Watch: Gigantic live 400kg croc caught near popular fishing spot in Darwin

Wildlife rangers in Australia say the capture of a gigantic four-metre saltwater crocodile in a popular Darwin fishing spot should serve as a warning to locals.

The crocodile, which weighed in at around 400kg, was removed from Sadgroves Creek after being trapped by NT Parks and Wildlife specialists on Saturday afternoon, Nine News reports.

"It's not normal to find a croc of his size at Sadgroves," NT ranger Ian Hunt said.

"The average would be two metres in that area – which is about half his size."

Mr Hunt said the croc was covered in barnacles that suggested it had been out at sea for a long period of time.

The ranger estimated the beast to be about 50 to 60 years old.



Meghan Markle, Prince Harry launch cookbook raising money for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

Meghan Markle was joined by her mother on Thursday to launch a cookbook aimed at raising money for the victims of London's Grenfell Tower fire.

The former actress from the United States, who married Prince Harry and is now the Duchess of Sussex, hosted the reception at Kensington Palace beside her mother, Doria Ragland, to support the cookbook titled "Together."

The book celebrates the power of cooking to strengthen communities and bring people together.

Prince Harry also attended the event.

The book was inspired by Markle's visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen in North Kensington, which could only open a few days a week for lack of funds.

The cookbook features recipes from women in the community who prepare food to help and heal.

The dishes include coconut chicken curry, aubergine masala, caramelized plum upside-down cake and spiced mint tea.

The 2017 Grenfell Tower fire killed 72 people and prompted nationwide calls for tightening building codes and increasing firefighting capabilities for large apartment blocks.

It was a family affair at the launch, with Meghan’s mum also mingling with women in the community whose recipes fill the book titled Together. Source: Associated Press


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Euthanasia activist, previously convicted of aiding mum's suicide in NZ, now charged with murder in South Africa

A New Zealand man who was convicted of assisting his mother's suicide has been charged with pre-meditated murder in South Africa.
Sean Davison was arrested and charged on Monday after he helped his quadriplegic friend Anrich Burger die in 2013.

Professor Davison is an academic at the University of the Western Cape and a prominent right-to-die campaigner who co-founded Dignity South Africa, an organisation whose mission is to legalise euthanasia in that country.

In 2006 he helped his terminally-ill Dunedin-based mother to die, which he admitted in draft versions of a book he subsequently wrote, called Before We Say Goodbye.

Patricia Davison died hours after drinking a cocktail of crushed up morphine tablets prepared by her son.

It will take over a year for MPS to hear from 3500 New Zealanders who want their voices heard. Source: 1 NEWS

In 2011 he was sentenced to five months' home detention for that crime.

In 2014 he told South African media Mr Burger had been in extreme pain and was desperate to die and he was helping him out of compassion.

Mr Davison was arrested on Monday local time and held overnight and is now out on bail.

His next court appearance will be in November and his lawyer said the police may lay further charges against him.

rnz.co.nz

Euthanasia campaigner Sean Davison is now accused of helping end the life of a doctor who became quadriplegic. Source: 1 NEWS

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All you need to know about Brexit, six months before the big split with EU

Confused by Brexit? Well, you're probably not alone.

1 NEWS Europe correspondent Joy Reid, who has been reporting on the issue, breaks it down. 

BREXIT – WHAT IS IT?

Brexit is a catch phrase coined for Britain leaving the EU, joining together the words “Britain” and “Exit”. That’s essentially what’s happening.

After a referendum in June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (a group of 28 countries in Europe which pays membership and enjoys free trade and movement of people).

In order for it to leave, British Prime Minister Theresa May had to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives both sides a two-year window to work out what a separation would look like.

She did that on the March 29 2017 – so the UK will officially leave the EU on March 29 2019 with or without a separation deal.

WHY DID THE UK VOTE TO LEAVE?

The UK essentially voted to take back control of its laws, economy and its borders.

The “Vote Leave” campaigned on concerns around some of the EU laws which the UK are subject to due to its membership and the costs of being an EU member.

It said that the UK would have more money if it didn’t have to pay EU membership fees.

Immigration was also a big issue due to widespread concern about the free movement of people.

WHY’S IT SO COMPLICATED?

This is the first time a country has ever left the European Union.

Britain joined in 1973, and for the past 45 years has agreed to all sorts of laws, trade deals, rules and regulations. The question is, how to get out of them.

