Steyn kicks Springboks to narrow victory

January 12th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

A last-minute penalty by fly-half Morne Steyn sealed an unimpressive 22-17 win for South Africa over Argentina Saturday in a scrappy Rugby Championship Test.

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After a humiliating 60-point defeat in Soweto last weekend, the passionate Pumas were the better side in chilly Mendoza for much of the match and led until eight minutes from time.

Steyn slotted two penalties in the closing minutes to keep South Africa top of the table — level on nine points with New Zealand but ahead on points difference.

South Africa started with the same side that won 73-13 in the first round while Argentina made five changes and still lacked injured skipper and No. 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

Desperate to put the huge loss behind them, the Pumas made a fiery start and were ahead within two minutes when flanker Juan Martin Leguizamon dived over in the corner.

The veteran took the ball after a line-out near the try-line, burst into the short side and swivelled past several Springboks to dot the ball down with centre Felipe Contepomi converting.

Argentina were struggling in the early scrums and South African pressure earned a penalty on nine minutes which ace goal-kicker Steyn placed between the posts.

Within two minutes a far more fired-up Pumas side than that of last weekend regained a seven-point advantage as veteran Contepomi kicked a penalty.

But South Africa drew level on 15 minutes as Steyn converted from the touchline a try by left-wing Bjorn Basson in the left corner at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas.

After brave defending repelled several Springbok attempts to score in the right corner, Argentina failed to clear and the visitors passed along the backline for Basson to sprint over.

Juandre Kruger went over the try-line soon after only for the score to be disallowed because fellow lock Eben Etzebeth had knocked on in an aerial duel.

South Africa opted to kick for touch a penalty well within the range of Steyn and Argentina drove the green and gold back to leave the visitors questioning their decision.

A Contepomi penalty drifted to the right from in front of the posts, but Argentina were back in front on 37 minutes when centre Marcelo Bosch dived over near the posts.

Patient multi-phase Pumas pressure took them within a few metres of the line and Bosch drove between centre JJ Engelbrecht and prop Jannie du Plessis for a try Contepomi converted.

Steyn narrowed the gap to four points in first-half stoppage time by kicking his second penalty and four minutes after half-time he repeated the feat to leave just one point between the sides.

With Contepomi replaced by Santiago Fernandez, Bosch took over as goal kicker and was not far off target with a long-range attempt midway through the second half.

With 20 minutes to go it was 17-16 to Argentina — a far cry from seven days ago when the Springboks ran in nine tries for a record Rugby Championship victory.

But eight minutes from time South Africa gained the lead for the first time as prop Marcos Ayerza collapsed a maul and Steyn maintained his 100 per cent kicking record from the penalty.

Another Steyn penalty one minute into additional time sealed success for the Springboks, who trooped off knowing they will play better in future and lose.

Rudd, Abbott back Lib candidate over gaffe

January 12th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd don’t agree on much, especially during an election campaign.

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But they were united on Tuesday in sympathy for Liberal candidate Jaymes Diaz.

Both men leapt to Mr Diaz’s defence after he was left red-faced in a television interview on Monday night.

In the five-minute interview, the Liberals’ hope in the west Sydney seat of Greenway is unable to detail the coalition’s six-point asylum plan.

“The key point would be stopping the boats where safe to do so,” is Mr Diaz’s best reply to questioning from Network Ten’s John Hill.

Mr Abbott was quick to defend his candidate over the interview, which has since gone viral on YouTube.

“I’m afraid it happens to all of us from time to time,” he told ABC radio in Sydney.

He said an occasional gaffe was just part of being in politics.

“Inevitably, a very experienced and slightly aggressive journalist shoves a microphone in your face and starts barking at you and it is possible to freeze,” he said.

“I’ve done it myself.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, too, was in Mr Diaz’s corner.

“I understand the Liberal candidate for Greenway had a few challenges yesterday. I’m sure some of ours will at some stage or another,” Mr Rudd told reporters in the Queensland seat of Griffith.

“That’s just life in an electoral campaign. If you’ve been through as many as I have you’ve seen anything happen.”

