Regional and International News
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Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson yesterday said the ships appeared to be just outside Australian territorial waters, southeast of Macquarie Island.
He said it was time for the Australian Government to step in.
“It’s crunch time, we’re being scrutinised by the international community and by the organised crime gangs who profit from these illegal and destructive fishing activities,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.
“There’s no better time than now for this Government to uphold its election promise and send a patrol vessel to protect Australia’s interests and to show the world Australia is serious about upholding its responsibilities in the Southern Ocean,” he said.
Interpol yesterday issued a “Purple Notice” requesting the help of all 190 member nations in tracking the notorious trio after a boarding bid by the New Zealand Navy this week was thwarted by rough Southern Ocean conditions.
“The Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) vessels, which were sighted travelling together in December 2014, have all changed their names, national registration and other identifying characteristics on multiple occasions to try and avoid detection,” the international police organisation said.
“Between 6 and 13 January, a Royal New Zealand Naval Patrol spotted the vessels — the Yongding, the Kunlun and the Songhua — hauling gill nets laden with toothfish in an area regulated by the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources where such fishing methods are prohibited.”
The ownership of the rogue vessels is a mystery although they are reputed to be poaching endangered species in protected waters on behalf of a Spanish criminal syndicate.
Sea Shepherd announced plans to help chase the vessels on the high seas.
Senator Whish-Wilson said Sea Shepherd was now the only deterrent to the illegal fishers, given the Australian Government had not followed through with its Southern Ocean patrols
Sen. Marco Rubio says he can win the next presidential election. The Florida Republican is dismissing concerns his chances are threatened by potential rival and his political mentor – former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, the 43-year-old first-term senator says: he believes “we can put together the organization and raise the money necessary to win.”
Rubio says he has yet to make a final decision about whether to seek re-election to the Senate or run for president. But he reiterated Wednesday that he’ll only seek one of the two.
Should Rubio get into the race, he’ll join a field expected to include Bush. Rubio says Bush is one of the many talented people in the GOP, but adds: “there are others, too.”
The AP Reports – Authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested for allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office says the 31-year-old Zimmerman was arrested for aggravated assault at his home in Lake Mary about 10 p.m. Friday.
Zimmerman was released on a $5,000 bond Saturday afternoon. At a court appearance earlier Saturday, he was ordered to avoid contact with the woman, who was not identified.
The U.S. House of Representatives Ethics Committee has voted unanimously to begin an investigation into whether Representative Trey Radel violated the Code of Official Conduct.
Congressman Radel is currently in a rehabilitation center in Naples, after pleading guilty to a cocaine possession charge in November.
A potentially catastrophic asteroid has been discovered by astronomers, who say there’s a slim chance that the 410-meter-wide minor planet will crash into Earth in 2032, creating a blast 50 times greater than the biggest nuclear bomb.
The asteroid, described as 2013 TV135, was found in the Camelopardalis (Giraffe) constellation by the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in southern Ukraine, the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomers Union said.
“On the night of October 12, I was watching the Giraffe constellation, it was an in-depth monitoring as part of the comet search program,” Gennady Borisov from the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory told Itar-Tass news agency. “This is when the asteroid… was discovered. The first observations show that it moves quickly and is relatively close.”
The discovery has been confirmed by astronomers in Italy, Spain, the UK and Russia. In Russia, it was seen with telescopes at the Master Observatory in the Siberian republic of Buryatia, the IAU Minor Planet Center said.
A powerful typhoon which swept through Japan led to highly radioactive water near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant being released into a nearby drainage ditch, increasing the risk of it flowing into the sea.
On Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s operator, said it had detected high levels of radiation in a ditch leading to the Pacific Ocean, and that it suspected heavy rains had lifted contaminated soil.
Ali al-Musawi, top media advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, told Russia Today on Thursday that the agreement “entails primarily weapon shipments to combat terrorism.”
Baghdad and Moscow signed the $4.3-billion contract in October 2012, making Russia Iraq’s largest arms supplier after the US, but Iraqi authorities announced a month later that the deal had been annulled over Maliki’s concerns about “corruption” within his own team.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) says hundreds of millions of people worldwide are still suffering from malnutrition.
The UN organization said in a statement issued on Wednesday that almost 870 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished.
“One out of every four children in the world under the age of five is stunted,” the statement read.
“This means 165 million children who are so malnourished they will never reach their full physical and cognitive potential.”
According to the statement, some 1.4 billion people worldwide are also overweight.
On Thursday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) attacked the protesters trying to dismantle a highway barricade in the region.
The east-central state of Hidalgo has the highest count of confirmed cases with 145 people being infected, including the death of a 75-year-old woman, said Health Minister Mercedes Juan on Monday.