There’s no precedent so effectively people are making it up as they go along.

It’s being likened to unscrambling an egg… How does one do that? We’re about to find out.

WHERE ARE THINGS AT NOW?

Both sides have partly agreed on the departure deal including how much the UK will pay the EU when it leaves (39 billion pounds which is around NZ$77b).

But the terms around a future relationship is far from agreed.

Theresa May has come up with a plan called the Chequer’s deal, named after the Prime Minister's country retreat where it was hashed out. Essentially it proposes –

• A common rulebook on goods – avoiding friction at the UK-EU border.

• Facilitated customs arrangement – which would see the UK collect tariffs on the EU’s behalf. This would avoid a hard Irish border and remove the need for extra border checks.

• Close cooperation on services

• Close alignment on rules and laws and no free movement of people

• But the UK would maintain the freedom to make trade deals with the rest of the world.

This is NOT a final Brexit deal… but rather the Prime Minister’s wish list which the EU and UK are now negotiating on.

WHAT DOES THE EUROPEAN UNION THINK ABOUT THIS CHEQUERS DEAL?

They say frankly that “Chequers won’t work”. They don’t like big chunks of it especially around the Irish border and the economic framework.

It however acknowledges that the plan has positive elements with reference to security and foreign policy.

WHAT’S THIS ABOUT THE IRISH BORDER?

The Irish border is without a doubt the most complicated issue to solve.

The 500km border between Northern Ireland and Ireland is the only place where the UK directly meets the EU.

The question of what to do about the people and goods that cross it every single day is proving problematic.

Both sides don’t want a hard border and if border posts were to be rebuilt (which no one wants) that would break part of Good Friday agreement which brought peace to the region after decades of violence.

The EU wants a “backstop” clause which is basically an insurance policy that if an agreement can’t be reached then a fluid trade border between the north of the island of Ireland (UK) and south of the island (EU) would occur and push any customs border/ tariff checks to the ports at the Irish Sea.

But Theresa May says that will effectively split Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK and that it is unacceptable saying no Prime Minister would agree for Northern Ireland to be subject to different regulatory rules than the rest of the UK.

Both sides are currently at a major stand off on this.

WHAT ABOUT TRADE?

This is another biggie.

The UK sends 44 per cent of its exports to the EU and it imports 53 per cent of all imported goods from the EU. Currently this is all without tariffs.

But a new deal needs to be reached on what will happen when the UK leaves.

The closer the UK stays aligned to the EU, the harder it will be to make new trade agreements with the rest of the world, like America and New Zealand.

Again, there’s no agreement on this issue.

Commentators say the EU believes it holds most of the cards but the UK is threatening a “no deal” exit which means leaving the EU without any agreement at all on trade, which the EU will definitely want to avoid.

WHAT WOULD A “NO DEAL” ACTUALLY MEAN?

In a word – chaos. It would mean the UK leaves the European Union without formal agreement on the future between the two entities.

It would mean no “transition” period which is currently proposed.

There could be a temporary shortage of some medicines and foods which the UK gets from the EU.

There could be long queues at border ports as goods are subject to customs checks which they’ve not had before.

There could be long queues at airports and disruption to air travel.

It could see residency rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU disappear overnight.

A no-deal would see tariffs imposed on goods going between the EU and the UK. Trade rules would revert to those set out by the World

Trade Organisation which for some industries like the UK’s farming sector, it could mean tariffs of 40 per cent.

But Theresa May says it’s better the leave the EU with no deal than a bad deal.

The International Monetary fund warns that a no deal scenario would be the most disruptive to both economies.

All these are worst case scenarios but also possible outcomes of a “no deal”.

WHAT DOES BUSINESS THINK?

Businesses are being told to prepare for the two options, and be prepared in the event of no deal.

Big companies like Panasonic and Unilever are moving the headquarters to European cities ... and many banks are doing the same such as HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays so it can stay under the EU jurisdiction.

Even big companies like Airbus and BMW are looking to move parts of its operations to Europe.

There is a lot of uncertainty.

WHAT ABOUT THE DOMESTIC POLITICAL ISSUES IN THE UK? HOW DOES THAT AFFECT BREXIT?

Even if Theresa May gets a deal signed off with the EU, she then must get it approved by her parliament.

Some say this will be an even bigger battle than securing a deal with the 27 other EU member states.

