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Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Putin: Economic blockade of E. Ukraine a ‘big mistake’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 16, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Klimentiev)

                                Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Klimentiev

READ MORE: Ukraine scraps human rights treaty for rebel areas, cuts services, freezes banks

“I don’t understand why Kiev authorities are cutting off those territories with their own hands. Well one can understand – to save money. But it’s not the time or the case to save money on,” he said.

Putin compared Kiev’s debacle with the Donetsk and Lugansk regions to Russia’s own armed conflict in the Chechen Republic that erupted several times since the early 1990s and officially ended in April 2009. But even at the worst moments, Moscow did not stop paying pensions and other social benefits to the Chechen people, he said.

“At moments that appeared to be stupid, because the people who were in control there not only embezzled that money but also could use them for obviously less-than-noble goals. But we did it due to our moral obligations to the common people. And in the end it turned out to be the right decision, as Chechens appreciated what Russia did to support the common people,” Putin said.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference at the end of the G20 summit in Brisbane November 16, 2014. (Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference at the end of the G20 summit in Brisbane November 16, 2014. (Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev)

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Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 21, 2013

Idol series, one of several television shows that give formerly unknown persons an opportunity to become stars. The Idol series began in the United Kingdom and has since spread around the world – AustraliaSingaporeCanadaFranceGermanyIndia, the United StatesDenmarkNorwaythe NetherlandsFinlandSwedenSouth AfricaWest African countriesIndonesia, and many other countries. Japanese idol, a heavily promoted and merchandised singer or actor,a model that will later heavily influence the conception of “Idol” in Other Asian countries Pop Culture (Such as: Hong Kong,South KoreaTaiwanSingapore …).

Simon Cowell was given the role of judge on the first series of Pop Idol in the UK by then ITV Controller of Entertainment Claudia Rosencrantz in 2001, he was then judge on the first season of American Idol in 2002. With his notoriously critical reputation, Cowell is likened to TV personalities such as Judith Sheindlin and Anne Robinson. Cowell also appeared on the one-off World Idol programme in 2003, where it became clear that each country’s version of the Idol had attempted to come up with its own “Simon Cowell” type personality. In 2003, Cowell placed No 33 on Channel 4‘s list of the all-time 100 Worst Britons. Cowell’s S Records signed the top two finishers of the first season of Pop IdolWill Young and Gareth Gates, both of whom went on to have No 1 UK hits. Efforts begun in 2001 materialised in 2004, when Cowell returned to his group manufacturing roots with his latest brainchild, the internationally successful operatic pop group Il Divo, consisting of three opera singers and one pop singer of four different nationalities. Inspired by the success of Il Divo, Simon created a child version, Angelis, beating competition from many similar groups emerging at Christmas 2006.

On 11 January 2010, Cowell’s exit from American Idol was made official. The 2010 season was Cowell’s last on the show. It was also announced that FOX had acquired the rights to The X Factor USA, an American version of Cowell’s popular British show, The X Factor, which began in September 2011.

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Queensland Flood: Astronaut tweets flood photos from space

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 2, 2013

A Canadian astronaut has captured images of the Queensland floods from a unique angle.

Chris Hadfield took photos of the floods while passing over central Queensland in the International Space Station on Tuesday, sharing them with the world via Twitter. The 54-year-old space veteran has been aboard the ISS since December 19, and is part of a five-month mission to carry out scientific experiments. Commander Hadfield has been sharing his adventures daily on social networking sites.

Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield “Hello Australia! Last night I stayed up late to take a few photos of the flooding in the Northeast, which I’ll be posting soon.”
BundabergPHOTO: Here’s what Commander Hadfield tweeted…

Twitter @CMDR_HADFIELD You can see the floodwaters pouring straight through Bundaberg and into the ocean. Keep safe and dry down there!


Flooding at Gladstone as seen from spacePHOTO: Here’s what Commander Hadfield tweeted…

Twitter @CMDR_HADFIELD The flooding and flow into the Coral Sea at Gladstone, Australia – visible from the Space Station.

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Nepalese Participating in Pako Festa – the Biggest of its kind in Australia

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 24, 2013


pakologosmapNepalese Community is going to participate first time in Pako Festa that will held on 23rd of February, 2013. Different organizations from Melbourne and Ballarat will join the festival and Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement effort will to introduce Nepal as the birthplace of Buddha. In the festival Miss Nepal Australia, 2012 Deepashree Shah will perform Kumari dance.

Pako Festa, now in its  thirty-first year, is Geelong’s much loved, award-winning, free,  annual community arts festival – the biggest of its kind in Australia. Managed by Diversitat and held on the last weekend of February in Pakington Street, Geelong West, “the multicultural heart of Geelong”, it incorporates an extravagant street parade featuring around ninety floats and hundreds of performers representing forty-five affiliated ethnic communities and around sixty other community groups and organisations. The street is lined with stalls selling traditional foods and arts and crafts, and nine separate stages in the precinct offer performances of music and dance as well as interactive workshops and exhibitions. Pako Festa has become Victoria’s premier multicultural event, attended by well over 100,000 people in each of the last three years and estimated to inject close to $2.5 million dollars into the local economy just over the course of the day itself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Echidna Puggles Born At Perth Zoo Reportedly Mark Breeding Milestone (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 18, 2012


If you need a pick-me-up this week, these delightful echidna puggles may be able to lend a chubby hand.

