CONTRIBUTOR: Andre Heath. It may have looked like something out of a disaster movie - but the Jeep driver passing
through was probably under no illusions to the very real threat posed by this gigantic waterspout. The amazing natural phenomenon,
which is created when tornadoes form above the sea, was spotted earlier today...
Steve Irwin's Wildlife Warriors
Airs on Australia's Channel 10
Fewer Jobs Forcing Young Kiwi Flight
Young Kiwis Protest Against Australian
Death in Custody Family Stages Noisy
Even PM's Father's Suicide is Self-Promotional
Fodder For Shock Jock
Steve Irwin's Wildlife Warriors Airs on Australia's
Updated 6 October 2012 -- More
than 6 years ago, naturalist and wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin was filming an Animal Planet documentary in
the waters of the Batt Reef, off North Queensland, Australia. Irwin and his camerman were in shallow water, working
with an Australian Bull Ray, Myliobatis australiis, or Southern Eagle Ray, which are normally docile, when the
8-foot-long, 3-foot-wide animal unexpectedly pierced his chest near the heart with its barbed spine. Irwin was able to pull
out the mildly venomous barb, but because the injection site was so close to his heart, he died immediately
Despite the tragedy, his family has continued
to dedicate themselves to working with animals.Starting this month, his wife, Terri, and two children, Bindi and Bob, are
starring in a new television series called Steve Irwin's Wildlife Warriors beginning October 6th, on Australian TV. No word yet whether or when it will be aired in the U.S., but The Crocodile Hunter lives on in international television syndication.
Steve Irwin, RIP February 1962-4 September 2006
Irwin's death from a ray sting was a terrible, freak accident, even though some
varieties of the creatures are among the world's deadliest. Most
injuries in encounters with rays are because they've been stepped on. Many tour guides offer opportunities to swim with them
in waters where they are plentiful. My daughter swam with stingrays
on a visit to Grand Cayman Island and still treasures the experience.
Like any popular figure, Irwin had his share of detractors. Although he attracted
criticism as well as applause while he was alive, PETA attacked him specifically for activities they deemed as being harmful to wildlife in a 2010 article, even though he'd been
dead for nearly 4 years.
In 2004, he made headlines around the world when he held his one-month-old son Bob in one arm while dangling a dead chicken as a snack offering to a huge crocodile.
Irwin said in later interviews that he had no regrets, and felt his son was
never in any danger. He had an extraordinary sense of humor and as well as having great fun with Conan O'Brien, he once parodied
himself on the David Letterman show by wrestling a blow-up crocodile in a kiddie pool.
Steve Irwin was joined by the whole family in his work with wildlife, having
first inherited the passion from his mother Lyn, and from his father, Bob. His wife Terri, an American by birth, was already a naturalist when she met Steve. She
describes their meeting in a 2001 live chat transcripted on the Animal Planet website:
"We met when I came to Australia in 1991 when I came to talk to zoos for placing
animals there. I worked with captive cougars that needed to be placed. When I went into Australia's zoo, they have an unpretentious
entrance. I was surprised to see parrots and kangaroos just wandering around. I heard this voice talking about crocodiles
and went over to find a man in the water with the crocodiles. Instead of talking about his accomplishments, he was talking
about what passionate lovers and beautiful mothers crocodiles are. I was so impressed, and he looked SO good in those shorts.
(laughs) It was love at first sight."
Eerily, she began the chat with the reassurance that Steve wasn't dead, and
told the chat host she wasn't overly concerned about the risks Steve took with dangerous animals. That year, he was picked by 104 players out of 55,448
from a total of 18,784 celebrities likely to die in 2006 at Rotten.com's Dead Pool.
Irwin was a hero to many Australians and people around the world for his enthusiasm
and devotion to the protection and study of animals. Most people interviewed about his death, though clearly distressed
and saddened, weren't surprised, since his entire life seemed to be devoted to taking incredible risks. Even his father stated that his son had died doing what he loved.
Above is a video of an alleged police assault on a
Nyoongar youth, who bystanders claim was standing up to police on behalf of his mother.
Updated Oct 7, 2012 – Family and supporters of an Indigenous man who died in police custody have staged a noisy protest after
being excluded from a meeting about alcohol problems at Alice Springs. Video In Climate of Death, an opinion piece in the National Indigenous Times, reporter Gerry Georgatos interviewed Nyoongar Elder, Ben Taylor.
Jones has now
taken on the last taboo: the survivor of a parent's death by suicide. Described by some as a right-wing populist, among other
things, in an after-dinner speech at the Sydney University Liberal Club (note: in Australian party politics Liberal
means conservative) he made the following remarks about Prime Minister Julia Gillard's (orJu-liar,
as Jones has called her) father:
Umar Patek, 45, had been on the run for 9 years until his capture in 2011. Three
others have already been executed. Patek claimed that he did not play a major role in preparation or organizing the attack,
that the bombing would have happened whether he helped or not, he was a reluctant participant. His testimony no doubt
helped him escape the death penalty.
His flight may have cost him, however, as did being caught on camera laughing
with policemen. His convicted co-conspirator, Ali Imron, testified against him. If ever he gets out of prison, convicted Bali
bomber Imron wants to go to Australia to apologize, according to his recent interview in a Jakarta detention center.
“I want to offer my apologies to the victims’ families in their homeland,” he told The Sunday Times.