Apr 16, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

Australia

1116-Foot-Long Great White Shark Spotted Near Australian Beaches

A 16-foot-long great white shark dubbed “Joan of Shark” was spotted near Australia’s most popular beaches recently, detected by a satellite monitoring system that warned residents to stay clear of the water.

The shark is the largest to ever be tagged in Australia.

On Tuesday, a picture of the shark was released. Researchers had flipped the shark on its back, which induced a state of tonic immobility, or sleep. Researchers where then able to perform a small surgery to implant an acoustic tag inside the shark’s gut cavity.

The shark was rolled back onto its stomach and immediately swam away.

"The shark came almost instantaneously back to life so she was quickly released," Mark Kleeman of the Department of Fisheries said.

Authorities believe the shark, and others that have recently been spotted, were attracted close to the coast because of the carcass of a humpback whale that died of natural causes. The carcass was removed in order to prevent a feeding frenzy.

Sources: NY Daily News, Daily Mail


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11Black Salve Ointment Leaves Hole In Man's Head

An Australian man created an inch-wide hole in his head after he applied a black salve ointment that he thought would help treat his skin cancer.

After applying the ointment for four months, a small hole developed on the side of his head and he admitted himself to a local hospital. Doctors were shocked when he entered the ward.

Initially, doctors believed they would have to operate, but the man was sent home with orders to tend the wound. It healed after three months.

The man admitted that he had applied Black salve to his head, which is an alternative type of medicine derived from bloodroot and mixed with zinc chloride. The mixture generally has a corrosive effect and destroys skin tissue, leaving behind a black scar.

Black salves were popular in the early 1900s to treat skin lesions but have since been deemed a “fake cancer treatment” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The organization has attempted to ban the ointment since 2004.

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has warned that there is no scientific evidence that black salve can cure cancer. However, it is still secretly used in the country.

Sources: DailyMail, Courier Mail


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11UN Court Rules Against Japanese Whaling Hunt

Australia has prevailed over Japan in a case held in international court. The case called into question Japan's whaling practices in the Southern Ocean. 

The UN court ultimately ruled that Japan’s whaling hunt can not be considered a scientific program, despite the country's efforts to describe the practice as such. Peter Tomka, one of 16 judges serving on the panel for the case, which was heard by the International Court of Justice, elaborated on the court’s ruling.

“The court concludes that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not for purposes of scientific research,” Tomka said. 

According to SBS News, the vote by the judges passed 12 to four in favor of Australia. The country had requested that the court ban Japan’s annual whaling hunt, which had been operating based on a loophole in the 1986 International Whaling Commission that allowed for the animals to be killed for the purpose of collecting scientific data. The court claimed that the practice should cease "with immediate effect." 

The case is seen as a victory by environmental and animal activists that have long criticized Japan’s practice of hunting whales. Many claim that Japan used the guise of scientific research in order to carry out large-scale commercial killings of the animals.

According to Al-Jazeera, Japan has killed over 10,000 whales since 1988 as a part of the program, which it continued to defend despite the ruling.

 


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11Muslim Sex Offender Won't Be Convicted of Kidnapping As Judge Cites "Cultural Differences"

An Afghan refugee living in Australia had all charges against him dropped after a Geelong judge said that “cultural differences” made it difficult to find the registered sex offender guilty of attempted kidnapping.

Ali Jaffari, 35, faced a judge in Australian court on charges of child stealing, attempted child-stealing, and unlawful assault. The Muslim man stated during the proceedings that his attempt to kidnap a 4-year-old girl would have been acceptable in his native Afghanistan, so he wasn’t aware he was doing anything wrong. Jaffari was already found guilty of two separate indecent assault charges this past August, stemming from a November 2012 incident, and had to register as a sex offender.

This attempted kidnapping happened in January 2013 when Jaffari tried to steal a four-year-old girl at a park in front of her father and brother. According to reports, Jaffari approached the young girl, took a cricket bat out of her hand, and started to drag her away from where she was playing.