According to Australia’s Herald Sun, a pair of baby short-beaked echidnas were born at Perth Zoo this August. The puggles’ arrival into the world reportedly marked a breeding milestone for the Australian zoo.

“These [baby Echidnas] represent the first successful breeding from zoo-born Echidnas and have shown that echidnas breed at a younger age than previously thought,” writes Read the rest of this entry »

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Australia prepping ‘contingency plan’ for Assange US extradition

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 19, 2012

Australian officials have confirmed that the country’s diplomatic mission in Washington has been prepareing for Julian Assange’s possible extradition to the US, but called it “contingency planning.”

The country’s authorities say there is nothing unusual in the move, as the must be ready for all eventualities.

“The embassy is doing its job, just to be in a position to advise the government if it believed that an extradition effort was imminent. There is no evidence of such an extradition effort,” Trade Minister Craig Emerson told ABC television.

The US could have sought Assange’s extradition from Britain rather than waiting for him to arrive in Sweden, but“obviously they haven’t done that,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Australian newspaper The Age reports that according to information obtained from diplomatic cables, the Washington mission is taking the possibility of extradition seriously. They also say the cables show that Australia has no objection to Assange’s potential extradition.

The newspaper also says that Assange continues to be the subject of Australian intelligence reports citing the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, confirming the existence of at least two intelligence reports concerning WikiLeaks and Assange from the Australian Embassy to the US in February and March this year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Australia to become energy superpower?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 20, 2012

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (R) with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing on April 26, 2011. Australia is making billions of dollars selling coal and iron ore to China and other Asian countries. UPI/Stephen Shaver

License photo

ADELAIDE, Australia, May 14 (UPI) — As worldwide energy demand grows, Australia is posed to be a leader in the energy revolution, said Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson.

Speaking Monday at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association conference in Adelaide, Ferguson pointed to a Deloitte report commissioned by the association that says Australia’s combined identified gas resources, excluding shale natural gas, are about 392 trillion cubic feet.

That’s about 184 years worth of gas at current production rates, the minister said.

Liquefied natural gas exports in 2010-11 totaled 20 million tons, for a value of $10.3 billion, he said, making Australia the third largest exporter in the Asia-Pacific region and the fourth largest in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Launched by Australian Visionary, U.S. Peace Index Hits Year Two

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 16, 2012

By Jim Luce

I first met Steve Killelea one year ago at the Harvard Club when the U.S. Peace Index (USPI) was launched. Last week, in the Japanese-themed Upper East Side home of Krishen and Geeta Mehta, I met him again — along with his lovely wife and daughter — far from his native Australia. Steve is a business-minded visionary who believes peace can be supported better if it is quantifiable. His life mission is to measure it.

united states peace 04.jpg.pngAustralian visionary Steve Killelea’s U.S. Peace Index is now in its second year. Photo: IEP.

Built upon its highly respected Global Peace Index, produced by the Australian NGO The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the U.S. Peace Index was launched last year as the first in a series of national peace indices that IEP has begun to release. The aim is to further understand the types of environments that are associated with peace and its economic impacts at a more specific regional level.

“We really only study conflict, not peace,” Steve told his captivated audience. This is why humanity needs to quantify peace so we can more readily achieve it.

2012-05-11-Global_Peace_Index_A.jpgThe Global Peace Index 2011 map shows that the U.S. has a “medium” state of peace. Image: GPI. Read the rest of this entry »

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Facebook Upshot: Facebook Postings by Laxmi Tamang

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 6, 2012

Laxmi Tamang is an optimistic human being having public health background with extensive experience working in different settings in Nepal and passion about improving maternal and newborn including sexual and reproductive health in Nepal. Currently, she is doing a doctorate at the University of Sydney and researching on the impact of the gender-based power in access to and utilization of sexual and reproductive health services among young people in Nepal. She is among few Nepalese utilizing Facebook for social change rather than posing photos or just to pass time there with unnecessary postings. Here given one of her important and informative postings for your information:

Laxmi Tamang

My facebook friend, Anne Digby, Midwife from Melbourne, Australia is on the way to Nepal (now she is in Hong Kong came to know via fb) to help us in strengthening our Aadharbhut Prasuti Sewa Birth Centre ( It is really amazing how generous and grateful foreign friends are who are helping others without their any vested interest and prejudice. She is so much concern to support Nepali pregnant mothers and nurse-midwives in in providing and promoting social model of maternity care in Nepal.  Read the rest of this entry »

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World’s Deadliest Wealthy Countries

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 5, 2012

By Howard Steven Friedman,  Statistician/Economist for International Organization, Columbia University

 Before diving into any detailed analysis of government data, I usually hear the voice of one of my professors telling his favorite statistics joke. It went something like this, “Statisticians are brilliant people. They can analyze raw data, develop complex models, draw causal inferences and make bold projections of the future. They do this fearlessly, without concern for the minor issue that the data itself came from the fellow down the hall who wrote down whatever he felt like so he could get paid.” Analyzing government data isn’t quite as bad as that joke, but statisticians do need to be concerned about the danger of “garbage in garbage-out” in any work that do.

