Pufferfish may be carving mysterious ‘crop circles’ near Australia

Japan’s white-spotted pufferfish are renowned for producing complex, ringed patterns in the sand. Now, 5,500 kilometers away in Australia, scientists have discovered what appear to be dozens more of these creations.

While conducting a marine life survey out on Australia’s North West Shelf near subsea gas infrastructure with an autonomous underwater vehicle, marine ecologist Todd Bond spotted a striking pattern on the seafloor, more than 100 meters deep.  “Immediately, I knew what it was,” recounts Bond, of the University of Western Australia in Perth. Bond and his colleagues continued the survey, ultimately finding nearly two dozen more.

Until now, these undersea “crop circles” were found only off the coast of Japan. First spotted in the 1990s, it took two decades to solve the mystery of what created them. In 2011, scientists found the sculptors — the diminutive males of what was then a new species of Torquigener pufferfish. The patterns

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Google Pauses Plans for ‘News Showcase’ Product in Australia

(Bloomberg) —



text: A sign featuring Google Inc.'s logo stands inside the entrance to their U.K. headquarters at Six St Pancras Square in London.


© Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
A sign featuring Google Inc.’s logo stands inside the entrance to their U.K. headquarters at Six St Pancras Square in London.

Google has halted plans to launch its ‘News Showcase’ product in Australia as the tech company isn’t clear if it will be viable under the nation’s draft News Media Bargaining code.

The company doesn’t oppose a code, but the arbitration system outlined in the draft is “unworkable,” Mel Silva, Google’s vice president in Australia and New Zealand, said in a blog on SundayConcerns include “unfair payment conditions and unclear definitions and obligations”Earlier, Google said it would start


text: A sign featuring Google Inc.'s logo stands inside the entrance to their U.K. headquarters at Six St Pancras Square in London.


© Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
A sign featuring Google Inc.’s logo stands inside the entrance to their U.K. headquarters at Six St Pancras Square in London.


paying select media outlets to display curated content

Video: Why one educational initiative gave every member of Congress $50 in Bitcoin

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Science vs humanities in Australia’s university fee shake-up | Australia

Canberra, Australia – University students enrolling in degrees in the humanities, law and economics in Australia will see their course fees more than double next year under legislation that has just passed the upper house which the government says will ensure higher education produces “job-ready graduates”.

Under the plan, a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree will cost as much as 58,000 Australian dollars ($41,619) from 2021, an increase of 113 percent compared with 2020.

The bill passed the Senate on Thursday after securing the votes of minority parties, all but guaranteeing it will become law when it returns to the lower house in a week or so.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has said the changes are necessary because students need “to make more job-relevant choices” and study more science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses to ensure they become better prepared for the job market.

The bill comes as

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Coty Expands Kylie Skin Brand to Europe and Australia

Coty Inc.  (COTY) – Get Report said on Thursday that it was expanding its division for Kylie Jenner’s skincare products, Kylie Skin, to France, Germany, the U.K. and Australia.

The direct-to-consumer Kylieskin.com websites will ensure faster delivery of products. They’ll also enable customers to shop using their local languages and currencies, avoiding additional customs fees and duties, the New York beauty-products company said in a statement.

At last check Coty shares jumped 8% to $3.60.

“The launch of the Kylie Skin international websites also reinforces Coty’s strategic commitment to strengthening the direct-to-consumer business model,” said Simona Cattaneo, president of luxury brands at Coty. “We continue to see collections sell out quickly.” 

“I always wanted to bring my skincare line to more consumers around the world and this will allow for an easier shopping experience and faster delivery,” Jenner, a fashion designer and entrepreneur with a big social-media following,

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After 3,000 years, Tasmanian devils return to mainland Australia

The pitter-patter of Tasmanian devil feet was heard in the wild of mainland Australia for the first time in 3,000 years, after a group of devils was released in Barrington Tops, a protected national park about 120 miles (200 kilometers) north of Sydney.

Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii), the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial, have been long gone from most of the Australian continent, and until now the only remaining wild populations were on the island of Tasmania. Mainland devils were likely outcompeted by dingos, the wild dogs that were introduced to Australia at least 3,500 years ago, and which are now considered a pest species.

