Australia

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Prospector Strikes Gold: a $190K Chunk of It

'I thought it was rubbish at first,' he says of 9-pound Aussie discovery

(Newser) - Wednesday saw what could be the world's largest-ever pearl ; Thursday, a massive gold nugget weighing in at around 9 pounds. Found in central Victoria's Golden Triangle in Australia by an explorer who wishes to stay anonymous, per ABC.net.au , the gleaming chunk of precious metal, estimated to... More »

Cops: Assailant in Fatal Hostel Attack Yelled 'Allahu Akbar'

Australian police say it's too early to label it a terror attack

(Newser) - A French man shouting the Arabic phrase "Allahu akbar" stabbed a British woman to death and wounded two men in an attack at a hostel in northeast Australia, police said Wednesday. The 29-year-old suspect did not have any known links to the Islamic State group and appeared to have... More »

In Hot Weather, Song Can Change an Unborn Finch

Chicks who hear it grow smaller, choose warmer nests: study

(Newser) - Several types of birds sing to unhatched eggs so their young will recognize their voices once they've hatched—but what the zebra finch does is something else entirely. In a study called "paradigm-shifting" by one of its authors, researchers at Australia's Deakin University say the birds sing... More »

This 7-Year-Old 'Squirrel' Is a Surfing Wunderkind

Meet Quincy 'The Flying Squirrel' Symonds

(Newser) - We've all seen squirrels water ski , but have you ever seen a squirrel surf? ABC News reports Australia's Quincy "The Flying Squirrel" Symonds is already carving waves like a pro despite being only 7 years old. "She is definitely special," the World Surf League women'... More »

At Australia's Refugee Camp, Chilling Abuse, Rape

Guardian reports on rape, child abuse at Nauru

(Newser) - More than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention camp for asylum seekers on the Pacific island of Nauru reveal what the Guardian describes as "routine dysfunction and cruelty," including assaults, rape, and incidents of self-harm. About half of the incident reports from May 2013 to... More »

'Piles of Dead Horses' Found on Former Olympian's Property

Bruce Akers was charged with 90 counts of animal cruelty

(Newser) - A former Olympic wrestler was charged with more than 90 counts of animal cruelty after authorities found "piles of dead horses" on his property in Australia, the Age reports. Police discovered the horrible scene at the home of 63-year-old Bruce Akers back in April, but a judge ruled Monday... More »

Man Ordered to Pay $114K Over Facebook Post

He ruined life of Aussie motel owner

(Newser) - An Australian man has been ordered to pay $114,000 to the motel owner whose life he wrecked with a single post on Facebook. Kenneth Rothe, a 74-year-old motel owner and former deputy school principal, was threatened repeatedly and beaten so badly he spent six months in the hospital after... More »

Police Looked Into 5 Sexual Assaults, Found 27

New South Wales police ask for public's help

(Newser) - In 2005, Australian police set up a task force to look into five sexual assaults in Sydney's eastern suburbs. They ended up uncovering what could be one of the country's most prolific serial rapists—and they're asking the public to help track him down. Buzzfeed reports a... More »

Australia Is About 5 Feet From Where We Left It in 1994

And that's a problem for self-driving cars

(Newser) - For the love of GPS, somebody stop Australia from moving. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports the country is located smack dab on top of the fastest moving tectonic plate in the world. That means Australia is approximately 5 feet north of where it was in 1994—the last time the... More »

Troubling Images Reveal Treatment of Children Detained in Australia

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has launched an investigation

(Newser) - The Australian government is investigating its youth justice system after footage made public Monday showed teens being mistreated in ways that brought to mind the abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the Guardian reports. The footage from Don Dale Youth Detention Centre shows a 17-year-old tied to a mechanical... More »

Australia Team: Olympic Village Unfit for Habitation

The mayor says he'll give them a kangaroo

(Newser) - Australian athletes and coaching staff are in hotels instead of Rio's Olympic Village because the accommodations are in terrible shape, the head of the country's delegation says. Kitty Chiller says the problems include "blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed,... More »

3 Kids Vanished in 1966. Police Still Get Hundreds of Tips

Case of missing Beaumont children rocked Australia

(Newser) - On Jan. 26, 1966, Australian Jane Beaumont, 9, had been tasked with watching her two younger siblings at the Glenelg beach, as she had done on past occasions. Except this time, Jane, 7-year-old Arnna, and 4-year-old Grant never returned to their suburban Adelaide home. Though police had some clues to... More »

Corpse Spends Weekend at Fast-Food Restaurant

It wasn't discovered for three days

(Newser) - The crew over at Hungry Jack's on Wanneroo Road in Westminster, Western Australia, might want to step up the restroom maintenance. Case in point: A dead man sat in a bathroom at the fast-food restaurant for three days before he was discovered on July 18, the AFP reports. Police... More »

10 Nations With Highest Percentage of Immigrants

In Saudi Arabia, a third of residents were born elsewhere

(Newser) - The US is a nation of immigrants, but it's not the nation of immigrants. In Priceonomics ' rankings of the most populous countries by percentage of foreign-born residents (it excluded the Vatican, for example, which otherwise would've ranked first), America sits at No. 5. The top 10: More »

Fury Greets School's Ban on Clapping

Rule put in place for a teacher with a hearing disability

(Newser) - Feel free to "punch the air, pull excited faces, and wriggle about on the spot" at Australia's Elanora Heights Public School—but whatever you do, don't clap. The public primary school in Sydney has gained some unwanted attention after it banned clapping at assemblies in favor of... More »

That Crazy Viral Video You Saw Was Actually Made by This Firm

Australian company says part of project was publicly funded

(Newser) - The numbers are remarkable, as tallied by the Guardian : Eight viral videos published to YouTube over the past couple years were seen in 180 countries more than 205 million times, totaling 164 years of viewing time on YouTube alone and amassing half a million comments and almost 2 million likes.... More »

Man Pleads Guilty to Rogue Testicle Surgery

He allegedly removed another man's left testicle in an Australian motel room

(Newser) - What are the three most horrifying words in the English language? Wrong. The correct answer is "amateur testicle surgery." The BBC reports 56-year-old Allan Matthews pleaded guilty Wednesday to removing another man's left testicle at an Australian motel despite not being qualified to practice medicine. The unsanctioned... More »

Video of Woman Birthing Child in Creek Viewed 52M Times

Simone Thurber had long dreamed of giving birth in nature

(Newser) - Simone Thurber gave birth to her fourth daughter in a remote Australian creek—and the birth has been viewed 52 million times. The 23-minute birthing video was posted to YouTube (warning: graphic) in 2013, but is now getting press. Thurber, a birth therapist and trained doula whose three previous births... More »

Dad Torches Pot Plants, Son Calls Cops on Him

Young man was 'indignant and enraged' over his 'prized cannabis'

(Newser) - A young man from Australia got into it with his dad Tuesday night and ended up placing a phone call that has police shaking their heads, the Guardian reports. When cops showed up at the Humpty Doo home in the Northern Territory, the "indignant and enraged" son threw his... More »

Scientists: 'Holy Grail' of Stopping Breast Cancer May Be Here

Australian team makes a possible breakthrough

(Newser) - A new study could bring hope to thousands of women who are susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, the Telegraph reports. Analyzing breast tissue prone to cancer, Australian scientists found that a protein that fuels pre-cancerous cells also causes osteoporisis—and can be stymied by a common osteoporosis drug. "... More »

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