Animal activists made a formal complaint about shearers swearing at sheep on a NSW property. The case was subsequently dropped by agriculture officials. However, it still managed to get a mention in the Senate this Tuesday in Australia. Nationals Senator John Williams asked if the sheep had made any formal complaints about being sworn at. “Not yet Senator,” replied Fran Freeman of the Department of Agriculture. Senator Williams seemed a combination of amused and annoyed by the complaint. Suggesting that “do-gooders” were making assumptions about the sheep’s ability to understand the finer points of the English language. Notwithstanding one word: Bastard. Maybe. It is possible that aggressively yelling abuse at the sheep could spook the animals. Regardless of which profanities they may, or not, have understood. Those behind the complaint, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), also said physical abuse such as punching, stomping and killing of the ...Read More »
Nagoya’s Train Station Scissor Bandit Finally Caught?
Japan, a land where ancient and modern traditions and cultures often blend in surprising number of ways. Falling more in...
Kiwi Guacamole: A Recipe for the Great Avocado Theft in New Zealand
New Zealand brings another unique piece of news to the world table with the dastardly thefts of avocados. Using rakes an...
Sheep Stop Criminal Car Chase, Only in New Zealand?
Debatably the most New Zealand story ever, sheep have stopped criminals escaping. A car was pulled over by police near A...
Earthquake as North Korea Detonates Nuclear Bomb
What was detected at 01:30:01 (UTC), 6 January 2015, as a magnitude-5.1 tremor in North Korea, is believed to have been ...
No Asteroid to Hit Earth in September 2015 says NASA
Despite the claims being made that an asteroid will hit Earth somewhere near Puerto Rico in mid-to-late September 2015, ...
Mossad Spy Dolphin Reportedly Captured by Hamas off Gaza Coast
Hamas claims to have caught a Mossad spy dolphin as reported by the Israel Defense Forces Radio. Although the Israel Arm...
Astronaut Claims Aliens Saved World from Nuclear War
He was the sixth man to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 14 mission, but with Edgar Mitchell claiming that aliens ...
Guns and Selfies Don’t Mix
Moscow, Russia, a 21-year-old women is in a serious condition in Sklifosovsky hospital, after accidentally shooting herself in the head while posing for a selfie. The woman reportedly found the 9mm gun in her office. Then, while posing with the gun for a selfie, is believed to have accidentally pressed the trigger. Shooting herself in the temple. Investigation by the Moscow police is underway. It’s believed the gun was left behind by a security guard, who was on holiday at the time. However, this conflicts with the report on RT, that the woman, Veronika, had asked the guard for the gun to take a photo. While posing for the selfie, she accidentally pressed the trigger, with the bullet ricocheting off the wall, and hitting her in the head. Whichever the case may be, the Russian woman is still in a critical condition in hospital. It’s also not the first case ...Read More »
Teenager Dies Attempting Ultimate Selfie
Anna Ursu, has died attempting the “ultimate selfie” from the top of a train in Iași, Romania. The 18-year-old leg is reported to have touched an electrical wire which resulted in up to 27,000 volts passing through and electrocuting her, before she burst into flames. With Anna, was her 17-year-old friend, who was thrown from the top of the train from the force of the electrical field. A male who had warned the pair earlier of the dangers of the cables, hurried to help, but was unable to extinguish the flames fast enough. Emergency services rushed the two teenagers to hospital. Doctors were unable to save Anna Ursu. A spokesperson for Bucharest Burns Hospital, Anisia Iliescu, told reporters: “Her whole body was burned.” The younger teenager is said to be recovering in St Maria hospital. Telling investigators that she and her friend were attempting to take the “ultimate selfie” unaware ...Read More »
Rebuilding After the Nepal Earthquakes
On Tuesday 12 May, Nepal was rocked by a second devastating earthquake. The first earthquake measuring magnitude-7.8, struck 25 April 2015. With its epicentre Barpak in the Gorhka district, it resulted in the destruction of entire villages. Tragically claiming more than 8,000 human lives, injuring some 19,000 people, and displacing many more numbering into the estimated millions. Three weeks later, amidst the aftershocks as strong as magnitude-6.3, another earthquake measuring magnitude-7.3 has again struck Nepal. Its epicentre occurred near 18 kilometres beneath the earth, and to the east of the capital Kathmandu, in the district of Dolakha. Krishna Siwakoti, a farmer living near the epicentre told CNN: “The land has cracked open in many places, many people don’t even have a spot to put their tents. The situation is dire. We are isolated.” To some extent, that isolation has in part formed a blessing in disguise, with the combined death ...Read More »
Seeing Red: The Plot to put Prince Harry on the Throne
