“By having this level of detail, we can look at where the gas may be coming into the Milky Way – we’re sort of searching out the food sources,” Professor McClure Griffiths told Mashable.
The Gold Coast attraction was closed as police began investigations in to what caused the tragedy.
It is understood the four victims were all adults, two men and two women in their 30s and 40s. There are some reports that all four were from the same family.
The horrific accident occured at about 2:20pm local time on one of the amusement park’s mainstay rides, Thunder River Rapids (Dreamworld promotional picture of the ride, above).
It is understood that the conveyor belt which carries the 6-seated passenger pontoons at the beginning and end of the ride malfunctioned, flipping the pontoon carrying the victims.
“One of the rides had sustained some sort of malfunction causing two people to be ejected from the ride,” Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Gavin Fuller said, according to 9News.com.au.
“Another two people were caught inside the ride,” he added.
Dreamworld CEO Craig Davidson confirmed the four fatalities from the shocking incident and expressed condolences for the families of the victims.
“Dreamworld confirms that at approximately 2:20pm today, an incident occurred on the Thunder River Rapids Ride that resulted in the tragic deaths of four people,” he said.
“At this stage the park is closed and Dreamworld is working closely with police and emergency services and authorities to establish the facts around the incident.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by this and our hearts and our thoughts go to the families involved and to their loved ones.”
Lia Capes, who was waiting to go on the ride, described to the ABC what she witnessed immediately following the accident.
“We saw [a] little girl and we believe it was her mum because it was just her and her little sister that was an infant,” she said.
“I was speaking to one of the guys and he said it was the raft or the boat thing in front of him, the whole thing flipped and everyone was screaming.”
Dreamworld is an icon of the Australian tourism industry. Many families will have memories of visiting the Queensland amusement park and enjoying the Thunder River Rapids ride, making the accident all the more shocking to the community.
Condolences came from as high up as Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
“I’m very saddened to learn of the tragic accident at Dreamworld earlier today,” he said.
“Theme parks are a place for family fun and happiness, not tragedy. This is a very, very, sad, tragic event.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives.
“This is a very sad day, and we trust there will be a thorough investigation into the causes of this accident over the days to follow.”
If the emails are genuine – the Democratic Party has been obscure as to their authenticity without flatly denying so – they suggest Rudd was seeking council from the US political powerbroker around the same time as his bid for the position of United Nations general secretary, to succeed Ban Ki-Moon.
“I’m in DC tomorrow if by any chance you are there for a quick catch up,” Rudd apparently wrote to Podesta on 14 December 2015,
“Alternatively in NYC (New York City) Wednesday or Thursday,” it continued.
“I would appreciate a short chat before Christmas.
The communication, if genuine, came just nine days prior to the former prime minister’s meeting with current prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss support for his bid for the top job at the UN, which ultimately failed.
According to WikiLeaks, Rudd’s senior executive associate at the Asia Society Policy Institute, Sarah Marten, then emailed Podesta on 26 February 2016 to request a meeting.
“Mr Rudd will be in DC next week and was hoping to find some time to meet with you,” she reportedly wrote.
According to AAP, the WikiLeaks emails contain no reply to either outreach.
The WikiLeaks email dump is part of an ongoing campaign by the group headed by Australian Julian Assange of releasing hacked communications between senior Democratic party members, in an apparent attempt to disrupt the US presidential election.
Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State when WikiLeaks’ most famous releases occured. It is said that the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has a personal vendetta against her and is at war with the now presidential candidate.
According to US authorities, the emails were obtained by Russian hackers with the implication that the Russian government is directly responsible for the hacks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has sought to cast her presidential rival Donald Trump as a “puppet” of Russian president Vladimir Putin as a result of the Republican candidate being the apparent benificiary of the controversial leaks.