So how do these concerns about data quality relate to identifying the world’s deadliest wealthy countries? It starts with the fact that the data for crime is notoriously fraught with quality issues. Criminologists use the phrase the “dark figure of crime” to describe the amount of crime that goes unreported or undetected. This “dark figure of crime” represents the gap between the true crime rate and the rate found in official reports.

Knowing that the “dark figure of crime” is so large, I decided to focus on homicide rates in this article. Why homicide? For starters, it is a critically important measure of crime since it is perhaps the most extreme of possible crimes, the taking of a life. More importantly, it is considered to be one of the more reliable crime statistics.

So which wealthy countries have the highest homicide rates? Of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the countries with the five highest homicide rates are, in order: Mexico (highest), Chile, Estonia, the United States and Turkey (fifth highest). Anyone looking at that list would likely call out the fact that these countries, while all being in the OECD, are not equally wealthy. In fact, the United States has a GDP per capita that is more than twice that of any of the other top four most deadly OECD countries. A simple scatterplot, where each data point represents a different country and the US is displayed prominently, gives a clearer picture of how America stands. The graph below shows that for the OECD countries, the US has one of the highest rates of GDP per capita (a rough, but commonly used metric of wealth). You will also quickly see that the US is a major outlier in the general observation that wealthier countries tend to have lower homicide rates. Read the rest of this entry »

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Australia Muslim Veil Law Requires Women To Remove Face-Covering Niqab In New South Wales

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 5, 2012

CANBERRA, Australia — Muslim women in Australia’s most populous state will have to remove veils to have their signatures officially witnessed under the latest laws giving New South Wales officials authority to look under religious face coverings.

New South Wales state Attorney General Greg Smith said in a statement Monday that beginning April 30, officials such as justices of the peace and lawyers who witness statutory declarations or affidavits without making identity checks will be fined 220 Australian dollars ($236).

“If a person is wearing a face covering, an authorized witness should politely and respectfully ask them to show their face,” Smith said.

The face coverings also include motorcycle helmets and masks.

The government on Monday began an information campaign to ensure the public and officials are aware of the new penalties before they come into force.

The laws are a response to a court case last year in which a Sydney woman was convicted of falsely claiming that a traffic policeman had attempted to remove her niqab – a veil that reveals only the eyes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Massive Pink Diamond Discovered In Australia, Worth Over $10 Million

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 23, 2012

A massive rough pink diamond has been unearthed in Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, CNN reports.

At 12.76 carats, the remarkable find is said to be the largest stone ever discovered in the country and is expected to sell for up to $10.6 million, according to the Herald Sun.

Named the Argyle Pink Jubilee, the gem is similar in color to the 24-carat Williamson Pink given to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding gift, explains the Telegraph. Read the rest of this entry »

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Channel 9 News: Julia Gillard & Tony Abbott escorted to safety by police

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 26, 2012

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Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister, Flees From Angry Protesters

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 26, 2012

CANBERRA, Australia — Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stumbled and was caught by a security guard as riot police helped her force a path through a crowd of rowdy protesters following a ceremony to mark Australia’s national day Thursday.

She appeared distressed as she was pulled away from the protesters but was unharmed. She later remarked that she was made of “pretty tough stuff” and commended police for their actions.

Some 200 supporters of indigenous rights had surrounded a Canberra restaurant and banged its windows while Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott were inside officiating at an award ceremony.

Around 50 police escorted the political leaders from a side door to a car. Gillard stumbled, losing a shoe. Her personal security guard wrapped his arms around her and supported her to the waiting car, shielding her from the angry crowd. Read the rest of this entry »

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Charges Against Australian For Mooning Queen Downgraded

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 17, 2012

BRISBANE, Australia — Australian police have downgraded charges against a man who mooned Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip as they drove past tens of thousands of well-wishers during a visit to the Australian east coast city of Brisbane.

Police told Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday that they have dropped a charge of willful exposure against 22-year-old Sydney barman Liam Lloyd Warriner for baring his buttocks to the 85-year-old British monarch and her 90-year-old husband in October. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

Defense attorney John-Paul Mould told Magistrate Brian Hine that Warriner will plead guilty to a lesser charge of creating a public nuisance and will appear for sentencing on Feb. 14. The charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail. Read the rest of this entry »

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