Northern Territory cattle and tourism pioneer Peter Severin dies aged 93


Cattle and tourism pioneer Peter Severin has died aged 93, at the remote station and famous roadhouse near Uluru he established more than six decades ago.

Mr Severin’s family announced his death on Saturday morning in a statement they said was made “with profound sadness”.

“He was a true gentleman, devoted son, loving husband and proud father,” the statement said.

“Pete passed away peacefully in his 94th year, surrounded by those he loved, and those that loved him, at Curtin Springs Station, his home for over 65 years.”

In a social media post, Hospitality NT described the long-serving publican as a “true Territory pioneer and pioneer of Central Australia”.

The Severin roadhouse, built on the working cattle station first leased by the family in 1956, was among the isolated area’s first tourism spots opened outside Alice Springs.

The Severin family at their Curtin Springs property in the 1960s.(Supplied)

From early beginnings selling petrol and scones to a growing stream of visitors, Mr Severin and his wife Dawn are credited with opening the region up to domestic and international tourism.

In 1963, Mr Severin installed the controversial chain rope on Uluru, which tourists used to climb the rock until it was closed in 2019 in accordance with the wishes of traditional owners and custodians.

He was awarded the Northern Territory Tourism Minister’s Perpetual Trophy in 2017, in recognition of his contributions to the industry.

The family said they would be sharing highlights of Mr Severin’s life and holding a service in Alice Springs after taking time to mourn his death privately.

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Woman, 78, dies after Isabella Plains car crash | The Canberra Times


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An elderly woman has died after a car crash in Canberra’s south on Thursday night, bringing the territory’s road toll to three this year. Emergency services were called to a two-car motor vehicle incident about 8.50pm on Thursday, where a Nissan Pulsar and a Ford Ranger had collided at the intersection of Drakeford Drive and Noorooma Street. The 78-year-old woman, who later died, was extracted from the Nissan Pulsar she was driving and treated at the scene by ambulance officers, who administered emergency first aid. The woman was transported to hospital in a critical condition. She was assessed as having suffered a non-survivable head injury and died on Friday night. The driver of the Ford Ranger was also transported to hospital. The woman is the third person to die on ACT’s roads this year, following the death of two motor cyclists in separate incidents. Seven people died on ACT Roads in 2020. Road Policing’s major collision team attended the scene and will complete an investigation of the circumstances. A report will be prepared for the coroner.

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Family take legal action against hospital after six-year-old dies from croup



At just six years of age, Victorian boy Emmett Gage had his life cut short by croup – a common respiratory complaint in children.

Emmett died in June 2019, less than 24 hours after being discharged from a leading Melbourne hospital.

Emmett’s distraught mother Alex and grandmother Tina from Kilmore, north of Melbourne, are now speaking out about the tragedy.


“I lived for Emmett, he was my world, and now everything has been been turned upside down,” Alex Gage told 9News.
Around midnight on June 1st, 2019 Emmett, who also had autism and other respiratory problems, went to the Emergency Department of the Royal Children’s Hospital.
He was suffering the tell-tale symptoms of croup – a barking cough and breathing difficulties.
“He had a slight tinge of blue around his lips and he wasn’t right … he was very clammy and clingy to us,” said Ms Gage.
After a few hours of monitoring in the Emergency Department medical staff gave Emmett some more powerful medication to help his breathing.
According to the family around an hour later – just before 5am – medical staff advised them Emmett was well enough to go home and he was discharged.

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Jockey Jim Johnson, who won three Melbourne Cups, two Cox Plates and a Caulfield Cup, dies aged 92


Champion jockey and Australian hall of fame member Jim ‘Jimmy’ Johnson has died at the age of 92.

Racing Victoria, the Victorian Jockeys’ Association and the Victoria Racing Club each acknowledged the sadness of the occasion and paid homage to the decorated hoop.

Johnson was a three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, having been successful on Gatum Gatum in 1963 and also in 1968 and 1969 on Rain Lover.

Johnson was also associated with champion Tobin Bronze aboard who he won a Caulfield Cup and two Cox Plates.

Johnson won four Adelaide jockeys’ premierships before he relocated to Melbourne where he was champion jockey in 1966-67.

He rode in Singapore from 1970 to 1973, winning the jockeys’ title there in 1972 and 1973.

When he retired in 1976, he had ridden 2,158 winners and claimed his place as one of the greats of Australian racing.

Johnson was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame in 2009.

Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said Johnson was an exceptional jockey.

“Jimmy was a popular member of the racing community, a true gentleman and great ambassador for our sport long after his incredible success in the saddle.

“He was an active and passionate supporter of the racing industry in retirement as a regular face on the Melbourne Cup Tour and attendee at hall of fame functions.”

AAP

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Mitchell Starc rocked by tragedy as dad dies


Mitchell Starc will miss the Blues’ next Sheffield Shield game after Cricket NSW confirmed his father Paul had died from cancer.