Following the leaks, the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been holed up for several years avoiding extradition to Sweden, cut off his access to the Internet saying they did not condone his meddling in foreign elections.]]>
I have actively worked on my relationship with us, a relationship which soured, somewhat, throughout my travels and as a result of my dislike of Sydney’s sizeable ego, and postcode obsession. The latter is, admittedly, an irrelevant personal gripe I won’t assault you all with. What matters is I really tried to rekindle our flame, going out of my way to concentrate on the things I love about us, the things I like seeing the rest of the world associate with us as people. The truth is, I really wouldn’t want to dislike us … but all too often I found myself snarling ‘bloody Australians’ in, it’s quite possible, a similar accent to the one I was snarling at.
For me, and I feel I may speak for a significant amount of people, encountering Australians overseas often resulted in mixed emotions. Encountering one once in the German city in which I regularly resided brought pangs of nostalgia; tears even, in the case of a woman who reminded me of my mother. This nostalgic pang was because, in Muenster, there aren’t many Australians. Coming across the handful that there are, was a comfort – I practically delighted in the accent.
But in my time living on the Greek island of Santorini, Australians abounded. Daily, ferries pulled into the port and disgorged seemingly thousands, clad in those annoying Thailand backpacker singlets, mid-way through their obligatory European jaunts. Planes landed and turfed out the living-in-London throng, who were either in desperate need of sunshine or were meeting their European-jaunt mates for a week of beer bongs and general offensiveness. And so, crossing paths with an Australian in Santorini (aka opening my front door) tended to result in a pang, nay a wave, of irritation.
The souring of my relationship with my people when abroad all started, I think, when I was in the Louvre a few years earlier. I had wandered off from a half hour spent admiring Venus de Milo when, penetrating the general hush that presides over art galleries, came the nasal twang of an Australian. He had suspended himself in some bizarre twist (a pose, to his credit, he maintained for quite some time) by a window, so he was appropriately bathed in light, and called out to his friends, ‘Look, I’m Simon de Milo!’ Not particularly funny, not particularly clever but highly visible and inappropriately loud. A sentiment, I am mortified to consider, that may just sum up Australian travellers in general.
There was a time, and it lasted quite a while, when being an Australian traveller held a magical appeal. Australians hail from a land far, far away and this lent us a certain charm; a mystique, if you will. People loved us. What wasn’t to love? We were funny and easy going, as if the sunshine we are constantly beneath ran through our very veins. AND, we have kangaroos (gets them every time). I suspect we got a touch too comfortable being so loved. We began to gad about with the assumption that we would automatically be loved by virtue of our passport; an assumption that continues to underlie our travels.
The thing is, we are friendly. We will, for the most part, talk to anyone about anything, whether or not we’ve ever seen them before or will ever see them again. And we are – as the stereotype goes – largely easy going. We’re generally very pleasant to deal with and don’t make a big fuss if something doesn’t work properly or is late or mildly inconvenient. I always much prefer explaining a deficiency in accommodation or cuisine to an Aussie than I do to a Pom, for example. Poms will whinge or attempt a pithy quip, whereas Australians will generally take the no worries route. This is what makes us really rather affable people.
But, for some reason, when we’re let loose on a European destination, we become this caricature of ourselves. Our accent rankles. We’re loud. We say really stupid things. We can be seriously heinous drunks (although, to be fair, that blanket covers Poms and Americans). Watching troupes of Australians storm Santorini (just go to Queensland guys, relive Schoolies) set my teeth on edge, listening to flocks of girls bang on about trivialities sent shivers down my spine.
I was listening to just such a couple of Aussie girls once. Having taken over a generous part of the hotel pool with their diet coke cans and vacuous eyes, they spent a good while earnestly discussing Mark’s recent romantic choices as displayed on Facebook whilst plaiting each other’s hair and stroking each other’s feet (no I am not making this up). I was watching, narrow eyed, from my perch at the bar, when an Australian guy strolled in and executed a terrific bomb, as a way of entrance into the water. The girls immediately adopted the customary ‘um, excuse me’ pose and were forced to hold it until it became apparent he wasn‘t going to apologise. In fact, I don’t think he even noticed. He just paddled to the side, hauled himself out and ordered a beer.
