Monthly Archives: April 2019

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Scientists demand urgent action on reef mine plans

The World Heritage Committee will meet to consider whether the Great Barrier Reef should be put on a list of sites considered ‘in danger’ due to the threat of industrial development and other issues.Australia’s leading marine scientists have demanded governments take better care of the Great Barrier Reef just weeks from a key United Nations meeting considering the impacts of proposed coal and gas development at the world heritage site.
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In a joint statement, the scientists urge governments to contain several proposed new ports along the reef’s coast associated with coal mining and gas projects to existing industrial areas.

They also want the federal and Queensland governments to encourage greater sharing of existing infrastructure to reduce industrial footprint, and better management of shipping through the reef.

The statement includes signatures from more than 150 scientists from 33 Australian institutions, along with a number of prominent international researchers.

”As scientists, we are concerned about the additional pressures that will be exerted by expansion of coastal ports and industrial development accompanied by a projected near-doubling in shipping, major coastal reclamation works, large-scale seabed dredging and dredge spoil disposal – all either immediately adjacent to, or within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” the statement says.

The UN’s World Heritage Committee will meet in Cambodia later this month to consider whether the Great Barrier Reef should be put on a list of sites considered ”in danger” due to the threat of industrial development and other issues.

The statement was first circulated to attract signatures in April. The WWF – which has been funded by the Thomas Foundation to run a massive ”Fight for the Reef” campaign – paid for a consultancy to coordinate the declaration.

Scientists who signed the declaration include laureates of the United Nations’ 500 Global Roll of Honour.

International signatories are based at institutions including the Natural History Museum in London, and the University of California, Berkeley.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Too scared to drive her beloved VW Polo

Senay Suleyman (right) with her sister, Seniz, and the problem Polo. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo Neil Prosser’s damaged Volkswagen Jetta. Photo: Joe Armao
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Senay Suleyman was ”the happiest person” when she first got behind the wheel of her Volkswagen Polo, an 18th birthday present. She had just earned her P-plates and the freedom of driving her sparkling new car awaited.

That was last October. Now, her mother, Suzi, has banned Senay from driving the car – so worried is she about its safety record. And Suzi feels she can’t sell it: ”It’s not an option to sell the vehicle because it will simply be like selling a death trap to another motorist. I wouldn’t put any person in that predicament when I don’t let my own daughter drive it.”

Senay’s car suddenly cut out four times while she was driving, a problem that may have contributed to the death of Melissa Ryan, who was killed on the Monash Freeway in 2011 when her Golf dramatically lost speed and was run over by a truck.Government orders probe on VW ‘faults’Death prompts VW owners to speak out

For Senay, it meant being stranded in the early hours of the morning; her car losing power in heavy traffic as she took her sister to school and, once – most frighteningly – as she pulled onto a major road and had to swerve to avoid an oncoming car.

As a young driver, Senay became anxious about the car and the anxiety tipped into depression. ”It’s kind of like a mixed feeling between sad, upset, disappointed, angry and scared,” she said. ”All I want is just the replacement of my car. I am not saying I want my money back. I love my car … I would have thought customers are more valuable than actual money to them.”

The car was sent four times to Essendon Volkswagen and, before the latest incident, the service centre had written to the Suleymans agreeing to discuss replacing the vehicle if the engine malfunction continued. But now, Volkswagen says it can find no fault with the car.

Volkswagen Jetta owner Neil Prosser said the sudden loss of power was responsible for a recent accident when he drove into an intersection and lost acceleration. A car clipped the back of his vehicle. ”The car just stalled and died. I couldn’t get through in time. It was quite frightening,” he said.

As of Tuesday, Fairfax Media had received 144 accounts from Volkswagen drivers who have experienced sudden deceleration while driving their cars.

Volkswagen has not answered Fairfax Media’s calls or emails.

The federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport has launched an investigation into the matter. And the coroner will hand down her finding into Melissa Ryan’s death next month.