Mr Diaz, a local family lawyer, is running against Labor’s Michelle Rowland, who holds Greenway on 0.9 per cent.

Mr Diaz did not return AAP’s calls.

Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said although it was the first gaffe of the 2013 campaign, it wouldn’t be the last.

“I think anyone who’s never made a mistake ever is entitled to have a go,” he told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

But he said it was important that politicians were able to support the policy of their party.

“Particularly when there’s not much there to support,” he added.

“This person’s been a candidate before of course.

“He was chosen by the Liberal Party last time around, they’ve selected him again, they obviously think he’s one of their best.”

The coalition needs a swing of just 0.9 per cent to claim the seat from Labor MP Michelle Rowland, making it the most marginal in NSW.

SKorea facing power crisis

January 12th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

South Korea has ordered government offices to turn off their air-conditioning as two power plants stopped operations, a day after a minister warned of an imminent national energy crisis.

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The Dangjin III plant, with a capacity of 500,000 kilowatts, was taken offline by mechanical issues and will likely remain shut for a week, a spokesman for the state power distributor Korea Power Exchange (KPE) said on Monday.

Technical problems also shut down the nearby Seocheon power plant on Monday morning.

Although operations resumed after an hour, the plant is only working at half its 200,000-kilowatt capacity, the spokesman said.

The timing could hardly be worse, with South Korea in the grip of an extended heatwave and a lengthy disruption in its nuclear power sector.

“We are facing potentially our worst power crisis,” Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Yoon Sang-Jick said on Sunday.

“We may have to carry out a rolling blackout … if one single power plant goes out of operation,” Yoon said, appealing to factories, households and shops to curb consumption over the next three days.

The last time the government was forced to resort to nationwide load shedding was in September 2011, when unexpectedly high demand pushed power reserves to their lowest level in decades.

If national reserves drop below 2.0 million kilowatts, it triggers an automatic alert requiring all government offices to turn off air conditioners, lights and any non-essential devices.

In a pre-emptive move on Monday, the energy ministry ordered such measures effective immediately, even though the key reserve mark had not been breached.

Describing the current situation as “extremely urgent”, the ministry also ordered government offices to turn off water coolers and staff to use staircases where possible, rather than elevators.

The ministry added it would tighten monitoring on shopping malls, which face fines for bringing indoor temperatures below 26 degrees Celsius.

Higher than normal summer temperatures – forecast to last at least another week – have resulted in a sustained energy consumption spike.

At the same time, South Korea’s nuclear industry is struggling to emerge from a mini crisis which has forced the shutdown of numerous reactors – either for repair or as the result of a scandal over forged safety certificates.

The country has 23 reactors which are meant to meet more than 30 per cent of electricity needs. Currently six reactors are out of operation.

Bolt ‘in good shape to run very well’, says coach

May 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

The distinctively tall figure of Bolt, dressed in a black, yellow and green Jamaican t-shirt, strode around the sunbaked training track in Moscow in front of a crowd of fans and journalists.

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As some of his team mates came over to talk to the media, the triple Olympic champion in 2008 and 2012 put on headphones and walked across the infield in the opposite direction, pausing only to greet other athletes on his way.

The world 100- and 200-metre record holder will start his bid to regain his world 100 title – which he lost to compatriot Yohan Blake in Daegu after false-starting in the 2011 final – in Saturday’s heats. If there are no hiccups, he will line up in Sunday’s final as hot favourite for gold.

Bolt trained with a large plaster taped behind his right calf but Mills said it was to protect a small cut.

“He’s in good health,” Mills told Reuters as pop music drifted on the breeze from the sports complex’s building. “It’s a scrape from a spike, it’s nothing.”

The atmosphere was relaxed as athletes from various nations jogged around and took massages on tables dotted around the track, but Mills said Bolt was fully focused on maintaining his sprint dominance.

“He’s always highly motivated going into the games. He takes competition and the big occasions very seriously. He’s highly motivated for games like the worlds and Olympics.

“His training the last five weeks has been fairly good. It wasn’t that good going into the Jamaican trials (in June). But he’s in good shape now to run very well.”