Currently there is minimal support for her Chequers deal and there is widespread condemnation from inside her party about her “Chequers” plan. Some say it keeps the UK too closely aligned with the EU, others say it isn’t close enough.

It’s a very divisive issue and there are real risks that Theresa May won’t have the numbers to push it through.

WHAT ABOUT A SECOND REFERENDUM?

There’s a campaign at the moment called “People’s Vote” which is calling for another referendum saying that UK voters should be given the option of leaving with the proposed deal (if there is one), or staying on current terms.

It’s well-funded, and has support from the likes of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and even some EU leaders such as the Czech Prime Minister.

But Theresa May is adamant this is NOT going to happen. She says the people of Britain have already spoken and that Britain will exit the EU on the 29th of March.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN FOR KIWIS?

As no one really knows how this is going to end, it’s a bit hard to say what it will mean for New Zealand with any certainty.

However, the UK has made it clear that New Zealand will be one of the first countries it negotiates a new free trade deal with when it’s free from the European Union.

A new report also suggests it might be good news for Kiwis on their OE.

Currently it’s quite difficult to get visas to stay in the UK after the normal two year visa period (unless you fit the stringent criteria), but the post-Brexit immigration system should make it easier for higher-skilled workers to come into, and stay in Britain, including Kiwis.

The Migration Advisory Committee proposes no special treatment for EU nationals and no visa cap.

SO WHAT NOW?

Wait and see.

Time is running out. The EU hopes a deal will be sorted by its October summit, but it has just announced an extra one in November just in case it needs more time.

Both sides are in an apparent deadlock over a number of issues with no one really knowing how this is going to end.

With just over six months to go until the UK leaves the EU, negotiations have reached a critical point. Source: Breakfast


Russian scientist uses cholesterol to establish that 558 million-year-old fossil was one of the first animals

A piece of fat has helped solve a 558-million-year-old riddle and looks set to shoot a university student to scientific stardom.

When Professor Jochen Brocks received a call from a Russian student saying he wanted to use his Canberra lab to pull fat molecules from an ancient Ediacaran Biota fossil and prove it was the earth's first animal, he thought the idea was mad.

No scientist had been able to decipher what the weathered remnants, called Dickinsonia, were since their discovery in hills 650 kilometres north of Adelaide in 1946.

"This is the holy grail of paleontology and I had a student calling me from Moscow saying he had a solution," Prof Brocks told AAP.

None of this mattered to Ilya Bobrovskiy, the young geologist told Prof Brocks he knew of fossils so well preserved in a remote area of northwest Russia that the organic tissue still contained molecules of cholesterol, a type of fat that is the hallmark of animal life.

"I just couldn't believe that this exists anywhere in the world, I mean these things are really old, 558 million years old," Prof Brocks said.

If true, the findings could settle a feud raging between scientists over the strange 1.4 metre long leaf-shaped organism - was it a giant single-celled amoeba, a lichen, fungus, an animal or as some believe, a failed evolutionary experiment?

"I thought this is a student with no idea of how (fossils) work, it's a completely crazy idea," Prof Brocks said.

"But he struck me as very smart. I'll let him try it and when the project fails I'll give his something else."

The 27-year-old didn't fail, with Prof Brocks' backing he was helicoptered into the bear and mosquito infested White Sea region where he hung from 100-metre high cliffs to dig out the fossils.

"The data he got was beautiful, it's full of fossil cholesterol. That thing was an animal, this is the best evidence yet," Prof Brocks said.

"He's landed a number one hit and it's spreading across the country."

His Indiana Jones-like efforts have also developed a new approach to study the ancient fossils, which hold the key between the old world dominated by bacteria and the world of large animals that emerged 540 million years ago during the 'Cambrian explosion'.

The PhD student is now working on a new research project with the Australian National University in the Northern Territory.

His research is published in the journal Science.

This undated photo provided by Ilya Bobrovskiy in September 2018 shows a Dickinsonia fossil from the White Sea area of Russia. The body is about 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) long. In a report released on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, scientists say they've confirmed that these fossils from more than 500 million years ago are traces of an animal, which makes that creature one of the earliest known. (Ilya Bobrovskiy/Australian National University via AP)
Scientists say they've confirmed that these Dickinsonia fossils from more than 500 million years ago are traces of an animal, which makes that creature one of the earliest known. (Ilya Bobrovskiy/Australian National University) Source: Associated Press


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