Monthly Archives: July 2018

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Halo summer! ‘Stunning’ ring round the sun a solar sell of warmer days to come

A halo around the sun appears just before midday. The red line on its inside is because red light bends slightly less than blue light. Photo: Eddie Jim Swinburne University research fellow Alan Duffy said 22-degree halos appear different on different planets. Photo: Arsineh Houspian

Solar halos are relatively common. This one was seen in Sydney last month. Photo: Richk Rycroft

Melbourne Planetarium astronomer Tanya Hill. Photo: Jason South

As if to assure warmth-deprived Melburnians that it’s still up there and on duty, the sun put on a spectacular sky show to mark the first day of summer on Thursday.

A stunning halo encircled the sun at lunchtime, thanks to the presence of tiny ice crystals high in the atmosphere.

Melbourne Planetarium astronomer Tanya Hill said the halo was caused by sunlight passing through the ice crystals, which refracted or bent the light.

“They are high up, part of the thin wispy cirrus clouds,” Dr Hill said.

Known as a 22-degree halo, the phenomenon is visible on as many as 100 days a year – much more frequently than rainbows.

Swinburne University research fellow Alan Duffy said keen observers would note that there was a red inner rim to the halo.

This was created because red light bends slightly less than blue light, which can be seen on the outer rim.

“It’s a beautifully clear image, it’s really stunning,” he said.

Dr Duffy said the ice crystals causing the light to refract were evenly distributed in the atmosphere, some six kilometres from Earth.

Around the width of a human hair, the ice crystals are shaped like hexagonal logs.

The 22-degree halo gets its name from the minimum angle of a bend you get going through the ice crystal.

“It’s like you have nearly a billion of these tiny ice crystals all bending the sunlight at just about the same angle,” he said.

One of the most common types of halo, the optical phenomenon also occurs with moonlight.

In folklore, lunar halos have been suggested as a sign storms are on their way.

However Dr Duffy said there was no evidence this was the case.   

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Evacuation Squad: International gang carries out school bomb hoaxes ‘just for the mayhem’

Police at Black Hill Primary School in Ballarat on Thursday. Photo: Ballarat Courier Police at Black Hill Primary School. Photo: Luka Kauzlaric, Ballarat Courier

An international hacking gang that has previously claimed hoax bomb threats at Australian schools says the calls are made “just for the mayhem”.

Calling itself the Evacuation Squad, the gang claimed responsibility for some of the dozens of threats to schools earlier in the year.

Fairfax Media had an email exchange with the group’s spokesman, who called himself Viktor Olyavich, at the time.

“We do the hoaxes for a few reasons,” he wrote.

“Those being: one, they are entertaining for us; two, we make money off them sometimes; and three, just for the mayhem of it.”

The gang has offered to shut down schools in exchange for bitcoin payments.

Asking what he thought of children being frightened during the threats, Mr Olyavich wrote: “That is unfortunate how the children were scared. Evacuation Squad rarely targets any other school buildings than those that teach years 7-12.”

It is understood more than a dozen schools were targeted in Victoria on Thursday, including at least 10 primary schools.

No group has claimed responsibility yet, but it is believed the schools received computerised automated phone messages.

Fairfax Media attempted to speak to Mr Olyavich again on Thursday, but the email bounced back.

In February, he said the group had also targeted the US, Britain, Norway, France, Japan and Sweden.

He said Australia was being targeted because “it is an ally of the US and Britain”.

“More often than not, we have done random schools,” he said.

However, he said the  attacks had also been requested by local students.

He said the attacks were conducted via a stolen voice over internet protocol account.

Mr Olyavich said he was based in Samara, Russia, and there were another five members of the group in Bosnia, Iran, Micronesia, Peru, and South Africa. He said there were also “copycats” making threats in Australia.

“I believe people are copying us because they have seen the mayhem it creates and they wanted to get in on it as well,” he said.

“I don’t think we’re cowards. What would constitute that? Just for making threats? That is silly.”

Fairfax Media is not claiming Mr Olyavich or Evacuation Squad is responsible for the threats made to Australian schools on Thursday.

