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Phosphine discovery points to the possibility of life on Venus

Phosphine discovery points to the possibility of life on Venus

Life in the clouds sounds romantic, except when those clouds are made of sulphuric acid. Yet scientists are pondering whether life could exist around Venus after a rare chemical was found in its atmosphere. Key points: Astronomers have discovered a gas in the atmosphere of Venus that is only produced by microbes and industrial processes on Earth The gas could be a hint of life or it could be a geological or chemical process that we don't know about The finding has implications for the quest to find life elsewhere in our solar system and beyond The discovery, published today in the journal...

September 14, 2020
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Cyber security breach on Parliament likely a foreign government attack

Cyber security breach on Parliament likely a foreign government attack

By political reporterUpdatedAustralia's security agencies are investigating a cyber breach of the Federal Parliament's computer network that the ABC understands is likely the result of a foreign government attack.The agencies are looking into whether China is behind the incident.In a statement, Federal Parliament's presiding officers said authorities were yet to detect any evidence data had been stolen in the breach.One source said the response to the attack had been swift but the hackers were "sophisticated this time around".Computer passwords have been reset as a precaution as the...

February 8, 2019
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Finnish WWII troops participated in mass murders of Jews, new government report finds

Finnish WWII troops participated in mass murders of Jews, new government report finds

PostedAn Israeli Holocaust historian has praised Finnish authorities for publishing a report revealing atrocities likely committed by a volunteer battalion which served with Nazi Germany's Waffen-SS.Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre lauded the determination of the National Archives of Finland to release its findings, even if it was "painful and uncomfortable" for Finland.He called it an "example of unique and exemplary civic courage". The independent 248-page investigative report in English — commissioned by the Finnish government and released Friday — said 1,408 Finnish...

February 11, 2019
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Leave no dark corner - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Leave no dark corner - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over its 1.4 billion citizens. For some, "social credit" will bring privileges — for others, punishment.Dandan Fan is very much the modern Chinese woman.A marketing professional, she's diligent and prosperous — in many ways she's a model Chinese citizen.But Dandan is being watched 24 hours a day. A vast network of 200 million CCTV cameras across China ensures there's no dark corner in which to hide. Every step she takes, every one of her actions big or small — even what she thinks — can be tracked and judged.And Dandan says that's...

February 8, 2019
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Chinese billionaire wants political parties to pay back his donations

Chinese billionaire wants political parties to pay back his donations

By political reporterPostedA Chinese billionaire who has been prevented from returning to Australia has asked political parties to return the millions of dollars in donations he's made.Huang Xiangmo quickly rose to become a leading pro-China lobbyist, courting politicians and donating at least $2 million to Australian political parties directly and through his companies.But a decision from the Home Affairs Department to strip him of permanent residency and reject his citizenship application, made while Mr Huang was offshore, leaves him unable to re-enter the country.Security agencies have...

February 8, 2019
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Indonesian police apologise after video shows Papuan suspect terrorised with a live snake

Indonesian police apologise after video shows Papuan suspect terrorised with a live snake

PostedIndonesian police have acknowledged officers terrorised a Papuan man with a live snake, after a video of the incident circulated online showing the man screaming in fear and his interrogator laughing.Police in Indonesia's easternmost Papua region apologised but also attempted to justify the officers' actions by saying the snake was not venomous and that they had not resorted to beating the man, who was suspected of theft.Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman said the interrogation methods were torture and violated police policies as well as several laws.She said it was only the latest of...

February 11, 2019
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China splurges $500m on broadcasting state media in Australia, asks us to 'see the difference'

China splurges $500m on broadcasting state media in Australia, asks us to 'see the difference'

By andUpdatedIn September 2018, billboards adorned with kangaroos and pandas began popping up around Australia's capital cities as part of a $500 million advertising campaign urging viewers to "see the difference" on China's Central Global Television Network (CGTN) — available on Foxtel and Fetch TV.But "seeing the difference" comes with an important caveat.Experts warn China's media is being wielded as a tool to shape public opinion and serve the ideological aims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) across the globe.And, as a part of its efforts, Beijing is training up foreign journalists,...

February 8, 2019
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Norfolk Island grapples with change and political tension

Norfolk Island grapples with change and political tension

By andUpdatedA peaceful paradise known for its iconic pine trees and spectacular coastline, Norfolk Island is riddled with political tension and simmering social unrest.More than 1,600 kilometres north-east of Sydney, residents living on this tiny rock in the South Pacific have the New South Wales postcode of 2899, abide by its laws despite having no state member, and belong to the Australian Capital Territory federal seat of Bean.Other external territories, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands have similar arrangements.Three years after the rollout of Australian services,...

February 11, 2019
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Missing an arm, this university student made one from Lego

Missing an arm, this university student made one from Lego

UpdatedA teenager born without a right forearm due to a rare genetic condition has built himself a robotic prosthetic arm using Lego pieces.David Aguilar, 19, who studies bioengineering at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Spain, is already using his fourth model of the colourful prosthetic and his dream is to design affordable robotic limbs for those who need them.Once his favourite toys, the plastic bricks became the building material for Mr Aguilar's first, still very rudimentary, artificial arm at the age of nine, and each new version had more movement than the one...

February 11, 2019
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'Catastrophic' losses and carcass-strewn paddocks: Floods' toll on farms revealed

'Catastrophic' losses and carcass-strewn paddocks: Floods' toll on farms revealed

By and staffUpdatedHundreds of thousands of cattle are likely to have been lost in Queensland's flooding disaster, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says."This will be heartbreaking to these communities, that have been experiencing years of drought only to see that turn into a torrential inundation which threatens now their very livelihoods in the complete other direction," he said."We have all seen the images, the devastating scenes of what's occurring in north Queensland. We are expecting hundreds of thousands of stock losses."WARNING: Images included below may upset some people.Mr Morrison...

February 8, 2019
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