Paddlers tackle Bass Strait to shine a light on mental health issues


Two friends paddling across the Bass Strait to shine a light on mental health issues have successfully completed the first leg of the trip.

Albury residents Stuart Baker and Matt Flower left Victoria’s South Gippsland coast on Monday and paddled more than 50 kilometres to Hogan Island, which took about six and a half hours.

Today they are back in the water tackling another 42-kilometre stretch to Deal Island, in Bass Strait’s north.

Mr Baker’s son Henri is following his father’s epic journey and said the pair were facing tough conditions, with 10-knot winds forecast.

“It is an incredible feat to be taking on,” Henri said.

“So, we are wishing them all the best and hoping it is a successful day, because it is one of the key segments of the crossing — so fingers crossed for them.”

The trip is expected to take the long-time friends about eight days to complete in their kayak, but that will depend on the weather.

“They are completely under their own steam, so there is no support crew or anything like that,” Henri said.

“They are carrying all their own supplies including food and water, so it is certainly a heavily laden boat for the first couple of parts of this journey.

“I think the weather was due to take a turn today and potentially they were looking to wait it out on Deal Island for a couple of days while the poorer weather passed and before it became clear again to take the next part of the crossing.”

Henri said despite the undesirable weather forecast, they men were in high spirits when he last spoke with them.

“All positive so far, I haven’t heard any reports about the water temperature so hopefully that means they’re staying pretty dry,” he said.

For Stuart Baker the trip across the Bass Strait is the latest act in a decade-long effort to raise awareness about suicide and mental health.

His daughter Mary took her own life10 years ago and since then Mr Baker and his wife Annette have dedicated their time to advocating for greater awareness.

The Bakers co-founded the annual Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice in 2013 and funds raised by this paddle will go towards supporting this year’s event.

Before he left, Mr Baker told ABC Goulburn Murray the ongoing support from the Border community had been incredible.

“We are just hopeful that some of the generous community support that we usually receive for that might be able to be channelled towards this crossing,” he said.

Proceeds will also go toward support advocacy group Australians For Mental Health.

“Our community here is amazing and support these things and because of that they’ve got a far better understanding than perhaps other communities around Australia,” Mr Baker said.

He admitted he was initially apprehensive about the 260km trek when he was approached by Mr Flower.

“It’s not something I’ve ever thought about doing or have even contemplated,” he said.

“I thought about it for a few weeks and he kept saying, ‘Will you do it?’

Describing it as “daunting, but not insurmountable or impossible” Mr Baker said the plan was to be patient and not head out in dangerous conditions.

Thank you for dropping in and seeing this post on “What’s On in the Goulburn Murray Region named “Paddlers tackle Bass Strait to shine a light on mental health issues”. This news article was presented by MyLocalPages as part of our VIC current news services.

#Paddlers #tackle #Bass #Strait #shine #light #mental #health #issues



Source link

UK confirms return of international travel through traffic light system



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed international travel will return accompanied by a risk-based traffic light system.

Mr Johnson said travellers from countries labelled ‘green’ will not be required to self-isolate but testing before and after flying will be needed.

Travellers returning from ‘red’ countries will be required to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel and have regular COVID tests while those returning from ‘amber’ countries will have to self-isolate at home.

Thank you for stopping by and checking this news release regarding the latest QLD news items titled “UK confirms return of international travel through traffic light system”. This news release is shared by My Local Pages as part of our news aggregator services.

#confirms #return #international #travel #traffic #light #system



Source link

Could a traffic light system be the green light for international travel?


A consortium of airports and airlines in the UK is asking for a traffic light system to assess passenger health and get the industry travelling again.

They suggest dual-testing schemes could be a viable alternative for international travellers. They say testing may be useful in both reducing imported cases and in monitoring and reducing the risk of introducing a critical mass of a variant of concern.

