Australian rescuers were hoping to save 20 more pilot whales stranded off the coast of the island of Tasmania on Thursday after 70 were successfully returned to the ocean. Tasmania’s largest mass stranding has seen 470 whales trapped on a sandbank on the island’s west coast this week. While the final rescue efforts are underway, crews are also left to remove the carcasses of 380 whales that died.
A rescue operation is underway to save any surviving pilot whales among the 500 or so stranded along the coast of the Australian island of Tasmania on Wednesday. An estimated 270 whales were first found trapped on a sandbar on Monday. At least a third of them have already died while 25 were successfully refloated by rescuers. Another 200 were discovered Wednesday in a bay just under six miles from where the first pod was discovered.
Rio Tinto (RIO) CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques has resigned under pressure from investors over the company’s destruction of a 46,000-year-old sacred Indigenous site in Australia to expand an iron ore mine. Jacques will leave once his successor is chosen or at the end of next March. The destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves went ahead on May 24 despite a seven-year battle by the local custodians of the land.
Two Australian foreign correspondents were flown out of China for their safety, helped by Australian consular officials after being questioned by China’s state security ministry, the Australian government said on Tuesday. The Australian government had earlier warned the two men to leave China, as tension escalated over the detention of another Australian citizen, Chinese state television anchor Cheng Lei.
Facebook is preparing to block news content in Australia in response to new regulations which would force social media platforms to pay publishers for their articles. The Australian government announced plans in July to force Facebook and Google to pay royalties to news publishers for reusing their content. The two companies globally collect roughly 70% of media advertising revenue, which has historically underpinned the news industry.
Australia has secured a deal with the drugmaker AstraZeneca to supply a potential Covid-19 vaccine to its entire population free of charge, the government announced Tuesday, becoming the latest country to lock in supplies of the drug should trials succeed. British-based AstraZeneca is developing the vaccine in partnership with Oxford University, with advanced trials now underway with thousands of volunteers across multiple countries.
An oil refinery worker who was sacked for creating a Hitler parody of his bosses has been awarded $200,000 in compensation. The employee, a technician on a BP refinery in Western Australia, was sacked after he used an oft-parodied scene from the 2004 film Downfall to depict his bosses during a tense wage negotiation. The man took BP to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for unfair dismissal.
Australia’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis will be dragged backwards by swingeing restrictions on industry in Victoria that will see half a million workers in the state thrown out of employment, economists say. This is about a seventh of the workforce in Victoria, which contributes a quarter of Australia’s economic output and was the fastest growing state in the nation before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Nearly 3 billion animals were affected by Australia’s worst wildfire season that burned from last July through March this year, scientists announced Tuesday — a figure almost three times higher than original estimates. The report released Tuesday and commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature Australia said more than 46 million acres were scorched. An estimate in January said 1.25 billion animals were affected.
Police in Australia asked a woman to remove tampon during a strip search, an official report has found. The request was made during one of a number of personal body searches that were documented in a report into misconduct by the New South Wales Police Force. The commission looked into NSW police after a series of complaints and local media reports.