People concerned about their Volkswagens can email the Department of Infrastructure and Transport on [email protected] or contact Melissa Fyfe at [email protected]南京夜网.au.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Not as special now, but Jose was missed

It was the love affair that never ended. He left. They mourned, falling briefly into the arms of others.  Now he is back. It’s Jose Mourinho and Chelsea fans, it’s Mills and Boon, and it’s a special relationship that could spell trouble for others.
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Many will be cynical about Mourinho’s return. Never go back, they say. Try saying that to Jupp Heynckes, who rescued Bayern Munich’s season on his return as an interim and then led them to a historic treble during his third spell in charge. It can work. The Godfather Part II was the best of the series.

Mourinho and Chelsea Mark II will need work, though. It will need money and patience. When Mourinho first blew into England like a hurricane in Armani, Chelsea had incredible financial muscle, almost unique in English football.

Now there is Manchester City, who will be a revitalised force under Manuel Pellegrini and the pipeline of oil money.

Manchester United have Wilfried Zaha and David Moyes will be given more funds to remould the team. Arsenal should have a fit Jack Wilshere and may at last get round to buying top quality. Spurs and Liverpool have good, hungry young managers.

Mourinho  won’t catch people out like in 2004. Managers will want to prove themselves against him, from  former proteges like Andre Villas Boas, Brendan Rodgers and Steve Clarke to old foes like Moyes, Pellegrini and Arsene Wenger.

His return is a gold-dusted joy for those who run the Premier League. Any sporting soap-opera that boasts a cast including such characters as Mourinho and Ian Holloway is worth watching, and listening to. Better football is played in the Bundesliga and La Liga but no league can rival England’s elite division for drama.

Mourinho returns a slightly chastened figure, less cocksure than the Portuguese peacock who first strutted into the Bridge, fresh from his Champions League trophy success at Porto and charming everyone.

The memory of his  antics and  on-field disappointments last season at Real Madrid mean his reputation as the go-to guarantor of silverware has been harmed.

English football will be less tolerant of his mind games and jousts with officials. He has history with Premier League referees. He has had issues with Roman Abramovich. He needs to balance the Chelsea hierarchy’s desire for more nimble, Latin-style movement against his love of pace and power.

He has to measure the extent of John Terry’s decline, setting a bruised body against the defender’s undoubted leadership and positional strengths. He has to decide where David Luiz fits into his tactical framework. Fernando Torres’ days are  numbered but will Mourinho gamble on Romelu Lukaku? Andre Schurrle is expected to join from Bayer Leverkusen. Where does he fit?

So many questions. Mourinho has a record of finding answers. He will  have an instant impact, galvanising a club that won a trophy under  Rafael Benitez but seemed at odds with itself. His  ‘‘I am one of you’’ message to fans via Chelsea TV was  clever,  tapping into all that terrace angst towards Benitez.  Mourinho deserves to be welcomed back.   He will make Chelsea a genuine threat in the title race, arguably favourites. He will  find  English football  less forgiving this time. But it is good to see him back.

Telegraph, London

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Labor MP goes rogue on Gillard, down to the letter

Paul Keating in the 1980s became fond of a theory called the J-curve, sold to him by the Treasury, suggesting an initial fall in the fortunes of the dollar would create a lovely and satisfying upswing in the current account deficit. A graph of this would resemble the letter J.
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It refused to transpire in the time predicted and the resulting graph resembled a wonky hyphen.

The late senator John Button, frustrated by this unfortunate failure of theory, was moved to remark that ”I don’t know who invented the bloody J-curve but I tell you it wasn’t an Australian who learnt about the Australian economy.”

Political memories are short. The optimists in Julia Gillard’s Labor government have clung desperately for years to the wild hope the J-curve could transmogrify to political popularity.

Labor’s political fortunes, it was postulated, might have taken a dip as the Great Unpleasantness following the eradication of Kevin Rudd worked its way into history. But as the voters grasped its major policies, the popularity graph would perform an upswing worthy of an aerobatic ski slope and they would fly high and free from the heights of the magical J.

