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Australia/New Zealand (News/Activism)

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  • Defence chooses to repair rather than replace grounded helicopters (Australia)

    10/17/2017 3:56:51 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 8 replies
    The Australian ^ | October 16, 2017 | RORY CALLINAN
    Defence looks set to plough hundreds of millions of dollars into sustaining and upgrading one of its most trouble-prone helicopter models despite the aircraft being grounded over potential safety issues and never seeing a war zone. The attack and reconnaissance Tiger helicopters, which cost about $1.5 billion and more than $800 million to sustain, are supposed to continue to operate into the 2020s. And to maintain operations to 2020, the aircraft needs a mid-life upgrade worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Due to the helicopter’s ongoing problems, such as running seven years late in reaching final operating capability, Defence was...
  • AirAsia flight to Bali makes emergency Perth landing after plunging 20,000 feet

    10/16/2017 6:37:49 PM PDT · by sparklite2 · 28 replies
    7 News ^ | October 15th, 2017 | Yahoo7
    The mid-air emergency happened an hour out of Perth on Sunday afternoon when its cabin pressure plummeted. Malcolm and Janet Canning said it wasn't just passengers that were scared but airline staff too as the flight plummeted from 32,000 feet to just 10,000. "The panic was escalated because of the behaviour of staff who were screaming and looked tearful," passenger Clare Askew said.
  • Plan to buy used fighter jets from Australia far from straightforward, experts say (Canada)

    10/16/2017 7:00:35 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 7 replies
    CBC News ^ | Oct 16, 2017 | Murray Brewster
    Canada's plan to shop for used Australian fighter jets rather than buy new Boeing Super Hornets may backfire, according to defence experts, because the U.S. government will ultimately have a say on whether a deal proceeds. Even though the FA-18 Hornets are nearly three decades old, require regular corrosion maintenance and are nearing obsolescence, their proposed resale would still require Washington's approval because they are advanced warplanes, originally manufactured in the U.S., a former Royal Australian Air Force officer told CBC News. "I imagine all of it is going for a fair bargain price," said Peter Layton, a fellow at...
  • ‘Huntress’ in a hijab: Muslim shooter reveals secrets of the bush

    10/15/2017 3:09:51 AM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 20 replies ^ | 15th October 2017 | Emma Reynolds
    THE hunter stalks through the bush in full camouflage gear and combat boots, binoculars in hand, tracking that afternoon’s prey. When the deer is in sight, the hunter waits patiently for the perfect moment to strike, aiming a rifle with skill and firing one, clean shot, straight to the heart. A manicured hand with dark red nails reaches up to adjust the hunter’s hijab, her carefully made-up face relaxes and she whispers an Arabic prayer. Then, Kadeja Assaad sets off to skin and butcher her kill and take it home for her children’s dinner. This is a regular adventure for...
  • It's Official, Canada Pens Formal Letter Of Interest For Surplus Aussie F/A-18 Hornets

    10/14/2017 4:40:46 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 7 replies
    The Drive ^ | OCTOBER 13, 2017 | TYLER ROGOWAY
    One of the strangest sagas in defense procurement over the last decade has been Canada's meandering road to a new fighter aircraft to replace, or even augment, the country's relatively small fleet of aging CF-18 Hornets. We have talked in great depth about this issue, and although the Super Hornet is clearly the right jet for Canada, a recent trade spat has made it politically unsavory for the Trudeau Administration to order even a handful of the strike fighters as a interim measure before selecting a fighter to replace the entire CF-18 fleet sometime in the future. In the meantime,...
  • A mysterious hole larger than the Netherlands has opened in the middle of Antarctic ice

    10/12/2017 11:31:02 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 112 replies ^ | 12 October 2017 | Staff
    A hole the size of Maine—or larger than the Netherlands, depending on which geographic mass means more to you—has opened up in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica. In an otherwise thick layer of sea ice, still frozen from the Antarctic winter, the hole is an aberration. Ice scientists aren’t sure what’s going on, but they’re all talking about it. “It looks like you just punched a hole in the ice,” atmospheric physicist Kent Moore, of the University of Toronto, told Vice’s Motherboard. Autonomous float deployed in 2015 has resurfaced unexpectedly inside polynya & started transmitting data @NSF —...
  • Australian government: Constitution can't be taken literally [dual citizens elected]

    10/09/2017 11:47:59 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 10, 2017 12:33 AM EDT | Rod McGuirk
    A government lawyer told Australia’s High Court on Tuesday that it could not take a constitutional ban on dual citizens being elected to Parliament literally when deciding the fates of seven lawmakers. Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue told the High Court judges that five of the lawmakers, including three government ministers, should not be disqualified from Parliament for breaching the constitution because they did not voluntarily acquire or retain citizenship of another country. The hearing began on Tuesday and is expected to take three days. Under Section 44 (i) of the 116-year-old constitution, “a subject or citizen of a foreign power” is...
  • Two men sentenced to life in prison for aggravated sexual abuse in child porn case