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Take a chance to join us at Princes


WELL ROUNDED: Prince Alfred College looks for a variety of qualities, including sport, art and community service, in boys who choose to apply for a scholarship at the school.

In 1869, Prince Alfred College headmaster Samuel Fiddian announced the college’s first two scholarships to boys who may not otherwise have afforded a Princes education.

Current headmaster Bradley Fenner saidPAC is dedicated to offering scholarships to encourage young people with potential to enrol.

With support from donors andthe PAC Foundation, the school has expanded itsscholarship programme to provide more opportunities for boys to attend the college.

The programme aims to support young men of good character, who possess a sound work ethic, in making the most of the many opportunities that Princes provides.

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following education providers. Click on the links to learn more:

Prince Alfred CollegeSacred Heart CollegeSeymour CollegeSaint Peter’s CollegetafeSAUniversity of South AustraliaWestminster SchoolWalford Anglican School for Girls“We look for good all-rounders, who will perform well academically and who may excel in a co-curricular area, such as sport, music or drama, and who will be exemplary citizens,” Mr Fenner said.

“Our experience tells us that scholarship recipients often emerge as leaders, who give back to the community through their service.”

Mr Fenner said scholarships are not given just to academically strong applicants; the school looks for a number of all-round qualities in boys such as the performing arts, visual arts, sport, music, debating, citizenship, leadership and history of community service.

The school has a number of scholarships on offer for 2018 including academic, music, general excellence and boarding.

Related stories:

Seymour offers the international styleProviding access to more selectionOffering students more opportunitiesBright idea for future jobsWalford girls take off to Space CamptafeSA’s pathway to professional successAiming high at WestminsterThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲培训.

Jesus-thieving three admit shopping mall nativity heist

DISAPPOINTING: “Volunteers were very upset.” Wesley Uniting Church’s Rachael McGarry reacts to the theft, at the hands of three late-night mall visitors (inset), of elements of the church’s nativity scene. Main picture: Sylvia LiberThree people who raided a church nativity scene during a drunken stroll throughWollongong mall have handed themselves in to police, following a public shaming.

Baby Jesus vanished from the Wesley UnitingChurch’sdisplay Friday night, along with a plywood lamb anddonkey that had been keeping watch over the manger.

CCTV cameras captured athieving trio –two women and a man – carrying the cut-outs from the mall. Their pictures were then widely circulated on social media as Wollongong Police became involved.

The church’s ReverendGeoffreyFlynn said the three had since handed themselves in to police, and onehad phoned him to apologise and offer Jesus’ safe return.

“She’s showed deep remorse,” Rev Flynn said. “Theyrealised that they acted impulsively and foolishly and they realisenow it wasn’t a wise thing to have done.”

Rev Flynn said he was satisfied with the apology.

“We will just be pleased to receive the items back,” he said.“Hopefully itsends a message to the community to respect things that are there for the public.”

Reverend Geoffrey Flynn

“The public response sort of brought us a bit of joy. Wewere quite despondent on the Sunday morning, when we were reflecting on what had happened. But we didn’t think we’d get such support.”

Rachael McGarry, the church’s office secretary, said the cut-outs were crafted by volunteers.

“They were coming to bolt them down a bit better on Saturday morning and just went,‘oh’,” Ms McGarry said.

“They were very upset. It wasdisappointing that we couldn’t put stuff out in the mall -getting into the Christmas spirit -without someone damaging it.”

Illawarra Mercury

Taxing the minnows, ignoring the whales

SOUNDING like an Antipodean Donald Trump, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hit the airwaves on Thursday morning to savage the Labor Party over the backpackers’ tax.

Struggling to get the planned 15 per cent tax through the Senate, the prime minister argued that Labor wanted “Australians to pay more tax than rich white kids from Europe who come here on their holidays . . . and Pacific Islanders working here to send money back to their villages”.

Given the sound and fury in Canberra overthe backpacker tax, a casual observer couldbe forgiven for thinking that the impost on holidaying workers was the difference between the nation sinking or staying afloat.

In 2015, when the backpacker tax was first announced, the government estimated that its original rate of 32.5 per cent was going to raise $540 million over three years. With the rate now likely to be 15 per cent or less, the eventualthree-year take is set tobe about $250 million, or about $80 million a year.