Not going to lie … he restored a fair bit of faith.
Liv is an Aussie writer who is now back living in Germany again. Check out more of Liv’s musings at LivHambrett.com and follow her at Twitter.com/livwrites
Fair questions to ask. Imagine you are on a tall mountain and it has been snowing heavily. You see the swollen snowbank. You do not know when it will burst. You cannot know which snowflake will set it off. But you do know that eventually it will scream down the mountain, wreaking havoc.
Even leading economic commentators sometimes hesitate to call it, when the situation is so bad. There is always the risk of setting off a panic. Appearances are everything and volatile currencies, simultaneous property and stock market bubbles, all with people exploiting historically low interest rates with their historically high debt levels, make for a dangerous recipe indeed.
The governments and central banks responsible for the policies which caused these conditions have a fatal conceit. They have failed to heed the lessons of structural causes from the 2008 crash. Central banks meddling with interest rates have distorted our economy, causing huge misallocations of investment by stoking ‘the business cycle’ of boom and bust. This is compounded by governments’ ‘moral hazard’ cultivating policies of corporate welfare, insuring private banks to gamble wildly, which has led us to this situation, again.
Our governments are in denial and have simply doubled down on the very policies which have led us to this danger. For example: the bad banks of 2008 are still with us, they are now bigger, with even worse percentages of banking assets and derivatives. Everything that was bad in 2008 is worse in 2016.
To re-inflate property and stock market bubbles (to keep the party going), means government central banks have had to print money and suppress interest rates. This long running sham, since 2009, has distorted our economies to become addicted to cheap money and to debt. It has also destroyed incentives for workers to save. Thrift has been made a sin. A culture of short-termism, borrowing, spending and risky investment rules.
Cheap money is borrowed to flood the housing market, which combined with help-to-buy schemes and daft planning laws choking supply, has forced up property prices. The enormous property bubble has been re-inflated, again. The result can only be a terrible pop!
Also see: Latest dollar and pound exchange rates
Similar is true in the stock market. Cheap money is chasing yield and so flocks to stocks, driving up share prices, even if the economics of a company do not merit its share price.
As for the pound sterling, the purchasing power of this continually debased currency was already falling before Brexit. The uncertainty of looming Brexit negotiations has contributed to the pound’s fall against foreign currencies misperceived as being more stable. Sending money to Australia or traveling on the pound is increasingly expensive. It buys less and less.
Also read: Brexit four months on: UK is single and looking good
With soaring household and government debt, overleveraged banks, our cheap credit fuelled party cannot last forever. We will have to sober up. For an economy being so drunk on cheap money for so long, its hangover will be biblical. People, businesses, and governments can barely afford today’s absurdly low interest rates. Memories are short and people can scarcely remember base rates of 7%, 10% or 17%! When interest rates return to normality anyone overly exposed and unable to repay will be ‘up the creek.’ That will be a lot of people, businesses and governments.
Take your pick. The world economy is fragile; a house of cards. It could be a bank failure, a non-delivery of physical gold, another Chinese credit crunch, a geopolitical crisis; Russia, USA and the EU squabbling over a stray jet, for example. The possibilities are endless and the crunch catalyst may appear where it is least expected. These are known as a black swan events: impossible to predict yet have catastrophic ramifications.
In short, take control of yourself. Invest prudently, including in yourself. Seek historically sound investments for troubled times and become economically literate.
Historically, gold and silver will protect you in an economic crisis. Allocating a portion of your savings to physical precious metals is wise. Anyone can do this. Preferably store it in a foreign jurisdiction in a vault, outside the banking system. Governments like to tax and declare bank holidays during economic crisis (ask Europeans).
