Attacks on any cultural institution, on any religious institution anywhere are to be vigorously condemned. There is no place in our country for these sorts of attacks. There is no place in our society for this bigotry. We absolutely condemn this attack and anything which it represents.”

Keysar Trad is a spokesman for Muslims Australia.

He thinks the vandalism at the Canberra centre is the result of bigotry against Muslims, and he’s concerned that potential changes to the Racial Discrimination Act might encourage more such attacks.

“People don’t randomly go attacking libraries, certainly not in Australia. A country that values education and language and learning and reading. I don’t believe that this is something random. I believe that this something that is the product of bigotry. And it is very unfortunate that these types of attacks have been happening in Australia as we have the Attorney General saying that people have the right to be bigoted and make bigoted comments, bigoted comments lead to bigoted attacks, and they make society very unsafe, this is one example, an attack on property. I hope that this bigotry does not lead to attacks on human beings.”

Canberra’s Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse says members of his church stand in solidarity with the Islamic community, following the attack.

Azra Kahn says centre is still assessing the final cost of the damage.

 

 

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Hauschildt to step up to Ironman triathlon

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Australian triathlon star Melissa Hauschildt could make her much-anticipated debut at the Hawaiian Ironman later this year.

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The Commonwealth Games middle-distance run medallist has been outstanding since switching to long-course triathlon in 2010.

The two big questions in the sport surrounding Hauschildt have been when would she attempt an Ironman-distance race and what were her plans for the Hawaiian Ironman world championships at Kona.

Hauschildt has answered the first, announcing she will make her Ironman debut on May 4 in the Australian championships at the NSW town of Port Macquarie.

Depending on how she performs next month, Hauschildt could step up to Kona in October.

Hauschildt said her main goal this will probably still be the defence of her Ironman 70.3 (half-Ironman distance) world title on September 7 in Canada.

But Kona – triathlon’s most famous race – is looming on her radar.

“If I can get through this Ironman it will at least give me the opportunity to make my own decision later in the year between ITU long course world champs or Ironman world champs,” she said.

“I just want to validate early, just in case I choose to go down the Kona path this year.”

Hauschildt will need to gain qualifying points at Port Macquarie to validate a potential start at Hawaii.

She is also the defending ITU (International Triathlon Union) long course world champion.

Injuries two years ago delayed Hauschildt’s move up to the Ironman format, which is a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km marathon run.

Last month, the 31-year-old scored a hard-fought win at the Abu Dhabi long-course race – a 3km swim, 200km cycle and 20km run.

“The timing has worked out well and it’s the closest Ironman to home,” Hauschildt said of Port Macquarie.

“This time of year I can hopefully carry through some of the fitness I had from Abu Dhabi, with its longer swim and bike.

“I will also be able to take plenty of time to recover well after the race without affecting my US season later on in the year.

Her main opposition on May 4 is likely to come from American Hillary Biscay.

Australian Luke Bell has recovered from knee surgery to lead the men’s field at Port Macquarie.

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Stocks to watch at close on Tuesday

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Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at the close on Tuesday:

BRL – BATHURST RESOURCES – in a trading halt, last traded at seven cents

Bathurst Resources says it needs an extra day to complete a discounted share placement raising funds to develop its controversial Escarpment open-cut coal mine on the Denniston Plateau near Westport.

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BLX – BEACON LIGHTING GROUP – up 40 cents, or 60.6 per cent, at $1.06

Australia’s largest retailer of residential lighting, ceiling fans and light globes has enjoyed a bright start to life on the share market.

CCL – COCA-COLA AMATIL – up three cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $9.09

Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has downgraded Coca-Cola Amatil’s credit rating in the wake of a slide in the the beverage giant’s earnings.

IAG – INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP – up three cents, or 0.55 per cent, at $5.49

Insurance Australia Group has reaffirmed its full year guidance for gross written premium growth of three to five per cent.

NUF – NUFARM – up eight cents, or 2.0 per cent, at $4.07

Agricultural chemicals manufacturer Nufarm will close its New Zealand manufacturing plant and shift regional production to Victoria.

OZL – OZ MINERALS – up nine cents, or 2.4 per cent, at $3.84

OZ Minerals says a dozen parties are looking at buying the company’s key growth asset, the Carrapateena copper project in South Australia.

RIO – RIO TINTO – up nine cents, or 0.1 per cent, at $63.35

Rio Tinto produced and shipped less iron ore during the first three months of 2014 after bad weather affected its ports and mining operations in Western Australia.

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Learning Moore to defend world surf title

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By her own admission, Hawaiian Carissa Moore did not do a particularly good job of defending her first world surfing championship two years ago.

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But lessons have been learnt and she’s off to a much better start this time around.

Moore and Australian Stephanie Gilmore are tied for the lead in the world title race coming into the third event of the season, the Rip Curl Pro at iconic Bells Beach.

Gilmore jumped out of the blocks by winning the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast and Moore hit back straight away with victory earlier this month at the Margaret River Pro.

“I’ve never thought of Steph as a rival, but I really respect her as a competitor,” the 21-year-old Moore told AAP on Tuesday.

“She’s won five world titles and she really knows how to do the whole thing.

“It’s not just about surfing heats. It’s about handling life on the road, ignoring the distractions, being mentally there at every event and being consistent.