Bolt, dogged by a hamstring injury in the early part of his season, admitted he was still “race-rusty” when he warmed up for the worlds with a comfortable 9.85-second win at the London Diamond League at the end of July, despite a dire start.

Mills said that if the blue Mondo track in the Luzhniki stadium, situated by the banks of the Moskva river, was fast, then Bolt would run fast.

“The track in Berlin (at the world championships in 2009 when Bolt set his world records) was extremely fast. If he gets a fast track he’s going to run fast.”

(Writing by Justin Palmer and Alison Wildey, Editing by Robert Woodward)

Pressure mounts on election date

May 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

The federal poll is currently scheduled for September 14, but there are suggestions the government is considering whether to name a later, or an earlier date.

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The Opposition says Mr Rudd must indicate if he intends to change the timing.

 

Kevin Rudd’s return as Labor leader has triggered the possibility of a change of election day, and a dramatic rewrite of key policies.

 

These include the school funding reforms, changes to the 457 visa system and the fixed carbon price.

 

Mr Rudd is widely tipped to dump the carbon tax and move immediately to an emissions trading scheme.

 

He’s also flagged changes to the mining and other resources taxes, declaring the mining boom is over.

 

All this means Kevin Rudd needs time to sell himself as a viable Prime Minister for another term, bed down his policies and announce his new frontbench.

 

However, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wants Kevin Rudd to announce a date for the federal election as soon as possible.

Mr Abbott says it’s up to the people of Australia to choose the prime minister and the government in the wake of Mr Rudd’s ousting of Julia Gillard.

 

“Again I congratulate Prime Minister on his restoration to high office may he elevate that office and he would best elevate that office by telling the Australian people when will they get the chance to decide who the Prime Minister of the country should be and who should form the government of this country. That is the question.

 

In his first speech to parliament this time around, Mr Rudd indicated the federal government could consider a new election date.

 

But he says the timing won’t be vastly different from September 14.

 

He says he won’t be forced into naming a date at the Opposition leader’s whim and will follow in the steps of his predecessors and go to an election at a time of his choosing.

 

“I would draw the leader of the opposition’s attention to the fact that the practice of Prime Minister Keating, Prime Minister Hawke, Prime Minister Howard, Prime Minister Menzies was in accordance with the provisions of the constitution to identify a date for the election. I will be no different to any of my predecessors.”

 

The latest the federal election can be held is November this year.

 

Some political pundits have suggested Mr Rudd favors the later timeframe to allow him to get his message across.

 

But the Greens want an election earlier than that.

 

Greens leader Christine Milne says her party will back Mr Rudd’s government, but only as long as there’s an election before the end of September.

 

“We made clear to Mr Rudd that the basis of our would be than an election is called before the end of September so that we go straight into now where the parliament rises at the end of this week as planned and then we go towards an election to be held before the end of September.”

 

Mr Rudd has ruled out the first weekend of September and hinted that September 14 could be changed because it is also the Jewish day of Yom Kippur.

 

One date that is being mooted by some is August 24.

 

If a new poll were to be called for August 24, the writs would have to be issued on July 23.

An election must be held between 33 days and 68 days from the day the writs are issued, according to the Australian Election Commission.

 

Mr Rudd is likely to wait until the first couple of newspaper opinion polls are published in the next few week before decising on a date.

 

But a Morgan Poll taken on the evening he was voted in suggests Mr Rudd’s return has already lifted Labor by five points to a two-party vote of 49.5 compared with 50.5 per cent for the Coalition.

 

Typhoon kills one, 23 Filipinos missing

May 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year has flattened houses and triggered landslides in remote towns, killing at least one person and leaving 23 others missing, authorities say.

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With wind gusts of 200km/h, authorities said they feared many people may have died as Typhoon Utor swept across coastal and mountainous regions of the northern Philippines.

“It looks like the death and damage toll is going to go up … with wind like this, you can expect a lot of damage,” Francis Rodriguez, a senior officer with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said.

Rodriguez said authorities had only started to receive reports from isolated areas that were in Utor’s direct path early on Monday morning, and the typhoon was expected to continue battering the country for most of the day.

Hundreds of people die each year in the Philippines from the roughly 20 typhoons that strike the country annually.

