British diver involved in triumphant Thai boy rescue insists ‘we’re not heroes’

John Volanthen told media divers were just doing their job as he touched down at Heathrow airport. Source: Breakfast


Topics



First high-speed train connecting Hong Kong to mainland China arrives at Shenzhen station

The first high-speed train connecting Hong Kong to mainland China arrived at Shenzhen station after commencing service today.

The first train left the newly built Kowloon West Station at 7am local time on Sunday for Shenzhen North Station and arrived at its destination 19 minutes later.

Costing upward of 10 billion US dollars and taking more than eight years to build, the system aims to transport more than 80-thousand passengers daily between the Asian financial centre of seven million people and the neighbouring manufacturing hub of Guangdong province.

The train will travel the 26 kilometres (16 miles) through Hong Kong to Shenzhen across the border in China in just 14 minutes, down from about one hour currently.

The project cost upward of 10 billion US dollars and took more than eight years to build. Source: Associated Press


Topics

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Aussie PM fears workplace conflict if companies forced to disclose pay gap between men and women

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he fears that workplace conflict will arise if companies have to publicly disclose how much they pay women compared to men.

The opposition today announced an election commitment to make Australian companies with more than 1000 employees disclose their gender pay gaps.

Mr Morrison says it's important to reduce the 14.5 per cent gender pay gap, but thinks Labor's policy will pit workers against each other.

"I want policies that bring Australians together. I don't want to create tensions and anger and anxiety in the workplace," he told reporters in Sydney today.

"You'd want to be confident that you weren't just going to be setting up conflict in the workplace, what matters is narrowing the pay gap."

The gender pay gap in Australia had reduced from 17.2 per cent to 14.5 per cent under the Liberal government and was trending downwards, he added.

Labor says the gender pay gap is "stubbornly high" and women working full time still get paid almost 15 per cent less than men working full time.

"It's even higher for women in some managerial positions or in some industries," deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek told reporters.

"We think it's just not fair that a full-time working woman earns about $27,000 a year less than a full-time working man."

A Labor government under Bill Shorten would also change the Fair Work Act to prohibit pay secrecy clauses, which prevent employees from discussing their salaries.

File image of man getting money from his wallet.


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Environmentalists outraged with shark killings after Queensland attacks

Baiting and killing sharks in the wake of two life-threatening attacks in the Whitsundays gives swimmers a false sense of security and will not prevent more bites, environmentalists say.

Sea Shepherd Australia and Humane Society International say human safety is paramount but that killing three tiger sharks in Cid Harbour in response to attacks on a Tasmanian woman and Melbourne girl woman is not the answer.

"Public support for these shark control methods is dropping off," HSI marine campaigner Lawrence Chlebeck told AAP today.

"We acknowledge the need for the use of technology and reducing these sorts of incidences ... but drumlines have been in the water since 1962, that's 60 years ago now.

"The technology is there and we've moved on."

The girl is Hannah Papps, who lives in Melbourne with her New Zealand parents. Source: 1 NEWS

Fisheries Queensland has dropped baited hooks into the waters where Justine Barwick, 46, and Hannah Papps, 12, were bitten 24 hours apart last week.

The state government insists killing the sharks is in the interest of public safety despite admitting it will never know if they caused the injuries.

But Mr Chlebeck and Sea Shepherd's Jonathan Clark say personal shark deterrent devices, aerial spotters, drone surveys, public education and alert systems play a bigger role in protecting ocean-goers.

They want the Queensland government to rethink its approach to preventing attacks.

"Stop the nonsense about speaking of 'effectiveness' only in terms of their ability to kill sharks," Mr Clark said.

"That bit is easy and it's lazy policy. Making beaches actually safer is much harder and unrelated to their ability to kill sharks."

Both victims in last week's attacks remain in hospitals in Brisbane.

Image taken in Isla Guadalupe in Mexico.
A file shot of a shark. Source: istock.com


Topics


UK envoy urges EU to step back from the Brexit 'abyss'

Britain's foreign secretary today urged European Union leaders to "step back from the abyss" and seek a compromise over stalled Brexit negotiations.

Jeremy Hunt told the BBC that the EU should work with Britain to try to find a way to make British Prime Minister Theresa May's "sensible, concrete proposals actually work" in the divorce between Britain and the bloc.

He spoke a day after May used a rare televised address to complain the EU was acting in bad faith by rejecting her proposed Brexit plan without offering an alternative. She said talks were at an "impasse" over future trade relations and a possible border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU-member, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K.

A gathering of EU leaders in Salzburg not only failed to make progress on the topic of Brexit but led to bitter recriminations from both sides. Since the failed summit, the usually reserved May has used unusually blunt language to complain that EU leaders are not taking her proposals seriously.

EU Council President Donald Tusk used a satirical Instagram post showing him giving May some sweets with the caption "Sorry, no cherries" - a reference to the EU's refusal to allow Britain to cherry-pick what aspects of EU membership it would like to keep after Brexit.

The British foreign secretary said this approach, and comments by French President Emmanuel Macron characterising the leaders of Britain's Brexit campaign as "liars," are counterproductive.

"Insulting her on social media, getting to these standoffs where you are calling people liars and so on is not the way we are going to get a solution to this difficult situation," Hunt said.

The increasingly bitter stalemate has raised the prospects that Britain will leave the EU in March without a deal. The value of the British pound dropped Saturday because of fears of the possible economic costs of a "no deal" Brexit scenario.

In the fallout from the snap UK Election two of Theresa May's closest advisors failed to sell her vision and lost their jobs in the process.
Source: 1 NEWS


Topics