Labor’s Senator Doug Cameron, a man whose Scottish brogue has difficulty morphing into the forked tongue required of the successful politicians, was moved yesterday to undertake a facsimile of the late Senator Button’s reality check.

The Labor leadership’s promise of a political J-curve, he observed dryly, had failed to eventuate.

The morning’s polls suggested Senator Cameron was on the button. Labor was floundering .

The only J-curve of the day was tossed by J. Fitzgibbon, a Labor fellow who has gone rogue on Ms Gillard’s party.

Joel Fitzgibbon, a Rudd man, was asked about the polls by the Seven Network’s Sunrise host, David Koch. J. Fitzgibbon could barely contain his wicked glee.

”Hang on, Kochie, I just brought a manual with me,” he chuckled, brandishing a sheaf of papers. ”I’ll see what it says. It says I should say ‘polls come and go, but the only poll that matters is on election day’.”

He fairly bounced in his chair, beaming like a recalcitrant schoolboy. His notes contained what are known as ”talking points”. They are issued by the grand strategists of Julia Gillard’s communications office, detailing how Labor MPs should respond to tricky questions.

The ”polls come and go, but the only poll that matters” is a standby as old as Methuselah. However MPs aren’t supposed to say they have been instructed to use the line, let alone wave around the instruction manual. Fitzgibbon knew he was shoving it, on national TV, up the noses of the puppet masters in Ms Gillard’s office.

With only 10 days of parliamentary sittings remaining before the election, he may as well have said the Gillard government’s hoped-for J-curve had turned into a Q – a circle adorned with an impotent squiggle. A Q, perhaps, for Queensland, where internal party polling supposedly shows the only Labor squiggle that might remain after the election is Kevin Rudd.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

ALP gloom brings cracks in discipline

Despair within Labor is threatening internal discipline, as MPs lecture the leadership and key figures express contempt for the lines they are instructed to use.
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An emerging ”every man for himself” mindset appears to have taken hold in the federal caucus with most now resigned to a wipe-out on September 14.

As Opposition Leader Tony Abbott reminded his charges to maintain their discipline and to take nothing for granted, despondent Labor MPs met in Canberra, weighed down by a pervasive sense of doom as Newspoll put them 16 points behind the Coalition on 42 per cent to 58 per cent.

Another smaller poll also published on Tuesday showed Labor’s vote in the supposedly safe Melbourne seat of Isaacs, held by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, collapsing.

In caucus, Ms Gillard was told to do more to combat Tony Abbott’s famously effective ”stop the boats” slogan and expose it as undeliverable.

Laurie Ferguson, a western Sydney backbencher strongly aligned to the Prime Minister, said (twice) that Labor was ”dead” in the west unless it could better explain its position on asylum seekers, in a direct reflection on Ms Gillard’s approach to the debate so far.

He believes Ms Gillard should do more to explain the complexities of dealing with Indonesia, Malaysia, and the extent of the people-smuggling trade, arguing the issue is also causing alarm among voters in other areas of the country.

Mr Ferguson, who holds the seat of Werriwa by less than 7 per cent, is one of a slew of MPs – some of them future leaders – facing defeat based on current polling.

With the government preparing to toughen the 457 skilled temporary migration visa scheme in a bid to appease unions and appear tougher on foreign labour competition, outgoing former minister Martin Ferguson called for more evidence of alleged employer rorting. Kevin Rudd also sought more information.

Legislation installing stronger tests before granting employers access to foreign labour is being introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.

Another MP, SA backbencher Nick Champion told colleagues the scheme left workers beholden to employers for fear of being left visa-less.

In other outbreaks of frankness:

■ NSW Senator Doug Cameron complained that a promised uptick in the government’s standing with voters under Ms Gillard had not materialised.

■ Former minister and ex-chief whip Joel Fitzgibbon ridiculed the ”talking points” handed to MPs as he laughed on breakfast TV about the government’s fate.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.