Gold or silver coins enjoy intrinsic value. Their purchasing power can soar during economic strife and they belong solely to you. You can buy silver coins for as little as £15. Allocating some of your savings to purchasing regularly, say, every couple of months will see you amass a nice discreet foreign investment portfolio of precious metals.
Of the foreign jurisdictions most attractive to invest in, one cannot surpass Singapore: a beacon of economic freedom and privacy. To this end, I spoke with Singapore based Gregor Gregersen Founder and CEO and Vergel Villasoto Director of Silver Bullion Singapore Pte Ltd: a bullion retailer and private storage vault. Gregor explained their customers increasingly include:
“Americans, British and Australians looking to take advantage of Singapore’s political stability, impressive privacy laws, low tax, safe foreign jurisdiction for those who seek to discreetly store some of their wealth outside their banking system.”
Silver Bullion’s growth is symptomatic of the distorted economic world we live in. People are increasingly catching on that the world’s debt addicted economies are unsustainable, swamped with risk and overdue for a major correction. The safest store of wealth is where it always has been during unstable times: physical gold and silver. Once enough people come to this epiphany, once enough confidence in the current charade evaporates, their game will be up. When that happens you will be thankful for your precious metal portfolio.
Investing in yourself is wise and becoming economically literate is not as hard as some might imagine. An easy introduction to economics is Henry Hazlitt’s ‘Economics in One Lesson,’ an enjoyable read which will enable you to understand and see through the smoke and mirrors in the media. A slightly more advanced book is Jim Rickard’s ‘The Death of Money.’ Both are acclaimed authors who will stand you in good stead.
We do face troubled times. The snowline is bulging, swollen by years of money printing and low interest rates fuelling huge credit binges. The avalanche is inevitable. Fortunately, there is still time to get your house in order and position yourself to prosper. Use it.
Andrew Kollington is an Australian born London based investor and contract attorney. He is a self-described “politics economics and history addict, and Formula One tragic.” Andrew is also a panelist at the London Debating Society.
Beauty or beast? Arachnophobe viewer discretion is advised, that’s for sure!
‘Hermie the Huntsman’ as it’s so affectionately been named, has become a global celebrity after being caught on camera by Jason Womal from Queensland, strutting his eight-legged stuff with a gob-full of rodent.
“So I am just about to leave for work about 0030 and me neighbour says ‘You want to see something cool’ and I say ‘Hell yeah’,” Womal wrote on his Facebook page.
“So we proceed to his place and he shows me this. Huntsman trying to eat a mouse.”
The freakishly hungry Hermie has become an overnight sensation, featuring on news sites across the world.
That’s right folks, we told you the spiders were big Down Under.
*With Ezra Claymore]]>
Transferring money overseas is something Aussie expats are very familiar with. The experience can often be slow, stressful and a bit of a money-sucker.
That’s why Australian Times has teamed up with OFX to provide our readers with a money-saving alternative to international bank transfers. OFX.com is great for comparing the Australian dollar with the British pound, Euro, US dollar and many other major international currencies worldwide.
Use the OFX Currency Converter here (on the right) to view live exchange rates.
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Register by clicking the button above and get the latest foreign exchange market commentary from OFX here.
The morning rush northbound on the Northern Line is certainly an experience you only need to go through once before you realise you don’t want to do it again. The pushing, elbowing and shoving to get on the bloody thing is enough to put anyone off. If you are lucky enough to actually squeeze onto the already overflowing carriage, ducking your head for fear of being decapitated by the closing doors, you then find yourself crammed under someone’s armpit, between someone’s soft man boobs and a lumpy backpack with someone else’s hair in your mouth. That’s ok, since you don’t talk on the Tube anyway and there is no need to hold on — you are not going anywhere fast.
Then there is the awkward elbowing and shuffling at each stop for people getting on and off. You know you are not doing it right if you are not touching someone else.