The Australian fast bowler pulled out of the clash with Victoria, beginning on Thursday at Bankstown Oval, as he mourns the loss of his dad, who passed away on Tuesday.

The tragic news comes after Starc pulled out of Australia’s bio-secure bubble during the T20 series against India in December because of a family illness.

“There is nothing in the world more important than family and in this case Mitch is no exception,” Australia coach Justin Langer said at the time.

“We will give Mitch all the time he needs and welcome him back into the squad with open arms whenever he feels the time is right for him and his family.”

Starc’s form was a talking point during the Test series against India, which the visitors won 2-1, as he looked to struggle for rhythm at times. The left-armer picked up 11 wickets in four Tests, but only managed three wickets in two matches with the series on the line in Sydney and Brisbane.

The 31-year-old returned to domestic action for NSW in a four-day game against Victoria at the SCG last week but the visiting batsmen took a liking to him as the hosts lost by four wickets.

Unable to extract much swing, he was expensive in the first innings, finishing with figures of 0/71 from 14 overs, and in the second dig picked up 1/33 from eight overs.

Starc’s form — and the Australian attack’s inability to bowl out India in the fourth innings in Sydney or Brisbane — sparked discussion about whether it was time to re-introduce a rotation policy for fast bowlers to ensure they remain fresh during long and arduous Test series.

“In hindsight, that’s possibly something that could have been done.” chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said earlier this month.

“Prior to finalising any team, we check with medical people and even check with our players sometimes just to find out how they are doing.

“The games were pretty tight and close together, maybe we have to be a little more mindful of that going forward. However, in this instance, all the bowlers had recovered sufficiently for the medicos to give them the thumbs up.

“We considered those three fast bowlers, who had performed very well over a long period of time, were the best ones for the job. Once we’d checked to make sure they’d recovered sufficiently we thought it was the best attack.”

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Worker dies after steel tank falls on man at Riverland business



A young Riverland man has died in a workplace accident that occurred in the regional town of Monash on Tuesday afternoon.

Police and emergency services were called to a business on Jury road just before 3.30pm, following reports that a steel tank had fallen on a worker.

A 27-year-old Renmark man died at the scene and SA Police said they will prepare a report for the Coroner.

Safe Work SA attended the site yesterday afternoon and investigations into the incident are ongoing.

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Cats stalwart dies suddenly at training


“It’s been a really challenging day for a lot of people, especially the senior players and the football staff who’ve worked with him for a long, long time, because Vic’s been around for 50 years.

“There’s been three grief counsellors engaging with our people.”

Cook paid tribute to a much-loved figure, saying the Cats would look to pay tribute to Fuller in the coming weeks.

“He’s just been a solid rock for us for so many years. He’s played all sorts of roles for us, he looked after Little League at one stage, he helped in recruiting. He’s been the VFL manager for a long time, he was the doorman for the AFL and the VFL. It goes on and on. He’s been loved by so many people for a long time.

“He loved to banter with everyone. He was even bantering this morning with a few of the lads. He had an opinion on most things, and he expressed it in a pretty humorous way most of the time, made people laugh.”

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Sunshine Coast rugby league player Dale Best dies after collapsing during match in Kawana


A Sunshine Coast amateur rugby league player has died after collapsing on the field during a match.

The Maroochydore Swans said Dale Best, 34, was playing for the team in a reserve grade match against the Kawana Dolphins at the Kawana Sports Precinct on Saturday and made an effective tackle before falling to the ground.

The club added there was no evidence of foul play or of an injury to his head or neck.

Sports trainers performed CPR on Best at the scene before paramedics arrived and attempted to stabilise him.

He later died in hospital.

A man wearing rugby kit is seen grasping a ball as he charges forward despite two players behind him pulling him back.
The Queensland Rugby League has described the 34-year-old player’s death as “tragic”.(Facebook: Maroochydore Swans Senior Rugby League Club)

The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) said Best’s death was “tragic”.

“The Queensland Rugby League is saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Sunshine Coast player Dale Best,” it said in a Facebook post.

“The QRL and rugby league community send their most sincere condolences.

“The QRL will continue to assist the club through this difficult time and is providing wellbeing support.

“The family offer their deepest thanks to all those who assisted, including sports trainers, paramedics and staff.”

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Sculptor of Wall Street bull dies at 80


The artist who sculpted Charging Bull, the bronze statue in New York which became an iconic symbol of Wall Street, has died in his home town in Italy at age 80.

Arturo Di Modica died at his home in Vittoria on Friday evening, the town said in a statement on Saturday. Di Modica had been ill for some time, it said.

The sculptor lived in New York for more than 40 years. He arrived in 1973 and opened an art studio in the city’s SoHo neighbourhood.

With the help of a truck and crane, Di Modica installed the bronze bull sculpture in New York’s financial district without permission on the night of December 16, 1989.