This is not to say that the tax may not be justifiable. In all probability, it is.

But the louder the government screams about backpacker taxes, the more it seems the Coalition is trying to distract the electorate from somereal problems in our tax system: namely the tax minimisation methods of large multinationals and wealthy individuals,who are apparently often able to pay far less tax, in percentage terms, than the vast bulk of Australians taxed as employees.

Earlier this week, the Commonwealth auditor-general raised substantial question marks over some $5 billion –that’s $5000 million – in resource royalty tax deductions claimed by companies operating the North West Shelf oil and and gas project.

The auditor-general said his investigations had only scratched the surface, and that the evidence showed the problems were “much greater” than he had quantified. And in another case to emerge from the Project Wickenby investigations, the family founders of a well-known fruit juice brand have reportedly had $45 million “frozen” after details of the family’s tax practices were revealed in courtcase.

Average Australians have no recourse to such methods, with little choice but to pay the tax they owe. When you add in a government stillbanging the welfare drum, we have a system that comes down hard on the minnows, while ignoring the whales.

ISSUE: 38,403

We have enormous potential for growth

IN the past month or so I have been fortunate to attend some exciting events which showcase some of what makes Sunraysia and the Mallee great.

I have been to the Australian Alternative Variety Wine Show which attracted entrants from all over Australia and New Zealand and featured international wine judges and writers.

I also attended Slow Food National Conference events which showcased local food and restaurateurs and celebrated the freshness and variety of our local produce, all presented in an ambience of joyful sharing and celebration.

People from all over Australia attended and from my conversations, were impressed with our hospitality and the quality of our produce.

At the Mildura Development Corporation and MRCC “Innovation Awards” night the energy and camaraderie was addictive and the innovation occurring in our region is spectacular, with manufacturers producing world-class products and selling them globally.

The public motorsport precinct presentation, a strong, detailed and exciting report with wide support, including Confederation of Australian Motorsports, identified the positives of this events-based initiative for our community.

As a region, we need to be confident enough and thoughtful enough to put ourselves “out there” as a capable and attractive community for people and industries to come.

With the $11 billion recent lease of the Melbourne ports as an example, we need to ensure decision-makers spend 25 per cent of that ($2.75 billion) where people in Victoria live – rural Victoria.

Mildura is Victoria’s sixth largest city and forward thinking, through engagement with community, industry and governments, can identify the opportunities, challenges and necessary infrastructure to take up the challenge of growing regions. By firstly advocating our successes, necessary infrastructure and social investment can be justified to both state and federal governments.

Tony Alessi,


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Lake Kepwari promise

Election pledge: Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray has announced the Labor Government’s plans for Lake Kepwari’s opening. Photo: Jeremy Hedley. Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray has announced that aMcGowan Labor Government will open Lake Kepwari within six months, if they win the March state election.

“This project has only been held up by a lack of political will from the Liberal-National Government and a refusal to cut through the red tape,” he said.

“We will install the basic facilities to let water-skiers, wake-boarders, and jet-skiers get out on the water by September. that will include infrastructure to get the boats out on the water, some basic shelter, utilitiesand road access.”

“A McGowan Labor Government will lay that groundwork and I anticipate from there we will have opportunities to engage private investors and get some different levels of accommodation built around the lake.”

Mr Murray said opening Lake Kepwari will create new jobs in tourism and hospitality, helping to start the process of diversifying the Collie-Preston economy.

“Opening Lake Kepwari will create new jobs in tourism and hospitality, helping to start the process of diversifying the Collie-Preston economy,” he said.

“Powerboat users in the South West need this dedicated facility – and the opportunity to attract tourists from all over the state and beyond is something we must take advantage of.”

“This project was ready to go eight years ago. A McGowan Labor Government will get on with it.”

Shire of Collie CEO David Blurton said the opening of Lake Kepwari would benefit the region.

“Lake Kepwari represents a fantastic opportunity for the Collie region not only in terms of a quality recreation area also economic development potential and the Shire of Collie has long supported the opening of the lake to the public,” he said.