On the very rare occasion (like when you go to work an hour early) you get lucky and there is enough space for you to stand peacefully and read the morning news with one hand while clutching the germ ridden poles with your free hand.
Don’t get me wrong; while it is not particularly enjoyable, it is all part of the ‘living in London experience’. The only thing you can do is take advantage of it. Hence, ‘Tube people watching’.
Tube people watching can be a relaxing and enjoyable way to pass the time if you have no free hands to read your morning paper. It can be informative, inspiring, and a healthy alternative to Facebook stalking or other addictive social media that seem to be hindering the world’s ability to be social without electronics.
The London Underground offers what some afficionados might say is one of the world’s, if not THE world’s, finest people watching opportunities. On the Tube you can find a variety of people from all walks of life. Each Underground line and each stop offer a smorgasbord of entertainment and questions yet to be answered.
Why is that man wearing glasses with no lenses? Are you allowed to bring a dog that big on the train? Will that woman finish her Sudoku before she gets to her stop? Is that a girl or a guy dressed up like a giant hotdog? Will the young guy ask for the number of the girl he has been making eyes at since Bank? Where are the couple in the ball gown and white bow tie going? Can I go with them? Where can I get a satchel like the one that woman has? Is that guy with the guitar in a band? Maybe he’s famous?
There are people from different parts of the world, people from different socio-economic backgrounds, people wearing expensive suits, people reading the latest romance novels and homeless people wearing newspapers. The most difficult part about being a people watcher, especially on the Underground, is not to be caught daydreaming like a moron.
So the next time you find yourself crammed on the Northern Line during rush hour, look out for girls like me… a fresh faced Aussie with a hint of a smile, moronically gawking in wonder at the masses as they migrate through London.
Check out more of Jacqui’s observations on her personal blog, NeverEndingHoneymoon.net]]>
English weather is, of course, notoriously bad; the gloomy skies, endless winter and incessant rain is certainly a far cry from the beautiful sun kissed shores of our homeland. But we knew what we were in for before we signed on, so let’s not linger on how miserable it can be.
What surprised me most when I first arrived in Blighty is that the infamous English rain is actually really pissy. Equipped with wellies and a heavy duty raincoat I’d been prepared for utter downpours, but that’s just not the case. What you get instead is that dull sprinkling, so thin you can hardly see it, but persistent enough to soak you through if you dare stay out for any measurable period of time.
So then we come to the recurring problem: how to stay dry? Unfortunately taking to the streets every day in your bright yellow poncho and knee-high galoshes is too embarrassing an option to consider, so we fall back on the good old fashioned brolly – friend of the Englishmen for aeons.
But umbrellas are a cumbersome day-to-day addition to your handbag, not to mention an extra thing to remember to keep on your person. Those umbrella buckets at the entrance of shops and restaurants are nothing short of death traps. They may as well be labelled “umbrella donations” for the amount left there on overcast days.
Umbrellas also make it incredibly difficult to navigate your way through a high street full of raised brollies that batter you from every angle as you politely try to make your way through the crowd.
Even though we do traditionally imagine the portrait of an English gentleman wielding a 48-inch, neatly gathered navy brolly, it doesn’t accurately depict the reality on the streets. The average Joe doesn’t bother with a weighty umbrella, their way is to just get wet. As soon as the heavens open, they pull a hood over their heads and soldier on. Unless it’s truly bucketing, London locals leave their brollies at home.
TOP IMAGE: Via LondonSLR / Flickr.com]]>
The increadible imagry is the result of 10 years hard labour by some of the brightest stars of Australian and German astronomy.
The amazing galactic photo, named HI4PI, was compiled by mapping the hydrogen of our cosmic neighbourhood over 10 years.
Data was combined from observations made by powerful cameras using telescopes on opposite ends of the earth; one in Effelsberg in Germany and the other in Parkes, Australia.
The resulting ‘map’ of the galaxy is similar to a two-dimensional map of Earth.