However, a decade of dingo eradication has offered Tasmanian devils a second chance. By clearing out dingos and reintroducing devils to Barrington Tops, conservationists hope to not only reestablish thriving wild populations of the iconic marsupials, but to also help protect other native

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Chris Hemsworth helps reintroduce Tasmanian devils to Australia for first time in 3,000 years

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Actors Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky worked with wildlife conservation group Aussie Ark to help release a group of Tasmanian devils on Australia’s mainland. 


Aussie Ark

Marvel actor Chris Hemsworth joined conservationists at Aussie Ark for a historic moment in his homeland of Australia, where they reintroduced the Tasmanian devil to the mainland for the first time in an estimated 3,000 years.

Leave it to Thor to help bring back Tasmanian devils to Australia. 

Hemsworth and his wife and actress Elsa Pataky helped release a group of 11 Tasmanian devils into a 1,000-acre wildlife sanctuary at Barrington Tops National Park in New South Wales on Sept. 10, as part of a crucial effort to restore the endangered species to its former habitat. 

“We laid some traps to catch

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Tasmanian devils reintroduced to mainland Australia after 3,000 years

The carnivorous marsupials have been released into a 400-hectare (988-acre) wildlife sanctuary north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australian NGO Aussie Ark said in a statement.

“In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day as the day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire country,” said Tim Faulkner, president of Aussie Ark.

“Not only is this the reintroduction of one of Australia’s beloved animals, but of an animal that will engineer the entire environment around it, restoring and rebalancing our forest ecology after centuries of devastation from introduced foxes and cats and other invasive predators.”

Tasmanian devils died out on the mainland after the arrival of dingoes and were restricted to the island of Tasmania. However, their numbers suffered another blow from a contagious form of cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which has killed around 90% of the population
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Tasmanian devils return to mainland Australia for first time in 3,000 years

It’s been 3,000 years since the Tasmanian devil’s raspy shriek rang through the forests of mainland Australia. But now, thanks to a dogged reintroduction effort, 26 of these endangered tiny terrors have returned.

No bigger than a lapdog, these marsupials are famous for their ferocity and powerful jaws, which can reduce large carcasses to smithereens in minutes. But in the 1990s, the species was hit with a contagious and deadly mouth cancer, causing its only remaining wild population, on the Australian island state of Tasmania, to drop to just 25,000 animals.

It’s unknown why the species disappeared from Australia millennia ago, but it’s likely due to human actions—when early hunters killed off most of the continent’s megafauna, the devils had nothing left to eat.

As scavengers, devils play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced, healthy ecosystem—which is why scientists have been trying so hard to bring them back.

“We’ve

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Google drops Australia from News Showcase launch amid regulator rancour

By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Google has postponed the Australian roll-out of News Showcase citing regulatory complications, just three months after announcing the product, as the U.S. internet giant grapples with one of the most audacious attempts to police its activities.

After naming Australia, Germany and Brazil as markets where it would start paying publishers to feature their news, the Alphabet Inc <GOOGL.O> unit dropped Australia from the product’s launch this week because its antitrust body has since pushed for laws forcing Google to pay royalties for content industry-wide.

Google said it has therefore “paused” contracts with five local publishers whose news was due to feature on News Showcase, which presents content on swipeable cards it dubs story panels.

“As we work to understand the impacts of the news media bargaining code on partnerships and products, we have put this project on pause for now,” Google’s managing director for

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Australia to Spend $575M on Tech Including Blockchain to Boost Pandemic Recovery

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the federal government has set aside nearly A$800 million (US$575 million) to invest in digital technologies as part of its coronavirus recovery plan.

  • Morrison announced the news Tuesday, saying that the funding is aimed to help the country’s businesses recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as create more jobs.
  • While Australia hasn’t been hit as badly as nations like the U.S. and India by the virus, it’s still seen around 27,000 cases and nearly 900 deaths in total, according to its official figures.
  • After seeing growth for a record 30 years, the coronavirus has now tipped the country into a recession as lockdowns sent spending spiraling.
  • The US$575 million investment, to be concreted in the 2020 budget, is part of Morrison’s plan to bounce back from the pandemic.
  • In the announcement, he sets out that varying amounts
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