“The community of Collie has been very patient over a long period of time for the handback process to occur and it is time that this issue is resolved for the benefit of all parties.”

The Nationals WA Candidate for Collie-Preston Monique Warnock called for less talk and more action from the Department of State Development.

Ms Warnock said opening Lake Kepwari up to the public would deliver significant benefits to the Collie community and would be a major priority if elected on March 11, 2017.

“It is disappointing to see the excessive delays that have resulted from unnecessary red tape,” she said.

“I urge Minister for State Development Bill Marmion to show some leadership to ensure the people of Collie and surrounding communities can enjoy Lake Kepwari.”

Ms Warnock said Collie was well positioned for investment and growth to the future, yet WA Labor and Liberal Party had failed to make Lake Kepwari a Priority.”

Premier Coal is in the process of formally applying to hand back the area known as Lake Kepwari, about 10km south-east of Collie, to the State Government.

The Company will shortly submit an application under its State Agreement to surrender the rehabilitated mine void, known as Western Open Cut 5, which it operated between 1969 and 1997.

Premier Coal General Manager, Glenn Burlinson, said thepriority is to surrender the area having worked for more than 15 years to meet legislative and environmental management requirements.

“The future potential use of the area will ultimately be a matter for the State to progress.”

Bunbury WellingtonEconomicAlliance Chief Executive Officer Matt Granger saidThe Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance (BWEA) acknowledges and welcomes the announcement byPremierCoalof its application to hand back to the State a rehabilitated mine void.

“PremierCoalhas signalled its intention to surrender the rehabilitated mine void, known as Western Open Cut 5,” he said.

“The company has delivered an outstanding positive legacy for the local community and the state through its rehabilitation of Western Open Cut 5.That legacy includes the water body known locally as Lake Kepwari.”

“The rehabilitation of Western Open Cut 5 has earnedPremierCoalthe prestigious Golden Gecko award.”

“We expect the state government, through the Department of State Development, to accept and process the application byPremierCoalto surrender Western Open Cut 5”.

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Granite Transformations Rockingham

Advertising feature

PLANNING on transforming the kitchen in the family home or an investment property?

The award-winning team at Granite Transformations Rockingham are the team to see.

Owners Kevin and Sandra Leek bought the franchise more than seven years ago, bringing with them extensive industry experience.

Kevin has been with Granite Transformations for more than 15 years, with experience in cabinet making and is a certified kitchen designer.

The husband-and- wife team at Granite Transformations pride themselves on excellent customer service.

“We receive so much positive feedback from our customers about our fast and friendly service,” Kevin said.

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business. Click the link to learn more.

Granite Transformations RockinghamGranite Transformations offers a range of services, including kitchen, bathroom and laundry benchtop resurfacing, kitchen remodelling, splashbacks, replacement of cabinet doors and appliances, as well as offering plumbing and electrical services.

“We can rejuvenate an old kitchen in one to two days, for about half the price of a new kitchen,” he said.

“Our granite is seven millimetres thick and can be applied over the top of existing benchtops, can be used as a splashback as another option to tiles or glass and is exceptionally easy to maintain.”

According to Kevin, the process saves time, hassle, money, and provides an alternative to demolishing the kitchen.

Although Granite Transformations don’t do new kitchens, they work in conjunction with many local cabinet makers, enabling customers to enjoy all the benefits of Granite Transformations.

Granite Transformations is at unit 4, 4 Day Road, Rockingham.

Call the business on 9529 1748 to find out more.

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Spirit ready to hunt top of ladder Rangers

HIGH-scoring shoot-out or defensive slog?

ATTACKING: Bendigo Spirit point guard Kerryn Harrington. The Spirit take on the WNBL’s top side Dandenong at the Bendigo Stadium from 3pm on Sunday. Dandenong hasn’t won in Bendigo since 2010. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Expect either at the Bendigo Stadium on Sunday based on the first two encounters this season between the Bendigo Bank Spirit and Dandenong Rangers.

The two sides will meet for the third time this WNBL campaign in what’s a top-of-the-ladder clash that for the Spirit signals the start of their second half of the season.