Rodriguez said the first confirmed fatality from Utor was a man crushed by a landslide while trying to clear a mountain road in the northern Benguet province.

Twenty-three fishermen were missing after they went out to sea as the storm approached, according to the disaster council’s spokesman, Reynaldo Balido.

He expressed hope the fishermen had just sought safe refuge somewhere and would still emerge alive.

Authorities said large areas of the coastal province of Aurora, where the storm made landfall, suffered heavy damage.

“Infrastructure, farms, homes were destroyed. Trees were knocked down,” Elson Egargue, Aurora’s disaster management officer, told AFP.

He said the coastal town of Casiguran, home to about 20,000 people, was believed to have particularly suffered, although officials had yet to make contact with residents or authorities there.

“The roads in these areas are blocked because of landslides and overflowing creeks,” he said, adding mobile phone networks were also down.

He said there was also extensive damage to two other nearby towns, home to about 25,000 people.

The weather bureau said it expected Utor would travel west out of the Philippine and into the South China Sea, towards southern China, on Monday night.

Authorities in Hong Kong said they were preparing for Utor to potentially dump heavy rains there this week. The Hong Kong Observatory raised a stage one typhoon alert. Stage 10 is its highest-level alert.

For the love of guns

May 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

The event was not just an opportunity to possibly discuss how awesome an AK-47 is (it’s cheap, it’s reliable, anyone can use it!) but also a chance for gun politics to have its say.

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Among the speakers were former Fox News TV host Glenn Beck, who claimed without irony “the media is out of control and not a source for truth.”

Add the voice of NRA Executive Director Chris Cox who said, “Mr President, we’ll keep our money and our guns – you keep the change,” and you can detect a theme.

The President didn’t attend the NRA’s convention but it’s instructive that Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination did.

Even Rick Santorum, who has suspended his campaign, made a speech in which he announced he had signed up his daughter Bella for lifetime membership. Bella is three years old.

Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich proposed that if he were President he would submit to the United Nations a treaty that would give EVERYONE ON EARTH the right to carry a gun. Guns are a right not just for Americans but for all mankind, according to Newt.

Mitt Romney, of course, showed up. He played the fear factor on the mostly white, conservative, older audience. According to Mitt, if Obama gets a second term, he’s going to take your guns away, so vote for me. It appears the NRA vote, hardly likely to endorse a Democrat anyway, is an important electoral bed. You want its members on your side.

It may come as no surprise, though, that Romney as Governor of Massachusetts supported strict gun control measures and once said he didn’t “line up” with the gun rights group. As with other issues, he changed his line as a Presidential candidate.

All this underlines that guns play a powerful role in American culture (excuse the pun), a phenomena that is often seen as bizarre outside the country’s borders. Part of that culture is built on some people having an unshakeable belief in the interpretation of personal freedom combined with a fear – a fear that someone, somewhere, sometime, will come to harm you.

Probably with a gun.

This year’s congress took place in the shadow of Trayvon Martin’s death at the trigger finger of gun-toting vigilante George Zimmerman. Many civic leaders – mayors, chiefs of police – are desperate for increased gun controls. Contrary to NRA fears, President Obama is not going to change the Constitution’s Second Amendment. But try telling that to convention attendees. See how long it takes for them to shoot down your argument.

Trayvon Martin’s death and the demographics of the NRA base make it tricky to navigate any gun rights debate without touching on race but Gary Younge, an insightful journalist with The Guardian and The Nation, reported the NRA declared what the organization quite clearly considers its “opposition”.

“One was Obama, one was Hilary [Clinton] sitting in front a U.N. flag, one was [U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder, and one was [Supreme Court Judge] Sonia Sotomayor.”

One white woman, one Latina, and two black men.

“This was a group of people looking at the future of this country and really not liking it. Not just what they are doing but who they are.”

Younge may be wrong and Glenn Beck may be accurate in his media analysis but some things are clear. The NRA’s fuel is fear and that continues to play big for it’s powerful membership and influential lobby. While America’s gun love continues to bemuse the rest of the world, it will not fade without a fight.