    10/09/2017 9:16:23 AM PDT · by Perseverando · 27 replies
    Richmond Times-Dispatch ^ | September 15, 2017 | Frank Green
    Benjamin Faulkner, 26, and Patrick Falte, 27. Two men who sexually abused a child and uploaded photographs to their child pornography website were each sentenced Friday to life in prison. Benjamin Faulkner, 26, and Patrick Falte, 27, pleaded guilty in federal court in Richmond earlier this year to the aggravated sexual abuse of a minor. They were taken into custody after Faulkner, of Canada, and Falte, whose address is unavailable but is from out of state, traveled to an undisclosed address in Hanover County — which had no apparent connection to the offenses — and then to Northern Virginia...
  • VG exposed the largest child sexual abuse forum. It was run by the police.

    10/09/2017 9:02:32 AM PDT · by Perseverando · 15 replies
    VG ^ | January 24, 2017 | Håkon F. Høydal, Einar Otto Stangvik and Natalie Remøe Hansen
    Both men stiffen as VG confronts them. – Go ahead and publish what you know about us now, if you think it’s true, but be prepared for the consequences, says Jon. Next to him in a Brisbane hamburger pub sits Paul. VG has just told them what we’ve uncovered: that they run the world’s largest online forum for child sexual exploitation, “Childs Play”. Jon, the Australian, turns pale. Paul, who is British, flushes crimson. It is January 2017. At this point the two have been running the Childs Play website for three months. Under their supervision, thousands of members have...
  • Las Vegas shooting: Queensland eyewitness to Mandalay attack [in next room 32140]

    10/07/2017 4:45:55 AM PDT · by Meet the New Boss · 48 replies
    The Courier Mail ^ | 2 Oct 2017 | Sally Rawsthorne, Torny Miller, Jack McKay
    snip Another Australian man staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort has spoken about his close call with the Las Vegas gunman - claiming he launched his murderous attack from the room next door. Australian Brian Hodge, who previously worked at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast, claimed he was staying in the room next to the shooter on level 32 at the Las Vegas resort. He said he managed to escape the initial horrific scenes inside the hotel but found himself forced to hide in a bush for several hours after the event. “I got outside safely and was hiding...
  • Australian Gun Culture 27: Tail End Gun Amnesty, 2017

    10/06/2017 7:42:00 AM PDT · by marktwain · 2 replies
    Ammoland ^ | 29 Septrember, 2017 | Dean Weingarten
    I arrived in Australian on 1 July, 2017, the first day of the gun amnesty in Australia. I will be returning to the United States on 26 September at the tail end of the three month amnesty.This amnesty is completely different from the mandatory confiscation/turn-in that happened in 1996. In 1996 people were paid to turn in firearms. Some types of guns were effectively outlawed for nearly everyone. Perhaps the strictest firearms regulatory scheme in Western Civilization was implemented on the wave of emotion promoted by the media and John Howard.In 2017, some sanity is returning to firearms regulation...
  • Australia gun amnesty collects 51,000 illegal weapons

    10/06/2017 7:02:46 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 26 replies
    Sky News ^ | October 6, 2017 | By Bethany Minelle
    A three-month amnesty in Australia has seen more than 51,000 banned guns surrendered to authorities. A homemade machine gun, a rocket launcher and a mini-pistol were among the weapons handed in. They will now all be destroyed. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that maintaining strict gun laws is key to preventing a Las Vegas-style mass shooting in the country. "We've seen the shocking tragedy in Las Vegas," he said. "This killer there had a collection of semi-automatic weapons, which a person in his position would simply not be able to acquire in Australia." Semi-automatic rifles and guns were...
  • Pacific 2017: Light Typhoon hits Sydney (Israeli naval gun)

    10/04/2017 9:49:44 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 2 replies
    SHEPHARD ^ | 4th October 2017 | Gordon Arthur
    Israeli firm Rafael took the opportunity afforded by the Pacific International Maritime Exposition in Sydney to internationally launch its latest variant of the Typhoon remote-controlled naval gun, the Mk 30c. The ‘c’ represents compact, an indication that size is an important feature of this gun that weighs around 1t. Meanwhile, the ‘30’ refers to the ATK Mk44 Bushmaster II 30mm cannon that the system hosts. However, an important evolution on the Typhoon Mk-30c is the ability to change the gun barrel to 20mm, 25mm or 30mm. The interchangeable barrel, which also encompasses changes to the fire control system to update...
  • Will our new submarines be billion dollar coffins? (Australia)