The artist reportedly spent $US350,000 of his own money to create the 3.5-ton bronze beast that came to symbolise the resilience of the US economy after a 1987 stock market crash.

“It was a period of crisis,” Rome daily La Repubblica quoted Di Modica as saying in an interview earlier this month.

He said he conceived of the bull sculpture as “a joke, a provocation” but instead “it became a cursedly serious thing”.

Di Modica detailed how he and some 40 friends carried out a lightning-swift operation to plant the statue near Bowling Green park.

“Five minutes. The operations shouldn’t have lasted more. Otherwise, we’d risk big,” he recalled.

“After a couple of scouting trips, I had discovered that at night, the police made its rounds on Wall Street every 7-8 minutes.”

When the sculptor and his friends arrived at the spot he’d picked, they were surprised to see a Christmas tree had been erected there.

They deposited the bronze bull anyway, and, as the artist told it, uncorked a bottle of Champagne.

Di Modica left Vittoria, Sicily, at age 19 for Florence, where he studied at the Fine Arts Academy.

At the time of his death, he was working on prototypes for a twin horse sculpture he planned to make for the Sicilian town.

The town declared Monday, when Di Modica’s funeral will be held, as an official day of mourning.



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Young anti-coup protester dies after being shot during Myanmar demonstrations


A young protester died Friday, more than a week after being shot in anti-coup demonstrations in Myanmar, offering a fresh source of anger inside the country as international pressure grows on the generals who seized power.

Much of the country has been in open revolt since troops deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on 1 February, with disparate strands of Myanmar society uniting to protest against a return to military rule. 

Security forces have steadily stepped up the show – and use – of force, by deploying troops against peaceful protesters, and firing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets. 

A rally on 9 February in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw turned violent when police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators, though doctors at the hospital later told AFP that at least two people had been critically wounded by live rounds.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who turned 20 last Thursday as she lay unconscious in a hospital bed, was shot in the head. A doctor confirmed her death Friday, adding that her body will be examined as it is a “case of injustice”. 

The young protester, a grocery store worker, is the first official death from the anti-coup movement since hundreds of thousands started gathering across the country two weeks ago to protest Myanmar’s return to military rule. 

She has become a symbol of resistance for protesters, who have hoisted her photos high in demonstrations and even unfurled a massive banner of artwork from a bridge showing the moment she was shot. 

Her sister Poh Poh told reporters on Friday: “Please all join this protest movement to be more successful. That’s all I want to say.”

The European Union – whose foreign ministers will meet Monday to discuss measures against the generals – extended its sympathy to Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing’s family and friends, said spokeswoman Nabila Massrali. 

The EU also “reiterates its call on Myanmar’s security forces to refrain from violence against demonstrators protesting against the overthrow of their legitimate government,” she added. 

Flowers and sympathy messages are placed on the ground in honor of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing during a demonstration in Yangon on 29 February.

AFP via Getty Images

The United States meanwhile condemned “any violence against the people of Burma”, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters using Myanmar’s former name, and reiterated “our calls on the Burmese military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters”.

Military spokesman-turned-deputy information minister Zaw Min Tun had said earlier this week that authorities were investigating the case of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing.

He also said a police officer had died in Mandalay after a confrontation with protesters Sunday. 

Sanctions from UK, Canada

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing’s death comes after an overnight announcement from Britain – Myanmar’s former colonial power – and Canada that several generals would be sanctioned over their roles in the junta’s security forces. 

Freezing the assets of three top generals, the UK also said it was beginning a review to stop British businesses working with the military. 

Canada sanctioned nine Myanmar military officials and accused the junta of engaging “in a systemic campaign of repressions through coercive legislative measures and use of force”. 

These actions come after US President Joe Biden last week announced Washington would cut off the generals’ access to $1 billion in funds in the US. 

Internet shutdowns and arrests

Early Saturday, NetBlocks announced “a sixth consecutive night under internet curfew”. It also reported that Wikipedia had been blocked in all languages in the country.

On Friday, tens of thousands – including railway workers and teachers dressed in their uniforms to show they were boycotting work – amassed across Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, carrying posters of Ms Suu Kyi that read “Free our leader”.

“Don’t go to the office!” they chanted. “Go strike! Go strike!” 

One teacher who was there – and is now in hiding for fear of arrest – said she saw dozens arrested in the scuffle, including two of her colleagues.

In the northern city of Myitkyina, a small group of protesters was forcefully dispersed by police and military wielding batons, according to video posted online and witnesses.

“They arrested those who tried to take photos and videos… this is real injustice,” she told AFP. 

Before Friday, more than 520 people had been arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group, many of them civilians taking part in the so-called “Civil Disobedience Movement”. 

The junta has justified its power seizure by alleging widespread electoral fraud in November’s elections, which Ms Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide. 

The Nobel laureate – who has not been seen since she was detained in dawn raids – has been hit with two charges, one of them for possessing unregistered walkie-talkies. 

Her hearing is expected on 1 March. 

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