The team who created it say they hope, among other things, it will help in understanding from where and how the Milky Way gets the extra gases needed to help form new stars.
Please save your excuse
Whether profuse or obtuse
Let's all begin tweeting
(RT'ing the best!) pic.twitter.com/iPQA5kSD9U
— HuffPost Comedy (@HuffPostComedy) October 13, 2016
What followed was a whole lot of mischievous whos who wanted to play, mischieviously tweeting and rhyming away…
You cannot touch me here or there
You cannot touch me anywhere!
I do not like your tiny hands
I do not like them orange man!
— April Del Rario (@AprilDelRario) October 13, 2016
Do not grope me in a car.
Do not grope me at a bar.
Do not grope, you understand?
Do not grope me, orange man!#TrumpDrSeuss
— Emmanuel Lopez (@FakeEmmanuel) October 13, 2016
And will you succeed?
Yes you will indeed!
Zero taxes. 18 years.
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) October 13, 2016
I do not like him
in my blouse.
I do not like him
in the House.
I do not like this vain man.
I do not like him, Sane-I-am.#TrumpDrSeuss
— Vicky Rateau (@VRateau) October 14, 2016
Trumps hair is like a wave
Or stunt ramp for Super Dave
Look like that you must be brave
DrSeuss is turning over in his grave#TrumpDrSeuss
— Brain Storm (@GetTwitMe) October 14, 2016
Horton Hears an Old Orange Bigot That Won't Stop Talking #TrumpDrSeuss
— Johnny Taylor, Jr. (@hipsterocracy) October 13, 2016
One fish, Two fish
I find it interesting that she gets more fish than me Anderson. Unfair! #TrumpDrSeuss
— Allowed Fool (@AllowedFool) October 13, 2016
"I am the Lorax
I speak for the trees"
"Climate change is a hoax
Made up by the Chinese"
— Podcaster Tim in NYC (@TJBeauregard) October 13, 2016
#TrumpDrSeuss I have no problem with My Thing 1 and Thing 2 Believe Me pic.twitter.com/86dpfZlwK1
— Ryanosferatu (@ryanztweetz) October 13, 2016
Grab them by the Seussy #TrumpDrSeuss
— lancegould (@lancegould) October 13, 2016
The Cat as his Hat #TrumpDrSeuss pic.twitter.com/BkoGneakq0
— lena (@darleneturner53) October 13, 2016
Horton Heard a WRONG. WRONG. WRONG! #TrumpDrSeuss @HuffPostComedy
— View from my Office (@viewfrommyoffic) October 13, 2016
I am the Deplorax. I speak for the sleaze. #TrumpDrSeuss
— Nasty OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) October 13, 2016
I hate the Latinos!
And I hate the Blacks!
But mostly, I hate women
who try to fight back.
— JH (@JBHinOC) October 13, 2016
“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I hate women & immigrants one-hundred percent!” #TrumpDrSeuss @HuffPostComedy
— Faith Choyce (@faithchoyce) October 13, 2016
Hop on Pop, Ivanka #TrumpDrSeuss
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) October 13, 2016
Grab a woman on a train
Grab a woman on a plane
Just barge on in, no need to knock!
It's not assault, just locker room talk! #TrumpDrSeuss
— The Notorious L-I-Z (@LizzyRichards24) October 13, 2016
How the Trump stole Your Neighbor's Goddamn Minds #TrumpDrSeuss pic.twitter.com/Wz00ZY2G8R
— Spencer Meade (@comeadey) October 13, 2016
Call me the Grinch. Just look what I've got!
I never pay taxes. And my daughter is hot! #TrumpDrSeuss @HuffPostComedy
— Laurie Crosswell ???? (@lauriecrosswell) October 13, 2016
"Whoville isn't sending their best. They bring floofloovers and tartookas. They’re Grinches. Some, I assume, are good Whos." #TrumpDrSeuss
— Ben Hooper (@BenHooperWrites) October 13, 2016