Michele Granatstein, partner and Head of Aviation at Oxera economics consultancy says The current policy has served us well in terms of reducing risk of infections from international travellers, but authorities should be looking at how to reopen international travel safely:

“It is important to consider how we can reopen travel in a way that minimises the risk to public health and allow us to reopen travel safely, but at the same time minimises disruption and costs to travellers, the economy and the aviation sector more generally.”

Watch Euronews’s full report in the player above.

Thank you for stopping by and seeing this news update regarding European and related news updates called “Could a traffic light system be the green light for international travel?”. This news article is posted by My Local Pages Australia as part of our national news services.

#traffic #light #system #green #light #international #travel



Source link

In an out-of-sight war, a massacre comes to light


Behind those numbers has been a brutal, ethnically driven campaign of punishment against the 5.4 million people living in Tigray and the TPLF, which had ruled Africa’s second-most populous country for almost three decades before Abiy’s ascension to power in 2018.

Much of the war remains opaque because the government imposed a communications blackout on November 4, largely sealing Tigray from the wider world. Still, consistent reports have emerged in recent weeks of “extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, looting of property, mass executions and impeded humanitarian access,” the UN’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide said in a statement last month.

On Monday, medical charity Doctors Without Borders said that 70 per cent of clinics it visited in Tigray “were looted, vandalised and destroyed in a deliberate and generalised manner”. Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that government forces – which include the Ethiopian army, soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea and state-sponsored militiamen from the Amhara region – had committed acts of “ethnic cleansing”.

In this photo released by Medecins Sans Frontieres, a looted room is seen in the Sebeya health center in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia on February 25, 2021. Credit:Medecins Sans Frontiers

Ethiopia has rejected all accusations, and there has been little international intervention, diplomatic or otherwise. In a statement on Saturday responding to Blinken’s comments, the Ethiopian foreign ministry said that “nothing during or after the end of the main law-enforcement operation in Tigray can be identified or defined by any standards as a targeted, intentional ethnic cleansing against anyone in the region”.

Mulu Nega, the chief executive of Tigray’s transitional government, did not respond to requests for comment. Daniel Bekele, who heads the government’s human rights commission, declined to talk about the massacre in Bora.

The conflict has transformed Abiy’s image from Nobel Prize-winning peacemaker – he forged a landmark deal resolving a yearslong conflict with neighbouring Eritrea in 2019 – into that of a ruthless leader cynically using the peace accord to make war, alongside Eritrea, against a common enemy in Tigray. Meanwhile, his country is staggering under a mountain of debt, and tensions with Sudan and Egypt are high over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia built over the Blue Nile but which countries downstream consider an existential threat.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Credit:AP

By November 26, pro-Ethiopian government forces had scythed through southern Tigray, including Bora. A few days later, Abiy declared the end of the military operation, with the government taking full control of the region and insisting that no civilians had been harmed.

But skirmishes continued for weeks in rural areas of Tigray.

All the witnesses interviewed for this story insisted that the TPLF had no presence in the area after November 26, and that there had been no provocation or warning before the soldiers began their rampage.

Loading

“Farmers. Farmers and youngsters,” one woman says over and over as she cries over the body of a family member in a video provided by Seb Hidri, an NGO in Tigray that supports Tigray’s independence. Corpses of men wearing civilian clothes lie strewn on the ground, one in a pool of blood, as other women shout and weep.

Local sources said the accents of the women, their clothing and the terrain in the video are consistent with its having been filmed either in or near Bora, but the Los Angeles Times could not independently verify the footage.

Guiomar Pau Sole, spokeswoman for the United Nation’s regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nairobi, said the UN had received “alarming reports of civilians being injured and killed during fighting in rural areas of Tigray, and violations against civilians, including sexual violence”.

An Orthodox Christian Tigrayan refugee who fled the conflict in the Ethiopia’s Tigray region reads prayers with his son in front of a church at the Hamdeyat Transition Center near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, eastern Sudan.