Ukraine’s Melnichenko hangs on for heptathlon gold

May 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

With 68 points separating the top two going into the final 800 metres event, Theisen Eaton needed to finish 4.

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69 seconds ahead of Melnichenko but the Ukrainian shadowed her rival round the two laps to take gold.

The 30-year-old collapsed on the track after crossing the line and held her head in disbelief as the final result flashed up, bringing the hundreds of Ukrainians in the crowd, easily recognisable in bright blue and yellow T-shirts, to their feet.

Melnichenko finished the seven events with a personal best total of 6,586 points, 56 more than Theisen Eaton, who also scored a PB and was given a congratulatory hug at the finish by her husband and world decathlon champion Eaton.

The pair, who married last month, are the first husband and wife to win medals in a global combined-event competition.

“I watched Ashton the last couple of years winning all his medals and could only sit back and imagine what that felt like,” the 24-year-old said.

“After the 800-metres he just said to me ‘good job and enjoy your victory lap’.

“We’ll probably just go home now, sit on the couch for a few days watching television and eating crappy food.”

World junior champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands charged down the home straight to finish third and secure the bronze medal with a national record of 6,477, an effort that left her needing to be helped off the track by officials.

Leader overnight, Melnichenko produced season’s bests in the long jump (6.49 metres) and the javelin (41.87) to give her the advantage going into the 800, the event all heptathletes loathe.

Melnichenko’s best in the two-lap race was three seconds slower than Theisen Eaton, so she kept the Canadian close throughout, finishing just over half a second behind her.

“I realised that I could win after the javelin throw,” Melnichenko told reporters.

“The time between the javelin and the 800 metres was the most exhausting time ever,” she added.

Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill of Britain and Russia’s 2011 world champion Tatyana Chernova missed the event due to injury.

(Editing by Mitch Phillips)

Film shows dashed dream, triumph of athlete-sportscaster Glickman

April 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

“I don’t ever remember walking as a young person,” Marty Glickman, the subject of the documentary “Glickman” which premieres on Monday on HBO, says in the film’s opening.

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“I always ran. It was my nature to run.”

But at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, then under the grip of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis, Glickman was one of two Jewish runners on the U.S. relay team pulled by U.S. officials at the 11th hour.

Glickman, who died in 2001 at 83 and was known as the voice of the NBA’s New York Knicks, the NFL’s New York Giants as well as Paramount Newsreels, recalled being frustrated and angry.

“I wanted to show that a Jew could do just as well as any other individual, and perhaps even better,” he said in the film.

“He never really became a national broadcaster, which bothered him,” said the film’s director, James Freedman, who worked at age 17 for Glickman producing the broadcaster’s late-night WNEW radio show, and was treated “not as a high school kid, but as a producer.”

Freedman, a successful television writer for hit TV shows such as “Cybill,” recalled that “people in Hollywood would say ‘Who’s Marty Glickman?’ So I hope this film will bring him the national recognition that he so deserved,” he told Reuters.

“He was the first jock-turned-broadcaster in the history of the medium.”

“Glickman,” which had Martin Scorsese as executive producer, features interviews with leading sports figures such as Bob Costas and Marv Albert, both of whom he mentored, Larry King, Red Auerbach and Frank Gifford. It intercuts those with archival footage of his youthful athletic feats in track and football and his legendary broadcasts.

“There was an almost orchestral quality to his vocal inflection … a texture to it that only a tiny handful of broadcasters could ever match,” Costas says in the film.

Said King: “He invented the one best term ever in sports broadcasting – swish,” used to describe the ball passing quickly and without resistance down through a basketball net.

“Nobody framed a basketball game like Marty Glickman,” King added. “I saw the game.”

Scorsese reflected that “You don’t need to know about Marty Glickman to appreciate the film. I am certainly not a sports enthusiast.” But the Oscar-winning director was intrigued by Glickman’s “intense commitment, one that fought through adversity and bigotry. There was no other option for him besides the games.”

Freedman said that despite having known and worked with Glickman since his youth, he learned more about the man through making the film.