    10/04/2017 9:14:54 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 4 replies
    The Australian ^ | October 5, 2017 | ROGER BRADBURY
    Here’s a thought experiment: what if, suddenly, all the world’s submarines could no longer submerge? There they would be, on the surface of the ocean, slow, unwieldy, with no effective protection against attack. They’d be sitting ducks. Fanciful? Perhaps not. With a high probability, something very like this awaits the world’s submarines within the next couple of decades. Submarines are classic stealth predators. They have only one big trick — their invisibility — and they rely on it utterly to mount a successful attack. In that respect, they are no different from sabre-tooth tigers or trapdoor spiders. And like such...
  • US approves sale of 3,900 SDB IIs for Australia F-35s

    10/03/2017 8:40:00 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 8 replies
    FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM ^ | October 04, 2017 | GREG WALDRON
    The US State Department has approved the sale of 3,900 Raytheon GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bombs Increment II (SDB II) weapons to Australia for use with its Lockheed Martin F-35As. The $815 million Foreign Military Sale package includes the 3,900 weapons, test equipment, training equipment, and other support, says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on its web site. "The proposed sale of SDB II supports and complements the ongoing sale of the F-35A to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)," says the DSCA. "This capability will strengthen combined operations, particularly air to ground strike missions in all-weather conditions, and increase interoperability...
  • Australia to fit warships with anti-missile defence systems

    10/02/2017 8:31:00 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | 3 October 2017 | Colin Packham
    SYDNEY, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday nine war ships set for construction in 2020 will be fitted with long-range ­anti-missile defence systems to counter the threat of rogue nations. Australia's proposed frigates will use Aegis combat systems, produced by Lockheed Martin, in conjunction with SAAB Australia technology, Turnbull said. Tensions in the region have spiked considerably in recent months as North Korea conducted a series of tests of its medium- and long-range ballistic missiles, some of which flew over Japan, as well as its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3. Pyongyang, which ultimately...
  • Australia’s new warships to have missile defence

    10/02/2017 6:20:46 PM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 6 replies ^ | 3rd October 2017 | Matt Young
    AUSTRALIA’S new warships will have the capability to shoot down long-range missiles including those from rogue states such as North Korea. The Royal Australian Navy will add nine new anti-submarine frigates with anti-missile capabilities to its fleet, complete with the multi-billion dollar technology, with construction planned to begin in 2020. “Recent events in our region have proven that Australia’s future frigates must be equipped to defend Australia from the threat of medium and long-range missile attacks,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the Pacific 17 maritime and naval showcase, referencing North Korea. “We must have the capability to meet and defeat...
  • Macklemore's 'Same Love' takes centre stage at Sydney grand final

    10/01/2017 5:41:51 PM PDT · by Ennis85 · 14 replies
    BBC News ^ | 1st October 2017 | bbc news
    American artist Macklemore sang in support of gay rights at one of Australia's biggest annual sporting events during the country's vote on same-sex marriage. The singer performed a set ahead of kick-off in the National Rugby League (NRL) grand final in Sydney. Opponents had called for the song Same Love to be left out of the show to stop the event becoming "politicised". But Macklemore said it "was one of the greatest honours of my career". Australians are in the middle of a postal vote on whether gay marriage should be introduced. The poll is non-binding for the government, but...
  • Report: Middle East Refugees to Begin Arriving to U.S. from Australia

    10/01/2017 10:58:55 AM PDT · by davikkm · 79 replies
    breitbart ^ | JOHN BINDER
    The first group of 1,250 mostly male Middle Eastern refugees is expected to soon arrive in the United States from Australia. The transfer of refugees comes after President Trump failed to shutter an Obama-era deal that could bring tens of thousands of the refugees’ family members to the U.S. in years to come. President Barack Obama signed the Australian-U.S. refugee deal during his last months in office — promising to take 1,250 Middle Eastern refugees off Australia’s hands. The refugees are being held in detention centers on Manus Island and Nauru Island. Despite Trump’s original statement calling the deal “a...
  • Australian Gun Culture Part 26: Guns Confiscated for Self-Defense

    10/01/2017 4:37:11 AM PDT · by marktwain · 5 replies
    Ammoland ^ | 28 September, 2017 | Dean Weingarten
    David Dunstan, a farmer in Victoria, about 10 miles outside the Australian town of Albury, found himself confronting a teen armed with a knife and a large club at 3 a.m. on the 14th of September, 2017. He slammed shut the door, and called for his wife to get the key to the gun cupboard.He retrieved an unloaded .22 rifle, and used it to convince the thug that he should get in a car and drive to the police station. The offender is in jail without bail.  He is suspected of invading another house just hours previously.From A...