An Orthodox Christian Tigrayan refugee who fled the conflict in the Ethiopia’s Tigray region reads prayers with his son in front of a church at the Hamdeyat Transition Center near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, eastern Sudan.Credit:AP

“However, the verification of this information was, and remains, extremely challenging,” Pau Sole said.

On Wednesday, the UN’s human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, agreed to a request by the government’s human rights commission for for a joint investigation in Tigray.

Los Angeles Times

Most Viewed in World

Loading

Thank you for stopping by and checking out this news update about national news called “In an out-of-sight war, a massacre comes to light”. This post was presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

#outofsight #war #massacre #light



Source link

In an out-of-sight war, a massacre comes to light


Behind those numbers has been a brutal, ethnically driven campaign of punishment against the 5.4 million people living in Tigray and the TPLF, which had ruled Africa’s second-most populous country for almost three decades before Abiy’s ascension to power in 2018.

Much of the war remains opaque because the government imposed a communications blackout on November 4, largely sealing Tigray from the wider world. Still, consistent reports have emerged in recent weeks of “extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, looting of property, mass executions and impeded humanitarian access,” the UN’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide said in a statement last month.

On Monday, medical charity Doctors Without Borders said that 70 per cent of clinics it visited in Tigray “were looted, vandalised and destroyed in a deliberate and generalised manner”. Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that government forces – which include the Ethiopian army, soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea and state-sponsored militiamen from the Amhara region – had committed acts of “ethnic cleansing”.

In this photo released by Medecins Sans Frontieres, a looted room is seen in the Sebeya health center in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia on February 25, 2021. Credit:Medecins Sans Frontiers

Ethiopia has rejected all accusations, and there has been little international intervention, diplomatic or otherwise. In a statement on Saturday responding to Blinken’s comments, the Ethiopian foreign ministry said that “nothing during or after the end of the main law-enforcement operation in Tigray can be identified or defined by any standards as a targeted, intentional ethnic cleansing against anyone in the region”.

Mulu Nega, the chief executive of Tigray’s transitional government, did not respond to requests for comment. Daniel Bekele, who heads the government’s human rights commission, declined to talk about the massacre in Bora.

The conflict has transformed Abiy’s image from Nobel Prize-winning peacemaker – he forged a landmark deal resolving a yearslong conflict with neighbouring Eritrea in 2019 – into that of a ruthless leader cynically using the peace accord to make war, alongside Eritrea, against a common enemy in Tigray. Meanwhile, his country is staggering under a mountain of debt, and tensions with Sudan and Egypt are high over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia built over the Blue Nile but which countries downstream consider an existential threat.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Credit:AP

By November 26, pro-Ethiopian government forces had scythed through southern Tigray, including Bora. A few days later, Abiy declared the end of the military operation, with the government taking full control of the region and insisting that no civilians had been harmed.

But skirmishes continued for weeks in rural areas of Tigray.

All the witnesses interviewed for this story insisted that the TPLF had no presence in the area after November 26, and that there had been no provocation or warning before the soldiers began their rampage.

Loading

“Farmers. Farmers and youngsters,” one woman says over and over as she cries over the body of a family member in a video provided by Seb Hidri, an NGO in Tigray that supports Tigray’s independence. Corpses of men wearing civilian clothes lie strewn on the ground, one in a pool of blood, as other women shout and weep.

Local sources said the accents of the women, their clothing and the terrain in the video are consistent with its having been filmed either in or near Bora, but the Los Angeles Times could not independently verify the footage.

Guiomar Pau Sole, spokeswoman for the United Nation’s regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nairobi, said the UN had received “alarming reports of civilians being injured and killed during fighting in rural areas of Tigray, and violations against civilians, including sexual violence”.

An Orthodox Christian Tigrayan refugee who fled the conflict in the Ethiopia’s Tigray region reads prayers with his son in front of a church at the Hamdeyat Transition Center near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, eastern Sudan.

An Orthodox Christian Tigrayan refugee who fled the conflict in the Ethiopia’s Tigray region reads prayers with his son in front of a church at the Hamdeyat Transition Center near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, eastern Sudan.Credit:AP

“However, the verification of this information was, and remains, extremely challenging,” Pau Sole said.