“I had no idea how great an athlete he was,” said the first-time director. “He was once the third-fastest man in the world,” one of the two faster being the legendary Jesse Owens, another member of that 1936 U.S. Olympic team which struck down the Nazi myth of Aryan supremacy as Hitler watched.

“Also, I never knew just how deeply ’36 hurt him,” Freedman said, adding that he was deeply moved by “what happens when an 18-year-old kid’s dreams are crushed by prejudice.”

For his part, Glickman said it was not until he returned to Berlin’s Olympic stadium in 1985 that he became dizzy with rage, saying “I had maintained this pent up anger and hatred for 49 years.”

Glickman said he was asked about that dark time every four years during the Olympics. “I do not at all hesitate to tell the story, so that it won’t ever happen again,” he said.

With the film, the story will win an even wider audience.

(Editing by Vicki Allen)

NRL teams play for Provan-Summons Trophy

April 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

Rugby league gladiators Norm Provan and Arthur Summons have been immortalised by having the NRL premiership trophy renamed in their honour.

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Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the famous 1963 grand final played in a torrential downpour at the SCG, after which Provan and Summons, the rival captains of triumphant St George and vanquished Western Suburbs, were captured by the late photographer John O’Grady.

O’Grady’s picture remains the most enduring image in Australian rugby league history and, half a century on, Provan and Summons returned to the very same part of the SCG on Thursday night to learn the NRL grand final winners will forever more receive the Provan-Summons Trophy.

“I don’t think you can put into words the emotion that you feel when you’re given probably the greatest honours that any two old footballers could get,” Summons said.

“Trip in the mud, get a photo taken and this is what happens.

“It’s a surreal situation to be honest. I don’t think I’ve ever grasped the importance of the issue.

“I’m extremely honoured. It will sink in later.”

Provan missed out on becoming the game’s eighth Immortal last year but said the latest tribute was “amazing”.

“If I was to drop dead now, I could never complain about the life that rugby league has given me,” Provan said.

Summons humbly dedicated the honour to O’Grady.

“Unfortunately the great photographer who took the picture isn’t here to share this moment with us because, without him, we’d have been forgotten 50 years ago,” he said.

“That poor soul ran up and down the sideline with mud up to nearly his knees.

“He was in a suit and had his pants tucked into his socks. He was an incredible man and it’s a pity he wasn’t here to enjoy the accolades that rugby league is now giving to Norm and I.”

Japan upgrades Fukushima leak to level 3

April 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

Japan’s nuclear regulator has upgraded a radioactive water leak at the crippled Fukushima plant to a level three “serious incident”, its highest warning in two years, as the operator scrambles to contain the impact on the environment.

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The re-evaluation came a day after operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said some 300 tonnes of radioactive water was believed to have leaked from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

It is the worst such leak since the crisis began in March 2011 when a quake-generated tsunami knocked out reactor cooling systems and sparked meltdowns.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority raised the assessment from level one, which means “anomaly” on the UN’s International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

The scale runs from zero to seven with seven being the worst.

Level three cases on the INES scale are described as “serious incidents” with “exposure in excess of ten times the statutory annual limit for workers”.

The nuclear crisis at Fukushima two years ago is one of only two events classified as level seven -the other being the Chernobyl disaster a quarter of a century ago.

TEPCO said the leak was believed to be continuing on Wednesday and it had not yet pinpointed the source of it, while there were no significant changes in radiation levels outside the plant.

“We are removing the soil contaminated with the leaked water, while sucking the remaining water from the troubled tank,” a TEPCO spokesman said.

“We are trying our best not to spread the contamination to areas outside the facility, including the sea,” he added.

TEPCO has faced a growing catalogue of incidents at the plant including several leaks of radioactive water, following the worst nuclear disaster in a generation.

The company – which faces huge clean-up and compensation costs – has struggled with a massive amount of radioactive water accumulating as a result of continuing water injections to cool reactors.

The embattled utility in July admitted for the first time that radioactive groundwater had been leaking outside the plant. This month it started pumping it out to reduce leakage into the Pacific.

The problems have led the Japanese government and its nuclear regulator to say they would get more directly involved in the cleanup at Fukushima, rather than leaving it to the operator.