Not quite the same as the Jacobite uprisings, and probably unlikely to make an historical footnote, but still news for the day, an Englishman is facing trial over his plot to make Prince Harry king. Arrested back in 3 June 2014, Mark Colborne, 37, of Southampton, has been described as a right-wing extremist and a fanatic. He stands trial accused of planned terrorist attacks related to assassinating Prince Charles, in an attempt to put Prince Harry on the throne. Today, Prince Harry is fifth in line to rule Great Britain. Prince Charles is first, followed by Prince William and his two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Then, thanks to the succession rules of the British Monarchy, it’s Prince Harry’s time to shine. If Prince Harry appears a bit marginalised here, it seems that was part of the very sentiment shared by Mark Colborne and a key point in his ...Read More »
Germanwings: Reassessing Risks
In the wake of the Germanwings tragedy, much focus has been placed on the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. Looking for signs, clues; and more generally questioning mental health issues and screenings associated with airline pilots. This is understandable. There is the sense of the need to do something, so that such an occurrence on an airline is not allowed to happen again. It’s also putting humanity into what was the senseless loss of human lives. Which, those suggesting better psychological screening methods, argue could be used to prevent in the future. Although there is undeniably merit to the psychological screenings in understanding and helping to ensure pilots’ mental health, from a risk management perspective other approaches are likely to be more effective. The Germanwings disaster which killed 150 people when the plane crashed into the French Alps, reportedly occurred when the pilot left the cockpit to go to the toilet. Then ...Read More »
Kidnapped Amanda Berry – Safe at Last
A Cry for Help In Cleveland, Ohio, the screams and cries for help of a woman were overhead by neighbour Charles Ramsey. Thinking it was a domestic violence incident, he approached the house of Ariel Castro. The door was shut, and able to be opened but enough to get a hand out of. A woman was frantically trying to escape. Along with another neighbour that had approached the house, Ramsey acted quickly kicking out the bottom of the door. Through the gap a woman emerged along with a young girl. The story and discovery that has emerged beyond this, has shocked all. The woman identified herself as Amanda Berry. She had been missing for near a decade. Calls were made to 911. Two more women, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, were discovered in the house and freed upon the arrival of the Cleveland police. Cleveland police arrested three suspects. The ...Read More »
Boston Marathon Bombing: Disturbing Big Data Trends
The Boston Marathon Bombing What should have been a cheerful Patriots’ Day as people ran the Boston Marathon on the 15th April 2013, turned horrific as two bombs were detonated. Three people, including an 8-year old child, were killed in the bombings. Reports indicate that over 140 people were injured, of which 10 had their limbs amputated. The first bomb was detonated near the finish line of the marathon, as marathoners crossed it. Impact from the blast knocked those nearby to the ground. Amidst a scene of blood and carnage, as people fought back panic to help others, a second bomb was detonated about 10 seconds later. Both bombs appear to have been strategically placed to maximise damage and casualties. With anxiety running high, the people of Boston were moved away from the area and urged to stay indoors. The concerns were more than justified, with another two bombs subsequently found. Fortunately ...Read More »
North Korea – State of War
An Ongoing State of War North Korea has declared that it has entered a state of war, and will use wartime protocols to deal with its counterpart South Korea. As a country, North Korea has been largely shut off from, and closed to, the rest of the world. Where things often taken for granted elsewhere, such as mobile phones and even magazines are not allowed to cross the borders. This speaks to the level of control the government – or, dare it be called a regime – exerts upon its citizens. Methods such as this are used as a means of media control. To stifle the ease, and freedom of speech; and promote the party line (and propaganda) of the ruling body politic. If one thinks about how hard it is to monitor and censor statements made, especially in real time, on mobile phones, the link between their availability and the level of a society’s ...Read More »
A Humble New Pope?
“White smoke! White smoke!” They cried from across the Vatican courtyard. A choice had been made. Granted it seemed somewhat reminiscent of a scene from The DaVinci Code-related Angels & Demons film, although the ending hopefully won’t be so formulaic with a plodding narrative. With the Argentinean Jorge Mario Bergoglio now the new Pope Francis, many – if not most – in the media have reported on the man’s humbleness and humility. Of his taking the vow of poverty seriously. This has been asserted with statements such as him catching the bus to work, cooking his own meals, and living in a simple apartment. Are these claims truly that impressive? Or, is it part of a strategic new direction for the Catholic Church to reassure the everyman and the everywoman, that the new Pope Francis also shares their values? What are your thoughts on the media’s reporting? Whether sheep or shepherd (or ...Read More »