Oceania

Australian TV star found dead

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The Australian television personality and presenter Charlotte Dawson has been found dead at her home in Sydney. Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the 47-year-old, who had a long history of depression.

Ms Dawson, a former model from New Zealand, was also a high-profile victim of cyber bullying.

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Charlotte Dawson

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he was “shocked” and “saddened” by her death.

Ms Dawson was best known for hosting reality TV show The Contender Australia, and for her role as a judge on Australia’s Next Top Model.

In 2012, Dawson was admitted to hospital after being targeted by cyber bullies on Twitter. She went on to become an outspoken campaigner against internet trolls.

Ms Dawson, who left her native New Zealand at the age of 16 to pursue a modelling career, has been described by her friends as outrageous, outspoken and fragile.

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Sochi Winter Olypmics closing ceremony

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The Closing Ceremony is the last large-scale event of the Games at which the Games are officially concluded. The athletes take part in a parade and the spectators again experience the exciting atmosphere of the Games.

At the Closing Ceremony the Games are officially concluded when the President of the IOC gives a ceremonial speech.

Alongside the speech by the President of the IOC/IPC, the Closing Ceremony also includes a number of official elements: the performance of the national anthem and the Greek national anthem (as the birthplace of the first Olympic Games), the lowering of the flags and the athletes’ parade, and the lowering of the Olympic Flag.

But, of course, the Closing Ceremony is also another colorful show, in which brilliant artists perform, just as in the Opening Ceremony. Attending the Closing Ceremony will leave you with memories which will stay with you your whole life.

Part of the Closing Ceremony program is an artistic performance put on by the next host city of the Games. At the Closing Ceremony in Sochi, after the flag handover ceremony, there will be a performance by artists from Korea – the country in which the next host city of the Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang, is situated.

The ceremony started with a blast of fireworks, followed by a projection of ac ountdown and moving onwards to musical presentations and dance performances, acting performances and much more. The proyectors in the Fisht stadium are capable of turning the hard floor into an ocean, a desert, or anything you can think of. Millions were spent in the lights of the stadium, in an attempt to outcome the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008.

Over one hundred and twenty thousand are curretnly watching the ceremony in Sochi, and millions are through television and internet.

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The original error in the Opening Ceremony

In minutes, this presentation will pass to history to be remembered as one of the most beautiful Olypmic ceremonies in the world.

After recognizing their mistake in the opening ceremonies, when one of the mechanic Olympic rings did not open, Russia parodized the final formation of the rings by repeating the same mistake. The ring, formed by people, started closed and then opened. President Vladimir Putin laughed about it while the crowd cheered.

The Russian national anthem was sung, as it has been a tradition for the hosting country to sing it’s own. The choir, conformed by dozens of children, sang the anthem while the Russian flag was being raised. An orchestra accompanied the choir during the presentation.

Afterwards, a musical presentation was performed. Fast rythms of drums shook the stadium.

A parade of all the flags came next. Energic music was played throught the stadium.  Then, all of the athletes of each country came out for a final walk through the stadium. The wining athletes were carrying their medals.

Speeches and final presentations were held, followed by the last of the victory ceremonies. The new members of the International Olympic Comitee were welcomed.

And finally, the artistic presentations that comemorate russian dance, painting, music, sculpture and many more.

This Sochi closing ceremony was truly one of the most beautiful in the world.

Russia to bail last Greenpeace activist

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A Russian court in St Petersburg has granted a bail of $60,000 USD to the Greenpeace activist Colin Russell, an Australian citizen,  who was detained at sea for protesting against Arctic oil drilling.

The other members were bailed earlier this month and they are each facing a maximum sentence of seven years in jail.

Colin Russell
Colin Russell

The arrests

Russian border guards arrested 30 people on board the Arctic Sunrise ship in September after some of the activists tried to scale an offshore drilling platform owned by state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom in the Pechora Sea.

The 30 – 28 activists and two freelance journalists – were initially charged with piracy, but authorities revised it to hooliganism.

Some of the arrested have been released (read more about this here)

Australia’s sites hacked

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A group of hackers have attacked the websites of the Australian police and Reserve Bank.

The row has heightened diplomatic tensions between the allies and sparked protests in Indonesia.

Indonesia has suspended military co-operation with Australia and recalled its ambassador over the allegations.

A top Australian adviser has also come under fire for several tweets critical of Indonesia’s handling of the row.

Reports of the spying allegations came out in Australian media from documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The leaked documents showed that Australian spy agencies named Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the first lady, the vice-president and other senior ministers as targets for telephone monitoring, Australian media said. (read more about this event here)

Australia “spied” on Indonesian President

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Indonesia is recalling its ambassador to Australia over allegations that Canberra spied on phone calls of the Indonesian president. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the first lady and Vice-President Boediono were reportedly amongst those targeted.

The allegations came from documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden which were published by broadcaster ABC and the Guardian newspaper.

Indonesia said the ambassador was being called to Jakarta for “consultations”. It is the latest in a series of spying allegations that have strained relations between the two allies.

On 1 November Indonesia summoned Australia’s ambassador amid reports that Australia’s Jakarta embassy was used as part of a US-led spying network in Asia.

The latest leaked document showed that Australia spy agencies named Mr Yudhoyono, the first lady, Vice-President Boediono and other senior ministers as targets for monitoring, the reports said.

The presentation from Australian spy agency the Defence Signals Directorate (now known as the Australian Signals Directorate) showed that agencies attempted to listen to Mr Yudhoyono’s calls at least once, and tracked calls made to and from his mobile phone, in August 2009, theAustralian Broadcasting Corporation and the Guardian added.

The news organisations published slides from the presentation, which appeared to show a list of Indonesian “leadership targets” and the handset models used by each target, as well as a diagram of “voice events” of the Indonesian president in August 2009.

One slide entitled “Indonesian President voice intercept (August ’09)” appeared to show an attempt to listen to the content of a phone call to Mr Yudhoyono.

Australian Prime Minister:

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Google to block abuse images

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Search engine companies Google and Microsoft have now blocked over thousands of terms that used to show illegal material concerning child abuse.

Now, if everyone uses one of the 100,000 terms of the list, no results will be shown and it will trigger warning that child abuse imagery is illegal.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has welcomed the move, but warns that this must deliver or else he will look for other solutions.

The two companies, who togheter make up 95% of all search trafiic, are planning to do this and more to prevent people to reach illegal imagery.

Google-and-Bing

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Doctor Who 50th anniversary, “England’s pride”

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Doctor Who is a British science-fiction introduced by the british television network BBC. It introduces a time-travelling alien who travels around universes to stop evil entities from the destruction of said universes.

The Doctor Who series has been running since 1963 and ever since, it has been recognized as one of Britain’s finest television programms, winning the British Academy Award in 2006.

The show has been featured in almost the entire world, and has one of the biggest fandoms all around the globe.

The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who is “the most awaited television event of the last 20 years”. The special chapter of the show will be shown on November 23d and will be featured worldwide.

The BBC network has decided to set this date to allow other countries, mostly from latinamerica, to syncronize with England (since every new chapter is shown in England first, they are ahead) and England has been waiting for the entire world.

Cinemas, movie theaters and even stadiums will feature the “Fifty” (as it is called by the fandom and by the BBC) as a special event. It is calculated that millions of people will be watching the Fifty.

BBC spokemen have considered Doctor Who to be the best show, if not among the best show they’ve ever had, and consider it “England’s pride”.

Doctor Who has raised millions (network income, merchandise, etc) and it is calculated that it will keep going for many years.

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