“He then grabbed the child’s hand and began to lead her away before she looked up, saw it wasn’t her father, started crying and pulled her hand away,” said Sergeant Brooke Shears. “The victim’s father turned, saw what was happening and yelled at Jaffari, “What do you think you’re doing? The victim ran crying to her father and he comforted her while Jaffari walked off around the oval.”

Shears said that despite Jaffari’s claims that cultural differences were the reason behind the attempted kidnapping, it’s clear that he knew exactly what he was doing.

“He took the child by the hand and led her four or five steps away from her father before the child realized [sic] and started crying,” said Shears.

The judge said that there was reasonable doubt in this case, and even though Jaffari is already a convicted sex offender, anyone would have a hard time proving that he was guilty.


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11Teacher Posts Facebook Rant About Dead Student

Just 24 hours after a student committed suicide, his former teacher took to Facebook to call the boy a “brat” and a “bully.”

“You were a moody, disrespectful little brat,” Australian teacher Simon Cox wrote of the 16-year-old student.

In the same post, Cox criticized the boy’s parents for making excuses about his  behavior and described the boy’s death as unimportant.

“Nothing special,” Cox wrote. “Now I’ve got to wash my hair.”

In response to the Facebook rant, the student’s uncle Peter Britten claimed the insults were unjustified. He described his nephew as a stay-at-home kind of kid and loved by all.

Dozens of parents who saw the post called for Cox to be fired.

According to the Northern Territory’s Education deputy chief executive Susan Bowden, Cox has turned in his resignation, which will be effective April 14.

In a statement, the Department of Education apologized for Cox’s behavior.

Sources: MSN, DailyMail


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11Animal-Tested Cosmetics To Be Banned in Australia Under Proposed Bill

On Monday, Senator Lee Rhiannon of the Greens announced she will introduce a bill to ban all animal-tested cosmetics in Australia, including those imported from countries that test on animals.  In June, a survey done by the Humane Research Australia showed that 81 per cent of Australians support such a ban in the country.

This follows closely the introduction of a bill by U.S. Senator Jim Moran this month which bans all cosmetic testing on animals in the United States.

Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek will speak separately about a proposed national plan for Australia to phase out the importation, manufacture, sale and advertising of cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients tested on animals.

Another goal is to have an impact on the Chinese government regarding the potential loss of importation  from mainland China, where animal testing  it is still mandatory for all cosmetics before being sold.

While no cosmetic companies actually test on animals in Australia now, many import ingredients from countries where animal testing is routine. This week, Ms Plibersek announced "To make sure we get this right, we will be working through all the issues carefully. Legislation must be drafted for best effect and we need to bring the community with us.”  She said she will be consulting with groups including Choose Cruelty-Free, the Humane Society International (HSI), Humane Research Australia, industry figures and scientists.

Sao Paolo, Brazil, introduced the first ban in Latin America on animal testing.  India followed them.  The European Union and Israel also have similar bans. Brazil’s ban covers both the finished products and ingredients. Additionally, Sao Paolo instituted a fine of $435,000 per animal for any institution or research center that refuses to comply with the law.

Read also: 'Humane Cosmetics Act' Would Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals in U.S.

Sources: SMH, ABC


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11Man Thrown Out Of Nightclub For ‘Reckless Dancing’ Spends the Night In Jail

A 20-year-old Australian man was thrown out of a nightclub in Alawa on Sunday for “reckless dancing” and later arrested for attacking a police van.

The unidentified man was intoxicated, kicking over signs and screaming as he left.

"He was intoxicated and apparently incensed that he was asked to leave a nightclub for reckless dancing," Duty Superintendent Louise Jorgensen told NTNews.

He even punched a police van.

"As a result, he kicked over signs and property in his path. When police caught up with him, he began yelling and, out of the blue, bashed his fist on the bonnet of the police van," she added.

He was then arrested for damage to property.

"Bad moves all round. Some people should not drink and dance," Jorgensen said.