On Wednesday, the UN’s human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, agreed to a request by the government’s human rights commission for for a joint investigation in Tigray.

Los Angeles Times

Most Viewed in World

Loading

Thanks for stopping by and checking this article involving national news named “In an out-of-sight war, a massacre comes to light”. This post is shared by My Local Pages as part of our national news services.

#outofsight #war #massacre #light



Source link

Street light conversion program rolls out


One
of the largest street light upgrade programs in Victoria has begun in Greater
Geelong.

The
City and energy distribution company Powercor are replacing the first of about
15,000 residential street lights with LED luminaires.

The
LED luminaires, including new smart PE cells, are about 85 per cent more energy
efficient than the existing mercury vapour lights.

They
will provide higher quality and better directed lighting, with a greater spread
across and along the street.

The
inclusion of smart control technology will enable remote adjustment of the
lighting output and deliver improvements to road safety, public amenity and
asset management.

The
rollout is the first stage of an overall project that will convert all of
Greater Geelong’s 25,000-plus street lights to LED.

Greater
Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said significantly reducing carbon emissions was
a key feature of the City’s Sustainability Framework Action Plan 2020-2022.

The
municipality-wide upgrade will have significant impacts for our community, our
environment and the economy.

The
huge reduction in energy consumption will see us save more than 8000 tonnes of
carbon emissions each year.

This
will allow us to redirect about $2 million annually, from the lower energy and
maintenance costs, into other public services.

It
will also provide better-targeted and higher quality lighting, making our
streets and public spaces safer.

Assembled
in Australia by Sylvania Schréder, the lights are owned and maintained by
energy distribution business Powercor.

Powercor
connects and manages 189,000 streetlights for the Victorian Department of
Transport and Victorian councils, including Greater Geelong.

Powercor
program manager Barry Thebes said Powercor was pleased to be supporting the
City to deliver energy efficient lighting that would benefit the environment
and the community.

By working closely with the Geelong Council
and the community, we are driving down carbon emissions and providing a cleaner
environment for the region.

Once
our crews have replaced these lights, the emission reductions that will be
delivered are about the same as taking more than 1700 cars off the road
annually.

The
rollout of the first stage started this week and will run for about a year.

Lighting
works on main roads will begin once the residential lighting installation is
completed.

About
98 per cent of the material of the old lights – glass, mercury and aluminium –
will be recycled.

The
street light conversion program will play a key role in the City’s Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy.

Significantly reducing carbon emissions is a key feature of
the City’s Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022, which was adopted by Councillast July.

Thank you for dropping in to My Local Pages and seeing this article regarding “What’s On in the City of Greater Geelong called ”
Street light conversion program rolls out
“. This article was brought to you by MyLocalPages as part of our Australian events & what’s on stories services.

#Street #light #conversion #program #rolls



Source link

Rebels beat Force despite stadium light drama and another red card


Moments later, the ball was kicked out and the Rebels rejoiced.

It was the Rebels’ first win from three games this season and had they gone down in narrow circumstances once again, it may well have been all too much for coach Dave Wessels and his team who cannot wait to get back to Melbourne after weeks on the road.

“What a game,” said Rebels captain Matt To’omua, who left seven points out on the field through kicks but controlled the game superbly at No.10. “For us to get an away win is huge. It summed up the character of this group. There was a lot of heart and resilience there.”

Wessels added: “We’ve been on the road for a long time now and we’ve come so close in the previous two games and let things slip. The resilience to finish the job … I’m just really proud of the guys.”

Haylett-Petty was given his marching orders for a high shot to the head of Tomas Lezana, forcing the visitors to play a man down for the last 10 minutes.

A red card has been handed out every 1.4 games this season and is certainly not ideal for all involved.

In truth, this was the kind of fixture – shown only on Stan Sport – best hidden away from free-to-air television.

