Australia

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How This Bird Communicates Like Humans

Its calls show 'a very basic form of word generation': researcher

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered a talent never seen outside of humans in a small Australian bird: the ability to string sounds together to convey different meanings. Essentially, "it's a very basic form of word generation," researcher Andy Russell tells the BBC . The team started out by listening to... More »

'Missing' American Faked His Disappearance: Aussies

Kenneth Rodman found near Cairns, Australia, almost 5 years later

(Newser) - American Kenneth Rodman was 55 when he vanished in Australia in 2010 while traveling the country on a tourist visa. He was reported missing by a friend who'd last seen him on Dec. 21 near Port Douglas, heading for a beach with his green kayak. He was later spotted... More »

One of the Largest Properties on Earth Is for Sale

The highest bidder will be a land baron in Australia

(Newser) - Have you always dreamed of raising cattle on a vast swath of land in Australia? If you have at least $325 million to spare, you'd better enter your bid pronto. What Quartz calls the "largest stretch of private real estate on Earth" is now on the market, and... More »

Car Crash Solves 40-Year-Old Mystery 10K Miles Away

Raymond Grady Stansel Jr. disappeared in 1974 right before drug-smuggling trial

(Newser) - When an elderly man in north Queensland, Australia, died in a car crash in May, the local paper ran a story that described an "outpouring of grief" in the town where he ran his crocodile-cruise company for almost 30 years. But as the Tampa Bay Times details in a... More »

Is This the 20th Century's Most Baffling Cold Case?

We don't know who the Somerton Man was, or how he died

(Newser) - It’s a mystery as maddening as it is intriguing: Who was the still-unidentified Somerton Man, a suit-clad, 40-something man who was found dead on an Australian beach near Adelaide—possibly by poison—on the morning of Dec. 1, 1948? Graeme Wood boils 66 years of sleuthing, developments, twists, and... More »

Christian Couple Decides to Divorce If Gays Can Marry

But they'd still be 'husband' and 'wife'

(Newser) - Couples have been known to hold off on tying the knot until gay marriage is legal. A Christian couple in Australia, however, says they will divorce if gay marriage is allowed. "My wife and I just celebrated our 10-year anniversary. But later this year, we may be getting a... More »

This Animal Mates to the Point of Death

It's actually a real threat to the species

(Newser) - The good news: Scientists have discovered two new species of dusky antechinus to add to the three others found in the last few years for a 50% boost in diversity among the Australian mammals. The bad news: Three of the new species are already threatened by climate change, feral animals,... More »

Invasive 'Walking' Fish Headed to Australia

'Aggressive' climbing perch can crawl and breathe on land, suffocate native species

(Newser) - Ecologists from Down Under are keeping a wary eye on ocean waters as an "aggressive" fish migrates south from Papua New Guinea toward the Aussie mainland. What makes Anabas testudineus, or the climbing perch, so frightening that one scientist tells the Guardian it would be a "major disaster"... More »

Bizarre Theft: Cow Gallstones

They're used in alternative medicine

(Newser) - Do a quick scan for "cow gallstones" on the Alibaba website and you'll see that they're quite in demand, whether you want to buy them by the gram, kilogram, or ton. So a 38-year-old Australian man accused of stealing a whole bunch of them must have thought... More »

Johnny Depp's Dog Mess Gets Messier

He could face up to 10 years behind bars

(Newser) - Johnny Depp's dogs were actually the subject of a Senate committee hearing in Australia yesterday. Depp, of course, brought his Yorkshire terriers into Australia illegally and they were almost euthanized , but they managed to escape death . However, Agriculture Department officials had to answer questions about the fiasco yesterday, what... More »

PETA Video Denied in Sheep-Abuse Case

Australian shearers win case that turns on 'verbal cruelty'

(Newser) - Shearing sheep is one thing, activists say—and shearing them while shouting or attacking the animals is quite another. That was PETA's argument against Australian sheep shearers last year when the group revealed video shot by an undercover operative, ABC News Australia reports. But the Royal Society for the... More »

Depp's Dogs Dodge Death— but Are They Stateless?

Yorkshire terriers faced euthanasia in Australia

(Newser) - The #WaronTerrier has ended in retreat. Johnny Depp, who sneaked his two Yorkshire terriers into Australia last month, will send his pals back to the US, according to the country's agriculture minister—on a private jet no less. Depp avoided Australia's mandatory quarantine (minimum 10 days) for pets... More »

Australia Threatens to Kill Johnny Depp's Dogs

Actor accused of sneaking Yorkshire terriers into country

(Newser) - Movie stars aren't exempt from Australia's strict quarantine laws, and Johnny Depp's Yorkshire terriers will be put down unless the actor gets them out of the country by Saturday, warns Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. Depp is in the country filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell ... More »

Woman Has 136 Online Dates, No Second Date

Belinda Stuckey of Australia has made 4,700 matches on eHarmony

(Newser) - An Australian school teacher says she's had 136 dates over 17 months but never a second date—because the mutual attraction just isn't there, E! News reports. "I know who I am and what I want and I just can't find a man who is worthy... More »

Cops Laugh About Stoner's To-Do List on Twitter

No. 7: 'Go to bus stop'

(Newser) - Police officers are people, too. And like us, they share their hilarious finds on Twitter. Take this example: Police in Murdoch, Western Australia, were executing a search warrant on a house in Perth, relating to a burglary investigation, when they uncovered a rather amusing to-do list, News.com.au reports.... More »

8 Inmates Refused Blindfolds, Sang at Firing Squad

Pastor says the scene was 'breathtaking'

(Newser) - "Breathtaking" is probably not a word you'd usually associate with the executions of eight people , but that's exactly how a pastor describes the scene in Indonesia just after midnight local time. Seven foreigners and a local man refused blindfolds as they stood in front of a firing... More »

Farmer Finds Perfect Jaw of Ancient Marine Creature

Kronosaurus swam in Australian waters more than 100M years ago

(Newser) - An unexpected upside to a drought in Queensland, Australia: Researchers now have a better sense of what a fearsome sea creature of yore looked like. A cattle farmer stumbled across a fossil in his field that turned out to be the lower jaw of Kronosaurus Queenslandicus, which plied the local... More »

Australia: 5 Teens Plotted Attack on WWI Ceremony

They were arrested today over alleged plot involving 'edged weapons'

(Newser) - Five Australian teenagers were arrested today on suspicion of plotting an Islamic State group-inspired terrorist attack at a Veterans' Day ceremony next Saturday that included targeting police officers, officials said. Police said they believe the plot was to have involved "edged weapons." "At this stage, we have... More »

Woman Canned After Sending Worst Text Ever to Boss

Louise Nesbitt tried to pass off 'complete d---' message as lighthearted humor

(Newser) - If you're going to insult your boss, there's no better way to ensure getting fired than making sure that insult is unequivocal. That's the situation former Dragon Mountain Gold employee Louise Nesbitt found herself in last year when the Aussie woman accidentally sent an unflattering text message... More »

Australia: Vaccinate Your Kids or Lose Benefits

PM unveils 'no jab, no play, no pay' policy

(Newser) - Life is about to get tougher for Australian parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that "conscientious objectors" to childhood vaccination will lose benefit payments and tax rebates of more than $11,000 per year per child, reports the Sydney Morning Herald... More »

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