“That’s a really hard thing to do so I have a lot of respect for her.”

Moore did not win any events in her first title defence in 2012, although her consistency was still good enough for third place overall behind Gilmore and another Australian, Sally Fitzgibbons.

But the Hawaiian bounced back to reclaim the crown last year, winning four of eight events, including a first-ever victory at Bells Beach.

“You go from the position of hunting to being hunted,” said Moore, who became the youngest-ever women’s surfing world champion when she lifted the title in 2011 at the age of 18.

“I’m learning how to deal with that and more than anything it’s dealing with pressure from yourself.

“At the end of the day it’s not about winning the contest, it’s about performing at my best and doing what I love and hopefully inspiring people.

“If I look at the bigger picture I can take some of the pressure off.”

The Rip Curl Pro is scheduled to start on Wednesday, with Moore to take on Australians Dimity Stoyle and Zoe Clarke in the opening round.

Gilmore is pitted against countrywoman Laura Enever and Frenchwoman Johanne Defay in her first-round heat.

Conditions are expected to peak over the Easter long weekend – and Moore can’t wait.

“This wave definitely reminds me a lot of some of our waves back home in Hawaii,” she said.

“I love the Bells bowl and hopefully we will get the waves to perform on.”

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Dragons were wronged, says NRL refs boss

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NRL referees boss Tony Archer admits the on-field officials should have blown fulltime before Melbourne scored their dramatic winning try against St George Illawarra on Monday.

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The Dragons were left fuming after winger Young Tonumaipea dived over in the corner to score a try and seal a come-from-behind 28-24 victory at AAMI Park, claiming the Storm hadn’t played the ball before the siren sounded and the game should have concluded.

Archer agreed Matt Cecchin should have called time, but said he was only able to come to that conclusion after watching several freeze-frame shots of the incident.

“The siren and the play the ball were all but simultaneous,” Archer said.

“But, technically, the siren sounded a split second before the Melbourne player heeled the ball.

“So, in that sense, the referees’ call was wrong and the final play should not have proceeded.

“We were only able to work this out by going through the final moments of the game, frame by frame, so you can appreciate how difficult it would be for a referee to make a call with so much to consider with that degree of accuracy out in the middle.”

Archer said Cecchin and assistant referee Gavin Atkins wouldn’t be stood down from this weekend’s fixtures and that the NRL would implement plans to ensure the mistake did not happen again.

“We are working on mechanisms for the time keeper and the video ref to count down the time to alleviate the problem in the future,” he said.

“We’re looking to implement it as soon as possible. I am disappointed we got it wrong.

“But we are working hard to improve our performances and there is a number of factors that go into the determination of all matches.

“I have spoken to Matt, we are professional referees and we take our craft very seriously.”

Furious Dragons coach Steve Price said earlier on Tuesday he knew the decision was wrong and his players were devastated to miss the chance to end their 15-year losing run in Melbourne in such controversial circumstances.

“I’ve watched it a number of times after the game and my coaching staff and my players feel the ball hadn’t been played when the siren had blown. It’s a hard one to take.

“It’s hard to cop at the moment, it was a great game of football and both teams threw everything at each other. We’re hurting.”

Archer said he’d contacted Price and apologised for the error and said that despite his frustrations, the Dragons’ mentor understood the difficulty of making the decision.

“I have spoke to Steve Price and indicated that we got the decision wrong and that it was a very difficult decision in live time,” he said.

“He understood the enormity of the decision and where I was coming from.”

The Tonumaipea try wasn’t the only controversial incident in the game with a Trent Merrin four-pointer awarded despite Josh Dugan appearing to be in an offside position in the build up.

However, Archer said he had no problem with the try being awarded.

“I was comfortable with the process,” he said.

“The touch judge called the chasers onside. The video referees ruled that as the ball was kicked, Dugan’s foot was above the line.

“I am comfortable that there was insufficient evidence to overturn the decision.”

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China bank loans surge in March: govt

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China’s bank lending surged in March from the previous month, the central bank says, but analysts dismissed the possibility of monetary easing.

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Domestic banks granted 1.05 trillion yuan ($A179.73 billion) in new loans last month, down 12.4 billion yuan from a year earlier, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The March lending figure compared with 644.5 billion yuan for February and came in slightly above a median forecast of one trillion yuan, according to a poll of 16 economists by the Wall Street Journal.

But analysts denied it was a sign of monetary easing that some had hoped the government would take to bolster economic growth, which may have slowed to 7.3 per cent in the first quarter, according to an AFP survey.

“The surge in new loans does not mark a shift in policy stance but rather reflects the usual seasonal pattern in March, when loan officers boost lending ahead of quarterly financial reports,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist for Capital Economics, wrote in a report on Tuesday.

“Despite a surge in bank loans and relatively loose interbank liquidity conditions in March, today’s data show that the credit slowdown is still on track.”

Growth of outstanding bank loans slowed to 13.9 per cent year-on-year at the end of March from 14.2 per cent in February, according to the PBoC statement.

Total social financing, a broader measure of credit, stood at 2.07 trillion yuan for March, down 479.4 billion yuan from the same month last year, it said.

The central bank also announced that China’s foreign exchange reserves reached $US3.95 trillion ($A4.21 trillion) as of end-March, up from $US3.82 trillion at the end of 2013.

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