While no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the meltdowns of Fukushima’s reactors, large areas around the plant had to be evacuated.

Tens of thousands of people are still unable to return to their homes.

TV App reveals historic film archive

April 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

The app features rare Edwardian films from the British Film Institute (BFI) collection of archived content, along with shorts, interviews and documentaries from more modern periods.

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The Samsung Smart TV BFI App will also show films from the Mitchell and Kenyon film company, a pioneer of early commercial movies, giving viewers a snapshot of British Edwardian life, from holidaymakers strolling along Blackpool’s Victoria Pier in 1904 to a Punch and Judy show filmed in Halifax in 1901.

The app, which is available exclusively to those with a Samsung Smart TV, joins a growing collection of services available on the device, including BBC iPlayer, 4oD Spotify, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Guy Kinnell, head of TV and AV at Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, said: “Our partnership with the BFI is testament to our commitment to make great film and content even more accessible to the British public.

“With the largest Smart TV install base in the country coupled with award-winning picture quality and industry-leading design, the launch of the BFI App on to Samsung Smart TV brings this celebrated archived film content to life.”

BFI’s digital director Edward Humphrey said: ”It’s thrilling to take the riches of film culture and especially British film into so many homes with Samsung.

“This new app gets Samsung’s customers closer to the BFI’s rich and varied world of film. It’s a key step in realising the BFI’s ambitions for a wider suite of on-demand services, connecting audiences with our amazing content, no matter where they live in the UK, which will continue to be brought to life in the coming months.”

Comment: Tony Abbott on Facebook

April 11th, 2019 by admin | Permalink

By Stephanie Brookes, Monash University

Scrolling through the Opposition Leader’s Facebook page in the last few days, I was struck by two images in particular.

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The first thanks Australians for “giving us over 60,000 likes” (updated from an earlier “50,000 likes” image). The other shows Tony Abbott on his iPad, uploading a previous post in which he opts-in to the election debate now set for Sunday.

These are nestled among pictures of Abbott meeting ‘ordinary’ voters, links to campaign ads and a pledge to ‘abolish the carbon tax’.

Screen shot of Tony Abbott’s Facebook post, “Thank you for giving us over 60,000 likes.” Screen shot taken by the author from 南宁桑拿,www.facebook.com/TonyAbbottMP, Friday 9 August, 7:45am.

Social media can provide space for a different kind of political visibility; and a different kind of conversation between voters and elected officials. It also gives us a window into the issues and values that the parties believe are important to voters, and the strategies they are using to communicate those values. Some of these issues make it into mainstream media coverage, others do not.

The images on Mr. Abbott’s Facebook page are designed both to highlight the authenticity of the posts (“look! Tony posted this himself!”) and to reassure those engaging that the campaign notices and appreciates their support. These posts make online engagement metrics a marker of how the campaign is tracking and encourage potential voters to come out of the woodwork. In doing so, they promise, supporters will become part of an authentic grassroots movement.

The legacy of Kevin07 means that the Rudd campaign still holds the title for social media savvy, despite the 2010 campaign’s lack of innovation (on both sides). Efforts like these, in the last few days, demonstrate that the Liberals are now taking social media seriously, mounting a challenge to the Prime Minister’s perceived dominance of the domain of tweets and ‘selfies’.

It is vital that we think carefully about the impact of the vast range of social media efforts and citizen responses in election campaigns. They form part of the larger media campaign, a system of interlocking parts in which coverage and commentary in traditional media responds to the interviews and press conferences given by campaigning politicians. Media reports and analyses of policy documents, prepared speeches and light-hearted quips must now also consider tweets, YouTube videos, blog posts and Instagram images.

The 2013 campaign will not be won and lost on Twitter or Facebook.

However, the inclusion of citizen voices and preferences in these spaces (or at least, the appearance of inclusion) is an increasingly central strategy for campaigns. Tony Abbott’s Facebook page dips a toe in the social media water. As the campaign develops, perhaps both parties will move beyond counting ‘likes’ and asking voters to ‘share’ policy-related posts, and embrace more sophisticated and innovative ways of taking their message online.

Stephanie Brookes does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

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