The low-scoring affair had its moments but certainly wasn’t rugby’s greatest advertisement, with plenty of knock-ons and a lower amount of ball-in-play time.

It took 187 minutes of season 2021 for the Rebels to score a try, doing so through Lachie Anderson down the right edge just minutes after hooker James Hanson dropped the ball with the tryline in touching distance.

Anderson, the sevens specialist, crossed the line with the Rebels having enjoyed 75 per cent territory and 66 per cent possession.

After 45 points of penalties in two matches, the try settled the nerves and got the monkey off the Rebels’ back.

The Force on the other hand, struggled to build pressure through some poor set-piece work. They missed three first half lineouts and turned the ball over 12 times in a sloppy first half for both sides, which was slightly surprising given the dry conditions in Perth.

A Rob Kearney 50-22 kick was about as good as it got for the hosts.

Before the match, Koroibete led the competition for defenders beaten (12) and offloads (five). He sat fourth on the list for metres gained (143).

The purple patch continued with a try assist, 109 metres from 11 carries, and another six defenders beaten.

The incumbent Wallabies winger’s footwork has improved in a big way. He is becoming even trickier to bring down and his sharp change of direction is making him an absolute handful for defences who are dedicating extra resources to him.

Loading

The Rebels aimed up in the physicality stakes, with Cabous Eloff crunching Tom Robertson and Michael Wells making a bone-rattling tackle on Tevita Kuridrani.

Jake McIntyre missed a first half penalty and later lost his cool when he didn’t find touch, throwing his mouthguard across the field in disgust.

It was slightly comical that he didn’t go and retrieve it and Force coach Tim Sampson will surely be tempted to bring back Jono Lance at five-eighth, even if McIntyre finished the game stronger.

Then when Kearney didn’t find touch off the back of a scrum penalty, it wasn’t a laughing matter; an elementary error from the most experienced player on the field.

At a time when the Force needed some pay for their hard work, they shot themselves in the foot on the way to a sixth straight defeat at home in Super Rugby AU.

Sport newsletter

Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox each day. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading

Thank you for checking out this story on Australian sport named “Rebels beat Force despite stadium light drama and another red card”. This news article was posted by My Local Pages as part of our local and national news services.

#Rebels #beat #Force #stadium #light #drama #red #card



Source link

A touch of light: iridescent treasure


By MIKE GILLAM

Photo © Mike Gillam

Like pollen starved bees, nature photographers are always looking for flowers, less for their obvious beauty and more for the activity they attract, especially from insects and birds.

Desert flowering events can transform the smallest patch of bush into a high energy buzz with myriad insects attending the nectar frenzy and taking the opportunity to mate.

The distracted pollen slaves – butterflies, beetles, bees, ants and flies – must survive ambush by camouflaged spiders while dodging insectivorous birds, wasps and lizards.

When the sun goes down, the nocturnal moths attracted to the nectar and pollen bounty must survive the cut and thrust of yet more avian predators and the gaping jaws of bats swooping out of the darkness.

Less obvious among these swirling insect aggregations, are the iridescent jewel beetles hiding inside the complex of folded petals. Flowers, curled leaves and open seed pods provide a humid, shady refuge from the desert heat and a hiding place from predators.

The photograph depicts a relatively small Centralian jewel beetle, a common favourite, cradled within the leaf of a desert rose. Nearby, several more were resting deep inside the collapsed and wilted flowers.

The Buprestidae family occurs world wide with approximately 1200 species recorded from Australia, doubtless many remaining undescribed. Known as jewel beetles or metallic wood boring beetles, most species are closely associated with various host plants, trees and shrubs and some are likely considered to be forestry pests.

(I previously featured a specialist of the Buprestidae, the astonishing but sombre coloured fire beetle which can detect smoke over great distances.)

Humans have admired the vivid jewel beetles for millennia and unfortunately for them, admiration has often turned to desire and decoration. Collecting was widespread in Thailand and India where large spectacular jewel beetles are relatively common.