The Rangers (7-3) sit in top spot on the ladder, while the Spirit (8-4) occupy second position.

Two of the three losses the Rangers have suffered so far have been at the hands of the Spirit –a long-time nemesis of Dandenong.

Bendigo holds an overall 24-7 head-to-head advantage over the Rangers, and has won its past 10 games against Dandenong at the Bendigo Stadium.

Not since October 15, 2010, when they won 76-74 have the Rangers travelled back down the Calder with a win over Bendigo.

Their first two match-ups this season couldn’t have been more contrasting.

They combined for just 113 points on October 15 when Bendigo held the Rangers to a measly tally of 44 in a 59-44 victory at home.

A fortnight later the points flowed much easier for both teams in what was a 94-85 victory for the Spirit on a Friday night at Dandenong.

“They are going to be coming off a game on Saturday night against Sydney, so in terms of being set up for us this weekend, it is,” Spirit coach Simon Pritchard said.

“We’ll be fresh on Sunday, I will be going down to watch Dandenong on Saturday night, so I’ll get to see anything they may do differently.

“It has been a while since they have won up here, but we’re also wary that every time they play up here the odds say they are getting closer to a win.

“So we’ve got to be mindful of making sure we do all that blue collar work that we’re really good at.”

The Spirit are coming off a 69-51 victory over the Adelaide Lightning last Sunday in what had been their fourth game in nine days.

Sunday’s game at the Bendigo Stadium tips off at 3pm.

• Bendigo’s run of home wins against Dandenong:

Dec 17, 2011 –92 def 63.

Jan 13, 2012 –84 def 77.

Oct 27, 2012 –82 def 80.

Dec 8, 2012 –79 def 72.

Feb 24, 2013 –78 def 71 (second semi-final).

Dec 20, 2013 –79 def 72.

Feb 23, 2014 –71 def 62 (second semi-final).

Oct 31, 2014 –97 def 75.

Nov 22, 2015 –63 def 49.

Oct 15, 2016 –59 def 44.

•This weekend’s WNBL matches:

Canberra v Melbourne, Perth v Townsville (Friday night), Adelaide v Townsville, Dandenong v Sydney, Melbourne v Sydney, Bendigo v Dandenong.

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Paedophile accused of assaulting child ‘more than 300 times’

Paedophile accused of assaulting child ‘more than 300 times’ TweetFacebook The alleged paedophilePOLICE have laid another round of child sexchargesagainst an alleged Junee paedophile,who has since reportedly confessedto“thousands” of assaults.

Detectives from Strike Force Cornet at 10am onThursdayraided the home of theformer Junee and Coolamonschool teacher,who they believe is part of a wider paedophile ring.

Police will allegethe formerindustrial arts teacher raped one of his underage pupils more than 300 times.

Investigators claim the 81-year-old man had sex with the boy, who was 11 at the time, every Thursday inside a school classroom for almost a year.

Detective Inspector Darren Cloake revealed the alleged serial child molester tried to silence a number of his victims since his first arrest in September.

He said detectives believe theman sexually abusedmore than 15young boys between 1964and 1992.

This excludesseveral ofhissuspected victims, who have since taken their own lives, allegedlyas a consequence of thetrauma.

The Daily Advertiseralso understands one of the 81-year-old’s alleged victims is servicing a sentence in a Western Australia prison for murder.

“We have evidence that the Junee man has tried to get in contact with victims in order to deter them from speaking to police,” he said.

“The nature of the investigation has revealed that a number of his alleged victims have either moved away to escape or taken their own lives.

Inspector Cloake saidthatevidence collaborated so far“indicates the man was operating within a wider ring of paedophile activity”.

“We understand that talking about these incidents has a tenancy to re-open old wounds but we’re appealing for additional information regarding any of theseactivities.”

He will be charged with three additional counts of indecent assault and buggery, on top of three current-standing buggery charges.

The 81-year-old man was first arrested on September 13, when he was accused of raping a 12-year-old boyfrom Junee High School on a number of occasions.

Police refused the former teacher bail, fearing he would again attempt to contact his victims.

He will appear before WaggaCourt on Friday.

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