Sources: New York Daily NewsNTNews


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11Dog Saved By 700ml of Vodka

An Australian Maltese terrier’s life was saved during the first weekend of March when veterinarians decided to give him large amounts of vodka.

Charlie, the dog in question, arrived at Animal Accident and Emergency in Melbourne with a case of Ethylene Glycol poisoning. The chemical, found in radiator and brake fluids, is sweet to the taste but fatal to the kidneys.

The only cure doctors could think of? Alter the chemical reaction with alcohol.

Charlie had a tube placed through his nose and into his stomach for about 48 hours as veterinarians pumped vodka into his system. Vodka was chosen because it was the easiest form of alcohol to find.

“He was definitely drunk,” Jacinta Rosewarne, Charlie’s owner, said. “I’d go to pat him and he’d push me away like a normal drunk person.”

It worked.

Charlie is now in good health. Oh, and he is reportedly one-week sober.

Sources: The Huffington Post, Metro


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1115-Year-Old Father Assaults Infant Son

A 15-year-old father (no, that’s not a typo) has been charged with assaulting his one-month-old son.

The alleged assault took place at Bunbury Regional Hospital in Australia. The infant was flown via helicopter to Princess Margaret Hospital following the attack. The child remains in critical condition.

The teenager’s lawyer requested his client’s trial be closed to the public due to the unusual nature of the story and the media attention it would likely receive. After all, it's not everyday that someone who is still legally a child assaults a child of his own.

Australian crime investigators are currently investigating the attack. It is not known as of right now what prompted the young man to assault his son. The child’s mother was not present during the attack.

Sources: ABC, WA Today


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11After 50 Cases In 10 Years, Mohammed Tabibar Rahman Banned From Court

Mohammad Tabibar Rahman, a science teacher and Bangladeshi immigrant, has been banned from taking anyone to court after 50 cases in 10 years.

Rahman’s ban was made official by Justice Michael Adams, who ruled he was a “vexatious litigant,” using the judicial system to “harass, annoy or achieve another wrongful purpose.”

As a vexatious litigant, Rahman cannot start legal proceedings without first gaining the court’s consent.

Being put on the vexatious litigant register is not stopping Rahman from making one more trip to court.

Rahman plans to fight to have his ban overturned, reports the Telegraph.

“This is a crime against humanity, I will take them to the International Criminal Court if I have to,” Rahman said. 

The first time Rahman filed a lawsuit was in 2001, when he failed an English exam and was denied teaching at NSW. He filed a complaint for racial bias with the Anti-Discrimination Board, and when it was rejected he began legal proceedings.

Since 2001, Rahman has taken legal action over social security payments, speeding tickets, a failed job interview with the Department of Immigration, and a suspension from studying law at the University of Technology. 

When he sued his own legal team over their bill he ended up paying more when he lost the case.

“He has persistently undertaken proceedings which were bound to be futile as they had no proper basis either in law and fact and, to bolster his cases, has resorted to allegations of corruption, bias and incompetence,” said Justice Adams.

Rahman blames his losses on a “corrupt” and “racist” judicial system.

His constant legal battles have had a huge financial impact.

It is estimated that Rahman’s legal battles have cost between $500,000 and $1 million. His two homes, valued at about $980,000, are now at risk and his bank account has had $57,000 removed.

“Taxpayers cannot be expected to foot the bill for the private and never-ending court battles of malicious, vindictive, unreasonable individuals,’’ Attorney General Greg Smith said.

But Rahman still believes he has made the right decisions.

“I am not wrong, they are doing the wrong thing, they are not following the right procedure,” Rahman said.

Victorian Psychiatrist Grant Lester said about 50% of vexatious litigants demonstrate the behavioral disorder querulousness.

“Those who use the courts extensively will often appear as unrepresented litigants, sometimes because they have exhausted their funds or the patience of lawyers,” Lester wrote in a research paper co-authored with psychiatrist Paul Mullen.

Rahman denies he has an obsession with litigating people, or that it is a problem.

“Do you think this is obsessive? Is it not my legal right?” Rahman said.


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