Their iridescent elytra or wing covers are exceedingly beautiful, lightweight, durable and highly fade resistant, but rather than collect them I’ll never tire of peering into flowers, finding hidden treasure, taking photographs and leaving the elytra intact.

 

Recently in this series:

A touch of light: heavenly night scent

For the complete series of “A touch of light” go to the Features button on the home page menu bar.

Thank you for dropping by My Local Pages and checking out this news article about current NT news titled “A touch of light: iridescent treasure”. This post is shared by My Local Pages Australia as part of our Australian news services.

#touch #light #iridescent #treasure



Source link

‘Twelve thousand were detained, including 761 minors’. Internal FSB report sheds new light on the number of protesters and detentions at January’s pro-Navalny demonstrations 




There were far fewer people who went to the protests than people who voted for Putin in the elections — this was the Kremlin’s assessment of the pro-Navalny demonstrations that took place across Russia on January 23 and 31. Police officials also supported this statement, reporting less than 10,000 people on the streets of Moscow during the rallies. However, Meduza has uncovered that all this time, the FSB had been collecting its own statistics on the protests — and its findings are at odds with official statements. As evidenced by an internal report, the number of people detained amid the protests was even higher than estimates from human rights groups. And according to the FSB, a total of 90,000 people took part in the countrywide demonstrations. Now, the security service is seriously studying the protest potential of Russian citizens. Meduza special correspondent Liliya Yapparova breaks down the conclusions the FSB has reached so far.

Thank you for stopping by and seeing this news update on Russian National and Political news called “‘Twelve thousand were detained, including 761 minors’. Internal FSB report sheds new light on the number of protesters and detentions at January’s pro-Navalny demonstrations “. This article was posted by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our Australian news services.

#Twelve #thousand #detained #including #minors #Internal #FSB #report #sheds #light #number #protesters #detentions #Januarys #proNavalny #demonstrations



Source link

McArdle’s juveniles light up the track


HORSE RACING

JOHN McArdle brought up his second two-year-old Stakes winner over consecutive Saturday’s as La Rocque shot clear to comprehensively win the $160,000 Group Three TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

Ridden by Jamie Mott, La Rocque sat up on the speed before pulling away from her opposition in the final 100m to win by 1.5-lengths over the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Flying Evelyn. The victory kept the Kuroshio-sired filly’s unbeaten record intact having won twice from as many starts.

Her stablemate Tycoon Humma scored an impressive victory in the Listed Very Special Kids Plate (1000m) seven days earlier.

Despite her early brilliance, Mornington-based trainer John McArdle said there’s still plenty of improvement to come with La Rocuqe who is owned and bred by his wife Bernadette McArdle.

“[La Rocque] just doesn’t know what she’s doing yet. She’s a very green horse, she rolled around a bit today. She’s actually an even better horse ridden behind them,” John McArdle said post-race.

McArdle hinted at spelling La Rocque with her stablemate Tycoon Humma with the early three-year-old Spring races on the agenda. He said it was a tough call comparing the two fillies on ability.

“It’s a good problem to have. [La Rocque] has beaten her in a trial but in their work at home there’s not much between them,” he said.

Jockey Jamie Mott was thrilled to be heading into the Spring with two talented fillies on the up.

“I’ve always had a big opinion of this filly and she’s obviously been to the races twice now for two wins so she hasn’t put a foot wrong but she’s still got a few little things to iron out,” he said.

“I can’t wait until we get into a better race and there’s genuine speed and she can sit off them because most of her trackwork we do sit her off and she’s quite electric so when she gets a raceday scenario like that you’ll see the best of her. Obviously, we had the filly win last week so two really nice fillies going forward.”

First published in the Frankston Times – 9 March 2021

Thank you for dropping in and reading this news article on “Local Sport in The Frankston & Mornington Peninsula Region titled “McArdle’s juveniles light up the track”. This news release was brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local events, news and stories aggregator services.

#McArdles #juveniles #light #track



Source link